Immortal Voice

They speak of two types of karma: physical and spiritual. This division is absurd and even dangerous. All acts and activities are spiritual; the body is but an instrument for spiritual progress and attainment. Modern education emphasises the physical and neglects the spirit, which is crucial. It teaches that joy derived through the senses alone are worthwhile. It does not give even a glimpse of the deeper and more lasting joy derivable through the spirit that is your real self and is, in essence, bliss, peace, spiritual knowledge —truth, goodness, and beauty (ananda, santhi, jnana — sathyam, sivam, sundaram.

You must have noticed that I never address you as “Dear devotees,” for how can you be only that? You are Bhagavan, you become that by just shedding the ignorance (a‑vidya) that makes you imagine that you are limited. That is why I address you either as Embodiments of Peace, or Bliss, or the Divine Soul. That is your real nature. But you are not even told who you are! Your misery is traceable to this failure to know yourself.

Educators today do not teach the ways and means of crossing the sea of misery, of facing success and defeat, of remaining calm and collected. The brain is stuffed with information, the hands are trained in skills, but, the senses are not tamed, the intelligence is not curbed, the mind is allowed to run amok. That is the cause of the tragic crisis in the world today.

Do karma full of joy and enthusiasm

You have been born in this land of spiritual activity, and your duty is to engage yourself in continuous uninterrupted action (karma). Do not get bogged in gloom and sloth; do karma full of joy and enthusiasm, as if each act is an offering at the feet of the Lord. India (Bharatha Desham) is the seat of the spiritual teacher of humanity. That is the role it has played and has to play, but, as a consequence of undue attachment to the senses and the world, fostered by blind admiration and snobbish imitation, the role has been forgotten, to the great loss of ourselves and of the rest of humanity. The restrictions, regulations, and rules of guidance for individual, family, community, nation, and humanity are either not remembered or brushed aside as obsolete. The joy, peace, and contentment that one gets by observing them are themselves witnesses of their worth.

The pandits and scholars who have assembled here for the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha (Society of Pandits) being inaugurated now have a great responsibility, for they must hold fast to the total peace (prasanthi) that the study and practice of the Vedas and Sastras has conferred upon them; they must also share that total peace with all humanity. They must always be bold, free, and happy, for they know that this is all an unreal dream. They know the goal of life, and they are marching steadily toward it with every passing minute.

Grief is the greatest friend of man

All that is matter (padartha) must be transformed into spirituality (paraartha); that is My plan. The spiritual wisdom that the Vedas and Sastras have given to these people must be distributed. At present, these scholars have no self-confidence, because they are losing faith in what they themselves have hitherto considered invaluable. They send their children to technical courses and secular studies, for they are heavily pinched for means of livelihood. They have started to ask, “What is the good in having an umbrella that allows the sun to burn you and the rain to soak you?” But the vedic treasure house has vast riches, which are urgently needed today. It is to conserve, develop, and utilise it more fully that this Society is inaugurated now.

The Veda is the basis of dharma, which is like the Mother in its loving care for humanity. India (Bharatha bhumi) is the land of spiritual union, spiritual activity, renunciation, and spiritual enjoyment, not sense enjoyment. The Kauravas failed because they stuck to empire and greed for power and fixed their minds on enjoyment. The Pandavas secured divine guidance and won because they stuck to spiritual joy, ascetic self-control, simplicity, and sincerity. To follow the same path is the sign of wisdom. That is the path of virtue (dharma), from which mankind has strayed away. Grief is the greatest friend of humanity, for it opens the eyes and shocks you into the search for the secret of peace and happiness.

There is no need for tears or despair

A monkey put its hand into a pot of nuts and tightened its fist full of the food, but it could not take its hand out of the narrow neck because the fist was too big for it. Unless the nuts were dropped back into the pot and the fingers released, the hand could not be got out! That is the situation of humanity today. Greed is giving great pain, but people have not discovered the fact. So they cling to their possessions and try to pull their hands out, giving great pain. There is no use blaming the nuts or the pot. The fault is in the monkey itself. Nature (prakriti) is the pot, and the sensory objects are the nuts.

A bird sits on a tiny twig in perfect confidence! Where does it get the confidence from? Not from the twig but from its wings, which can take it aloft at the slightest sign of danger. The twig is objective world. Sit on it lightly, gaily, confidently, but rely more on the wings, namely the grace of the Lord, who can lift you aloft, away from the objective world at the slightest premonition of danger. The twig is not very reliable, but the wings are always there to save you.

The revival of that dharma is a task that the rulers have not planned for. It is a programme that the people are not keen upon. Then who has to take it up? It was said that I have taken this Form in answer to the prayers of noble souls and others. Some mothers feed the baby only when it starts crying; the more considerate and loving type of mother knows when the baby is hungry and need not be called to its side by a loud wail. This Mother is that type of Mother. I have come because I felt I had to come. I resolved upon this. There is no need now for tears or despair, either among the repositories of vedic wisdom or among the good, who suffer from the cruel winds of vice (a‑dharma). This campaign will succeed; it will not fall. The welfare of the world will be ensured through the fostering of the Godly everywhere, and more particularly of these reservoirs of the ancient wisdom of this land.

*Editor’s Note. The date of the discourse is March 1963, the exact date is not known.