Everything in its own good time, they say; the fruit has to grow and ripen before the sourness is turned to sweetness. I have been coming to this town for ten years, but it is only this evening that you, in this vast multitudinous gathering, have been able to derive this bliss of hearing Me discoursing! I am happy to meet all of you in one auspicious hour collected all in one place. All that I can tell you about spiritual disciplines have been told often before; man’s capacity, his nature, his talents are all ancient possessions, so the advice regarding how to use them is also very ancient.
The only new thing is man’s perverse behaviour —the directions in which he has been wasting his talents, misusing his capacity, and playing false to his own nature. He has been forgetting the path prescribed in the scriptures for the cultivation of his nature, and hence all this suffering; hence also My advent.
People are essentially discriminating animals, endowed with discrimination. One is not content with the satisfaction of mere animal needs; one feels some void, some deep discontent, some unslaked thirst, for one is a child of Immortality and feels that death is not and should not be the end. This discrimination urges one to discover answers to haunting problems: “Where did I come from, whither am I journeying, which is the journey’s end?” So, the intellect has to be kept sharp and clear.
There are three types of intellect, according to the predominance of one or other of the three qualities (gunas): (1) inertia or sloth (thamas), which confuses truth with the untruth and takes untruth as truth; (2) passion or activity (rajas), which, like a pendulum, swings from one to the other, hovering between the two, unable to distinguish between them; and (3) purity or serenity (sathwa), which knows which is truth and which is untruth.
Poised state is essential to reach the goal
The world today is suffering from passionate intellect rather than an inertia intellect; people have violent likes and dislikes; they have become fanatical and factious. They are carried away by pomp and noise, show and propaganda. That is why discrimination has become necessary. To reach the goal, an equanimous intellect is essential; it will seek the Truth calmly and stick to it whatever the consequence.
I have come to help all to acquire this serene, equanimous nature. You might have heard people talk about the miracles, of My “making” this and ‘giving’ that, of my fulfilling all your wants, of My curing your illness. But they are not as important as the poised, equanimous state. I appreciate, promote, and instill. Of course, I confer on you these boons of health and prosperity, but only so that you might, with greater enthusiasm and with less interruption, proceed with spiritual practice.
Eat well, so that your physical faculties might grow and the good physique will in turn develop your intelligence more fully. Devotion (bhakthi) leads to power (sakthi), and power will grant skill (yukthi). The skill will help you to fix your attachment (rakthi) on the proper objects, and your devotion thus promoted finally results in liberation (mukthi).
A certain amount of attention has to be paid to the body and its care, as well as to escape the overpowering handicaps of poverty; but be ever cautious that you are not caught in the coils and forget the transitoriness of all this. Bring your thoughts constantly back to the Atma, which is the substance of all the objective world, the basic reality behind all this appearance.
Finding fault with others comes out of egoism
The first step in enquiring about the Self is the practice of the truth that whatever gives you pain gives pain to others and whatever gives you joy gives joy to others. So do unto others as you would like them to do unto you; desist from any act in relation to others which if done by them will give you pain. Thus, a kind of reciprocal relationship will grow between you and others, and gradually you reach the stage when your heart thrills with joy when others are joyful and shudders in pain when others are sad.
This is not the kind of affection toward those who are dear to you or those who are your kith and kin. That is a sign of delusion; but this sharing of joy and grief is automatic, immediate, universal. It is a sign of great spiritual advance; then the wave knows that it is part of the ocean and that all waves are but temporary manifestations of the self-same sea having the same taste as the ocean itself.
The others are part of yourself; you need not worry about them. Worry about yourself; that is enough. When you become all right, they too will be all right, for you will no longer be aware of them as separate from you. Criticising others, finding fault with them, all this comes out of egoism. Search for your own faults instead. The faults you see in others are your own faults; the faults you see in others are but reflections of your own personality traits. Pay no heed to little worries; attach your mind to the Lord. Then you will be led on to the company of good people and your talents will be transmuted.
When you love, you will have no fear
Be a bee, drinking the nectar of every flower, not the mosquito drinking blood and distributing disease in return. First, consider all as children of the Lord, as your own brothers and sisters; develop the quality of love, seek always the welfare of humanity. Love and you will be loved in return, hate will never be your lot if you promote love and look upon all with love. That is the one lesson I teach always; that is my secret too.
