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by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
About This Book (Back Cover) Foreword 6
Spiritual Dynamics in the World Of Mind
Mind: Its Tendencies and Its Transcendence
13 Chapter 2
The Science and Psychology of Thought
19 Chapter 3
Psychoanalysis, Parapsychology and the Indian Standpoint
23 Chapter 4
Spiritual Therapeutics and the Effects of Negative Emotions
28 Chapter 5
The Genesis of Human Bondage
35 Chapter 6
False Views and Snares of Delusion
The Psychic World and the Process of Spiritual Evolution
Concentration, Meditation and Samadhi
47 Chapter 8
Human Nature and the Psychic Pitfalls
53 Chapter 9
Mantra and the Phenomenon of Conscience
57 Chapter 10
The First Steps in Spiritual Evolution
62 Chapter 11
The Spiritual Progressions
Intuitional Planes and the Structure of the Life Divine
Intellectual Acrobats and the Spiritual Supermen
70 Chapter 13
Intuitive Experience and Conceptual Knowledge
Foundation of Self-realisation
77 Chapter 15
The Processes of Self-knowledge
83 Chapter 16
The Structure of the Life Divine
Patterns of Human Greatness
Cardinal Principles of Greatness
90 Chapter 18
Will-power and the Formation of Personality
97 Chapter 19
Self-development and the Spirit of Selfless Service
The Transcendental Reaches of Blessedness
The Evolutionary Aims and the Techniques of Spiritual Perfection
The Essentials and the Evolutionary Aims of Life
109 Chapter 22
The Aspirant and the Innate Impetus Towards the Infinite
114 Chapter 23
Man: His Inheritance and His Destiny
118 Chapter 24
Sadhaka and Some Aspects of Sadhana
122 Chapter 25
Guide and the Spiritual Guidance
128 Chapter 26
The Dynamics of Devotion
132 Chapter 27
Evidences of the Divine Presence
135 Chapter 28
Fate, Fatalism and Free-will
141 Chapter 29
Frowns of Fortune and Spiritual Growth
143 Chapter 30
Continence and the Techniques of Sex-sublimation
Philosophy and Philosophising
152 Chapter 32
Integral Yoga and the Limitations of Science
155 Chapter 33
Vedanta: Its Disciplines and Its Value
165 Chapter 34
Religion: Its Philosophy and Its Purposes
The Enduring Bases For International Ideals 175 Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions 181
About This Book
His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj did not write textbooks as such. The books he wrote were the outpourings of wisdom from his own direct realisation of the Truth.
From his books you will derive not only the benefit of his wisdom and knowledge of both practical and esoteric matters pertaining to Yoga, but also the power of his spiritual force.
Sri Swami Sivanandaji had a unique style—simple, direct and compelling. His books are not dull treatises on Yoga and philosophy, rather his enthusiasm and eagerness to help all is evident in every page, lifting the reader to new heights of understanding.
A good, holy thought to start the day with, is more precious than all the wealth you can acquire and all the happiness that you can enjoy during the day.
These divine thoughts will, if meditated upon in the early morning hours of every day, enrich your daily life in every way. They are illuminating and are assigned the functions of shaping the spiritual development of the readers.
Start the day with a good, soul-elevating thought. Meditate on the Lord. Repeat His Name. Elevate the mind to the realms divine. Now come out of your meditation room. Look upon the whole world as the Virat-Svarup of the Lord. Feel that the Lord’s Divine Energy is flowing through you, serving His own manifestations. Whenever, during the day, this zeal is diminished, recall to the mind the sublime thought-current with which you started the day. Raise the mind to the same level. Thus would you live forever in an exalted state.
A divine perfection of the human being is our aim. That man is capable of self-development and of some approach to an ideal state of perfection which his mind is capable of conceiving, is common to all thinking humanity. But some conceive it as a mere mundane change and others as a total conversion of the human personality. The mundane ideal is something outward, social, political, economic, a rational dealing with our fellow-men and environments, a better and kindlier way of living. It also includes the development of the intelligence, will and reason, a noble ethical, a rich aesthetic, a fine emotional life. Education and the creation of better and favourable social environments is the method adopted for achieving this aim.
The mundane ideal has for its field, the present life and its activities only. Intellectual, emotional, ethical and aesthetic development, political freedom, economic well-being are all good and absolutely necessary for an all-round growth of the individual as well as of the race, but without any definite purpose in life, without any delivering and illuminating aim, they end invariably in frustration. They constitute a constant movement in a circle. To realise the Eternal Truth and to express it through the perfected instruments, the mind and the body, is the principle and whole object of spiritual life and this is the only ideal which can give permanent satisfaction and peace to the thinking mankind.
