BONDAGE AND LIBERATION

INTRODUCTION:
THE OPEN SECRET

BONDAGE & LIBERATION

II . Regions, Higher and Lower

III Soul

IV. THE SOUL OF MAN
(a) Science, Modern and Ancient

Steps to Realisation

PURIFICATION OF BODY, MIND AND THOUGHTS.

HINTS ON PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY

THE WAY TO BLESSEDNESS

THE POWERS OF THE MIND

BHAKTI OR DEVOTION

WORK AND ITS SECRET

AT THE END.

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST

THE OPEN SECRET

Which ever way we turn in trying to understand things in their reality, we find that at last we come to a peculiar state of things, seemingly a contradiction; something which our reason cannot grasp and yet is the fact. We take up something—we know it is finite; but as soon as we begin to analyze it, it leads us beyond our reason, and we never find an end to all its qualities, its possibilities, its powers, its relations. It has become infinite. So with all our thoughts and experiences, physical and mental. We begin, we may think, on a small scale, and grasp them as little thing; but very soon they elude our knowledge and plunge into the abyss of the infinite. And the greatest and the first thing perceived is ourselves. We are also in the same dilemma about existence. We exist. We see we are finite beings. We live and die. Our horizon is narrow. We are here, limited, confronted by the universe all round. Nature can crush us out of existence in a moment. Our little bodies are just held together; ready to go to pieces at the moment’s notice. We know that. In the region of action how powerless we are! Our will is being thwarted at every turn. So many things we want to do, and how few we can do! There is no limit to our willing. We can will everything, want everything. But how few of our desires can be accomplished! The body will not allow it. Well, nature is against the accomplishment of our will. We are weak. The name “OCEAN” applies to the wave and equally to every other part of the ocean, and yet it is separate from the ocean. So in this infinite ocean of existence, we are like wavelets. At the same time, when we want really to grasp ourselves, we cannot—we have become the infinite.

Everything in this life is so vast that the intellect is nothing in comparison with it. It refuses to be bound by the laws of he intellect! It laughs at the bondage the intellect wants to spread around it. And a thousand fold more so is the case with the human soul. ‘We ourselves’ – this is the greatest mystery of the universe.

How wonderful it all is! Look at the human eye. How easily it can be destroyed, and yet the biggest suns exist only because your eyes see them. The world exists because your eyes certify that it exists. Think of the mystery! These poor little eyes! A strong light, or a pin can destroy them. Yet the most powerful engines of destruction, the most powerful cataclysms, the most wonderful of existence, millions of suns and stars and moons and earth – all depend for their existence upon, and have to be certified by, these two little things! they say, ’Nature, you exist,’ and we believe nature exists. So with all our senses.

All things are interpenetrated by that infinite ocean; their reality is that infinite; and whatever there is on the surface is but that infinite. The tree is infinite; so is everything that you see or feel – every grain of sand, every thought, every soul, everything that exists, is infinite. Infinite is finite and finite infinite. This is our existence. All our relation to the Infinite works in us unconsciously. In a manner, therefore, we forget our real being, and hence all this misery come.

In practical daily life we are hurt by small things; we are enslaved by little beings. Misery comes because we think we are finite – we are little being. And yet, how difficult it is to believe that we are infinite beings! In the midst of all this misery and trouble, when a little thing may throw me off my balance, it must be my care to believe that I am infinite. And the fact is that we are, and that consciously or unconsciously we are all searching after that something which is infinite; we are always seeking for something that is free.

The human soul never forgets its freedom and is ever seeking it. The search for freedom is the search of all religions; whether they know it or not, whether they can formulate it well or ill, the idea is there. Even the lowest man, the most ignorant, seeks for something which has power over nature’s laws. He wants to see a demon, a ghost, a god – somebody who can subdue nature, for whom nature is not almighty, for whom there is no law. ‘Oh, for somebody who can break the law!’ that is the cry coming from the human heart. We are always seeking for someone who breaks the law.Everywhere we see this assertion of freedom, this freedom of the soul. It is reflected in every region in the shape of God or Gods; but it is all external yet – for those who only see the gods outside. Man decided that he was nothing. He was afraid that he could never be free; so he went to seek for someone outside of nature who was free. Then he thought that there were many and many such free beings, and gradually he merged them all into one God of gods and Lord of lords. Even that did not satisfy him. He came a little closer to truth, a little nearer; and then gradually found that whatever he was he was in some way connected with the God of gods and lord of lords; that he, though he thought himself bound and low and weak, was somehow connected with that God of gods. Then vision came to him; thought arose and knowledge advanced. And he began to come nearer and nearer to that God, and at last found out that God and all the gods, this whole psychological phenomenon connected with the search for an all-powerful free soul, was but a reflection of his own idea of himself. And then at last he discovered that it was not only true that ‘God made man after His own image’, but that it was also true that man made God after his own image. That brought out the idea of divine freedom. The Divine Being was always within, the nearest of the near. Him we had ever been seeking outside, and at last found that He is the heart of our hearts. Man after search finds out that this infinite freedom that he was placing in imagination all the time in he nature outside, is the internal subject, the eternal Soul of souls – this Reality, he himself.

Thus at last he comes to recognize this marvelous duality of existence: the subject, infinite and finite in one—the Infinite Being is also the same finite soul. The Infinite is caught, as it ere, in the meshes of the intellect and apparently manifests as finite beings, but the reality remains unchanged. This is, therefore, true knowledge; that the soul of our souls, the Reality that is within us, is That, which is unchangeable, eternal, ever blessed, ever free. This is the only solid ground for us to stand upon.

This, then, is the end of all death, the advent of all immorality, the end of all misery. One unchangeable in the universe of change, he who sees Him as the Soul of his soul, unto him belongs eternal peace – unto none else.

And in the midst of the depths of misery and degradation, the soul sends a ray of light and man wakes up and finds that what is really his, he can never lose. That existence is first, last and always; it is never lost, but ever present.

Therefore there is hope for all. None can die; none can be degraded for ever. Life is but a playground, however gross the play may be. However we may receive blows, and however knocked about we may be, the Soul is there and is never injured. We are that Infinite.

Thus sang a Vedantin, ‘I never had fear nor doubt. Death never came to me. I never had father or mother: for I was never born. For I am All. I am the Existence and Knowledge and Bliss Absolute. I am It. I am It. Anger and lust and jealousy, evil thoughts and all these things, never came to me; for I am the existence, the Knowledge, the Bliss Absolute. I am It. I am It.’

I have no fear, nor doubt, nor death. I have no sex, nor creed, nor colour. However much the body rebels, however much the mind rebels, in the midst of the uttermost darkness, in the midst of agonising tortures, in the uttermost despair, repeat this, once, twice, thrice, even more. Light comes gently, slowly, but surely it comes.

Whenever darkness comes, assert the reality and everything adverse must vanish. For, after all, it is but a dream. Mountain high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Maya. Fear not – it is banished. Crush it and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies. Be not afraid. Think not how many times you fail. Never mind. Time is infinite. Go forward: assert your self again and again, and light must come. Help thyself out by thyself. None else can help thee. For thou alone art thy greatest enemy, thou alone art thy greatest friend. Get hold of the Self, then. Stand up. Don’t be afraid. In the midst of all miseries and all weakness, let the Self come out, faint and imperceptible though it be at the first. You will gain courage, and at last like a lion you will roar out, ‘I am It! I am It!’

‘Whoever thinks that I am little, makes a mistake, for the Self is all that exists. The Sun exists because I declare it does, the world exists because I declare it does. Without me they cannot remain, for I am Existence, Knowledge and Bliss Absolute – ever happy, ever pure, ever beautiful. Behold, the sun is the cause of our vision, but is not itself affected by any defect in the eyes of anyone; even so I am. I am working through all organs, working through everything, but never does the good and evil work attach to me. For me there is no Law, no Karma. I own the Laws of Karma. I ever was and ever am. My real pleasure was never in earthly things – in husband, wife, children, and other things. For I am like the infinite blue sky. Happiness and misery, good and evil, may envelop me for a moment, veiling the Self; but I am still there. They pass away because they are changeable. I shine, because I am unchangeable. If misery comes, I know it is finite, it must go. I alone am infinite and untouched by anything. For I am Infinite, the Eternal, Changeless Self.

This is to be heard of, then to be thought upon, and then to be meditated upon.’ When the hands work, the mind should repeat – ‘I am It, I am It.’ Think of It, dream of It, until It becomes bone of your bones and flesh of you flesh, until all the hideous dreams of littleness, of weakness, of misery, and of evil, have entirely vanished, and no more then can the Truth be hidden from you even for a moment.

OM, TAT, SAT are the holy syllables indicating the sacrificial mentality. Whatever man does as an offering unto God with the utterence of these syallables, promotes his spiritual evolution. All sacrificial rites, all austerity practiced, all charity done are of no spiritual efficacy if they are not supported by Faith.