If you want to attain Me, cultivate love, give up hatred, envy, anger, cynicism, and falsehood. I do not ask that you should be a scholar or a recluse or an ascetic skilled in recitation of holy Name and meditation. “Is your heart full of love (prema)?” That is all I examine.
Believe that Love is God, Truth is God. Love is Truth, Truth is Love. For it is only when you love that you have no fear, for fear is the mother of falsehood. If you have no fear, you will adhere to truth. The mirror of prema reflects the Atma in you and reveals to you that the Atma is universal, immanent in every being.
Parents have to be respected and worshipped
I shall not tell you very complex matters; I shall give only simple remedies for the ills you are suffering from. I find here a large number of students. Well, what are they studying for? What is the goal? How are we to judge that they have studied well? By the salary they are able to get, or the cadre they are able to secure? No. Education must result in the development of wisdom and humility. Educated people must be able to distinguish between the momentary and the momentous, the lasting and the effervescent. They must not run after glitter and glamour but must seek instead the good and golden.
They must know how to keep the body in good trim, the senses under strict control, the mind well within check, the intellect sharp and clear, unhampered by prejudices and hatreds, and the feelings untouched by egoism. They must know the Atma, too, for that is their very care; that is the effulgence that illumines their inner and outer selves. This knowledge will ensure joy and peace and courage for them throughout life. Students also must cultivate the art of avoiding the infliction of pain on others.
I must also tell the students that they must be grateful to their parents, who give them all the facilities they now enjoy at great sacrifice. In fact, the parents have to be worshipped as visible representatives of the Godhead; they are responsible for your very existence and for all this joy and adventure in the physical and spiritual spheres. For this reason, they have to be tended and respected and worshipped.
A boy was begging in the streets for food so that he could keep his bedridden mother and two little sisters alive. One night, when he clamoured in front of a rich man’s house, the master got enraged at his piteous cries. The boy was very unlucky that day and had collected only a few morsels; the hour was nearing nine. So he cried most pathetically, and it aroused the ire of the rich man inside the mansion. He came out and kicked the boy into the gutter. He was already very weak, for he was starving himself to feed his mother and sisters, so when he fell, he breathed his last, wailing, “Mother! Here is a little food for you.” His hand held the bowl firm even when it had become lifeless!
Parents must set good examples to children
Such is the devotion that the mother invokes and that she deserves, for all the pain she endured and all the sacrifice she bore so that the son might be healthy, happy, and good. Show that gratitude to the parents, boys; remember them and pay them the tribute of at least a tear on the anniversary of their passing away. Do it with faith (sraddha), that is why it is called a religious ceremonial offering to the dead (srardha); not that the offerings you make reach them or that they are waiting for them in some other world. It is a tribute that you should offer in gratitude for the great chance they gave you for this sojourn in this world with all the wonderful opportunities it offers for self-realization.
Parents too must encourage children when they evince any interest in spiritual advance and study. They must also set them good examples. Among the children who are before Me here, there may be many a Vivekananda and many a Thyagaraja. Children must be given every facility to develop the divine talents that are in them. Parents must feel that they are servants appointed by the Lord to tend the little souls that are born in their households, just as the gardener tends the trees in the garden of the Master. They must arouse the latent goodness in these tiny hearts by telling stories about the saints and sages of the past. They must see that children do not develop fear and become cowards, afraid of walking straight.
Give up the delusion you are this physical body
You are all the indestructible Atma, believe Me; nothing need discourage you. In dreams you suffer so much; loss of money, fire, food, insult, etc., but you are not affected at all. When these things happen during the waking stage, you feel afflicted. Really, it is not the real “you” that suffers all that. Give up the delusion that you are this physical entity, and you become really free.
And lastly, about Myself. No one can understand My Mystery. The best you can do is to get immersed in it. It is no use your arguing about pros and cons; dive and know the depth; eat and know the taste! Then you can discuss Me to your heart’s content. Develop truth (sathya) and love (prema); then you need not even pray to Me to grant you this and that. Everything will be added unto you, unasked.
Man (nara) and God (Narayana) are the two wires, the positive and the negative, which combine to bring electricity through. Nara will cooperate with Narayana and become the vehicle of Divine Power if nara has acquired two qualities: truth and love.