HUMAN NATURE AND THE PSYCHIC PITFALLS
Season for the Ascent of the Animal in Man
The whole mango tree with branches, leaves and fruits is contained in a subtle form in the seed. It takes time for manifestation. Even so the Vasana of lust lurks in the mind when you are a boy, manifests at eighteen, fills the whole body at twenty-five. Mind havocs from twenty-five to forty-five, and then it gradually declines. Various forms of wrong-doing and mischief are done by human beings between 25 and 45. This is the most critical period of life. There is no particular difference between a boy and a girl in their characteristics when they are too young. After attaining puberty they exhibit their characteristic qualities.
Perilous Pitfalls on the Path—I
Right from the very beginning of one’s spiritual life, one must understand clearly that in true ‘humanity’—sincere desire to root out gradually pride, egoism and jealousy, earnest and unceasing introspection to find out one’s own defects and improve oneself—lies one’s hope of progress. Without this basis, any form of Sadhana becomes a delusion and a waste. It makes the aspirant puffed up, more proud and egoistic. When this happens, all good advice and instructions fall flat upon him. Higher influences cease to have any effect as the aspirant becomes deliberately and obstinately non-receptive to them. Eternal vigilance should be exercised if he is to avoid falling into this dangerous state. Spiritual life is not a light matter.
Perilous Pitfalls on the Path—II
Sinning and evil has become so much a habit with man that he never feels that he is committing them even though day and night he is doing so constantly. And the greatest harm is done by the fact that even while in this unregenerate state, the aspirant becomes deluded by Maya into thinking that he has already progressed considerably in spirituality. He deceives himself with the thought that as far as he is concerned he is pretty advanced in Sadhana. He thinks that he has acquired that Nirlipta (unattached) attitude where he can commit any form of act and yet remain unaffected by it.
Under this grave delusion he allows himself to be unrestrained and runs wild, intolerant of criticism, resentful of the least opposition, utterly disregardful of others’ feelings and absolutely unamenable to advice and correction. All sense of discrimination, sane judgment and introspection vanish from him. Even the common courtesy and culture possessed by an ordinary worldly man take leave of the aspirant on account of his presumption of spiritual advancement and growth in wisdom. He becomes disposed to attack even venerable and elderly persons and spiritually superior souls. Fully realise the importance of becoming a changed man ethically and morally, before you can claim to be a Sadhaka. The aspirant should carefully avoid the dangers of self-deception by constant vigilance and introspection. When his nature is changed, purified and prepared, the Divine Grace will spontaneously flood his Heart and enlighten him.
Perilous Pitfalls on the Path—III
The wandering habit of the mind is one of the big hurdles on the path. It manifests itself in various ways. A householder’s mind wanders to the cinema, theatre, circus, etc. A Sadhu’s or monk’s mind wanders to Varanasi, Brindavan, and other places of pilgrimage. Many Sadhus do not stick to one place during Sadhana. The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by rendering it chaste and constant by Vichara. The mind must be trained to stick to one place for five years during your meditative life, to one method of Sadhana, to one path of Yoga, to one spiritual objective, and to one guide.
Spiritual Realisation and Psychic Pitfalls
Various psychic Siddhis and other powers come to the Yogi who has controlled his senses, Prana and mind. But all these are hindrances to spiritual realisation. They are stumbling blocks; they allure the Yogic students. Temptations of the astral, mental and Gandharva worlds are more powerful than the earthly temptations. Unwary students are overwhelmed by them. One is bound to get some psychic powers, as a result of regular practice of meditation and concentration; but to use these powers for base and selfish purposes, for gaining some material end, will be disastrous.
Supernormal Powers and Spiritual Experience
During the course of his Sadhana, the aspirant acquires some experiences, sees wonderful vision of Rishis, Mahatmas, astral entities of various description, hears various melodious sounds, smells Divya Gandha, gets the powers of thought-reading, foretelling, etc. Now, the aspirant foolishly imagines that he has reached the highest goal and stops his further Sadhana. He slips into false Tushti or false contentment. This is a serious mistake. These visions, these experiences and these powers are not in themselves the culminating point in the Sadhana. Abandon the idea of these experiences and powers. The final experience, intuitional and direct, of the Supreme alone is the true one.