OM, TAT, SAT are very holy words. They represent Brahman, and are Brahaman Himself in sound form. Om is called Sabda-Brahma, Sound-Bramha, as it is said to be the essence of the Veda, and the sound symbol of Brahman and the seed of all Mantras. TAT or That is equally indicative of Brahman, as borne out by the great Vedic dictum Tat Tvam Asi-That Thou art. Here the “That” is Brahman. So also Sat, meaning “Truth or Reality”, is equally representative of Brahman. The Upnishads says Sad Evedam Agra Asit – in the beginning Sat alone existed. Thus these three words indicate Brahman, and are very holy- so holy that they can never be polluted, but on the other hand remedy all pollutions and shortcomings. In the performance of all Vedic rites, there are likely to be shortcomings of the nature of omissions and commissions in respect of the Mantras and forms used, or in the persons performing, or in the time and place of their performance. So the utterence of these words are offered as the remedy against all such actual, suspected or possible shortcomings. The utterence of these holy words are therefore an unavoidable part of all Yajnas and holy work. Brahmana is one who knows the Veda or Brahma. Veda is the basis of all Yajnas. So all these three go together.
AUTHOR
DHARAM SAI
PH: (011) 25269601, 09818099988. BANGALORE
BONDAGE & LIBERATION
1.         This prakrti is actually the power (Shakti) of Brahman (God). It functions also as the material cause for creation. Being the power of Brahman it is real and not an illusion. Hence this world, the whole creation, which is its product or effect, is also real. Prakrti is the generality or totality of insentient creation. Hence it pervades every one of its products. But being insentient, it cannot by itself evolve into this wonderful universe.
2.         The creative process of Lord’s power of manifestation as His two Natures- the material i.e. unconscious Nature (Prakrti), and His spiritual Nature or the Jivas, which should be called Purusa, is classified with Prakrti here, thereby obliletating the dichotomy between the two terms familiar in the Samkhya.
3.         The material Nature is here treated in its cosmic aspect and is spoken of as eight-fold. But that is done by counting only the effect categories and leaving the casual categories as implied. The categories of Prakrti and its evaluates are twenty-four. These are: Prakrti(with its three Gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas); Mahattattva: Ahamkara; Manas:the five organs of knowledge (ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose); the five organs of action(speech, hands, feet , excretory organs and generative organs); the five Tanmatras (sound, touch, rupa, smell and taste); and the five gross elements(sky, air, fire, water and Earth). From these categories the material universe is evolved. Also the physo-physical organism of the Jiva consisting of his subtle and gross bodies, evolutes out of these. The subtle body persists through all embodiments, until the Jiva gains liberation, attaining to his natural state as Purusa. This material Nature or prakrti is infinite with countless dimensions in which different world systems (Lokas) of different subtlety co-exist without mutual intrusion and the Jiva finds embodiment in these different Lokas according to his Karma.
4.         The creative process of Brahmans (Gods) power of manifestation functions as his two Natures. The material i.e. unconscious Nature or Prakrti, and His spiritual nature or the Jivas. The material Nature (Cosmic aspects) is also known as Apara Prakrti or lower Nature. In contrast to this His Para Prakrti or Higher Nature as ‘what has become the Jiva’. Both Natures have their origin and dissolution in Him. Origin and dissolution here means the relative beginning and dissolution at the beginning and end of cycle time, it constitutes a cyclic process, there is no absolute beginning for both these manifestation of his powers. As his Prakrti or Nature, they are the one with him just as light and heat are with fire, though they are attributively distinguishable from fire. Ontologically they are distinct from, and dependent on, him but not different at the same time. So the Para and Apara prakrti of Brahman (God) are eternally expressing as cyclic process of time consisting a period of manifestation and a period of dissolution. They come into being through a process of evolution and dissolve into original state through a process of involution. This alteration goes on eternally.
5.         The process of creation and dissolution is also known as a player or Lila of the God as there is no purpose for the God to gain through it. But from the point of view of Jiva (purusa) it has a purpose, and that purpose is to help the Jiva regain his full divine nature, overcoming the domination of material Nature in the state of ignorance.
6.         As per Upnishads all this manifested universe is verily Brahman the Supreme or in other words we can say that all this (manifested universe) is this Atman (Brahman). As this Brahman (atman) is without a prior or posterior, without interior or exterior and is experiencer of everything, then this universe of name and form cannot be an illusion. Prakrti (Maya) does not mean illusion, it is a mere statement of facts, what we are and what we see around us. It refers to inner contradictions involved in our experience of the world and in our knowledge of it. These contradictions will remain so long as we fail to take into account the Brahman, the self behind the not self, one behind the many. Yet, all our experiences and knowledge in the sphere of Prakrti (Maya) are experiences and knowledge of Atman coming through the sense organs. Hence they are not illusory, but true. The world of not self is “Truth” and the self or Atman is the “Truth of Truth”, the cosmic energy (Prana) is, verily, truth; and this (the Atman) is the truth of that.
7.         The Prana (life force or Vital force) manifested aspect is in reality in the Atman, however much distinguished for the sake of intellectual comprehension, i.e., for the sake of making out a process of manifestation or Creation. The Mahima of the Atman, is the life of Devas (Indriyas) because the prana embody only it’s manifested functions, which go to make up the macrocosm and the microcosm. The external and the internal world. It is also their death, because their dissolution means nothing but resolution into it. That Brahman(atman) who shines within the body as the faultless one, devoid of manifested effects (creative process), self-effulgent, all pervading is the material cause of creation. The Brahman controls the human with his constituent organs of senses and activity (the Jiva), like a spider controlling the King of Bees. Just as spiders (Atmans) by means of one thread (Prana) project and withdraw the web, so also Brahman retives drawing back his creation.
8.         The Brahman power is called Maya or prakrti, through this Mayashakti he creates the world, putting it up as a screen as it were. Hence it is this Prakrti that undergoes modifications and not He Himself. Since He and his powers are identical, this creation is also identical with Him. His power is unobstructed. He is ever the Lord ever free. He is of the nature of consciousness.
9. Brahman rests in the nine-gates citadel of the body. Undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of the activities of its members. In all his bodily and mental activities, his detachment is so complete that he feels that it is Prakrti (Nature) of which the body-mind is a part, that works and reaps the fruits, not he (soul). The spirit (soul) is only the unconcerned witness of all these movements of Prakrti. Remaining in that spirit-consciousness, he is unperturbed by all experiences of life, pleasant or unpleasant. And his dealings with men and animals; he has a sense of equality. Knowing as he does, that they are all the unaffected Spirits and not the bodies.
10.       Elucidating this idea, Swami Vivekananda says, ”There is really no difference between matter, mind and spirit. They are only different phases of experiencing the one. This very world is seen by the five senses as matter, by the very wicked as hell, by the goodness as heaven, and by the perfect as God”.
11.       The embodied state of Atman appears to be one with the body, just as the light within several coloured glasses seems to be one with the glasses inspite of its distinct identity. After all man, when he thinks of himself, can do so only as a body-mind and nothing more. This is the state of ignorance, when man is not aware of his real nature as the Sat, the Atman, but feels his self-hood entirely in the Asat, the body mind. The Asat or the unreal cannot be totally existent like the horns of a hare, which is only a worldly figment incapable of being experienced, and there is no meaning in the denial of the ‘coming into being’ of such an entity. So the coming into being of asat or non-entity, means the changing forms of things we experience. These forms are experienced but disappears immediately and give place to new forms, which too disappear. These changing forms are called Asat, non-existent , in the sense that they leave no residue, except Sat or Essence, the changeless Being, the substratum on which all forms appear. The Sat or Essence is Changing Being, awareness or Witness of change. In other words we can say that Sat to the Atman in the Human personality and Asat to the body-mind.
12.       According to Vedantas the human personality has three bodies consisting of five sheaths. These sheaths are Gross body, Vitalistic Sheath, Mental Sheath, Intellectual Sheath and the Sheath of Bliss. The Atman, the spiritual Self, which is by nature Existence-consciousness-Bliss clothed in these sheaths. It is atman that endows the sheaths with the light of consciousness. Now these five sheaths are organized into two bodies-the Gross physical body and the subtle body (lingasurara). All the sheaths except Gross body, ensouled by the Atman, constitute the Suksma-Sarira, which parts from the gross body to death, carrying along with it all the tendencies and the merits and demerits acquired in life until it gets another embodiment in the earth sphere or in any of the higher or lower spheres according to the Karma of the Jiva. The jiva can enjoy the fruits of his Karma only with a gross body pertaining to this or any other sphere. In itself it is a carrier of the tendencies and merits and demerits acquired in previous embodiment. In other words the Jiva acquires merits and demerits in this world, goes to heavenly or neither regions to enjoy their fruits and on the exhaustion of the merits and demerits comes again to the Earth to acquire merits through Karma. He is only liberated when enlightenment comes and the Atman realizes its spiritual nature as Existence-knowledge-bliss, then it gets freed from the union with the Sukusma-Sarira and gets dissolved into its elements.
13.       The solution of the great problem of life and death (a mysterious and unavoidable phenomenon) is not found in the external world but the answer can only be in the man’s internal nature the Atman or Brahman.
14.       The individual soul or Jiva is of the nature of consciousness and is essentially identical with Brahman (God). His individuality, his separation from Brahman has been caused by his association with Buddhi(mind-an internal organ) which consist of the three Gunas, i.e. the three constituents of Prakrti, and is a limiting adjunet.
15.       Prakrti is Supreme Being material Nature. Constituted of three Gunas. Combination of their evolutes are the body and mind of all beings. The Jiva is born as the slave of Karma for attaining the individual ends of dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The Jiva’s body is formed mostly of Tamas and Rajas, and as he advances spiritually, a little of Satva also enters into its make up.
16.       Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the three constituents, are Gunas of Prakrti. The whole world of multiplicity is evolved by permutation and combination of these three Gunas of prakrti, the material Nature of these evaluates. Prakrti with its constituents is an independent existence, moved by its inherent dynamism for the fulfillment of the purpose of the purusuas or centers of consciousness, with which it is associated. There is no place for an “Ishwara”, a Supreme Spirit in whom Prakrti and Purusa are unified and who controls them in their evolution. So the three Gunas of Prakrti, are spoken of as being in Him (Supreme Being), because He is their support, but they do not affect Him in any way, as they are the individual centers of consciousness or the Jiva forming His Higher Prakrti. In other words Prakrti with its three Gunas deludes the Jiva with body consciousness and hides the Divine from him.
17.       These three gunas are in a state of equilibrium. It is on the disturbances of this equilibrium that evolution and involution of the creative cycle depends. They cannot be isolated as substance or as qualities but are known only through their effects in the form of various qualities and substances that constitute the world of experience and a classifiable in these three groups. As far as this threefold analysis of Prakrti into Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are concerned. Sattva has effect like luminosity, peace, knowledge and pleasure and objects with such properties; Rajas expresses as dynamism, passion, attachment and the like; and Tamas, as inertia, darkness, dullness, ignorance and the like object pertaking of such characteristic are the products of three Gunas respectively. Prakrti with its three constituents called Gunas, drive all cosmic categories as their evolutes and the whole universe in its subtle and gross aspects, as the permutations and combinations of these categories. Therefore evolutes of Prakrti out of whose permutation and combinations the whole world of mind and matter has evolved.
18.       The three Gunas are determinative factors to determine the nature of knowledge, action and agent. Knowledge dominated by Sattva leads to the understanding of unity in divinity; action dominated by its lends to detachment and freedom from passionate affiliations; a doer dominated by it is comparatively free from ego-sense and attachment but yet does not lack enthusiasm and interest in the work; the intelligence dominated by it is always accompanied by moral sensibility and an eye to the spiritual side of things; strength of mind dominated by it is expressed as control of the senses and the mind and as strict adherence of principles; and experience dominated by it is painful in the beginning due to difficulties of discipline, but ends in great bliss.
19.       Knowledge dominated by Rajas directs attention to diversity of things and not their unity; work dominated by it results in action done with great attachment, egotism and expenditure of energy; an agent dominated by it is greedy, cruel attached and subject to elation and depression; intelligence dominated by it is riddled with confusion about right and wrong and has little sense of duty; strength dominated by it is under the sway of ambitions, desire and worldly status; and happiness dominated by it is extremely attractive in the beginning due to sensual excitement but in its final result brings about sufferings.
20.       Knowledge dominated by Tamas sees mere side issues as the whole truth and doggedly holds on to them without due thoughts, under the prompting of passions; action dominated by Tamas is undertaken thoughtlessly without any estimate of one’s capacity or resources and is prompted by delusions and cruel motives; the agent dominated by it is fickleminded, insolent, exploiting, procrastinating and sliphood in his methods; intelligence dominated Tamas sees unrighteousness as righteousness and takes the wrong side of everything; strength (determination) dominated by it is always subject to depression, vacillation and overbearing insolence; and pleasure dominated by it is from the beginning to the end riddled with delusion, lethargy and heedlessness.
21.       Conscious tendencies of every Jiva as consistants of three Gunas and its combinations. Every thing in this world has got its own peculiarity which distinguished it from every other thing. This peculiarity determines its tendency. Tendencies which are inherent in conscious being, tendencies which are cognised by the individual that possesses them. There are many people in the world who arrogate consciousness only to themselves and deny it to the lower animals. Even trees and plants have soul. They are conscious. We can determine the tendencies of lower animal as well as trees and plants by studying them; for, their tendencies are not very many. But when we come to determine the tendencies of man, we find a real difficulty; for the tendency of every man is different from that of his brother man. The tendencies of those of men who are immoral and so on; and thus when we want to determine the tendencies of all humanity, it appears to be impossible task.
22.       When we try to study the various tendencies of human being, we find it impossible to determine them, we arrive to such conclusions, only because we have not gone very near to the question. ‘if you look at the sea from a distance, you will not be able to understand that the whole sea is full of salt. So if we try to study anything from a distance, we are apt to misunderstand it and hence such a study always proves to be almost fruitless; but when we come very near the object, then we find that there is law and system behind it.
23.       Man is active by his very nature. Activity resupposes want. Whenever we work, we work for something. And when we try to find out what it is, we find that he wants only three things. firstly, he wants to be happy; secondly he wants to know all, and thirdly, he wants to live for ever. These are the three wants and they bring out or call forth all his activities and latent energies. He wants to be happy and finds out that he is surrounded on all sides mostly by such circumstances that man is active by his very nature. Activity resupposes want. Whenever we work, we work for something. And when we try to find out what it is, we find that he wants only three things. firstly he wants to be happy
; to be his real home. He again comes to know that knowledge is power and power will bring him happiness. Power will make him lord over, and independent of, all untoward circumstances, and so he wants to attain power through knowledge. Thus he has got an innate hankering after knowledge. All these wants make him constantly restless. He calls forth all his energies, and with their help struggles to remove these wants. This struggle is what is called life. It is going on not only amongst the human beings but also amongst the lower animals.
24.       By studying our nature in this way, our old fore-father found out the true nature of the soul. Because the soul likes ‘to be’ and never ‘not to be’, ‘being’ or Sat is its nature. Because its nature is to be all knowing, it is called Chit. Because happiness is its nature, it is therefore called Satchinanda. Ananda or bliss is the only one thing which determines all our movements. Sri Krishna says, ”This divine and all powerful maya of Mine, no one can cross over.” She represents the infinite power of the lord and so the unreal as real, pleasure appear as pain and pain as pleasure, light appears as darkness and darkness as light, and thus ties every one to falsehood, making him completely forget the truth. In order to make ourselves more happy, more wise, we have to give up our old ways. Blessed are they who can thus give up, for by such renunciation alone a man can aspire to raise himself higher.
25.       We have lost sight of our real nature in the darkness of ignorance. This real nature is called Satchidananda. As every struggle, physical or mental, is intended to make us more expansive and more exalted, blessed is he who struggles. Laziness is that sleep which keeps us immersed in the utter gloom of ignorance, and when a man has been able to shake it off and has learned to struggle with his environment, he is a true fighter. He wants to fight out his cause so that he may recover the lost castle of his glory, where alone he can expect to have all his ideals realized. Thus he goes on struggling. He wants to live, but finds there is no life; for death is waiting for him. He does not like the idea at all and so struggles to avoid death with little or no success. He wants to know. The more he wants to have knowledge, the more he finds it impossible to realize it. His power is limited and the things he wants to know are innumerable and his life is too short for it. Still there is an infinite hankering after knowledge and life, and he himself is not able to find a way out of this labyrinth of births and deaths.
26.       This becomes the attitude of every man’s mind after he has struggled in vein for several lives to realize his goal. Then he earnestly searches for a true teacher and to his greatest satisfaction finds out that the teacher also is waiting for him. Now, this teacher is none else than the lord of the Universe Himself in the human form. That is why he has been thus described in the scriptures: ’The true teacher or guru is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. He is verily the unmanifested Infinite One or Parabrahman. Therefore we should always be perfectly devoted to him.’ So guru is none else than God Himself.
27.       The real man is satchidananda or Existence-knowledge-bliss absolute. There is no trace of misery in his true nature. It comes from outside his nature. It comes from something which is unfriendly to him. He is spirit, and out of spirit comes bliss. That which is not spirit is matter; so out of matter come all miseries. Bliss is to be found only inside ourselves. Try to realize it, if you want to get rid of all fear. The Upnishad also tells the same thing: ‘The highest bliss, Brahmananda, is beyond the reach of word and mind. He who realize it does not fear any more’. Realize your true self and be free forever-free from the hand of ignorance, free from all miseries, free from all sorts of fears, even free from the fear of death.
28.       Mind has a natural tendency to go outside in search after happiness and knowledge. So it is in constant touch with the World. But the world too is inadequate to help you realize that infinite bliss; for it is beyond the province of mind even. You have, therefore, to transcend the mind in order to realize Brahmananda. You must not allow the mind to lord over you; you must bring it under your perfect control. The mind is uncontrollable and restless, is beyond all doubt. But by practice and by renunciation of sensual enjoyment, you can have mastery over it.
29.       We are apt to think that lust, anger, greed, the idea of ‘my’ and ‘mine’, pride and jealousy are enemies of man. They are not so, if we know how to use them. Instead of directing these so-called evil propensities towards the emhemeral things of the world, direct them towards God, and you will achieve the great victory by realizing Him, with the help of one of these. When any one of these ardent passions, directed towards God, is all paramount in our mind, all
other propensites absolutely disappear from it, and nothing but God remains there. If one loves God intensely, nothing but God can ever be there in one’s mind. He who is extremely angry with God must have him always in his mind. If the idea if ‘my’ and ‘mine’ is the cause of bondage here, regard God as your own, and thus be free from bondage once for all. Be truly proud that you are the son of God, and then you will be able to exalt yourself far above all the potenates of the world, nay, even above all the celestial beings who are not fully free from, and are still partially slaves to, the enjoyments of the senses.
30.       We have seen that the highest ideal can be realized by conquering the out-going mind, and that can be affected very easily when you clearly understand the littleness of sensual enjoyments and the infinite nature of spiritual bliss. Then it will not be difficult for your ever-ambitious mind to give up the little and aspire for the great – the infinite Lord of the whole universe, the Abode of all life, all wisdom and all blissfulness. Then alone will all your struggles end, for then alone will all your ideals be realized. Indeed the threefold manifestations of matter, the calm and transparent(Sattvika), the ever-active and bound(Rajasika) and the opaque and inert(Tamasika) are all limited, and hence he who wants to go beyond all limitations must give up the teachings of that science which teaches how to deal with persons, places or things which are limited.
31.       Thus we have seen that reuniciation is the natural tendency of all living beings throughout the universe. The mind of every individual is ever-ambitious. It is ignorance that confines a man to pleasures that are limited, making him regard them as the highest. But in the day light of wisdom, when the darkness of ignorance entirely disappears, the man is to know the finite as finite and the infinite as infinite. Such a man can never remain tied to the finite; he will naturally renounce the little in order to realize the vast and infinite life, wisdom and bliss. Man is a lover of beauty and so he will naturally love God who is infinitely beautiful. He is a lover of power, and who is more powerful than God ? Thus when man knows God to be the highest, the best, the most beautiful, the most powerful, the wisest, the most loving, the most nearly related – more than father, mother, wife, children, relatives, friends, etc., - it is but natural for him to renounce everything for the sake of the Lord. And it is also a fact that wherever there is any conscious movement either in the animal or in the vegetable kingdom, it is a struggle to realize the highest ideal of eternal life, infinite wisdom and absolute bliss, or in other words Sachidananda or God, and until that is realized, this struggle will be going on. Sometimes a man may imagine himself to be contented and peaceful, but he mistakes laziness for contentment and peacefulness. Perfect peace and bliss can only be had in God,who is always ready to accept you as his own child when you recognize in Him your true Father.
II . Regions, Higher and Lower
32.       We learn from almost all the scriptures of the world that before creation there was darkness everywhere. The undisturbed and slumbering particles of matter were perfectly resting, as it were, at the time, after having gone through the arduous process of a previous creation or a combination of matter and spirit. When matter preponderates in him, darkness, ignorance, weakness and misery naturally mark him as their own; his tendencies become Tamasika or materialistic. He almost entirely forgets his spiritual nature, and identifies himself with his body. All his enjoyments come to him only through his body. With the disturbance of his body, he feels disturbed, and when it is at rest, he feels himself at rest. In fact he worships no other God than his body. With the body he feels himself to have been born, with its life he feels himself to live, and with its death he expects to die or be no more. He loves whatever is material and formful, and does not even believe in the existence of what is immaterial, formless and spiritual. He regards his soul to be one of the various manifestations of matter. Just as put of darkness light comes, similarly out of unconscious matter, conscious soul comes into existence. Hence he dotes upon all earthly enjoyments and regards the world as the only reality, and this life to be his all in all. He loves all his near and dears his father, mother, wife, children, relatives, friends and neighbours because they make him happy. All his hopes, aspirations and ambitions are confined to this world and this life alone. Laziness and sleep being his two ideals, he does not want to earn his bread by honest labour. Being absolutely selfish, he perpetrates all sorts of evil deeds to satisfy his passions, turns out to be a cut-throat and a villain, and thus leads a very miserable life. Till he is properly punished for all his past misdeeds, when he is again born in this world. However Tamasika a man may be, his inner nature being blissful, he cannot like misery; and so, he gradually hates that sort of life which brings misery to him. When he finds that weakness, the offspring of ignorance, makes him depend upon everything and reduces him to misery, he wants to be independent. He begins to rebel against Nature around, which refuses to give him all that will make him happy. Thus, by constant struggle, he becomes stronger and stronger. His old Tamasika or lazy nature, he gives up. The spirit in him tries to assert itself and does not want to be subservient to matter.

