The search for quiet

The name “Sanathana” that you have adopted for your Workers Cooperative Industrial Institute is strange, even for the department over which the minister who is here presides. But it is that name which has brought Me here. You are all sanathana (eternal), though you appear nuthana (new) on account of this new dress you are wearing. This you can discover only through learning that instils discrimination and emphasises basic values.

Your Chief Minister said this morning, when this Society was formally inaugurated in Shriramapuram, that all our troubles arise out of ignorance and that the spread of education will automatically remove them. I had to correct him and say that all our troubles are due to the fact that the educated are not educated at all in the subjects that really matter. They have neither discrimination nor humility nor trust. They do not honour or render gratitude to parents. They laugh at those who turn toward God and those who give the world a minor place in the scheme of things. They do not appreciate the simple pleasures of meditation, of the recital of the name of the Lord, of silence and service. Still, they are burdened with heavy degrees and titles that proclaim that they are “educated”. That is the tragedy.

The educated have no iota of the peace that the uneducated have! The educated live in greater discontent and misery and are tossed about without a rudder in a sea of troubles. They do not know anything about the source of peace and bliss that they carry about within themselves; they allow the inner consciousness to go dry by neglect; they are not aware of the means to irrigate it with the waters of love and to grow therein the fruits of Tranquillity (Prasanthi).

Without faith in God, man is blind

They read books but do not correct their modes of thinking and living. The shelves of the dispensary are full of drugs; but how can your illness be cured if you simply learn the catalogue by heart, or even the pharmacopoeia? You have to select the drug you need, drink it, imbibe it, assimilate it, and counteract the cause of illness.

For example, I have now been moving around this Bangalore and other places for more than 22 years, but though lakhs of people have seen Me, those who have understood My Nature are very few. This is because the simple exercises of listening, reflection, and concentration are not practised; people do not know how to recognise Divinity in themselves or others. They simply prod and exhort each other to serve all as God’s own forms. This has become mere conventional talk devoid of inspiration or meaning.

In India, from very ancient times, the glory, the Divinity, the sanctity of humanity has been proclaimed and the way of recognising it has been taught. Only those who have learnt them deserve to be the sons and daughters of this land. Others are like the kokil birds, the cuckoos that are born in the nests of crows; their place of birth is India, no doubt, but they are basically aliens, of a different species altogether. Guru Nanak said that without faith in God, man is blind; without it, you are moving corpses. Your life might be as grand, as beautiful, as rich as the Taj Mahal — but remember, the Taj is but a tomb! Whatever the method of worship, whichever the name or form, it is faith that matters; it is faith that gives life and energy for higher things.

Do ritual worship for the sake of humanity

There is this panicky talk about the calamities that the conjunction of 8 planets will rain upon mankind. Like the tail of Hanuman with the flame at its tip, which lengthened on and on, setting all Lanka on fire, this panic is increasing every moment and setting everyone on edge. Believe Me, nothing will happen; no, there is no danger at all. Of course, in this terror, people are everywhere doing sacrifices and worshiping, which are by themselves good. They give you some courage and peace of mind. So far, so good. Even among these, I like worship that is done not for the sake of the individual but for the sake of humanity. By all means, do worship in order to promote the happiness and peace of living beings. Develop that love for men everywhere. That is My mission too, My resolution, My Will, My Vow — the planting of love in every human heart.

The Lord is love (prema); love is the highest Atma (Paramatma). If you fill your heart with love, hatred, envy, greed, and egoism cannot enter it. There will be no devastation for a loved-filled earth. The only chaos that may happen in February next is the chaos of failure for many candidates in the General Elections! No one else need worry over the conjunction. Chaos or no chaos, your duty is to pray for the welfare of the world and to work for it as far as lies in your power. Pray for supreme peace for all; do your bit for it by not adding to the disturbance that exists.

Everyone is basically God, that is to say, basically, you. He is the Inner Motive in all. Every Indian knows this in the depths of their heart; they have imbibed it with the mother’s milk; that knowledge, and action according to that knowledge, are the hallmarks of the Indian. That should make the genuine Indian fearless; for the Atma, which every Indian really is, cannot be affected by pain or death or joy or accident or calamity.

What is the use of searching for quiet, available only in the silence of the Inner Awareness, in the jungle of the world (prakriti)? It is like searching for something you have lost in your room under the street lamp. Your “self” you have lost; search for it in you — that is the path of wisdom.

Editor’s Note. This discourse took place on 1961-12-23 or 1961-12-25 (according to various sources).