Psychic Powers and Real Yoga
Do not think too much of psychic Siddhis. Clairvoyance and clairaudience are not worth having when far greater illumination and peace are possible without the Siddhis. Desire for powers will act like puffs of air which may blow out the lamps of Yoga that is being carefully tended. Any selfish desire for Siddhis will blow out the little spiritual light that the Yogi has kindled after so much struggle and will hurl the student down into the deep abyss of ignorance. He will not be able to rise up again to the original height which he has ascended on the hill of Yoga.
MANTRA AND THE PHENOMENON OF CONSCIENCE
The First-Fruits of Prayer
Prayer generates good spiritual currents and produces a rare tranquillity of the mind; it elevates the whole emotional nature and is accompanied by the growth of inward grace, inner strength, and a sense of atonement with the Supreme Being. The intensive purified feelings raised in acts of prayer, bring about the most beneficial inner change in the heart; the receptive attitude of the silenced praying mind puts the soul of man in tune with the Infinite, links it with the cosmic powerhouse of inexhaustible energy and surcharges it with strength, grace, energy, light. When prayers are raised on foundations of absolute devotion, purity of motive, detachment from all worldly concerns, and unyielding faith in the Divine, they lead the inner being of man into highest spiritual Experience.
Psychological Consideration of Prayer
Psychologically, it should be remembered that prayer is not merely uttering of words but an intense and sincere feeling of and a longing for contact with a Power which is all-pervading, which includes everything within itself, and which is the most real of all beings. The nature of thinking and feeling is such that it is not possible to think of or feel anything without transforming the psychological organ into the mode of the object which is thought or felt. And because, in the case of prayer, the object is infinite Power itself, the mind takes such a powerful mode, that the devotee gets endowed with superhuman powers in addition to his achieving the purpose for which the prayer is offered.
Mantra: Its Force and Its Functions
As a result of repetition, through the force of Samskaras, the Mantra gathers creative momentum. A Mantra is a mass of radiant energy or Tejas. It transforms the mental substance by producing a particular thought movement. The rhythmical vibrations produced by its utterance regulate the unsteady vibrations of the five sheaths or the Pancha-koshas. It checks the natural tendencies of the mind to run after sensuous objects. It helps the Sadhana Sakti and reinforces it when it becomes imperfect and meets with obstacles. Sadhana-Sakti is strengthened by Mantra-Sakti and when the sleeping consciousness in a Mantra or the Mantra Chaitanya is awakened, the Mantra awakens in the Sadhaka superhuman powers or Siddhis.
Rationale of the Mantra-Repetition
Mantra is Daivi Sakti, Divine Power, manifesting in a sound-body. Constant repetition of the Mantra with faith, devotion and purity augments the Sakti of the aspirant, purifies and awakens the Mantra Chaitanya latent in the Mantra and bestows on the Sadhaka Mantra Siddhi, illumination, freedom, peace and immortality. By constant repetition of the Mantra the Sadhaka imbibes the virtues and powers of the Deity that presides over the Mantra. Repetition of Surya Mantra bestows health, vigour, vitality, ‘brilliance,’ removes bodily and eye diseases, and wards off all danger and harm. The repetition of a Mantra has a mysterious power of bringing about the manifestation of the Divinity, just as the splitting of an atom manifests the tremendous forces latent in it.
Particular Mantras for Particular Benefits
The repetition of the Subrahmanya Mantra ‘Om Saravanabhavaaya Namah’ will give you success in any undertaking and make you glorious. It will drive off the evil influences and evil spirits. Repetition of Sri Hanuriman Mantra ‘Om Hanumanthaaya Namah’, will bestow victory and strength. Repetition of Panchadasakshara and Sodasakshara (Sri Vidya) will give you wealth, power, freedom, etc. The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra will save you from accidents, incurable diseases, and calamities, and bestow on you long life and immortality. It is a Moksha-mantra, too. Those who do Japa of this Mantra daily will enjoy good health and long life, and attain Moksha or Liberation in the end.
Miraculous Uses of the Mantras
Chanting of Mantras generates potent spiritual waves of divine vibrations. They penetrate the physical and astral bodies of the patients and remove the root causes of sufferings. They fill the cells with pure Sattva or divine energy. They destroy the microbes and vivify the cells and tissues; they are the best, most potent antiseptics and germicides. They are more potent than ultraviolet rays or Roentgen rays.
