Dear sisters and brothers, dear members of my spiritual family, here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Truth. When I say my family, I literally mean it. Because we are all seekers, I claim to be a spiritual brother of yours, an Indian brother of yours. Let us go deep within and try to realise what has prompted us or inspired us to be seekers.
There are millions of people on earth who do not have the inner urge to lead a spiritual life. How is it that we are crying for Light, Delight, Love and Compassion from the Absolute Supreme? How is it that we are trying to lead a better life, a more illumining and fulfilling life, a spiritual life? It is because we have been awakened by the infinite Grace of the Supreme.
The moment we are awakened our conscience plays its most significant role. The Sanskrit term for conscience is viveka. Conscience is the inner voice. It is the voice of inner light. The difference between inner light and outer light I am sure all of us know. Outer light immediately exposes us. If we do something wrong, it will expose us and we will immediately be caught. But inner light acts in a different way. Inner light will never, never expose us. On the contrary, inner light will illumine us. If we make a mistake, if we commit even the worst possible Himalayan blunder, the inner light will come to our rescue. It will illumine us so that we will not do the same thing again.
The inner light tells us what to say, what to do and what to become. What to say? God is for all. God is not only for me, but He is also for you, for everyone. What to do? Love God in every human being. What to become? Conscious, constant and unconditional instruments of God. When we do the right thing, God blesses us. When we say the right thing, God smiles at us. When we become the right thing, God embraces us.
The inner light constantly inspires us and, at the same time, warns us not to go back to our animal life. We all came from the animal kingdom. Even now animal propensities quite often reign supreme in our human consciousness. But the inner light warns us not to go back to the animal life. It tells us to stay at least in the human life proper. There are people on earth who quarrel and fight and lead an animal life. Because we are seekers we have already transcended that life. Now it is our bounden duty to transcend the human life and enter into the divine life. In human life the animal consciousness and the divine consciousness both play their roles. But the animal consciousness plays its role most powerfully and most vehemently, whereas the role of the divine consciousness is very insignificant. Only in an infinitesimal measure do we notice the role of the divine life. But since we are all seekers, we are well determined to do away with our animal life, to transform our human life totally and to enter into the domain of the divine life-the life of light and delight.
It becomes easier for us to illumine the animal life provided we know what the animal life was. The animal life was destruction; the human life that we are now leading is nothing short of frustration; the divine life that we are aiming at is the life of selfless dedication. It is to please our Inner Pilot that we have entered into the world arena. If we are totally, selflessly and unconditionally dedicated to the Inner Pilot, then we discover the meaning of life. Life is not a chimerical mist, a fantastic dream. Life is a solid reality awaiting transformation; and it is we who can bring down the Kingdom of Heaven into the immediacy of today to transform the earth-consciousness.
The inner light is our creative and conscious evolution. Who is actually evolving in us? God the man is evolving. That is to say, man is ascending toward the topmost height, the pinnacle. And God the Saviour, God the Liberator, is descending into the abyss to transform the darkness ignorance of millennia with His supernal, infinite Light.
When we are in the process of creative evolution, we notice that God is constantly standing in front of us and pleading with us to enter into His Boat so that He can carry us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. When we are in the process of conscious evolution, we see God constantly within us and without us, guiding us in our multifarious day to day activities. When the inner light of conscience guides us, we do not care for success; we care only for progress. Success is always limited but progress is unlimited. Success very often plays its role in the vital world, but progress always plays its role in the psychic world, in the inner world. When we make progress we have to know that there is no such thing as failure; success always looms large. If we aim at success, then we shall be bound by our very, very limited vision. But if we aim at progress, then we are aiming at something that is ever transcending-an ever transcending reality of the Beyond.
Conscience is our confidence-inner confidence and outer confidence. Inner confidence tells us that we are of God. Outer confidence tells us that we are for God. This confidence is not vital aggression. This confidence is the revelation of our soul's light inside the heart. This confidence is perfection in life, and perfection is the transformation of our earth bound consciousness. When our earth bound consciousness is transformed into the Heaven-free Consciousness, at that time God satisfaction dawns both in Heaven and on earth. Without the evolved, transformed consciousness we cannot realise the Highest. Conscience is just like a tiny drop, whereas consciousness is the mightiest ocean. Consciousness is always present in the spiritual life; consciousness and the spiritual life are synonymous. Consciousness drops and consciousness rises. When the consciousness is low, that means that the inner light is not operating. When consciousness is high, it means that the light of conscience is operating most significantly in that individual.