33.       A regular fight goes on between the spiritual and the material in him, which goes by the name of activity. He likes to earn his bread by honest labour and hates to be mean and cringing. He wages an incessant war against ignorance, knowing that knowledge is power. The mysterious world is before him. He wants to unravel its mystery. He wants to be happy and is able to make himself so by forcing Nature to yield him whatever he wants. This partial success in his warfare with Nature makes him very hopeful of a complete victory over her in future, and he struggles on right manfully. He loves to live and regards his life here as all in all. Earthly enjoyments, honours and glories become the ideals of his life, and thus he identifies himself with his body. His materialistic tendency remains intact. He becomes Rajasika or passionately attached to worldly enjoyments, and as such begins to be always active to get them.
34.       But when by constant activity and labour he is able to earn enough money to make himself perfectly comfortable, when he no longer feels the pinchings of want and when he feels he can afford to give up labour and enjoy rest, his constantly active mind will not remain satisfied with the enjoyments of the flesh, and the question will naturally come to him. ‘Who am I? Am I one with my body? If I am one with it, I shall have to die; but I do not want to die. How, then, am I to live for ever? How can I avoid death? How can I make myself absolutely free from fear of death and various miseries?” and so on. He has now got leisure enough to think upon such problems, and as a result of his constant cogitation, he ultimately finds out their solutions, helped by the scriptures. He has now become Sattvika. The little pleasures of the flesh do not satisfy him any more. He wants more substantial, more permanent sorts of pleasure. His ideas get more and more expanded. He finds that he has no home on the Earth, and so he longs to go to the higher regions.
35.       The surface of the Earth is the abode of humanity, where light and darkness, spirit and matter, knowledge and ignorance are incessantly fighting against one another, and hence it is more like a battlefield than like a dwelling house. Thus gradually man evolves from Tamasika condition, till he realises perfection. This process is called Salvation by Evolution. The highest region, that is, Satyaloka or Brahmaloka, is ruled over by Brahma the creator of the universe. Although he is ever active and is thus Rajasika in nature, still Rajas does not bind him; for he, the first born child of God, was also His first student. From Him he first learnt that the individual soul is not the worker but in an instrument in His hand. He is the first to understand his inactive nature admist all his activities, just as a witness sees another working, himself doing nothing.
36.       But those souls, who do not want to have the least connection with any sort of activity whatever, who want to realise their own infinite nature, do not like to remain even in Brahmaloka, as that, too, is a place which is not permanent and not free from activities. Such souls merge their individualities in the universal soul of the Supreme Lord, Narayana, and become one with Him, in the bond of Love. So, finding out our lowermost point to be the centre of the earth, we at last find out the lowest condition of the soul as well as its highest. We have also seen that in order to be unconditioned and liberated from repeated births and deaths, the soul will have to go where there is no creation. A man going beyond creation, directly comes to the creator, as where there is no creation, there must be He who creates. Many people are apt to think that this idea of heaven and hell have is merely mythological. Heaven and hell have no real existence. By heaven we always understand a blessed condition, and by hell, a miserable condition. Where then does heaven actually exists? It exists in my consciousness or in me. In the same manner, where does hell exists? Therefore punishments or miseries must be in my consciousness or must be felt by myself. Hence heaven and hell exist only in myself and nowhere else.
37.       As long as man identifies himself with his consciousness. This consciousness, in which all knowledge exists and but for which no knowledge can ever be, in the same as Brahman or Pure consciousness in which the whole creation exists but for which creation have no existence. Brahman, being purely conscious, knows everything about the entire creation which exists only in It. Human consciousness, confined within the limitations of body and mind, can only illumine their inside and has no power to go beyond, just as a lamp inside a room only illumines the room and not outside it. when any one can get rid of these limitations, he becomes unconfined and all pervading, the same as Brahman, the Omniscient One. Sruti says, ’He who knows Brahman, the purely conscious Being, becomes one with It.’ When a man can identify himself with his consciouness, he becomes a purely conscious being, which is the same as Brahman. This is the most difficult of all achievements. None in the entire creation can fully get rid of the limitations of body and mind. So long as this material impurity is there, the limitless soul will have to regard itself as limited. The moment this impurity is got rid of, the soul finds out its limitless nature and becomes free. So, before a man gains salvation, it is not possible for him to identify himself with his consciousness; he is bound to regard himself as formful. Occupying the certain place in the universe. To such a man, therefore, the whole creation exists with its infernal, intermediate and celestial quarters, with all their sufferings and enjoyments.
38.       The ancient seers not only found out man to be the epitome of the whole universe, but came to know him to be the very root of it. Thus they gave up their search after wisdom in the universe outside and concentrated all their energies to search it out in themselves, inside their own bodies,- not with the gross, material knife of the dissection room but with the search light of their subtle, clear and unbiased mind. And with what result? The discovery of the highest trth, as eternal life, infinite bliss, and all knowledge. In the body proper, consisting of the head and the trunk, they discovered six centres (Chakras), the six seats of the mind. The lowermost centre they called the Muladhara, the basis of all the other centres. Then above it, in respective order, there are Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha and Ajna. They found out that as long as the mind remains confined to the three lowermost centres occupying the pelvic regions and the navel, it undergoes all sorts of miseries which makes it very restless. Hell was thus localised in the two pelvic centres, Muladhara and Svadhisthana, and earth was localised in Manipura, the third centre situated near the region of the navel. Almost all the men of the world along with all the lower animals remain confined in these three lowermost centres. So it is said that ‘eating, sleeping, fear and sexual enjoyment, we have in common along with the lower animals’.
39.       These three lower centres in the body make us seize with greed all the enjoyments of the flesh. So long as man remains confined in these centres, he becomes very selfish and blind to the requirements of others. And because selfishness is the common characteristic of the lower animals, such a man does not out-grow his animal nature.
40.       He who is able to rise beyond selfishness, who has the power to feel for others, who has a philanthropic turn of mind and has the milk of human kindness in him is profusion, can only raise himself up to the fourth centre, the Anahata localised in the region of his heart. The sufferings of others make him more miserable than his own sufferings. Such a man is called a man of great charity and generosity. Every one looks upon him with reverence and regards him as an extraordinary man. He is regarded as a god on earth. He never lives for himself. The Divinity in him has come forth, and his face shines like that of god. He sees God in every man and women of the world, and like an humble devotee, serves each and every one of them. His love does not remain confined to humanity only; he loves and serves even the lower animals, seeing the same God in them. Thus he goes on for some time till, by serving the children of God, his love towards Him increases and he comes to know His greatness more and more. When the knowledge of the infinite wisdom, power and love of God fully grows in him, he comes to know the insignificant nature and little ness of his own self which ultimately wanes away like the moon before the rising sun. Man reaps the fruit of his past actions. That is why the blind, the lame, etc., suffer and get punished, because they did not behave properly in their previous lives. I should not be foolish again to interfere with his affairs; for He, the Lord of infinite love, knows far better than myself or any one else how to treat His own children kindly. My interference may only bring about a slight disturbance in the eternally unbroken harmony of His all-providing method in managing and governing His own creation. My primary duty, therefore, is to realize Him so that I may be blessed forever, and then if I am made to work, all my actions will be in entire harmony with His will and not till then. So I will have to make Him my own first, all else must come afterwards.
41.       Thus the man of charity gives up all his philanthropic works as he detects his blind ego behind all his actions. He dives deeper and deeper within himself , in search of the lord of infinite love, and never stops tills he realises Him in the region of his heart. What indescribable bliss comes to him when his soul is in direct communion with God ! he finds his true father, true mother, true friend and true lover in Him, and he can never turn his eyes away from Him. He has found out his true home at last. His mind cannot think of anything else at the time, his mouth cannot talk anything else than of his Beloved. He has gone up to the fifth centre, the Visuddachakra, or the centre of absolute purity.
42.       A man must be absolutely pure to go there. ‘Only-ness’ or singleness. When a man’s mind is occupied by the one idea of God, when he can talk only about Him and nothing else, he is said to be absolutely pure. God remains eternally bound to him. Then only he is qualified to rise up from the fourth to the fifth centre. When once he goes to this centre, he has no inclination to come down, and if he is inclined to come down at all, he only descends to the fourth centre. So he has to rise still higher and higher till at last he comes to the sixth centre, the Ajnachakra. He who rises up to the sixth charkas sees God directly before him and gets so much merged in the ocean of love towards his most beloved One, that unless the previous Karma that has already begun to bear fruit drags him down, or unless he has previously determined to come down, he is never inclined to descend from the highest eminence. The absolute and all-cementing love draws him nearer and nearer to Infinity, till after twenty one days his limited self becomes unified with the Limitless; his individuality loses itself in the universal being of the lord, and becomes one with It. As long as he remains in this sixth centre, he does not commune with Him mentally, nor has he the power to speak of Him to anyone. He sees Him directly, and infinitely enjoys the beautiful vision. If his fruit bearing (Prarabdha) Karma or his previous determination makes him descend even from that exalted height, he can only come down as far as forth centre.(whomsoever he commands at that time, shall have to obey, it may be a man or an angel. Hence the sixth centre is called Ajnachakra or the centre of commandment.).
43.       From the above we learn that very few can resist the irresistible desire to be absorbed in the Lord., the Abode of Bliss. He who can come down from the glorious height is called an Incarnation of god. All great men of the world who are regarded as Incarnation of god by different nations, are men of the above description. They never care for their own enjoyment. Such great souls alone are qualified to do good to the world. They do not work out of necessity or compulsion like the ordinary man of the world. They work out of unselfish love for humaity; that is why the infinite and unmanifested lord of the whole Universe is more appreciated, worshipped and loved in these manifested aspects of His.
44.       After having had a clear conception of the higher and lower regions in both their outer and inner aspects, the seers of old were able to achieve the grandest victory over death, ignorance and misery, by realizing the Sachchidananda- Existence, Knowledge and Bliss Absolute.
45.       By God we mean these three highest perfections ,eternal Existence, infinite Knowledge and undying Bliss. Your struggles will never come to an end for lives and lives together, until you realise these. The seers of old were able to know their infinite Self by the irresistible strength of their will; you also can succeed in the same manner if you have as strong a will as they had. What has been done once, may be done several times over.
46.       INCARNATION Divine incarnation is a mystery, because the infinite and the omnipotent being is born as a man, a limited being. This is unaccountable and mysterious. Yet a little thought will make it clear that the mystery in it is not more than what is involved in the Supreme being manifesting Himself as the Universe. As the first and the primeval Incarnation is the Purusa, the cosmic whole ensouled by Him, and out of this Purusa all the sportive Descents have come. Atma-maya is his “Inherent Power or Will.” No limited being can set any limitation to that Power. It is what makes the impossible possible. It implies that manifestation in any limited or imperfect form does not affect His infinitude and perfection. In the incarnation this unifinitude and perfection are present, inspite of human form through which these manifest. As incarnate as human His body is not subject to Karma, but is formed by Divine will for the purpose of world redemption. He is born not as a slave but as the master of Nature out of his free will, and his body is formed of pure Sattva. Thus individualisation of the Absolute Being, which is called an incarnation, is an ex-pression of self-mastery and is meant to serve a cosmic and not an individual purpose. The worship of Incarnate is therefore equal to the worship of the Supreme Being Himself.
47.       The trans-physical importance of the divine Incarnation is more often after his life-time than when he is alive, that an Incarnation receives wide recognition. After the Incarnation disappears, he is worshipped as the Deity by his followers, and his personality, deeds and teachings become the centre of the cult. A person may not understand philosophies and theologies, but through faith and devoted worship of the Incarnation, even a man of little learning can attain Salvation. An Incarnation is always hypostatic with Brahman, and even after his physical body passes away, he is available for worship to those with faith. That faith consists in the capacity to grasp the identity of the Incarnation with the Deity Himself. Just as a backwater is linked with the sea and is one with it always, the Divine Incarnation also is always linked with the Infinite and Absolute Brahman. He is an ex-pression of the Grace of Brahman, and not a mere individual centre of power. So he is one with the eternal Godhood. The worship of any personalised conception becomes object for practicing Bhakti and Janana(Self-Sacrifice0, and a means for salvation, only if faith is dominantly present in the mind of the worshipper. Bhakti, Janana and Mukti can be given only by Supreme Being, and Incarnation is this Supreme Being-his Redeeming Power or Grace.
48.       DEITIES: All the manifestations etc., as duties are according to the attitude of the devotee. Thamsika devotees are interested in such achievements as killing one’s enemies, wrecking vegance etc. They adore evil deities or phychic forces like spirits and goblins. The Rajasika devotees who seek worldly prosperity, success, etc. adore deities according to the Agamas with elaborate rituals and offerings. The Moksha-seeker who are Sattika nature, do their duties as offering to him without claming the fruits for themselves and adore him in philosophical spirit. Nirguna bhaktas, who have transeended the three Gunas as they objure even liberation or Mukti as a desire and seek the Lord for the sake of pure and unalloyed love, merely to serve him with their whole being without the expectation of any return. Such devotees are above Gunas and they apprehend the Sat-Chid-Ananda Parabrahman s such, without the coloring or association of the Gunas. To all the others the Sat-Chid-Ananda Parabrahman presents deities i.e. associated with the Gunas of Prakrti or there combinations.
49.       This doctrine of the Deities are not polytheism. God is only one and the Deities are only his power manifestations in subtle dimensions, just as there are many power manifestations in Nature. When there is the recognition of this truth, their worship becomes the worship of the Supreme Being Himself.
50.       As already stated that these deities are the power aspects of the Divine worshipped in separation from Him, the infinite and the Absolute Being. They are ex-pressions of His power., but manifesting under limitations. Devotees who want boons, or divine favours, worship them according to the ritualistic code with offerings and Mantra and prayers for the fulfillment of their particular wants. It is only the Supreme Lord who fulfills such prayers to the deities as the power of deities are only the reflection of the Power of Supreme Being as He alone is the absolute Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, the one God the Sat-Chid-Ananda. But the ordinary votaries do not know the meta-physical truth and worship Deities as separate centres of high power. They may get their favours, but they do not gain any spiritual elevation by such adoration. Only the Supreme Being, the para Brahman, can grant spiritual elevation; no Deity as such can. But if the Deity is recognised by the worshipper as an expression of Para-Brahman, the Supreme Being, they must change their outlook from a seeker after petty worldly fulfillment’s to a seeker of spiritual elevation, then only the worship becomes the adoration of the Supreme Being Himself. Spiritual excellencise like Bhakti, Jnana(enlightenment) and mukti are the only gifts to be sought of Him, and He is the only one that can grant these. The incarnation too is one with the Supreme being and can bestow the highest spiritual blessings.
SOUL
51.       Men have wrong notion about the Soul that dwells in the body, Gita and Upnishads has described its nature in these glowing words: ”As a man casts away his old and useless clothes and replaces them with new clothes, so the Soul that dwells in Jiva casts away the old and useless bodies and takes other that are new. Him, the weapons do not cut, fire does not burn, water does not wet and the wind does not dry. He is ever existing, all pervading, changeless, motionless, ever living, unmanifested, inconceivable, and always the same. Many are apt to confound it with Jiva. Jiva has a name and a form. As man has a name and form, a caste and creed, a father and a mother, while the Soul has no such thing. Man lives in the world, while the Soul lives in man or in any other living organism, whether animal, celestial or infernal. Man has birth and a death but the Soul has no birth or death. Hence man cannot be a Soul.

52.       If a man is asked, who are you?; he will spontaneously say, ”My name is such and such; I am the son of such and such, etc.” such an answer clearly shows that the first personal pronoun ”I” or the ‘ego’ is identical with man, and not with Soul. This “I” of man is bounded on both sides by birth and death.

