Indian Philosophy: A Glimpse

My highly esteemed Brother-Friend, Professor Nathan Katz, I wish to offer you gratitude from the inmost recesses of my heart for so kindly and compassionately inviting me to visit your august university. Professor Katz, you have just blessed me with the title "India's Peace-Service-Tree." I shall treasure this blessingful award most prayerfully and most soulfully. I shall try to be worthy of your compassionate award, "India's Peace-Service-Tree." May my life grow into a true peace-service-tree so that I can be of prayerful and soulful service to humanity.
Professor Katz and members of Florida International University, each individual is serving God in a unique, unique way. Each individual is a choice instrument of God to love Him, to serve Him and to fulfil Him. Here I have come to be of service to the Supreme in you all, and may my service be kindly and affectionately accepted by you all. I would like to give a short talk on philosophy:
"Indian Philosophy: A Glimpse."

The philosophy of the mind says:
God perhaps has.
The philosophy of the heart says:
God certainly is.
The philosophy of life says:
God is both the seeker and the Sought.

When I go beyond the mind-philosophy, I declare:

No mind, no form, I only exist;
Now ceased all will and thought.
The final end of Nature's dance,
I am It whom I have sought.
My spirit aware of all the heights,
I am mute in the core of the Sun.
I barter nothing with time and deeds;
My cosmic play is done.

When I go beyond the heart-philosophy, I whisper:

Sweet is my Lord.
Him I have realised as the Eternal Truth.
Sweeter is my Lord.
Him I have realised as the only Doer.
Sweetest is my Lord.
Him I have realised as the Enjoyer Supreme.

When I go beyond the life-philosophy, I promise:

Never to meet again:
My yesterday's face,
My backward race,
Never to meet again.

Never to meet again:
The clasp of death
And Satan's breath,
Never to meet again.

Never to meet again:
Chinmoy the failure,
Ignorance sure,
Never to meet again.

The cruel critics of philosophy say that philosophy is nowhere to nothingness and nothingness to nowhere. The same critics say that philosophy is absurdity's longevity. They also venture to say that in everything there is a winner, but when two philosophers fight, there is no winner, no loser. In this connection, I wish to cite the opposing views of two immortals in their different fields. Beethoven, who is vested with supreme authority in the musical world, says:

"Music is a higher revelation than philosophy."

Fortunately, Milton, the immortal epic poet, is there to gainsay this denigration of philosophy. Milton writes:

"How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo's lute."

Between the two, I must needs cast my vote with Milton and place philosophy on the same level as music in its capacity to reveal and manifest the Divine here on earth.
To me, philosophy is the mind-clearance. Philosophy is the heart-assurance. Philosophy is the life-transcendence.

The philosophy of my mind says: "I doubt."
The philosophy of my heart says: "I hope."
The philosophy of my life says: "I am lost."
The philosophy of my soul says: "I promise."
The philosophy of my Lord says: "It is all done."

In May 1882, the great German scholar Max Müller delivered a series of lectures at Cambridge University. The first was entitled, "What Can India Teach Us?" Professor Müller expressed himself most powerfully and succinctly by saying:

"If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions to some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant-I should point to India.
"And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we, who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life, not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life-again I should point to India."

When Max Müller ventured to study India's ancient scriptures, the Vedas, in their original Sanskrit, he truly discovered the wealth of meaning behind Hamlet's words:

"There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."With your kind permission, I wish to take a leaf from Professor Müller's life-book and ask, "What can Indian philosophy teach us?"

Indian philosophy does not subscribe to the salvation from sin philosophy. Indian philosophy subscribes to the liberation from ignorance-night philosophy. It offers to humanity an unparalleled prayer:

Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness to Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality.

This kind of philosophy is not God-speculation, but soulful God-invocation based on an intuitive certainty of God's existence. Hence, we can never apply to it the criticism made by Keats that "Philosophy will clip an angel's wings." Indeed, Indian philosophy is most closely connected with that of the ancient Greeks. It was Socrates who declared, "The unexamined life is not worth living," and Plato who said, "True philosophers are lovers of the vision of Truth."
In order to understand Indian philosophy, we must first realise that it is founded upon Spirit and Matter. Spirit plays the role of involution. Matter plays the role of evolution. Spirit is inward dive. Matter is upward flight.
Now, God has a habit of repeating Himself so that nobody remains with His Philosophy unlearned. In India, this divine philosophy has been embodied and expressed in age after age by her spiritual Masters and Avatars, or direct descendants of God.

India's first Avatar Sri Ramachandra's philosophy is:
Obedience and sacrifice.

Sri Krishna's philosophy is:
Give up all religions.
Take shelter in Me.
You I shall liberate.
Be thou only an instrument.
You have the right to work, but not to the fruits thereof.

Lord Buddha's philosophy is:
Compassion and forgiveness.

Sri Chaitanya's philosophy is:
Love unconditionally.
Everybody has the right to deserve love.

India's philosopher unparalleled Sri Shankaracharya's philosophy is:
Neti, neti. Not this, not this.
The world is an illusion.

Sri Ramakrishna's philosophy is:
The synthesis of all religions.
Be a child-heart; God will immediately be all yours.

Swami Vivekananda's philosophy is:
Be brave.
Have adamantine will-power.
The soul cannot be won by the weakling.

Sri Aurobindo's philosophy is:
The acceptance of life.
Yoga integral.
Fate can be changed by an unchanging Will.
We are sons of God and must be even as He.

Ramana Maharshi's philosophy is:
Who am I? Who am I?

Since I am a son of my Mother India, I, too, have my own philosophy. My philosophy is:
Love, devotion and surrender.
Love the Supreme in humanity.
Devote yourself to the Supreme in humanity.
Surrender yourself to the Supreme in humanity.

Each philosopher-sage of the highest order realises the Truth in his own way. Each one creates a path which others may follow in order to arrive at the Destination: the Golden Shore of the Beyond. But the Truth itself does not vary. That is why we say that the Indian philosophy, the Indian religion and the Indian spirituality all have the self-same source.

Satyameva jayate
Truth alone triumphs


May 26th, 1998
Miami, Florida International University
After receiving the India's Peace-Service-Tree award from Florida International University