The Rational Character of Miracles
The divine touch of sages healing incurable diseases and at times even bestowing back life to the dead are actually facts in the spiritual realm. These miracles baffle reason, no doubt; but, more often than not the miracle implies not merely the nullifying of known law but rather the evoking and bringing into play of a higher law of which the uninformed observer is quite unaware. Hence the latter’s wonder and astonishment at the occurrence. When the cause is hidden from your ken and in the absence of the connecting sequence the effect alone is beheld, you feel it as something supernatural.
The Counsel of the Conscience
Conscience is a sensitive balance to weigh actions; it is a guiding voice from within. When you do a wrong action, the conscience pricks you. You experience pinpricks. It says to you in a clear, small, shrill voice: "Do not do this wrong action my friend. It will bring misery to you." A conscientious man at once ceases to act wrongly and further and becomes wise. Cowardice asks: "Is it safe?". Avarice asks: "Is there any gain in it?" Vanity asks: "Can I become famous?" Lust asks: "Is there pleasure?" But Conscience asks: "Is it right?". Conscience prompts you to choose the right instead of the wrong, and tells you that you ought to do the right.
The Evolution of Conscience
According to the state of his knowledge man’s conscience is built up and changes from time to time with the correction of his views, in the light of further knowledge gained subsequently. The conscience of a child or a savage is entirely different from the conscience of a fully grown civilised man and even amongst civilised men knowledge varies so much that their consciences direct different lines of conduct. The conscience of a Sattvic man is very clean and very pure. The conscience of Ramji will not allow him to do one thing, but the conscience of Chatterji may allow him to do that very thing. Therefore, you cannot rely on conscience entirely, until you have cleared your mind and feeling from personal prejudice and predilections. Never mistake the lower mind’s promptings for the voice of the soul.
Reversal in the Sensitivity of Conscience
If an honest man begins to take bribes for the first time, he shudders; for, his conscience quivers and trembles; he feels a lot of uneasiness. But if he repeats it again several times, his conscience becomes blunt. He ceases to feel any uneasiness. If a chaste man visits for the first time, a house of ill-fame, his conscience pricks and makes him shudder. But, if he visits that house frequently, his conscience loses its sensitiveness and becomes blunt. He will not feel anything. Therefore, understanding the fact that the inner mechanism of conscience is very subtle, always try to keep it sensitive, by doing virtuous deeds only.
Discernment of the Right Action
When something is done, if there ensues as your personal experience joy, exhilaration or satisfaction, understand that you are doing right action; but if you experience fear, shame, doubt or pricking of conscience, know that you are doing a wrong action. A constant awareness of the Divine, eliminates all possible tendencies to wrong action: this will empower your mind with a strongly marked moral judgment which will discern easily and pronounce if a particular action be right or wrong, good or bad. Whenever you perform an action, if you experience an elevation of mind, a sense of ease and brightness, know that action to be right.
Do not do any act which brings no good to others or which will make you repent later on or ashamed. Do such acts which are praiseworthy and which bring good to you and to others. This is a brief description of right conduct. Moral precepts have been made to free one another from all injuries.
It is the motive that counts in the performance of an action. Right and wrong are to be determined, not by the objective consequences, but by the nature of the subjective intention of the agent. God looks to the motive of the doer.
THE FIRST STEPS IN SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION
Equipment Preparatory to the Spiritual Venture.
A thorough study of the natural laws and truths of life is absolutely necessary before venturing into the spiritual path. Without the necessary equipments such as your conviction about the unreality of earthly life, and without burning dispassion and self-restraint, by taking to the spiritual path you are liable to be lost in the dark dungeon of despair and frustration. There is no use in keeping your legs in two boats.
Exhibit undaunted spirit and manliness. Make a strong resolve: "I will die or realise."
Personal Demand and Bewildering Number of Doctrines
In a bazaar you will see many things for which you have no use. But then why do you blame the shop-keeper for it. Even so the different kinds of Yoga, the different kinds of scriptures: Puranas, Agamas, Nigamas, Philosophies, etc., have their own utility. To suit all sorts of men, all sorts of systems are useful and necessary. Why should you count pebbles on the river bed? Your business is to drink water if you are thirsty.
Necessaries of Spiritual Development
Unfavourable conditions, certain amount of mental restlessness, sense of frustration, a little of unhappiness in life can never be avoided; for, they are evolutionary necessity with every human being, they are the conditions of upward ascent and spiritual growth. Every spiritual aspirant must possess infinite power of endurance and great patience and make persistent strenuous efforts at achieving Divine Illumination, Peace, Joy and Glory. Let the Sadhana be regular, continuous, unbroken, and earnest. If quick God-realisation is your aim, both regularity and continuity in Sadhana and meditation are required. Never stop Sadhana until you are fully established in God-consciousness.