53.       The soul, which is all pervading i.e. infinite, changeless, ever-lasting, ever living, ever-conscious, etc., which makes the existence of man possible and shines through his ego and mind, and without which the organs of sense and activity could not be what they are. The soul makes up whole of man. The soul which is eternally blissful, all knowing infinity conscious is not to be found in its true colour in man at all; on the other hand, we find it to be entirely misrepresented by him being conscious of his physical self. The infinite Self(consciousness) has full access to all the mysterious of creation that are not inconceivable by the mind provided it has inclination and a will to unravel them. Humans mind being limited, it can only grapple with objects and ideas that are limited; but it is also a fact that with the help of the limited, we can reach the Limitless. Just as with the help of the river limited between its two banks we can reach the limitless ocean, in the same manner, with the help of the individual soul manifested as man, we can reach the Infinite Soul. Soul being ever conscious or never conscious, it being infinite conscious is perfectly satisfied can never be restless or miserable.
54.       Consciousness is illumination or light in man which makes him know the countless things and ideas which make up his outer and inner world and as by one light many objects are rendered visible, so by one consciousness many objects and ideas are rendered knowable. Just as darkness causes everything to be invisible, so unconsciousness makes everything unknowable. So knowledge is inter connected with consciousness. Knowledge and satisfaction go hand in hand, hence satisfaction and consciousness are inseparable or we can say that infinite consciousness is, therefore, inseparably connected with infinite satisfaction or Bliss.
55.       Man passes through three conditions of walking, dream and sleep in twenty-four hours, in his walking condition he is conscious of the world around him. When man enters the condition of dream, the dream world is before him, and he is conscious of all those things that make up that world. His consciousness persists in sleeping condition and is the same as that which exists in his walking condition. Man thinks that in sound sleep he is unconscious and his consciousness ceases to exist during the period. It is not so, because when we wake up from sound sleep, do we not recall or remember that we have slept very soundly? The conscious knower must have been there to know it, and then only rememberance or memory is possible. So consciousness persists even in the condition of sound sleep. In the walking state the physical senses, mind, ego and consciousness are all alive and work with together, but in the condition of dream the physical senses fall off and other three persist, while in the condition of sound sleep, the first three fall off and only consciousness persists. Since the whole of man’s life is made up of three conditions, and consciousness runs on ceaselessly throughout, while the physical senses, mind and the ego have breaks. As the nature of consciousness is changeless and this is the quality of the eternal and infinite being. For if it were not-eternal, than it would have to be changeful, which is not the case, and if it were finite, it would be liable to death, which cannot be, as have been explained above. Thus consciousness in man is eternal and infinite, hence it is SAT. On account of it being conscious, it is also called CHIT.
56.       Man has an infinite love for his own being; he wants “to be”, or live. He never wants ’not to be ‘ or die. He loves that which makes him happy and wants to preserve it. What has the power to make him more and more happy. He loves more and more. Hence that which is the abode of all bliss he cannot but love most. Assuredly he loves himself more than all other things and that is why ‘Not for the satisfaction of the husband, but for the satisfaction of one’s own self, the husband is loved, not for satisfaction of wife but for the satisfaction of one’s own self the wife is loved, and so on. Therefore the satisfaction of one’s own self he loves his children, wealth, Brahman, own self, God and even universe, etc. hence one’s own self should be rightly known, after it is heard of, well understood and profoundly and repeatedly meditated upon and then realizing one’s own self, all this that is a non-self is known . Thus, since man loves himself most of all, his self must be abode of blissfulness or bliss itself (Ananda). So the consciousness is SACHCHIDANANDA or eternally all knowing and all blissful, and this is what is called PARAMATMA or Soul of all sounds.
57.       The ego “I” indeed is not separated from consciousness, but it is only a portion and not the whole of it as stated above. Consciousness limitless, but the ego is limited, and as such, its knowledge about itself must be limited. Thus it cannot be said that the ego does not know its true nature, in that case, it could love itself above all other thing, but the fact is it lives itself most of all and thereby proves its all-blissful nature. Again it cannot be said that it knows its true nature fully; in that case it could not have the least desire for any sensual enjoyment. For how can that which is infinitely blissful ever feel any want to enjoyment? So the ego knows and does not know its true nature. Though this ego ”I” is an offspring of consciousness, still by its association with the dull, dead, material world, it has imbibed the qualities of matter more than those of its progenitor. That is why it deems itself to be limited and absolutely imperfect in every way. It is a hungry, thirsty and passionate being, and as such, is bound to be restless and action account of its passions and appetites.
58.       Many people are apt to confound this ego with pure Consciousness of the infinite Self known as Brahman, and in order to save them from committing this egregious and fatal blunder, led away by the false dilution of sensuality, as long as we shall allow this ego to be identified with our nearest and dearest relatives and friends, with body, mind and innumerable desires contained therein, so long it is limited and blind, and it had nothing to do with the Infinite Self. Step by step it have to rise up from its extremely limited narrow state to less limited and broader conditions; till at last it becomes unconditioned, unconfined or limitless. As a tributary loses itself in, and becomes one with, the river and the river loses itself in and becomes one with, the ocean, so the ego should be made to lose itself in, and become one with, the individual soul which takes bodies after bodies to satisfy its innumerable desires; and this eternal individual soul should, in turn, be made to lose itself in, and become one with the infinite and Universal soul or pure Consciousness, eternally all knowing and all blissful.
59.       Now we have some ides of the Soul that dwell in the body. It is clear that the infinite and Universe Soul can be localized nowhere. In Him all individuals souls, all egos, all minds, all living organisms, nay, the whole universe exist, and He exists in Himself, as He is one without second. He is absolute and unrelated, beyond space, time and causation, self-existent and self-conscious, pure and perfect, life itself and blessedness itself. But what is the locus of the soul that takes body after body in trying to unfold itself.
60.       In the fourth Brahman of the Brihadaranyaka Upnishad, it is stated that in the beginning, before the creation, before the manifestation of no other body, this universe is different bodies was but the self as a cosmic egg and the first embodied being born out of the cosmic egg was the ’self’ as a human form, with a head, hands, etc. He, who is born first, found nothing else but himself, consisting of the body and organs. He found only himself, the self of all and he first uttered “I am He”, who is the self of self of all. And because owing to his past impressions he first declared himself as AHAM, therefore he called AHAM (I). Therefore to this day, among men, his effects ,when a person is addressed as “Who are you?” he first says, It is I, describes himself with his particular name as given to that particular body by his parents. Being alone he was afraid. Therefore people still are afraid to be alone. He thought, “If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of?” from that alone his fear was gone, for what was there to fear? It is from a second entity that fear comes.
61.       He was not at all happy. Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone. He became as big as man and wife embracing each other. He parted this very body into two. From that came husband and wife. Therefore, said Yajnavalkya, this (body) is one half of one self, like one of the two halves of a split pea. Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife. He was united with her. From that men were born.
62.       Since one half of a man is void when he is with a wife representing the other half, therefore this space is indeed again filled by the wife when he marries, as one-half of a split pea sets its complement when again joined to the other half. He, the self, half-called Manu, was united with her, his daughter called Satarupa, whom he conceived of as his wife. from that union men were born.
63.       Remembering the prohibition made in the smrtis of union with one’s daughter, she Satarupa, thought, “How can he do this vile thing-be united with me after producing me from himself? Although he has no abhorrance, will let me hide myself by changing into another species.” Thinking thus she became a cow. Impelled by the past work of creatures that were to be produced, Satarupa and Manu had the same thought over and over again. Then the other became bull and was united with her and from the cows was born. Similarly the one became a mare, the other a stallion, likewise the one became a she-ass, the other became he-ass. From those union one-hoofed animals, viz. the three species, horse, mules and asses were born. Similarly the one became a she goat and ewe. From that goats and sheep were born. Thus through this process, did he project everything that exists in pairs, as male and female, down to the ants, i.e. the whole world(animate).
64.       He, Self after projecting this whole world knew, ”I indeed am the created, i.e. the projected world. The world I have projected not being different from me, I myself am that, it is not something over and above myself. How? For I project all this, the whole world”. Because Self designated himself by the word ”Creation”, therefore he was called Creation. Like Self, he becomes a creator of the world not different from himself, in this creation of self, i.e. in this world. Who? He who, like self, knows this, the world described above, in its threefold division relating to the body, the element and the God, as such, as identical with Himself.
65.       From the above we learn how the unrelated appears as related, the one appears as two, the whole appears to split itself upto halves. The self-existent unit appears to become two units mutually depending upon each other, the sexless appears as male and female. This is the beginning of creation. The male is the creator and the female is the creation. The male is the unmanifestation of past, present and future-is length breath and thickness; form, touch, taste, smell and sound; speech, action, locomotion, evacuation and enjoyment; thinking, fuling and willing; creation, preservation and destruction; beginning, middle and end. In fact we cannot imagine creation without creator, preservation without a preserver and destruction without destroyer.
66.       Where does the creation exists? She exists in the heart of the creator, as we know that Lakshmi stays in the heart of Narayana. Where does the creator exists? He exists in the infinite Self or consciousness that goes by the name of Brahman. Where does Brahman exists? He exists in himself. He is eternal, all blissful and all knowing. All bliss and all knowledge comes from him alone. He has got the monopoly of them. None else can give bliss and wisdom, and if anyone else has the power to give a little of them he is only the appearent giver, the real giver being Brahman who uses him as his tool. “Whatever a glorious charming and sublime,” he says in his incarnation as Shri Krishna, “Know that a portion of my power has brought it into existence”. When God manifests Himself through a person, then alone He can make other happy and wise.
67.       Brahman is consciousness. He has got the monopoly of bliss and wisdom and life, and if all men and women have an intense longing for them, and if nothing else can satisfy them, then they will have to go to Him. Brahman being consciousness can be found in consciousness and not in unconsciousness. Spirit van be found only in spirit and not in matter.
68.       The world around us is material and being formful is the matter and as it is made up of forms, so it is material. Hence, spirit or consciousness cannot be there. This world is make up of two kind of forms, the animate and the inanimate, the conscious and the unconscious. So consciousness can be found amongst conscious or animated forms which go by the names of animals. Amongst animals some are less conscious and some are more. So infinite consciousness should be searched amongst those animals who are most conscious, such animals are named men. Such men are the great teachers, the great Gurus, whom we call the Incarnation of God. It is always desirable to love, revere, worship and be guided by that particular teacher or deity.
69.       As per Upnishad and the teachings of some of the great teachers we find that the Brahaman (Self or consciousness) is situated in our heart as per quoting a few out of many similar passages from Upnishads and teachings of Great Master.
70.       “Brahman is eternal, infinite and all knowledge. He who knows Him hidden in the sanctum situated in the recesses of his heart, he enjoys all that is desirable along the all-knowing Brahman.”(Trittiriya Brahmandawalli)
71.       ‘That effulgent and inconceivable Being is very vast, and at the same time subtler then the subtlest. He is most distant of all the distant things and at the same time very near, to those who know Him, he is hidden in the recesses of the heart”.(First section of the Third Mundaka).
72.       “The Self, which is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest remains hidden in the recesses of the heart of the living being. He who is free from all attachments realizes through His grace the lord who is majesty itself and is not reached by ritual.”(Savtasvatara-3).
73.       “He is one, has all things under His control, is the Soul of all Souls, and makes His appear as many. Those wise people who see Him inside their own selves enjoy eternal bliss and not others”.(Katha 5,12)
74.       “God lives in the heart of all living beings, and He with the help of His Maya directs the movement of all of them who are seated in the machines of their bodies.”(Gita)
75.       Buddha realized nirvana inside himself. Christ has taught, ”The kingdom of god is within you(Luke.17.21). Mohammed saw God in the seventh Heaven sitting in the cave of Mount Hara, closing his eyes, and so he must have seen him inside himself. Thus according to the ancient sages Brahman is to be realized in the region of the heart.
76.       From the teachings of great teachers the God is to be realized inside ourselves. Then the search should begin in right earnest inside our own ego. This “I” may be very limited, may seem to be very blind, very helpless, yet it is nothing but a bit of Pure consciousness, and I have absolute mastery over it, and it is one with myself. So if Brahman is to be searched in consciousness, the nearest one is our own ego. As this ego is not one with our body or mind. Hence the organs of knowledge and those of action, which make up the eternal portion of our whole living organism, are distinct and separate from us.
77.       The one purpose of self-preservation, individual as well as racial, pervades the whole life of man. Whatever he does physically and mentally, is done with a purpose, and that is to make him live happily. Even action done by him has a well behind it, and every action will persuposes and consciousness being in whom it is centered. The action that are done independently of his will inside the body serves the same purpose of preserving his individual and racial self, and hence all these actions are purposeful and such voluntary and therefore there must be a conscious Being in whom that volition is to be entered. Since they are done independently of
the will of man, they must be done by the will of one who is higher than man, who is his preserver and master i.e. GOD.
78.       The real home of ego or self is the heart and the other portions of the body are merely its worship, the ego is independent of body and mind and it can live without them. But due to ignorance we identify itself with the body and mind. Such is the inveteracy of this ignorance, that then ninety-nine percent of humanity cannot even imagine themselves as independent of body even for a moment. Even men, who are wise and who have been able to distinguish theoretically the nature of the ego from that of the body, cannot practically separate the former from the latter. For although man’s true home may be the Earth, he has totally forgotten it, and so has made a home for himself in this place of sojourn, the world. Thus ties to his false home, the Earth, he has no power to come back to his true home voluntarily. Thus caught in the network of Earthly attachments, he can never go out of the world, and even after his death, he eagerly takes his birth in it, not for once but for several times, for although he may imagine himself to be mortal, thereby his immortal and eternal nature can never suffer. Man can never perish after death. He only follows the bent of his mind after he casts off his body, and as his mind loves the world, to the world he will have to come again and again, as long as he has love for it. Man loves the world as he imagines that it has everything in it to make him perfectly happy. Indeed it has a very charming exterior. In it, he finds almost all enjoyable things, like name, fame, respect, money, prosperity, property, love and residence. One lifetime appears to him to be absolutely inadequate to enjoy the charms available in this world, to enjoy it h returns again and again and so on and forced to go away from it by death. But he is not destained to taste the sweet fruits from this tree of the world always. Some very bitter fruits he has to taste, although he may hate them; and gradually his false dreams begin to disappear. Behind the so called love for charming exterior, he finds impermenancy; behind knowledge, he finds insurmountable ignorance; behind enjoyment, he finds a great quantity of misery; and behind life, he detects the most abominable and fearful apparition of death. He then begins to question himself “I Love to live always”. But where is the eternal life? I want to be always happy but where is that eternal enjoyment? I wish to know everything; but where is that omniscience? Certainly these are not found here (in the world). He puts these questions to himself and his fellowman, but finds no answer. From scriptures he got the answer that the “Everlasting peace and bliss are to be sought inside and not outside yourself”. As already explained, the real Home of Ego is the heart and is not bound by body and mind, it is of no use for searching for eternal life, all blissfulness and all knowledge outside own-self, not knowing that all these are to be found only in him and nowhere else.
79.       The Spiritual Strength based on the immortal Atman as the Essence in man. So long as man feels he is the body and nothing but the body, he lives in fear and sorrow. He stands up real strength, shaking off all fear and sorrow, when his sense of individuality is shifted from the body to the spirit.
80.       These ritualistic philosophers held that the purpose of inducing man to perform rituals and fire sacrifices, which will gain him heavenly facility. After death the Jiva will go to those heavenly regions where they will have the enjoyments of the fruits of the sacrifices they have performed. After the fruit bearing effects of Karma are exhausted, the Jiva comes back to the Earth to do more Karma enabling him to enjoy heavenly facilities again. Thus according to them, there is no salvation for the soul or getting out of Samsara. The soul goes from embodiment to embodiment on Earth and other spheres enjoying fruits of action. Their outlook therefore multiplies man’s desires and ambitions. In the nature of things, their mind becomes divided by all kinds of passing desires. They have no conviction about the ultimate destiny of man beyond what has been stated. Salvation consists in the Purusa getting isolation from material categories with which it is integrated in the state of bondage. There is another kind of defect in fruit oriented action, especially of a ritualistic nature for the attainment of earthly or heavenly facilities. If they are done wrongly, one not only loses the fruits, but suffers adverse consequences. On the other hand the path of devotion, there is no such adverse effects for mistakes, for there are no spiritual offences at all except want of faith. Path of devotion is a well-paved high road long which one can even run blind folded without any fear of fall.
81.       This gives the contrast between one who whole-heartedly follows the spiritual path and a worldly minded man who follows wealth, sensual satisfaction and ambition. A man who has a spiritual world view, a firm faith in a Divine Intelligence based on the instruction of scripture and the Guru, has got a fixed goal that does not vary. He is like a man who knows his destination and has selected the correct path to it. He is therefore at peace, knowing, that he is on the right path. A worldly minded man may not often have a fixed world-view, without any conviction about the nature of the universe and his own destiny in it, and cares only for gains, enjoyments and pursues these diverse satisfactions, the object of which change from time to time. Hence the understanding of such a person gets divided, being engaged in the persuit of several ends. His mental energies are thus dissipated, and he loses control of the mind and becomes a slave of the senses and their objects.
82.       All this manifested universe is verily Brahman the Supreme. All this (manifested Universe) is the Atman. This Brahman is without a prior or a posterior, without interior or exterior. This Atman is Brahman, the experiencer of everything.
83.       If everything is Atman or Brahman, the universe of name and form cannot be illusion. The Upnishads consider it as “Maya” but this does not mean illusion. Maya is a mere statement of fact, what we are and what we see around us. It refers to the inner contradiction involved in our experience of the world and in our knowledge of it. These contradiction will remain at the sensate level, so long as we fail to take into account the Atman, the self behind the not self, the One behind the many. Yet, all our experiences and knowledge of the Atman, coming through the sense organs. Hence they are not illusory, but true.
84.       There is really no difference between matter, mind and Spirit. They are only different phases of experiencing the one. This very world is seen by the five senses as matter, by the very wicked as hell, by the good as heaven and by the perfect as God.
85.       The four layers of human personality are the senses, the mind, the intellect and the Spirit(Atman). The Spirit which is the ultimate foundation of man, is pure consciousness and the uninvolved witness of the modification of these three layers. He(Parabrahaman) alone is the conscious entity, and the three layers associated with Him are inert in themselves, but become living and conscious when his light of consciousness percolates through them, just as the dull shades of the lamp are illumined when the rays of the central light passes through them. But the Spiritual Strength based on the philosophy of the immortal Atman as the Essence in man. So long as man feels he is body-mind he lives in fear and sorrow. He stands up in real strength, seeking off all fear and sorrow, when his sense of individuality is shifted from body-mind to the spirit. The man can have a happy and prosperous life only if he lived in the harmony with environment, which consists of Nature and the divine agencies, the Devaa, who controls the forces of Nature. Man gets his progeny and his substance as the gift of nature and he has therefore got to be thankful to those divine agencies whose ex-pressions these forces of nature are.
86.       Now these appendages of the Atman from the instruments of perseption and the storage space for the memories of experience. So the impression of the countless experiences of the past lives are in them (as Karmas). The impressions of experiences they contain and convey are divided from repeated contracts with external objects for the enhancement of bodily life. These impressions have made the sences prone to look at these objects, only from the point of view of instinctive satisfactions. Thus when a man’s eyes sees a tasty food, he can think it only as something fine to eat; when a person sees one of the opposite sex, he often thinks of the other as an object of sexual enjoyment; when a man sees a tiger, he sees it as a dangerous creature; when he sees a cow, he sees it as a creature useful for getting milk. This outlook generated by the senses colour the mind and intellect too. It is this tendency that is known as foul enemy destroying man’s discrimination and knowledge. They prevent a dispassionate view of the object, the view of the witness. On the other hand, they give a biased interpretation of them from the point of view of the instinctive satisfaction they can give. The purification of the intellect and the mind can be achieved only when their attention is drawn inward towards the Spirit, who is behind the intellect even, instead of being driven to external objects by the force of natural tendencies, causing attachment and entanglement.