The desiring man derives satisfaction from his pleasure life. The aspiring man derives satisfaction from his dedicated and surrendered aspiration life. For the true seeker there is no such thing as compromise between these two lives. An ordinary human being will always try to make a compromise. Early in the morning he needs God. But when evening sets in, he encounters all the forces of temptation and desire. At that time he hankers after earth-bound limitations. He wants fifty percent God and fifty percent ignorance. But a seeker of the highest Truth cannot do that; he has to be totally uncompromising. For him, there is only God and God alone.
There are some human beings who are very clever. They want to remain neutral- neither for God nor for ignorance. But if you enter into the inmost recesses of their hearts, you are bound to notice that the have already taken one side; yet because they fear the consequences of choosing one side, they do not support any path. They do not take God's side; they do not take the side of ignorance. In the ordinary human life, we appreciate the person who is neutral. But in the spiritual life there is no place for a person with a neutral feeling. If you cannot accept God wholeheartedly, you are bound to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Millions and millions of people are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. You can also add to their ignorance; you can offer your own contribution. But if you are really hungry for Light, for the Truth of the Beyond, then accept God wholeheartedly. You will see how He fulfils your longing-not your temptation, not your desiring life, but your life of aspiration.
When a seeker becomes sincerity itself, God the Infinite plays His role inside the finite consciousness of the seeker. In this case the finite houses the Infinite and the finite becomes the conscious channel, the chosen instrument through which the Infinite operates here in the earth consciousness. It is the receptivity of the seeker that allows God to manifest in and through him and that enables Mother Earth to be inundated with infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
I understand there are quite a few teachers here who are teaching Hatha Yoga. That is extremely good. Hatha Yoga is the first step in our spiritual life. In the highest form of spirituality, Hatha Yoga is like kindergarten. We need not start in kindergarten, but we cannot skip all the levels and expect to get our master's degree. That is impossible. On the other hand, if one thinks that he can complete his kindergarten course and not go any higher, not take any higher courses, then he is making a deplorable mistake. He has to eventually go on to high school and college and take the highest course. In the spiritual life the highest course is God realisation. Physical discipline is important in the spiritual life. But if we expect God realisation from Hatha Yoga, then we will be badly disappointed. In any Indian village you will find hundreds of Hatha Yoga experts. But for most of these people, God realisation is a far cry.
The necessity of physical discipline nobody can deny. But beyond the physical is the spiritual. We have to raise our consciousness to the spiritual. It is inside the spiritual that Divinity, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are constantly singing and dancing. We have to climb up the mango tree, pluck mangoes and then climb down and eat. If we stay at the foot of the tree and do not climb up, how are we going to get the mangoes?
In no way am I throwing cold water on those who are teaching and practising Hatha Yoga. But please feel the necessity of going on to the highest course. That is to say, you have to go to the inner high school, college and university. The course at the university consists of three subjects: concentration, meditation and contemplation. These three subjects are most important. They are taught through the inner awakened and developed consciousness. First we have to learn how to concentrate. Then we have to learn how to meditate. Finally, we have to learn how to contemplate.
When we concentrate we must not allow even an iota of thought to enter into our mind. We have to focus our concentration on a particular object or subject and nothing else. Then we must enter into it and go beyond it. When we go beyond it, we feel that we have reached the soul. We started from our physical existence. When we reach the soul's plane we see that the soul-consciousness is observing the body consciousness, and the body consciousness is entering into the soul consciousness. When the body consciousness is entering into the soul consciousness, the body is realising the Highest. When the soul is concentrating on the body, the soul is manifesting in the physical consciousness the Light of the Beyond. This is concentration,
The next step is meditation. In meditation the first thing we do is to make the mind absolutely calm and quiet. Then we empty the heart so that God can fill it with His message of Light and Delight. When we meditate, we become the listener and God becomes the talker. God will offer us a message from the Highest and we shall listen to His message. But in order to receive this message we have to make our mind absolutely calm and quiet; we have to make our mind as vast as the sky or the ocean. The aim of meditation is to bring down the Infinite into the finite and carry the finite to the Infinite. The finite enters into Infinity for its highest realisation, and the Infinite enters into the finite for its supreme manifestation.
The third step is called contemplation. This is done only when the seeker is far advanced. We started our studies with concentration. As we became expert in concentration, we began meditation. But contemplation takes years and sometimes incarnations to learn because contemplation can be properly done only when the seeker is on the verge of realisation. Here the seeker totally merges with the Supreme. The divine lover becomes totally one, inseparably one with the Supreme Beloved. The finite totally loses its separativity and becomes one with the infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. At that time infinite Peace, Light and Bliss are housed perfectly in an earthly being.
June 26th, 1974
Sherwood Hall Boys School Stuart Avenue
Forest Town, Nottinghamshire Mansfield, England