First Things First
Any number of zeroes have no intrinsic value unless number 1 (one) is added before them. Even so the wealth of the three worlds is nothing if you do not try to acquire spiritual wealth, if you do not strive for Self-realisation. Therefore live in the soul or the Self within. Add the Divine to the Life here. Seek first the Lord within: He is the fountain-source of Divine Riches, Power and Beauty.
Divine Will and the Only Human Duty
Even a dry leaf cannot be wafted by the strongest gale without His Will, and as we are all His beloved children, His will cannot but work out to our good. He being the indweller knows what is good for us; not we. To rejoice at what He gives us, resting where He places us, taking all that comes as His blessing and repeating His Name, glorifying Him in all our actions, words and thoughts—that alone is our duty.
The Pattern of Saintliness
The beginning of saintliness is killing of egoism. The end of saintliness is Eternal life. The key to saintliness is Brahmacharya. The light of saintliness is universal love. The garb of saintliness is virtue. The mark of saintliness is equal vision. The road to saintliness is regular meditation. The foundation of saintliness is Yama-Niyama. A saint lives in God: he is God-intoxicated.
Incomparable Friends and Formidable Foes
There is no eye like intuition, no blindness like ignorance, no evil like lust, no enemy like anger. There is no friend like Atman, no virtue like Satyam, no shelter like the lotus feet of the Lord, no wealth like the spiritual wealth. Therefore develop the eye of intuition, eradicate ignorance and lust, kill this enemy anger, make friendship with Atman and attain the Supreme Wealth of God-realisation.
There is no greater obstacle to divine life and meditation than the craving on carnal pleasures. Kill this craving through enquiry, dispassion and meditation. Flesh is your invulnerable foe. Live in the Spirit or Atman and annihilate this formidable foe. March forward, O brave soldier!
Pursuit of the Eternal Values
There is no light like that of knowledge of the Self or Brahman. There is no treasure like that of contentment. There is no virtue like that of truthfulness. There is no bliss like that of the soul. There is no friend like Atman. Therefore know your own Self. Develop contentment. Speak the truth. Drink the bliss of the soul.
Dependence on the Divine
Be frank and confess all your troubles before Him. Speak to Him like a child. Even before you express, the Lord understands your difficulties. He is the life of your life, Soul of your soul. Depend upon Him alone. All other help will fail, but this divine company will never fail. Ever repeat His Name. He will take care of you.
Rely on God alone. Do not depend on money, friends, or anyone. When the friends are put to test, they will desert you. Lord Buddha never relied even on his disciples. When he was seriously ailing, he himself jumped like a frog to drink water from the river. Be not bound to anybody, any place, or thing.
Interrelated Fundamentals of Spiritual Life
Satyam or truth is the seed. Brahmacharya or celibacy is the root. Meditation is the shower. Santi or Peace is the flower. Moksha or emancipation is the fruit. Therefore speak the truth, practise celibacy, cultivate Santi and meditate regularly. You will surely attain the final emancipation or freedom from birth and death.
The Touchstone of Knowledge and Spirituality
Equal vision is the touchstone of knowledge. Unselfishness is the touchstone of virtue. Celibacy is the touchstone of ethics. Oneness is the touchstone of Self-realisation. Humility is the touchstone of devotion. Therefore, be unselfish, humble and pure. Develop equal vision. Be in tune with the Infinite.
The Irreplaceable Precedents
Without Sadhana there is no meditation; without faith in the utterances of the sacred scriptures there is no improvement; without vigilance and alertness there is no progress in the spiritual path; without Guru there is no divine knowledge.
Transformation of the Subconscious Life and Self-realisation this Moment
Beneath your conscious life there is a very wide region of subconscious life. Subconscious life is more powerful than your ordinary life of objective consciousness. Through the practice of Yoga you can modify, control and influence the subconscious plane. Bring about a complete transformation of the subconscious mind and attain superconscious experience or the fourth state, Turiya.
Can you serve like Florence Nightingale? Can you obey like a soldier in the battlefield? Can you be generous like Ranti Deva? Can you spend sleepless nights in devotion to the Lord, like Mira? Can you do Tapas like Dhruva? Can you stick to your convictions like Mansoor and Shams Tabriez? Can you be fearless like the sage who met Alexander the Great, on the banks of the Indus?