87.       Communion with the Spirit purifies the intellect, mind and senses. It liberates the senses from the earlier dominance of nature over them, and puts them in a position to view all senses objects from an impersonal point of view and thus gain mastery over them. Non attachment can never arise until the mind is able to hold the attitude of the witness and not one seeking enjoyment. This new capacity can develop only when the bias given to the mind and senses by nature or past experiences is eliminated, which can only be achieved only through devotion and meditation, the immaculate purity of Spirit is brought to bear on the phychic being of man.
88.       An aspirant of Spiritual development must remember the importance of controlling the senses, especially of tacking passions like lust, anger, etc. at their very outset. If they are allowed to gather force man will be at their mercy, and no control will be possible.
THE SOUL OF MAN
(a) Science, Modern and Ancient
89.       Modern science starts with two hypotheses, or as it wants to have them called, two primary facts. Man is the one and the universe around is the other. What does it understand by “Man”? an embodied being, a Mr. so-and-so having a certain nationality, a faith and a creed. In short it understands by the word ‘man’ an ordinary man of the world with sound common sense. Man is he who sees, hears, smells, tastes and touches by means of his senses, and thinks, feels and wills by means of his mind; and whatever he can observe and experiment upon by means of these senses, he regards that to be the fact, a reality. Everything has to come down to the level of his senses in order to be regarded as a reality, as they alone have the power of establishing the existence of an object by observation and experiment.
90.       He also finds himself to be full of various wants, nay, he finds his whole life to be a series of almost incalculable wants and to his great relief he finds out at the same time that the world around him has the power to remove them. But although he finds the world to be perfectly capable of removing them, he has to force it to do so. He has to fight with his environment in order to get from it all that he wants. By mere coaxing words he can get nothing out of it. He has to wage an incessant war with it to get all he desires.
91.       Whether man wills or not, constituted as he is, he cannot keep quiet here, as that means death to him. He wants to gather power and he finds out that knowledge brings that much needed power to him. By studying matter he has found out its indestructible nature.
92.       Although the candle has been burnt out, by weighing the gaseous products of the burnt candle he has found out that not a particle has been lost. Thus matter, being indestructible, is real and all material bodies are, on that account, real as well; and as universe is composed of material bodies only, it also must be real. By the study of this material universe we get whatever we want. Hence its study is absolutely necessary. Speculation about the eternal nature of souls is useless, as, being immaterial, souls cannot be brought within the scope of observation and experiment. The universe is so very deplorably limited, that it is absurd on our part to entertain any hope of knowing it as a whole and hence our knowledge about it will always remain undesirably partial.
93.       The indestructible nature of matter. However you may try to destroy it, it will baffle all your attempts to do so. Some years ago, scientists believed that they arrived at a final division of matter which could not be divided any more and which on that account, they named ‘atom’ (Gr. A ‘not’ and temnein, ‘to cut’); but after the discovery of electrons which are finer that atoms, that theory has fallen to the ground. Again, ethereal particles are regarded as even finer than electrons, and perhaps some still finer particles may be discovered in future, which will make even ether appear as coarse. Thus, however you can never reduce it to nothing. It will always remain something and baffle all your attempt to destroy it. Thus modern material science has not been able to arrive at a final division of matter and so it has no firm ground to stand upon and , as such, it is unreliable and empirical.
94.       But let us take up the conclusion of science and see whether we can make anything out of it. We have learned from it the indestructible nature of matter, and also its ever-shifting, ever-changing nature. Every material form is liable to change. Heat expands and cold contracts it. It admits of any number of divisions. The big ones become smaller, the smaller still smaller and so on. So it is constantly changing. Now let us analyse the phenomenon of change. Whenever any form changes into another , the old form exists no more or dies and a new form comes to exist or is born. So the words ‘birth’ and ‘death’ may be substituted for the word ‘change’. Thus we see that every material form has to change or die unceasing on a background which is changeless or is without birth and death. On account of this birthless, deathless and eternal background, the ever-dying material form is saved from destruction, as it is inseparably united with it amidst all its vicissitudes.
Steps to Realisation
95.       First among the qualifications required of the aspirant for Jnana or wisdom, come Shama and Dama, which may be taken together. They mean the keeping of the organs in their own centres without allowing them to stray out. You must bear in mind that by word ‘organ’ is meant the nerve centre in the brain. The eyes and ears are only the instruments of seeing and hearing, and the organs are inside. If the organs are destroyed by the means, even if the eyes or the ears be there, we shall not see or hear. So in order to control the mind, we must first be able to control these organs. To restrain the mind from wandering outwards or inwards and keep the organs in their respective centres, is what is meant by the word Shama and Dama. Shama consists in not allowing the mind to externalise, and Dama in checking the external instruments.
96.       Now comes Uparari, which consists in not thinking of things of the senses. Most of our time is spent in thinking abut sense-objects, things which we have seen or we have heard, which we shall see or shall hear, things which we have eaten or are eating or shall eat, places where we have lived and so on. We think of them or talk of them most of our time, one who wishes to be a Vedantin must give up this habit.
97.       Then comes the next preparation (it is a hard task to be a philosopher ! I should be without any feeling of hatred or anger, without any thought of resistance; my mind must then be as calm as if nothing had happened. And only when I have got to that state, have I attained to non-resistance and not before. Forbearance of all misery, without even a thought of resisting or driving it out, without even any painful feeling in the mind or nay remorse- this is ‘TITIKSHA’. Suppose I do not resist , and some great evil comes thereby: if I have Titiksha, I should not feel any remorse for not having resisted. When the mind has attained to that state, it has become established in Titiksha. People in India do extra ordinary things in order to practice this Titiksha. They bear tremendous heat and cold without caring, they do not even care for snow, because they take no thought for the body; it is left to itself, as if it were a foreign thing.
98.       The next qualification required is SHRADDHA, faith. One must have tremendous faith in religion and god. Until he has it, he
cannot aspire to be a Jnani. if a man sincerely believes that there is that immense, infinite mine of Bliss, and that It can be reached, would not that man go mad in his struggles to reach It? Strong faith in God and the consequent eagerness to reach Him constitute Shraddha.
99.       Then comes SAMADHANA or constant practice to hold the mind in God. Nothing is done in a day. Religion cannot be swallowed in the form of a pill. It requires hard and constant practice. The mind can be conquered only by slow and steady practice.
100.    We run headlong after all sorts of misery, and are unwilling to be freed from them. Every day we run after pleasure and before we reach it, we find it is gone, it has slipped through our fingers. Still we do not cease from our mad pursuit, but on and on we ge, blinded fools that we are.
101.    In some oil-mills in India, bullocks are used that go round and round to grind the oil-seeds. There is a yoke on the bullock’s neck. They have a piece of wood protruding from the yoke, and on that is fastened a wisp of straw. The bullock is blindfolded in such a way that it can only look forward, and so it stretches its neck to get at the straw; and in doing so, it pushes the piece of wood out a little further; and it makes another attempt with the same result and yet another and so on. It never catches the straw, but goes round and round in the hope of getting it, and in so doing, grinds out the oil. In the same way you and I who are born slaves to nature, money and wealth, wives and children, and always chasing a wisp of straw, mere chimeras, and going through an innumerable round of lives without obtaining what we seek. The great dream is love; we are all going to love and be loved, we are all going to be happy and never meet with misery, but the more we go towards happiness, the more it goes away from us. Thus the world is going on, society goes on and we, blinded slaves, have to pay for it without knowing. Study your own lives, and how little in truth you have gained in the course of the wild-goose-chase of the world.
102.    Such is the life-story of each one of us; such is the tremendous power of nature over us. It repeatedly kicks us away, but still we pursue it with feverish excitement. We are always hoping against hope; this hope, this chimera maddens us; we are always hoping for happiness.
103.    Hope is the most wonderful thing. Day and night we see people dying around us and yet we think we shall not die; we never think that we shall die or that we shall suffer. Each man thinks that success will be his, hoping against hope, against all odds, against all mathematical reasoning. Nobody is ever really happy here. Happiness and misery are the obverse and reverse of the same coin; he who takes happiness, must take misery also. We all have this foolish idea we can have happiness without misery, and it has taken such possession of us that we have no control over the senses.
104.    There are two extremes into which men are running; one is extreme optimism, when everything is rosy and nice and good; the other, extreme pessimism, when everything seems to be against them. The majority of men have more or less undeveloped brains.
105.    Few men know that with pleasure there is pain, and with pain, pleasure; and as pain is disgusting, so is pleasure, as it is the twin brother of pain. It is derogatory to the glory of man that he should be going after pain, and equally derogatory, that he should be going after pleasure. Both should be turned aside by men whose reason is balanced.
106.    The man wants liberty; he finds that sense objects are all vain and that there is no end to pleasures and pains. People in the world want to find fresh pleasures ! do you not see how many foolish things they are inventing everyday, just to titillate the nerves for a moment, and that done, how there comes a reaction? The majority of people are just like flock of sheep. If the leading sheep falls into a ditch, all the rest follow and break their necks. In the same way, what one leading member of the society does, all the other do without thinking what they are doing. When a man begins to see the vanity of worldly things, he will feel ought not to be thus played upon or borne along by nature. That is slavery. If a man has a few kind words said to him, he begins to weep. He is a slave to a bit of bread, to a breath of air, a slave to dress, to patriotism, to country, to name and fame. He is thus in the midst of slavery and the real man has become buried within through his bondage. What you call man is a slave. When one realises all this slavery, then comes the desire to be free; and intense desire comes. If a piece of burning charcoal be placed on a man’s head, see how he struggles to throw it off. Similar will be the struggles for freedom of a man who really understands that he is a slave of nature. The desire to be free is. The next training is also a very difficult one. Nityaniitya-viveka—discriminating between that which is true and that which is untrue, between the eternal and the transitory. Everything dies; the angels die, men die, sun, moon, and stars-all die; everything undergoes constant change. The mountains of today were the oceans of yesterday and will be ocean tomorrow. Everything is in a state of flux; the whole universe is a mass of change. But there is One who never changes, and that is God; and the nearer we get to Him, the less will be the change for us, the less will nature be able to work on us; and when we reach Him, and stand with Him, we shall conquer nature, we shall be masters of these phenomena of nature, and they will have no effect on us.
108.    You see, if we really have undergoing the above discipline, we really do not require anything else in this world. All knowledge in within us. All perfection is already there in the soul. But this perfection has been covered up by nature; layer after layer of nature is covering this purity of the soul. Simply take the veil off; and the soul manifests itself in its pristine purity, its natural, innate freedom.
109.    The religion is not attained through the ears, nor through the eyes, nor yet through the brain. No scriptures can make us religious. We may study all the books that are in the world, yet we may not understand the word religion or of God. We may talk all our lives and yet may not be better for it; we may be the most intellectual people the world ever saw, and yet we may not come to God at all. It is the heart which takes one to the highest plane, which intellect can never reach; it goes beyond intellect and reaches to what is called ‘inspiration’. Intellect can never become inspired; only the heart, when it is enlightened, becomes inspired. An intellectual, heartless man never becomes an inspired man. It is always the heart that speaks in the man of love; it discovers a greater instrument than intellect can give you, the instrument of inspiration. Just as the intellect is the instrument of knowledge, so is the heart the instrument of inspiration. In a lower state it is a much weaker instrument than intellect. An ignorant man knows nothing, but he is a little emotional by nature. Compare him with a great professor-what wonderful power the latter possesses! But the professor is bound by his intellect, and he can be a devil and an intellectual man at the same time, but the man of heart can never be a devil; no man with emotion was ever a devil. Properly cultivated, the heart can be changed and will go beyond intellect; it will be changed into inspiration. Man will have to go beyond intellect in the end. The knowledge of man, his powers of perception, of reasoning and intellect and heart, all are busy churning this milk of the world. Out of long churning comes butter, and this butter is God. Men of the heart get the ‘butter’, and the ‘buttermilk’ is left for the intellectual.
110.    These are all preparations for the heart, for that love, for that intense sympathy appertaining to the heart. It is not at all necessary to be educated or learned to get to God. If you are pure, you will reach God. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ If you are not pure, and you know all the sciences in the world, that will not help you at all; you may be buried in all the books you read, but that will not be of much use. It is the heart that reaches the goal. Follow the heart. A pure heart sees beyond the intellect; it gets inspired; it knows things that reason can never know, and whenever there is conflict between the pure heart and the intellect, always side with the pure heart, even if you think what your heart is doing is unreasonable. When it is desirous of doing good to others, your brain may tell you that is not politic to do so, but follow your heart, and you will find that you make less mistakes than by following your intellect. The pure heart is the best mirror for the reflection of truth, so all these disciplines are for the purification of the heart. And as soon as it is pure, all truths flash upon it in a minute; all truth in the universe will manifest in your heart if you are sufficiently pure.
111.    Artificial wants can be created, and every poor man, whether he has money or not, desires to have those wants satisfied, and when he cannot, he struggles and dies in the struggle. This is the result. Through the intellect is not the way to solve the problem of misery, but through the heart. If all this vast amount of effort had been spent in making men purer, gentler, more forbearing, this world would have a thousand of old more happiness than it is today. Always cultivate the heart; through the heart the Lord speaks, and through the intellect you yourself speak.
112.    He who comes with a pure heart and a reverent attitude, his heart will be opened; the doors will open for him and he will see the truth.
113.    Religion is beyond our senses, beyond even our consciousness. We cannot sense God. Nobody has seen God with his eyes or ever will see God in his consciousness. I an not conscious of God, nor you, nor anybody. It is beyond the senses, beyond consciousness. Consciousness is only one of the many planes in which we work; you will have to transcend the field of consciousness, to go beyond the senses, approach nearer and nearer to your own centre, and as you do that, you will approach nearer and nearer to God. God has been perceived that way by thousands before and will be perceived by all who want to perceive Him. But this perception is no sense-perception at all; it is super sensuous, super conscious and all this training is needed to take us beyond the senses. By means of all sorts of past work and bondages we are being dragged downwards; these preparations will make us pure and light. Bondages will fall off by themselves, ad we shall be buoyed up beyond this plane of sense-perception to which we are tied down, and then we shall see, and hear, and feel things which men in the three ordinary states (viz waking, dream and sleep) neither feel nor see, nor hear. Then we shall speak a strange language, as it were, and the world will not understand us, because it does not know anything but the senses. True religion is entirely transcendential. Every being that is in the universe has the potentiality of transcending the senses; and reach God. No life will be a failure; there is no such thing as failure in the universe. A hundred times man will hurt himself, a thousand times he will tumble, but in the end he will realise that he is God. We know there is no progress in a straight line. Every soul moves, as it were, in a circle, and will have to complete it, and no soul can go so low but there will come a time when it will have to go upwards. No one will be lost. We are all projected from one common centre, which is God. The highest as well as the lowest life God ever projected, will come back to the Father of all lives, ‘From whom all beings are projected, in whom all live, and unto whom they all return; this is God.
PURIFICATION OF BODY, MIND AND THOUGHTS.
114.    Sai Baba had emphasized that the body, mind, intellect and ego have to be purified first for the success of all sadhana efforts. This is because we are unclean due to the effect of past karmas. Moreover we are being taught every day about the lure and desirability of money, fame, power and enjoyment. This produces lasting impression on the subtle body which is beyond mind and intellect and which survives physical existence. We have to think in different directions and live a different way of life to smudge the impact of these unwholesome effects. This different way of thought, action and life is the “SADHANA”.
115.    The body gets purified on account of selfless service and benevolent acts. This helps in obliterating the impressions of past karmas on mind. When the mind is sublimated, the seeds of devotion can be sown and nurtured within. The barren and stony soil of selfish deeds and thoughts is not fit for sowing the seeds of intense love for God. This must be properly understood by aspirants. Selfishness is a road leading in altogether opposite directions than the road to God or liberation. A man approaches God step by step, when he removes the pains of others, assists men in distress and knows the God inherent in other minds.
116.    Similarly, it is essential to install the memory and idols of God in the heart by incessant recitation of name and meditation on the form. This enables the subtle body (that outlives physical death) to wipe off the imprints of selfishness and to replace it by the image of God.
117.    A Sadhaka has to tune in his consciousness with the divine consciousness. This means that he has to merge his consciousness in the Cosmic consciousness. This purges the ego (The Ego is not pride here). The consciousness of an individual when purified induces God element within from the universal level. The still, tranquil and peaceful God oriented consciousness adjusts itself with Cosmic Ego (God). The jiva is attracted to the divine Shiva. This is the path of Divine Life. The string that leads into the light beyond time and space through the portals of life and death is a string of Gurushakti. This string can be handled through selfless life, harmonizing with God and merger of prana and mana in the eternal peace. The power of Guru intervenes here and takes charge of the aspirant’s life and carries him towards the final goal of liberation.
117.    The sadhana of freeing from the samsar is not tantamount to forsaking wife and children. It means that we have to see the happiness and sorrows in life with an eye of a witness. This has been said by Baba himself. We cannot see life like an impartial witness because of our concepts of happiness and distress which are illusory in substance.
118.    We shall be able to unchain ourselves from the shackles of Prarabdha only when we can see the working of six vikaras (Shadripus) in the detached manner. We must not be conceited when the prosperity floods our lives. We must not allow the wicked to exploit us due to our wickedness. Riches is transitory. We must honour the saints and saintly people. We must feed the hungry, pity the animals, give alms to the poor. However, we should not squander our money because nobody would support us, once the money is frittered away. The money is an absolute essentiality in the prapancha. If we are to spend, we should spend for the orphans, disabled, destitute and for public welfare. Our living should be simple and unostentatious. We should avoid disputes and squabbles. We should not breed familiarity with the servants. We should love our spouse, but should not be henpecked. All the world is a caravan serai. We should love God alone. All is fleeting, hence we should do our duty and leave the fruits to God.
119.    The weal and woe, the prosperity and poverty are the effects of Birth-Prarabdha(Deha-Prarabdha). We have to consume it and exhaust all with the attitude of faith and patience. If we commit a theft or a murder for the sake of money, it would bring in Karma-Prarabdha (i.e. fruit of Karma). It is not Deha Prarabdha. The destiny did not mean a gift to us. We have ourselves brought the karma by our greed. We have now to consume earlier Deha-Prarabdha and the new Karma Prarabdha. If it cannot be exhausted in this birth, we have to take another birth to repay it. It is for this, that we should have absolutely control over the mind and action. We should not entangle ourselves in the new web of karma due to lust and greed. We should exhaust original Deha Prarabdha with faith and patience.
120.    An aspirant must accomplish the “Four Sadhanas” (Sadhana-Chatustaya). This is viveks, vairaga, shamadama and mumuksha. In order words, it means reunciation, discrimination, control of mind and desire for liberation. We must tread on with these four instruments in our hand. All yogas, yadnyas, penanaces are fruitless and futile for want of these four sadhanas. This is because the human mind is not cleansed and made bereft of dirt, if these four virtues are not attained by aspirants. The love for God (i.e. Devotion) can be cultivated in a pure body and heart. This ground has to be prepared. The pathways leading to pure Chaitanya and God realisation spring from this base. The roads of light begin here only. This is the interpretation of Baba’s teachings.
HINTS ON PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY
121.    According to Yogis there are three principal nerve-currents; one they call the IDA, the other the PINGALA, and the middle one the SUSHUMNA, and all these are inside the spinal column. The Ida and the Pingala, the left and the right, are clusters of nerves, while the middle one, the Sushumna, is hollow and is not a cluster of nerves. This Sushumna is closed, and for the ordinary man is of no use, for he works through the Ida and the Pingala only. Currents are continually going down and coming up through these nerves, carrying orders all over the body through other nerves running to the different organs of the body.
122.    It is the regulation and the ringing into rhythm of the Ida and Pingala that is the greater object of breathing. But that itself is nothing- it is only so much air taken into the lungs; except for purifying the blood, it is of no more use. There is nothing occult in the air that we take in with our breath and assimilate to purify the blood; the action is merely a motion. This motion can be reduced to the unit movement we call “Prana”; and everywhere, all movements are the various manifestations of this Prana. This Prana is electricity, it is magnetism, it is thrown out by the brain’s thought. Everything is Prana; it is moving the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.

