Unrivalled mastery

The sons and daughters of Bhaarathamaatha (India, the motherland) won freedom and are engaged in building up this land as a land of plenty; but there are nations that have no peace even in the midst of plenty; they are obsessed by fear and anxiety on account of the very plenty they have earned for themselves. The only guarantor of peace for the individual and for society is spiritual progress and spiritual discipline. In India, as well as in other countries, there is to be seen a sad neglect of just these two objectives. Providing housing, clothing and food gives sukha (physical happiness); providing education in skills and imparting information about the world gives a means of livelihood.

But the ancient adage says, “ha sukhaat labhathe sukham” – Real and lasting happiness cannot be won through physical happiness. Lasting happiness, happiness that will not be shaken or diminished or modified by good fortune or bad, can come only by the discipline of the mind and faith in a Higher Power that guides all the deeds and words and thoughts of man. The lamp of that spiritual awareness has to be lit and fed, so that the footsteps of man can take that path and proceed unharmed.

The Vedhas and Shaasthras have declared that man can attain that stage of happiness through activity considered as duty, as ‘worship’ considered as dedication and revelation of the Oneness of the Universe, in an Intelligence cleared of the dust of doubt and delusion, by that dutifulness and that dedication. Saab;am Vishnu mayam jagath-–the Universe is saturated with Divinity; there is nothing here which is not HE: Ishaavaasyamidham sarvam. He is the base and the superstructure, the material and the manner, the inner motive and the outer movement. The body is the temple of the Lord; the atmosphere of this temple is by its very nature filled with love for all beings. But man, overpowered by egoism, fouls it with envy and greed and so it festers with disease and distress.

The two arch-enemies of man

Kaama and krodha (lust and anger) are the two arch-enemies of man which undermine his divine nature and drag him down into the mire. The Raamaayana story is woven round the anger of Manthara and the lust of Surpanakha. The Raamaayana of each individual too is woven round these two elemental passions. When the first intimations of these evil influences threaten to invade your mind, stop and inquire coolly into the nature of the urge, the manner of the promptings, the type of the consequences for you and others. Reason out these things, in silence and solitude.

The fundamental discipline for acquiring sukham and shaanthi which is the most precious heritage of India is now denied to her children in school and college. This is a lamentable fact. Instead, everything that tends to increase anxiety and fear, discontent and distress, is being encouraged through films, books, magazines, dramas, paintings, newspapers and all other means of communication, including speeches by agitators and public men. Worry about what might happen to life, reputation, wealth and authority in the very next moment is haunting every one; insecurity stalks the land, torn by hatred and greed. People have lost the comfort of self-reliance; they have no faith in their own strength, and no confidence in others.

Man fritters away his time in petty pleasures

Man is the most devalued entity today; everything else has risen in value; man is cheap; he can be neglected with impunity. He knows not his own greatness or worth. He does not know how to elevate the smallest act of his into a means of realising the Grace of the Lord. He does not know the alchemy by which every failure or disappointment can be transmuted into a golden chance for self- surrender and for building up the bulwark of Bhakthi. He fritters away precious time in paltry activities and petty pleasures, which lower his self-respect and injure his physical and mental calibre. He must try to live up to the great traditions of his forefathers and the great men of his motherland.

The newspapers have a great role to play in this task; but they are content to cater to the vulgar tastes and become waste-papers soon. I was during the last month in Mahaaraashtra State, in Bombay, where lakhs and lakhs of people satisfied their thirst for darshan (audience) and where I was discoursing to several thousands on the fundamentals of the Vedhas and Shaasthras and directing the members of the Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha (Mahaaraashtra Branch) to resuscitate the glorious culture of our land, I was discussing with ministers, judges, business magnates, doctors, lawyers, editors and others belonging to Mahaaraashtra, Sauraashtra and Delhi about the programme of Dharma-sthaapana (establishment of righteousness).

“My truth can never be fully grasped”

And here, in this part of India, certain newspapers were wallowing in the lies that they invented and circulated about what had happened to Me. They print without any shame their despicable inventions displaying malice and envy of the lowest order. Of course, such calumny is quite an ancient experience for the eminent; this is My experience in previous yugas also. The successors of Shishupaala cannot remain idle; but consider to what low level human wickedness has descended. I do not care either for praise or blame; I only pity these people who, in order to scrape together a few paise from the poor, resort to such venal tricks. For all who are pained by these subhuman antics I delcare: “Even if all the fourteen worlds unite together, the work for which I have come will not suffer a bit; even if earth and heaven combine, My truth can never be fully grasped.”

Without giving ear to such patent lies born out of malice and greed, I would advise you to form a sathsang, where you will meet and exchange truths and virtuous talk, where you will study holy books and discourse on the glory of God. Why waste precious time in scandals about others and criticisms of others’ behaviour? Cultivating envy, malice, hatred and anger against others is an evil pastime that recoils on oneself. In every one there is resident the self-same divine spark; so cavilling at the neighbour is tantamount to cavilling at Divinity.

The game of life is worth playing and becomes interesting only when there are bounds and rules which limit and control. Imagine a game of football without any rules or bounds for the field. It will be chaos; it will be a free fight; it will be a riot. No one can say who wins and how. The Dharma maarga and the Brahma maarga are the boundaries of the field. The virtues fight against the vicious tendencies. Play the game, paying heed to the warnings of “Foul” and “Out”.

Editor’s Note. The date of the discourse is April 1966, the exact date is not known.