123.    We say, whatever is in this universe has been projected by the vibration of the Prana. The highest result of vibration is thought. If there be any higher, we cannot conceive of it. The nerves, Ida and Pingla, work through the Prana. It is the Prana that is moving every part of the body, becoming the different forces. Give up that old idea that God is something that produces the effect and sits on the throne dispensing justice. In working we become exhausted because we use up so much Prana.
124.    The breathing exercises, called Pranayama, brings about regulation of the breathing, rhythmic action of Prana. When the Prana is working rhythmically, everything works properly. When the Yogis get control over their own bodies, if there is nay disease in any part, they know that the Prana is not rhythmic there and they direct the Prana to the affected part until the rhythm is re-established.
125.    Just as you can control the Prana in your own body, so, if you are powerful enough, you can control, even from here, another man’s Prana in the world. It is all one. There is no break; unity is the law. Physically, psychically, mentally, morally, metaphysically, it is all one. Life is only a vibration. That which vibrates this ocean of ether, vibrates you. Just as in a lake, various strata of ice of various degrees of solidity are formed, or as in an ocean of vapour there are degrees of density, so is this universe an ocean of matter. This is an ocean of ether, in which we find the sun, moon stars and ourselves- in different states of solidity; but the continuity is not broken; it is the same throughout.
126.    Now, when we study metaphysics, we come to know the world is one, not that the spiritual, the material, the mental and the world of energies are separate. It is all one, but seen from different planes of vision. When you think yourself as a body, you forget that you are a mind; and when you think of yourself as a mind, you will forget the body. There is only one thing, that you are; you can see it either as matter or body, or you can see it as mind or spirit. Birth, life and death are but old superstitions. None was ever born, none will ever die; one changes one’s position- that is all.
127.    The whole universe, therefore, is a unit, from whatever standpoint you view it. Just now, to us, this universe is a unit of Prana and Akasa, force and matter. And mind you, like all other basic principles, this is also self-contradictory. For what is force? – that which moves matter. And what is matter? – that which is moved by force. It is a seesaw! Some of the fundamentals of our reasoning are most curious, inspite of our boast of science and knowledge. ‘It is a headache without a head,’ as the Sanskrit proverb says. This state of the things has been called Maya. It has neither existence nor non-existence. You cannot call it existence, because that only exists which is beyond time and space, which is self-existent. Yet this world
satisfies to a certain degree our idea of existence. Therefore it has an apparent existence.
128.    But there is the real existence in and through everything; and that reality, as it were, is caught in the meshes of time, space and causation. There is a real man, the infinite, the beginningless, the endless, the ever blessed, the ever free. He has been caught in the meshes of time, space and causation. So has everything in the world. The reality of everything is the same Infinite. This is not idealism; it is not that the world does not exist. It has a relative existence, and fulfils all its requirements. But it has no independent existence. It exists because of the Absolute Reality beyond time, space and causation.
129.    All the automatic movements and all the conscious movements are working of Prana through the nerves. Now, you see, it will be a very good thing to have control over the unconscious actions.
130.    The definition of God and Man. Man is an infinite circle, whose circumference is nowhere, but the centre is located on one spot, and God is an infinite circle, whose circumference is nowhere but whose centre is everywhere. He works through all hands, sees through all eyes, walks on all feet, breathes through all bodies, lives in all life, speaks through every mouth, and thinks through every brain. Man can become like God and acquire control over the whole universe, if he multiplies infinitely his centre of self-consciousness. Consciousness, therefore, is the chief thing to understand. Let us say that here is an infinite line amid darkness. We do not see the line, but on it there is one luminous point which moves on. As it moves along the line, it lights up its different parts in succession, and all that is left behind becomes dark again. Our consciousness may well be likened to this luminous point. Its past experiences have been replaced by the present of have become subconscious. We are not aware of their presence in us; but there they are, unconsciously influencing our body and mind. Every movement that is now being made without the help of consciousness was previously conscious. Sufficient impetus has been given to it to work itself.
131.    The evil deed is, no doubt, on the conscious plane, but the cause which produced the evil deed was far beyond in the realms of the unconscious, unseen and therefore more potent. Practical Psychology directs first of all its energies in controlling the unconscious, and we know that we can do it. Why? Because we know the cause of the unconscious is the conscious; the unconscious thoughts are the submerged millions of our old conscious thoughts. Old conscious actions become petrified-we do not look at them, do not know them, have forgotten them. But mind you, if the power of evils is in the unconscious, so also is if the power of good. We have many things stored in us as in a pocket. We have forgotten them, do not even think of them, and there are many of them, rotting, becoming positively dangerous; they come forth, the unconscious causes which kill humanity. Try to bring them under the control of the conscious. The great task is to revive the whole man, as it were, in order to make him the complete master of himself. Even what we call the automatic action of the organs within our bodies, such as the liver etc., can be made to obey our commands.
132.    The control of the unconscious. The next is to go beyond the conscious. Just as unconscious work is beneath consciousness, so there is another work which is above consciousness. When this super conscious state is reached, man becomes free and divine; death becomes immortality, weakness becomes infinite power, and iron bondage becomes liberty. That is the goal, the infinite realm of super conscious.
133.    So, therefore, we see now that there must be a twofold work, first, by the proper working of the Ida and the Pingala, which are the two existing ordinary currents, to control the subconscious action; and secondly, to go beyond even consciousness.
134.    He alone is the Yogi who, after long practice in self concentration, has attained to this truth. The Sushumna now opens and a current which never before entered into this new passage will find its way into it and gradually ascend to(what we call in figurative language) the different lotus-centres, till at last reaches the brain. Then the Yogi becomes conscious of what he really is, God Himself.
135.    It is so hard to reach the goal, yet even our smallest attempts are not in vein. We know that nothing is lost. In the Gita Arjuna asks Krishna. ”Those who fail in attaining perfection in Yoga in this life, are they destroyed like the clouds of summer?” Krishna replies, “Nothing my friend, is lost in this world. Whatever one does, that remains as one’s own, and if the fruition of Yoga does not come in this life, one takes it up again in the next birth.”
136.    If you want to be a Yogi, you must be free, and place yourself in circumstances where you are alone and free from all anxiety. He who desires a comfortable and nice life and at the same time wants to realise the Self, is like the fool who wanting to cross the river, caught hold of a crocodile, mistaking it for a log of wood. ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and everything shall be added unto you!’ this is the one great duty, this is reunciation. Live for an ideal, and leave no place in the mind for anything else. Let us put forth all our energies to acquire that which never fails-our spiritual perfection. If we have true yearning for realisation, we must struggle, and through struggle growth will come. We shall make mistakes, but they may be angels unawares.
137.    The greatest help to spiritual life is meditation (Dhyana). In meditation we divest ourselves of all material conditions and feel our divine nature. We do not depend upon any external help in meditation. The touch of the soul can paint the brightest colour even in the dingiest places; it can cast a fragrance over the vilest thing; it can make the wicked divine- and all enmity, all selfishness is effaced. The less the thought of the body, the better. For it is the body that drags us down. It is attachment, identification, which makes us miserable. That is the secret. To think that I am the spirit and not the body, and that the whole of this universe with all its relations, with all its good and all its evils, is but as series of paintings—scenes on a canvas—of which I am the witness.
THE WAY TO BLESSEDNESS
138.    When a man dies, the question is: what becomes of him? Some people say he ceases to exist. Other say that he exists.
139.    The God in ancient times tried to unravel the mystery, this is so fine that it is hard to know. ‘Here are two ways,’ He said, ’one of enjoyment, the other of blessedness. These two in various ways draw mankind. He is the sage who, of these two takes up that which leads to blessedness, and he degenerates who takes up the road to enjoyment.
140.    The man, who lives in ignorance and enjoys, is not different from the brute, beast. Yet there are many who, though steeped in ignorance, in the pride of their hearts, think that they are great sages and go round and round in many crooked ways, like the blind led by the blind. This truth never shines in the heart of those who are like ignorant children, deluded by a few lumps of earth. They do not understand this world, nor the other world. They deny this and the other one, and thus again and again come under deaths control. Many have not even the opportunity to hear about it; and many, though hearing, cannot know it, because the teacher must be wonderful; so must he be wonderful too unto whom the knowledge is carried. If the speaker is a man who is not highly advanced, then even a hundred times heard, and hundred times thought, the truth never illumines the soul. Do not disturb your mind by vain arguments, this truth only becomes effulgent in the heart which has been made pure. He who cannot be seen without the greatest difficulty, he who is hidden, He who has entered the cave of the heart of hearts, the Ancient One, cannot be seen with the external eyes, seeing Whom with the eyes of the soul, one gives up both pleasure and pain. He who knows this secret gives up all his vain desires, and attains the superfine perception, and thus becomes ever-blessed. That is the way to blessedness. he is Beyond all virtue, beyond all existence, beyond all that is to be; he who knows this, alone knows. This self of man, about which you seek to know, is never born, and never dies. Without beginning, ever existing, this Ancient One is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. If the slayer thinks that he can slay, and if the slain man thinks he is slain, both are mistaken, for neither can the Self kill, nor can It be killed. Infinitely smaller than the smallest particle, infinitely greater than the great existence, the Lord of al lives in the cave of the heart of every being. He who has become sinless sees Him in all His glory, through the mercy of the same Lord.(we find that the mercy of God is one of the causes of God-realisation). Sitting He goes far, lying He goes everywhere; who else but men of purified and subtle understanding are qualified to know the God in whom all conflicting attributes meet? Without body, yet living in the body, untouched, yet seemingly in contact, omnipresent- knowing the Atman to such, the sage gives up all misery. Whom the Atman seeks, he gets the Atman; unto him He discloses His glory. He who is continuously doing evil deeds, he whose mind is not calm, he who cannot meditate, he who is always disturbed and fickle- he cannot understand and realise this Atman who has entered the cave of the Heart. This body, is the chariot, the organs of the senses are the horses, the mind is the reins, the intellect is the charioteer, and the soul is the rider in the chariot. When the soul joins himself with the charioteer, buddhi or intellect, and then through it with the mind, the reins, and through it again with the organs, the horses, he is said to be the enjoyer; he perceives, he works, he acts. He whose mind is not under control and who has no discriminaton, his senses are not controllable, like vicious horses in the hands of a driver. But he, who has discrimination, whose mind is controlled, his organs are always controllable like good horses in the hands of a driver. He who has discrimination, whose mind is always in the way to understand truth, who is always pure- he receives that truth, attaining which there is no rebirth.
141.    That which never changes, the Self of a man, the Self behind the universe. Then again, it is said that it is a very difficult to know Him. Knowing does not mean simply intellectual assent, it means realisation. Again and again we have read that this salvation is to be seen, to be perceived. We cannot see it with the eyes; the perception for it has to become superfine. It is gross perception by which the walls and books are perceived, but the whole perception to discern the truth has to be made very fine, and that is the whole secret of this knowledge. One must be very pure. That is the way of making the perception superfine. That self-existent One is far removed from the organs. The organs or instruments see outwards, but the self-existing One, the self, is seen inwards. You must remember the qualification that is required: the desire to know this Self by turning the eyes inwards. All these beautiful things that we see in nature are very good, but that is not the way to see God. We must learn how to turn the eyes inwards. The eagerness of the eyes to see outwards should be restricted. The mind is going outwards, and you cannot hear the man who is next to you. In the same way; this world around us is making such a noise that it draws the mind outwards.
142.    What is this Self? We have seen that it is even beyond the intellect. This Self is eternal and omnipresent, that you and I and all of us are omnipresent beings, and that the Self is changeless. Now this omnipresent Being can be only one. There cannot be two beings who are equally omnipresent. There cannot be two beings who are infinite, and the result is, there is really only one Self, and you, I and the whole universe are but one, appearing as many. ‘As the one fire entering into the world manifests itself in various ways, even so that one self, the self of all, manifests itself in every form’. ‘The one Sun is the cause of vision in every eye, yet it is not touched by the defects in the eyes of any’. If a man has jaundice he sees everything as yellow; the cause of his vision is the sun, but his seeing everything as yellow does not touch the sun. Even so this One Being, though the Self of every one, is not touched by the purities or impurities outside. ‘In this world where everything is evanescent, he who knows Him who never changes in this world of insentiency, he who knows this One sentient Being in this world of many, he who knows this One and sees Him in his soul, unto him belongs eternal bliss, to none else, to none else. There the sun shines not, nor the star, nor the lightening flashes, what to speak of fire? He shining, everything shines; through His light everything becomes effulgent. When all the desires that trouble the heart cease, then the mortal becomes immortal, and here one attains Brahman. When all the crookedness of the heart disappears, when all its knots are cut asunder, then alone the mortal becomes immortal.
143.    The whole cause of it is this dualism, the idea that I am separate from the universe, separate from God. But as soon as we have realised that “I am He, I am the Self of the universe, I am eternally blessed, eternally free”—then will come real love, fear will vanish and all misery cease.
THE POWERS OF THE MIND
144.    This mind is a part of the universal mind. Each mind is connected with every other mind. And each mind, whatever it is located, is in actual communication with the whole world. The mind is universal. Your mind, my mind, all these little minds, are fragments of that universal mind, little waves in the ocean; and on account of this continuity, we can convey our thoughts directly to one another.
145.    You see what is happening all around us. The world is one of influence. Part of our energy is used up in the preservation of our own bodies. Beyond that, every particle of our energy is day and night being used in influencing others. Our bodies, our virtues, our intellect, and our spirituality, all these are continuously influencing others; and so, conversely, we are being influenced by them. This is going on all around us.
146.    t is a faint personality that influences; in the great Prophets it is tremendous. In the former we touch the intellect, in the later we touch life. In the one case, it is simply a chemical process putting certain chemicals ingredients together which may gradually combine and under proper circumstances bring out a flash of light or may fail. In the other, it is like a torch that goes round quickly, lighting others.
147.    The science of Yoga claims that it has discovered the law which develop this personality, and by proper attention to those laws and methods, each one can grow and strengthen his personality. This is one of the great practical things and this is the secret of all education. This has a universal application. In the life of the householder, in the life of the poor, the rich, the man of business, the spiritual man, in everyone’s life it is a great thing, the strengthening of this personality. There are laws, very fine, which are behind the physical laws, as we know. That is to say, there are no such realities as a physical world, a mental world, a spiritual world. Whatever is, is one. let us say, it is a sort of tapering existence; the thickest part is here; it tapers and becomes finer and finer; the finest is what we call spirit; the grossest, the body. And just as it is here, in the microcosm, it is exactly the same in the macroncosm. The universe of ours is exactly like that; it is the gross external thickness, and it tapers into something finer and finer until it becomes God.
148.    We also know that the greatest power is lodged in the fine, not in the coarse. We see a man take up a huge weight, we see his muscles swell, and all over his body we see signs of exertion, and we think the muscles are powerful things. But it is thin threadlike things, the nerves, which bring power to the muscles; the moment one of these threads is cut off from reaching the muscles, they are not able to work at all. These tiny nerves bring the power from something still finer, and that again in its turn brings it from something still finer still—thought, and so on. So, it is the fine that is really seat the power. Of course we can see the movements is the gross; but when fine movements take place, we cannot see them. When a gross thing moves, we catch it, and thus we naturally identify movement with things which are gross. But all the power is really in the fine. We do not see any movement in the fine, perhaps because the movement is so intense that we cannot perceive it. But if by any science, any investigation, we are helped to get hold of these finer forces which are the cause of the ex-pression, the ex-pression itself will be under control. There is a little bubble coming from the bottom of a lake; we do not see it coming all the time, we see it only when it bursts on the surface; so, we can perceive thoughts only after they develop a great deal, or after they become actions. We constantly complain that we have no control over the fine movements, if we can get hold of thought at the root, before it has become thought, before it has become action, then it would be possible for us to control the whole. Now, if there is a method by which we can analyse, investigate, understand and finally grapple with those finer powers, the finer causes, then alone it is possible to have control over ourselves, and the man who has control over his own mind assuredly will have control over every other mind. He who knows and controls his mind, knows the secret of every mind, and has power over every mind.
149.    Now, a good deal of our physical evil we can get rid of, if we have control over the fine parts; a good many worries we can throw off, if we have control over the fine movements; a good many failures can be averted, if we have control over these fine powers. So far is utility. Yet beyond, there is something higher.
BHAKTI OR DEVOTION
150.    This idea of devotion and worship to some higher being who can reflect back the love to man in universal. In various religions this love and devotion is manifested in various degrees, at different stages. The lowest stage is that ritualism, when abstract ideas are almost impossible, and are dragged down to the lowest plane, and made concrete. Forms come into play, and along with them, various symbols. Throughout the history of the world, we find that man is trying to grasp the abstract through thought-forms, or symbols. all the external manifestations of religion – bells, music, rituals, books and images, - come under that head. Anything that appeals to the senses, anything that helps man to form a concrete image of the abstract, is taken hold of, and worshipped.
151.    From time to time, there have been reformers in every religion who have stood against all symbols and rituals. But vain has been their opposition, for so long as man will remain as he is, the vast majority will always want something concrete to hold on to, something around which, as it were, to place their ideas, something which will be the centre of all the thought-forms in their minds.
152.    This universe is a symbol, in and through which we are trying to grasp the thing signified, which is beyond and behind. The spirit is the goal, and not matter.
153.    If therefore, any one says that symbols rituals, and forms are to be kept forever, he is wrong, but if he says, that these symbols and rituals are a help to the growth of he soul, in its low and undeveloped state, he is right. But you must not mistake this development of the soul as meaning anything intellectual. A man can be of gigantic intellect, yet, spiritually, he may be a baby. You can verify it, this moment. All of you have been taught to believe in an Omnipresent God. Try to think of it. How few of you can have an idea of what omnipresence means ! If you struggle hard, you will get something like the idea of the ocean, or of the sky, or of a vast stretch of green earth, or of a desert. All these are material images, and so long as you cannot conceive of the abstract as abstract, the ideal as the ideal, you will have to resort to these forms, these material images. It does not make much difference whether these images are inside or outside the mind. We are all born idolaters, and idolatry is good, because it is in the nature of man. Only the perfect man, the God-man. The rest are all idolaters. So long as we see this universe before us, with its forms and shapes, we are all idolaters. This is a gigantic symbol we are worshipping. He who says he is the body, is a born idolater. We are spirit, spirit that has no form or shape, spirit that is infinite, and not matter. Therefore, anyone who cannot grasp the abstract, who cannot think of himself as he is, except in and through matter, as the body, is an idolater.
154.    In the heart of all these ritualisms, there stands one idea prominent above all the rest—the worship of a name. A name is said to be very sacred. What is this universe but name and form? Can you think without words? Word and thought are inseparable. Try, if any one of you can separate them. Whenever you think, you are doing so through word forms. The one brings the other; thought brings the words, and the words brings the thought. Thus the whole universe is, as it were, the external symbol of God, and behind that stands His grand name. Each particular body is a form and behind that particular body is it name. That is to say, psychologically, in the mind stuff of man, there cannot come the idea of name without the idea of form, and there cannot come the idea of form without the idea of name. They are inseparable; they are external and the internal sides of the same wave. As such, names have been exalted and worshipped all over the world - consciously or unconsciously, man found the glory of names.
155. We find that in many different religions, holy personages have been worshipped. They worship Krishna, they worship Buddha, they worship Jesus and so forth. Then, there is the worship of saints; hundreds of them have been worshipped all over the world, and why not? The vibration of light is everywhere. The owl sees it in the dark. That shows it is there, though man cannot see it. To man. That vibration is only visible in the lamp, in the sun, in the moon, etc.. God is omnipresent; He is manifesting Himself in every being; but for men, He is only visible, recognizable, in man. When His light, His presence, His spirit, shines through the human face, then and then alone, can man understand Him. Thus, man has been worshipping God through men all the time, and must do so as long as he is a man. He may cry against it, struggle against it, but as soon as he attempts to realize God, he will find the constitutional necessity of thinking of God as a man. So we find, that in almost every religion, these are the three primary things which we have in the worship of God – forms or symbols, names and God-men. All religions have these, but you find that they want to fight with each other. One says, ’My name is the only name; my form is the only form; and my God-men are the only God-men in the world; yours are simply myths’.
156.    These are the external forms of devotion, through which man has to pass, but if he is sincere, if he really wants to reach the truth, he goes higher than these, to a plane where forms are as nothing. Temples or churches, books or forms, are simply the kindergarten of religion. With the thirst, the longing for God, comes real devotion, real Bhakti.
157.    Man wants to breathe, and there is air for him to breathe. Man wants to eat and there is food to eat. What creates these desires ? the existence of external things. It was the light that made the eyes; it was the sound that made the ears. So every desire in human beings has been created by something which already existed outside. They desire for perfection, for reaching the goal, and getting beyond nature, how can it be there, until something has created it and drilled it into the soul of man, and makes it live there? He, therefore, in whom this desire is awakened, will reach the goal. We want everything but God. A disciple went to his master and said to him, ”Sir, I want religion.” The master looked at the young man, and did not speak, but only smiled. The young man came everyday , and insisted that he wanted religion. But the old man knew better than the young man. One day, when it was very hot, he asked the young man to go to the river with him, and take a plunge. The young man plunged in, and the old man followed him, and held the young man down under the water by force. After the young man had struggled for a while, he let him go, and asked him what he wanted most while he was under the water. ‘A breath of Air, '’the disciple answered. 'Do you want God in that way? If you do, you will get Him in a moment,’ said the master. Until you have that thirst, that desire, you cannot get religion, however you may struggle with your intellect, or your books, or your forms. Until that thirst is awakened in you, you are no better than any atheist; only the atheist is sincere, and you are not.
159.    As soon as a man begins to believe there is a God, he becomes mad with longing to get to Him. Others may go their way, but as soon as a man is sure that there is much higher life than that which he is leading here, as soon as he feels sure that the senses are not all, that this limited, material body is as nothing compared with the immortal, eternal, undying bliss of the Self, he becomes man until he finds out this bliss for himself. And this madness, this thirst, this mania, is what is called the ‘awakening’ to religion, and when that has come, a man is beginning to be religious. But it takes a long time. All these forms and ceremonies, these prayers and pilgrimages, these books, bells, candles and priests, are the preparations; they take off the impurities from the soul; and when the soul has become pure, it naturally wants to get to the mine of all purity, God Himself. When the human soul, covered with the dust of ages, impurities, wickednesses, and sins, after many births becomes purified enough by these forms and ceremonies, by doing good to others, loving other beings, its natural spiritual attraction comes, it wakes up, and struggles towards God.
160.    Yet, all these forms and symbols are simply the beginning: not true love of God. Love we hear spoken of everywhere. Every one says, ’Love God.’ Men do not know what it is to love; if they did, they would not talk so glibly about it. Every man says he can love, and then, in no time, finds out that there is no love in his nature. Every women says she can love, and soon finds out that she cannot. The world is full of the talk of love, but it is hard to love. Where is love? How do you know that there is love? The first test of love is, that it knows no bargaining. So long as you see a man love another only to get something from him, you know that, that is not love; it is shopkeeping. Wherever there is any question of buying and selling, it is not love. So, when a man prays to God, “Give me this, and give me that,” it is not love. How can it be? I offer you prayer, and you give me something in return; that is what it is, mere shop keeping.
161.    The first test of love is that it knows no bargaining. Love is always the giver, and never the taker. Says the child of God: ’If God wants. I give Him my everything, but I do not want anything of Him. I want nothing in this universe. I love Him, because I want to love Him, and I ask no favour in return. Who cares, whether God is almighty or not? I do not want any power from Him, nor any manifestation of his power. Sufficient for me, that He is the God of Love. I ask no more questions.’
162.    The second test is, that love knows no fear. So long as man thinks of God as a Being sitting above the clouds, with rewards in one hand, and punishments in the other, there can be no love. So the children of God never see in Him a punisher or a rewarder. It is only people who have never tasted love, that fear and quake. Cast off all fear – though thee horrible ideas of God as punisher or rewarder may have their use in savage minds. Some men, even the most intellectual, are spiritual savages, and these ideas may help them. But to men who are spiritual, men who are approaching religion, in whom spiritual insight is awakened, such ideas are simply childish, simply foolish. Such men reject all ideas of fear.
163.    The third is a still higher test. Love is always the highest ideal. When one has passed through the first two stages, when one has thrown off all shopkeeping, and cast off all fear, one then begins to realize that love was always the highest ideal.
164.    The philosophy in the background is, that each one projects one’s own ideal and worships that. This external world is only the world of suggestion. All that we see, we project out of our minds. A gram of sand gets washed into the shell of an oyster and irritates it. The irritation produces a secretion on the oyster, which covers the grain of sand and the beautiful pearl is the result. Similarly, external things furnish us with suggestions, over which we project our own ideals, and make our objects. The wicked see this world as a perfect hell, and the good as perfect heaven. Lovers see this world as full of love, and haters as full of hatred, fighter sees nothing but strife, and the peaceful nothing but peace. The perfect man sees nothing but God. So we always worship our highest ideals, and when we have reached the point, when we love the ideal as the ideal, all arguments and doubts vanish for ever. Who cares whether God can be demonstrated, or not. The ideal can never go, because it is a part of my own nature. I shall only question the ideal when I question my own existence, and as I cannot question the one, I cannot question the other. Who cares whether God can be almighty and all-merciful at the same time, or not? Who cares whether He is the rewarder of mankind, whether He looks at us with the eyes of a tyrant or with the eyes of a beneficent monarch? The lover has passed beyond all these things, beyond rewards and punishments, beyond fears and doubts, beyond scientific, or any other demonstration. Sufficient unto him is the ideal of love, and is it not self-evident, that this universe is but a manifestation of this love? What is it that makes atom unite with atoms, molecules with molecules, and causes planets to fly towards each other? What it is that attracts man to man, man to woman, woman to man, and animals to animals, drawing the whole universe, as it were, towards one centre? It is what is called love. Its manifestation is from the lowest atom to the highest being; omnipotent, all pervading, is this love attraction in the sentient and the insentient, in the particular and in the universal, is the love God. It is the one motive power that is in the universe.
165.    Unattached, yet shining in everything, is love, the motive power of the universe, without which the universe would fall to pieces in a moment, and this love is God.
166.    None ever loves anything else, except for the Self. Even this selfishness which is so condemned, is but a manifestation of the same love. Stand aside from this play, do not mix in it, but see this wonderful panorama, this grand drama, played scene after scene and hear this wonderful harmony; all are the manifestation of the same love. Even in selfishness, that self will multiply, grow and grow. Until he feels the whole world as his Self, the whole universe as his Self. He expands into one mass of the universal love, infinite love- the love that is God.
167.    Thus we come to what is called supreme Bhakti, supreme Devotion, in which forms and symbols fall off. One who has reached that cannot belong to any sect, for all sects are in him. To what shall he belong? For all churches and temples are in him. Where is the church big enough for him? Such a man cannot bind himself down to certain limited forms. Where is he limit for unlimited love, with which he has become one? in all religions which take up this ideal of love, we find the struggle to express it. Although we understand what this love means, and see that everything in this world of affections and attractions is a manifestation of that Infinite Love, the ex-pression of which has been attempted by sages and saints of different nations, yet we find them using all the powers of language, transfiguring even the most carnal ex-pressions into the divine.
168.    Thus sang the royal Hebrew sage, thus sang they of India. ‘O beloved, one kiss of Thy lips! Kissed by Thee, one’s thirst for Thee increaseth for ever! All sorrows cease, one forgets the past, present and the future, and only think of Thee alone.’ That is the madness of the lover, when all desires have vanished. Who cares for salvation? Who cares to be saved? Who cares to be perfect even? Who cares for freedom?’ says the lover. ‘I do not want wealth, nor even health; I do not want beauty, I do not want intellect; let me be born again and again, amid all the evils that are in the world; I will not complain, but let me love Thee, and that for love’s sake. The true lovers of God want to become mad, inebriated with the love of God, to become ‘God intoxicated men’. They want to drink of the cup of love which has been prepared by the saints and sages of every religion, who have poured their heart’s blood into it, and in which have been concentrated all the hopes of those who have loved God without seeking reward, who wanted love for itself only. The reward of love is love, and what a reward it is! It is the only thing that takes off all sorrows, the only cup, by the drinking of which this disease of the world vanishes. Man becomes divinely mad, and forgets that he is man.
169.    Lastly, we find that all these various systems, in the end, converge to that one point, that perfect union. We always begin as dualists. God is a separate Being, and I am a separate being. Loves comes between, and man begins to approach God, and God, as it were, begins to approach man. Man takes up all the various relationships of life, as father, mother, friend, or lover; and the last point is reached when he becomes one with the object of worship. ‘I am you, and you are I, and worshiping you, I worship myself, and in worshipping myself, I worship you.’ There we find the highest culmination of that with which man begins. At the beginning it was love for the self, but the claims of the little self made love selfish; at the end came the full blaze of light, when that self had become the Infinite. That God who at first was Being somewhere, became resolved, as it were, into Infinite Love. Man himself was also transformed. He was approaching God, he was throwing off all vain desires, of which he was full before. With desires, vanished selfishness, and at the apex, he found that Love, Lover and Beloved were One.
WORK AND ITS SECRET
170.    Our great defect in life is that we are so much drawn to the ideal, the goal is so much more enchanting, so much more alluring, so much bigger in our mental horizon, that we lose sight of the details altogether.
171.    But whenever failure comes, if we analyse it critically, in ninety-nine percent of cases we shall find that it was because we did not pay attention to the means. Proper attention to the finishing, strengthening of the means, is what we need. With the means all right, the end must come. We forget that it is the cause that produces the effect; the effect cannot come by itself; and unless the cause are exact, proper and powerful, the effect will not be produced. Once the ideal is chosen and the means determined, we may almost let go the ideal, because we are sure it will be there, when the means are perfected. When the cause is there, there is no more difficulty about the effect, the effect is bound to come will take care of itself. The realization of the ideal is the effect. The means are the cause; attention to the means, therefore, is the great secret of life. We have to work, constantly work, with all our power; to put our whole mind in the work, whatever it be, that we are doing. At the same time we must not be attached. That is to say, we must not be drawn away from the work by anything else; still, we must be able to quit the work whenever we like.
172.    If we examine our own lives, we find that the greatest cause of sorrow is this; we take up something, and put our whole energy on it – perhaps it is a failure, and yet we cannot give it up. We know that it is hurting us, that any further clinging to it is simply bringing misery on us; still, we cannot tear ourselves away from it. We cane to enjoy ; we are being enjoyed. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every detail of our life. We are being worked upon by other minds, and we are always struggling to work on other minds. We want to enjoy the pleasure of life, and they eat into our vitals. We want to get everything from nature, but we find in the long run that nature takes everything from us—depletes us, and casts us aside.
173.    Had it not been for this, life would have been all sunshine. Never mind! With all its failures and successes, with all its joys and sorrows, it can be one succession of sunshine, if we only are not caught.
174.    That is the one cause of misery; we are attached; we are being caught. Therefore says the Gita: Work constantly; work, but be not attached; be not caught. Reserve unto yourself the power of detaching yourself from everything, however beloved, however much the soul might yearn for it, however great the pangs of misery you feel if you were going to leave it; still, reserve the power of leaving it whenever you want. The weak have no places here, in this life or in any other life. Weakness leads to slavery. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery, physical and mental. Weakness is death. There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready had predisposed to receive them. There may be a million microbes of misery, floating about us. Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened. This is the great fact; strength is life, weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery; weakness is death.
175.    Attachment is the source of all our pleasures now. We are attached to our friends, to our relatives; we are attached to our intellectual and spiritual works; we are attached to external objects, so that we get pleasure from them. What, again, brings misery but this very attachment? We have to detach ourselves to earn joy. If only we had power to detach ourselves at will, there would not be any misery. That man alone will be able to get the best of nature, who, having the power of attaching himself to a thing with all his energy, has also the power to detach himself when he should do so. The difficulty is that there must be as much power of attachment as that of detachment. Therefore the man who never loves, who is hard and stony, escaping most of the miseries of life, escapes also its joys. We do not want that. That is weakness, that is death. That soul has not been awakened that never feels weakness, never feels misery. That is a callous state.
176.    At the same time, we not only want this mighty power of love, this mighty power of attachment, the power of throwing our whole soul upon a single object, losing ourselves and letting ourselves be annihilated, as it were, for other souls—which is the power of the gods – but we want to be higher even that the gods. The perfect man can put his whole soul upon that one point of love, yet he is unattached. We are all beggars. Whatever we do, we want a return. We are all traders. We are traders in life, we are traders in virtue, we are traders in religion. Alas! We are also traders in love.
177.    We get misery in return for our love; not from the fact that we love, but from the fact that we want love in return. There is no misery where there is no want. Desire, want, is the father of all misery. Desires are bound by the laws of success and failure. Desires must bring misery. The great secret of true success, of true happiness, then, is this: the man who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish man, is the most successful.
178.    Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you – but do not think of that now. It will come back multiplied a thousand fold – but the attention must not be on that. Yet have the power to give; give and there it ends. Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up. You come into life to accumulate. With clenched hands, you want to take. But nature puts a hand on your throat and makes your hands open. Whether you will it or not, you have to give. The moment you say, ”I will not”, the blow comes; you are hurt. None is there but will be compelled, in the long run, to give up everything. And the more one struggles against this law, the more miserable one feels. It is because we dare not to give, because we are not resigned enough to accede o this grand demand of nature, that we are miserable. You are machine for taking and giving; you take in order to give. ask, therefore, nothing in return; but the more you give, the more will come to you. The quicker you can empty the air out of this room, the quicker it will be filled up by the external air; and if you close all the doors and every aperture, that which is within will remain, but that which is outside will never come in, and that which is within will stagnate, degenerate, and become poisoned. A river is continually emptying itself into the ocean and is continually filling up again. Bar not the exits into to ocean. The moment you do that, death seizes you.
179.    Be, therefore, not a beggar; be unattached. This is the most terrible task of life! You do not calculate the dangers on the path. Even by intellectually recognising the difficulties, we really do not know them until we feel them. From a distance we may get a general view of a park; well, what of that? We feel and really know it when we are in it. Even if our every attempt is a failure, and we bleed and are torn asunder, yet, through all this, we have to preserve our heart – we must assert our godhead in the midst of all these difficulties. Nature wants us to react, to return blow for blow, cheating for cheating, lie for lie, to hit back with all our might. Then it requires a super-divine power not to hit back, to keep control, to be unattached.
180.    Every day we renew our determination to be unattached. We cast our eyes back and look at the past objects of our love and attachment, and feel how every one of them made us miserable. We went down into the depths of despondency because of our ‘love’! we found ourselves mere slaves in the hands of others, we were dragged down and down! And we make a fresh determination; ‘Henceforth, I will be master of myself; henceforth, I will have control over myself.’ But the time comes, and the same story once more! Again the soul is caught and cannot get out. The bird is in a net, struggling and fluttering. This is our life.
181.    All this we have to avoid. We require superdivine power. Superhuman power is not strong enough. Superdivine strength is the only way, the one way out. By it alone we can pass through all these intricacies, though these showers of miseries unscathed. We may be cut to pieces, torn asunder, yet our hearts must grow nobler and nobler all the times.
182.    It is very difficult, but we can overcome the difficulty by constant practice. We must learn that nothing can happen to us, unless we make ourselves susceptible to it. I have just said, no disease can come to me until the body is ready; it does not depend alone on the germs, but upon a certain predisposition which is already in the body. We get only that for which we are fitted. Let us give up our pride and understand this, that never is misery undeserved. There never has been a blow undeserved; there never has been an evil for which I did not pave the way with my own hands. We ought to know that. Analyze yourselves and you will find that every blow you have received came to you because you prepared yourselves for it. You did half and the external world did the other half: that is how the blow came. That will sober us down. At the same time, from this very analysis will come a note of hope, and the note of hope is: ‘ I have no control of the external world, but that which is in me and nearer unto me, my own world is in my control. If the two together are required to make a failure, if the two together are necessary to give me a blow, I will not contribute the one which is in my keeping and how then can the blow come? If I get real control of myself, the blow will never come. We are all the time, from our childhood, trying to lay the blame upon something outside ourselves. We are always standing up to set right other people, and not ourselves.

183.    We only get what we deserve. It is a lie when we say, the world is bad and we are good. It can never be so. It is a terrible lie we tell ourselves.
184.    This is the first lesson to learn: be determined not to curse anything outside, not to lay the blame upon any one outside, but be a man, stand up, lay the blame on yourself. You will find, that is always true. Get hold of yourself.
185. We are to take care of ourselves; that much we can do – and give up attending to others, for a time. Let us perfect the means; the end will take care of itself. For the world can be good and pure, only if our lives are good and pure. It is an effect, and we are the means. Therefore, let us purify ourselves. Let us make ourselves perfect.
AT THE END.

It is necessary that the MIND, BUDDHI, BHAVA and SANKALPA for realisation are dependent on the faith and patience a Jiva (man) have. Shraddha(Faith), the inner intuition and natural receptivity of the mind to ideals, which ultimately settles man’s preference for the scripture. Man is verily constituted of his Faith and he is what his Faith is. Man’s faith is determined by the dominance of one or the other of the three qualities of Nature- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. His preference in respect of objects of worship food, activities, etc., will depend upon his Shraddha. Whatever is done without vanity, but is motivated by the good of others and has the grace of God in mind, is Sattvika. Whatever is sought or done with desire, vanity and for self-glorification, is Rajasa. And whatever is done indifferently, with evil motives, thoughtlessly, and in a grumbling spirit is Tamasa. Such conduct is futile in respect of man’s higher evolution.

Sraddha is said to be born of Svabhava-the character potential that one brings down from all one’s past lives and attainments. So the firm and sincere acceptance of a spiritual principles depends not so much on reasoning or sense perception, but on an inner compulsion born of purity of character, which makes one feel that life is meaningless, and therefore useless, unless it has a spiritual source and purpose. It is the Sattvika elements in man that generates Sraddha in him. It is only diluted and diverted into different channels by Rajas or desire nature, and by Tamas or animal nature. All this depends on the Svabhava, the character potential which one brings from one’s evolution in his past births. According to that, the nature of Sraddha will vary. Faith is a rare gift of God at the human level, just like reason and other higher faculties. So the tendency of some, who consider themselves super-rationalists, to look down upon Faith, reveals only their thoughtless ignorance. Only this rare faculty has to be purified by the elimination of Rajas and Tamas, and the enhancement of Sattva in which it is rooted.Faith and reason are the two unique powers that come up at the human level of evolution. Animals do not have them. Both these powers function properly under favorable conditions alone- reason when well cultivated under proper training and Faith when supported by a pure nature without much influence of passion and inertia. Purity of being is the nourishment that the latter requires. It is without understanding this uniqueness of Faith that ignorant criticize speak of it as "Blind Faith'. It is blind only when not nourished by purity.

The importance of Sraddha is further emphasized by equating man’s ‘humanity’ with Sraddha he entertains. It means that the stature of a man consists in the loftiness of the ideals and aspirations he sincerely cherishes and tries to practices.
Initial spiritual preparation consisting of purification of mind, intellect and ego and control of breath. The advance stage of devotion flourishing in a pure control mind.

Tukaram describes realization experience as follows :- “ The Prana have been sluggish, drowsy and slumbering. The sign of immorality is manifest. The eyes have been dilated by light, throat is choked with sentiment, the body is thrilled with ecstasy. The mind has been glued to the self and is motionless. The blue light is lit like in the dawn. The seventeenth Kala is exuding Amrit. The Sun and the Moon are together. The Jiva is allying with Shiva. The ecstasy is sprouting in the water of bliss. The Jiva is plunged in Ananda and mind is Unman. The awareness of space, direction and time has died down. Atma has expanded into universe. Aham has merged in Soham and the external world has vanished. The Brahma has blazed out of heart as a flame.

DHARAM SAI

LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST

In whatever way men worship Me, I approach them in that very aspect. Those who have worldly desires, worship various deities who are aspects of the Divine. But true worship consists in reflecting on the Divine in oneself. Those who contemplate on Me as the great Creator without any attachment, will themselves be freed from attachments and gain. liberation. (Gita Chapter IV)

The trans-physical importance of the divine Incarnation, more often after his life-time than when he is alive, that an Incarnation receives wide recognition. An Incarnation is always hypostatic with Brahman, and even after his physical body passes away, he is available for worship to those with faith. That faith consists in the capacity to grasp the identity of the Incarnation with the Deity Himself. The Divine Incarnate also is always linked with the Infinite and Absolute Brahman. He is an ex-pression of the Anugraha-shakti or Grace of Brahman, and not a mere individual centre of power. So he is one with the eternal Godhead. The worship of any personalized conception becomes object for practicing Bhakti and Jnana, and a means for salvation, only if this faith is dominantly present in the mind of the worshipper.

The three qualities absolutely necessary for progress in spiritual life are mentioned here. These are : (i) SRADDHA or FAITH, (ii) ARDENT PRACTICE and (iii) CONTROL OF THE SENSES. Of these, the first alone needs some explanation. Sraddha or Faith with a capital is not credulity and superstitious acceptance of unknown and unverifiable entities and claims of individuals. It is a positive attitude towards the ultimate verities that do not fall within the ken of the senses and reason, but on which indirect information can be had through authentic scriptures and genuine teachers. faith is as much unique quality of the human mind as reason. Animals have no capacity for faith even as they do not have for reasoning. Faith is sometimes condemned as blind and superstitious. But it is forgotten that parallel to this, reasoning too is bound to lead one to wrong conclusions unless those powers are refined by training. In the same way faith develops in the right direction as the man’s heart becomes purer and purer by sense control and aspiration to know the meaning of life. Impure minds full of hankerings of a lower nature will open themselves only to superstitious and degrading practices. So, for a pure and sincere mind, faith is the greatest support in spiritual life. It is the first and foremast quality of a pure mind, that it is automatically receptive to the true and the good even with a partial understanding. Sraddha also means Bhakti.

Anything that has become a matter of faith in a man, unlike what is a mere belief, works as an operative force, enthusing him to put the content of his faith to practice, and to struggle towards the realisation of the ideal it presents. Ardour and sincerity are of the very stuff of Faith. Faith is a firm and active acceptance unlike belief or a conventional conformity which has no power to move a person to action.

A contemplative life, characterised by the abandonment of all actions externally too, as also the discharge of all actions with detachment – are both valid spiritual paths leading to an identical spiritual goal. As paths they may look different, but in the end they are the same. There is, however, this important link between them. Without undergoing the discipline of detached action, it is vain to abandon all external action; for it will result only in idleness and hypocrisy. To an average aspirant it is a mere pitfall, while discriminative wisdom combined with detached action will take him forward gradually. So it comes to this, that the attainment of detachment in action is the very essence of spiritual life, and once this is acquired, it is immaterial whether one abandons actions externally or continues to perform them. For, one who is truly detached becomes, through that detachment, fit to be united with the Self of all – the Supreme Being who is the goal of all spiritual striving. He is no longer affected by action.

Though the mind is difficult to control, this can be done by steady practice and cultivation of dispassion for worldly enjoyments, coupled with strong aspiration for the higher life. If the latter is not present, practice alone will not be of much use. Failure in Yoga is largely due to the absence of the latter quality. One practicing the discipline of concentration is immensely greater than one engaging himself entirely in scripture-ordained works. But the practice of concentration should be accompanied with intense faith and devotion of the Lord. Then yoga becomes the most potent spiritual discipline.

The Jivas of persons who have practiced devotion to God and performed all their duties and works as offerings to Him and without any desire for their fruits, will have a gradual spiritual progress, passing through the various realms, Fire, Light, etc., presided over by deities known by those names. The Jiva gradually attains to higher spiritual evolution in realms that foster spiritual growth and finally attains liberation. He does not come back to the to the Earth.

Jnana as well as Bhakti discipline is each in itself self sufficient, and can take an aspirant to the highest. Karma has however no place in the Jnana discipline, except in the early stages of a man’s spiritual life; but in Bhakti, dedicated Karma is a part of its practice, and there is no opposition between the two. Dedicated Karma can also become the main discipline with Bhakti as an aid and directive force. Great men of action with a spiritual background are examples of this. Yoga, as a scientific system of concentration, can be the main discipline, so Yoga too can be the main form of discipline, with Bhakti and Jnana as the directive forces.

These Yogas are based upon the three aspects of the human mind- the intellectual, the emotional and the volitional. Jnana Yoga is essential intellectual. Bhakti Yoga emotional, and Karma and Yoga volitional. In yoga, or to be more accurate, in Raja Yoga, which is the science of concentration, what is done is to use the will power to make the mind one-pointed. Will is here used for an inward purpose. In Karma Yoga also the application of will is the main feature of the discipline, but it takes an external direction.

Now thinking, feeling and willing, which are the faculties of human mind on which these Yogas are based, do not exist in the human mind in isolation from one another. The human mind is the whole, constituted of these faculties, and so all these faculties have in some way or the other to enter into all these Yogas. The Vicara or the discriminative process has to be supported by the whole of the chastened emotional and volitional powers of the mind, if the mind were to keep awake and dynamic instead of lapsing into dullness and sleep. In the Bhakti discipline, if emotion is not supported by thought and volition, an understanding of one’s true relationship with the Divine activised by will power, it will degenerate into dull sentimentalism or into a dull routine of procedures. So also Karma Yoga, if it degenerates into mere Karma, will become the restless activity of a busy-body, without raising the moral and spiritual stature of the man concerned. Yoga as practice of concentration will become mere phychism and pursuit of occult powers, unless it has a spiritual objective. Thus it will be seen that none of these four disciplines can stand as water-tight compartments. What is meant by differentiating them into four is to put the stress on one other of the mental faculties on which these disciplines rest.

How the Bondage of Actions is overcome: In all actions there are five factors involved- the body, the I-sense of the performer, senses, ex-pression of energy through them, and as the fifth, the unknown and incalculable factor. All these are factors belonging to Prakrti. Behind it is the pure light of consciousness, the Atamn, who is the unaffected witness. In ignorance, this pure witness identifies himself with these factors external to him and their performances and creates bondage for himself. So if actor has no feelings like ‘I am doing’, and no attachment to the fruits accruing, it can be said that he does not act, even if all the world sees him acting in the physical sense.

The five factors mentioned as involved in work are all aspects of Prakrti, and as such distinct from the Atman. Ignorance is the state in which the Atman, who is distinct from the conglomeration of these five factors, identifies himself with this conglomeration and feels himself to be the performer of its activities. This identification is experienced as the I-sense. . If this false identification is overcome, there is none to own an act and its consequence, beyond the unconscious elements of Prakrti if however, in the fulfillment of the world mission, a knowing one happens to do actions that look unethical from the ordinary point of view, it has no such effect on him; they are amoral just like any event in Nature, because there is no ego behind such actions. Sri Ramakrishna compares the actions of knowing ones to a burnt rope. In shape it looks like a rope even after burning, but it has lost the power of binding.
By cultivating a special attitude towards work, work is turned into worship, and the distance between the shrine room and the work-spot disappears. This philosophy is based upon a fundamental faith that this world and the progress of life in it are all under the guidance of the Supreme Intelligence, who is the master of it all, and whose will is expressed in all its movements. If man has got this faith, man ceases to be self-centred. He comes to view himself as a worker of God, and all that he does comes to be done with a spirit of dedication.

There is a tendency among spiritual aspirants to feel that they have done so much of Sadhana and nothing has happened or that they are entitled to the Lord’s grace because they have done so much of spiritual practices. There is nothing so stupid and unspiritual as this kind of mentality. The Infinite Being cannot be purchased for any price of limited commodities. A true aspirant abandons the fruits of all his Sadhanas to Him. The Lord’s grace is bestowed according to His will; man’s duty is only to pray for it and wait in patience. He is to have the abiding faith that “The Lord dwells in the heart of all being, revolving these by his mysterious power Maya. His are the fruits and his the agency. The surrender of the fruits and the senses of agency in regard to all one’s spiritual practices even, besides the abandonment of all non-spiritual activities, is included in the idea of giving up all Dharma. And with this attitude of mind, an aspirant must abide in the faith that the Lord is his only support, his only redeemer, the only determiner of his destiny.
Author
Dharam Sai