If you say Yes, you will have Self-realisation this very second. You will contact Avataras and full-blown Yogis this very second. First deserve, and then desire.
THE SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIONS
The Irreligious and the Conscious Endeavour
The irreligious than also will reach God ultimately, but through a longer and more painful route, after a lot of experience of the miseries of this world. The religious-minded man will go to Him by the short cut and enjoy the bliss of God in this very birth. The sooner you become religious-minded, the sooner you will reach the Fountain-source of Bliss.
Feverish Hurry and Progressive Evolution
Spiritual growth is gradual. There is progressive evolution. You should not be in a feverish hurry to accomplish great Yogic feats or enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi in two or three months. You will have to ascend the ladder of Yoga step by step. You will have to march in the spiritual path stage by stage.
Mechanism of Spiritual Unfoldment
Grow. Evolve. Expand. Develop pure Love. Reflect. Meditate. Obtain Jnana. Have you unfolded the hidden treasures of spiritual consciousness latent in your heart? If yes, you have done well. Hail, hail to thee, Saumya!
Spiritualise all your activities. Let your eyes look with kindness, your tongue speak with sweetness, your hand touch with softness. Feed your mind with thoughts of God, your heart with purity, and your hands with selfless service. Remain soaked in remembrance of God.
Signs of Spiritual Progress
Growth in meditation, progress in Sadhana, and a closer approach to the Divine reveal themselves in the lightness of the body and mind, in the thinning out of the body-consciousness, in the loss of sex-attraction, in a distastefulness for worldly prosperity that the aspirant experiences. Contentment, unruffled state of mind, decrease in the excretions, sweet voice, eagerness and steadiness in the practice of meditation, desire to remain alone in a quiet room or to stay in seclusion, one-pointedness of mind, are some of the signs that indicate the advancement of the aspirant on the spiritual path.
Overmental Experience of the Thinker
The end of the Evolution of the Thinker is reached when the evolving mental life becomes, by expansion, identical with the all-including life, the universal Self. If, however, his thoughts and actions are directed exclusively towards personal and selfish ends, his mind contracts more and more and recedes more and more from the path of evolution. He should therefore think only such thoughts and do only such actions as may widen his mind. The mind has to expand until the limiting mind-covering, becoming very thin is torn asunder when the limitations of the Thinker ceasing to exist any longer, his Inner Self shines in his infinitude of existence, consciousness and bliss, for, it was only He, the only One and Real Self that was appearing till then to be enclosed in a covering made of mind-stuff.
Optimum Utilisation of Time
Those who want to become magnetic and dynamic personalities or prodigies should utilise every second to the best possible advantage and should try to grow mentally, morally and spiritually every second. Struggle hard. In spiritual path there is no falling back or resting even for a while. Even a little stagnation is sufficient to rust your spiritual being. A little lack of vigilance may cause a great downfall.
THE ENDURING BASES FOR INTERNATIONAL IDEALS
The Texture of Ancient Indian Society
The ideal of the social ethics of the Gita is Lokasangraha, the well-being and solidarity of the world. This is brought about by each individual through the performance of Svadharma in the spirit of non-attachment and self-surrender. Svadharma aims, at the same time, at Sarvabhutahita or the good of all beings. The fabric of society is to be so constituted, as to aid its members to realise the supreme Ideal of life. As all beings share the one Life which is the whole, and of which they are parts their development lies in being in harmony with that Life. The perfection of the part is in the Unity of the whole. Mutual Love and the execution of duty is loyalty to the whole, is the means to the blessedness of the individual and the society. When each one does his own duty without reluctance or desire in his mind, the welfare of the society is ensured, for wherever action commingles with the knowledge of the Divine Purpose that is behind this visible universe, there shall be prosperity, victory, glory and firm policy.
India and Modern Civilisation
Modern civilisation has not cared to understand the fundamental meaning of life, but it is satisfied with mere floating upon the perceptible surface of the physical existence. The present-day science, however penetrating it may be, is after all an investigation into the world of common experience in the waking state; it has discarded the deep significance of the changes that man undergoes in the states of his deeper life. India has got the credit of having found the very root of life, and of having discovered the Permanent Ground upon which is played the drama of life. If there is anything valuable in life as a whole, it is the knowledge of the solution of the apparent riddle of existence, and this is the glorious heritage of India.
Individual Good and the Welfare of Mankind
The superstructure of national, social and domestic life can be erected in a manner that will strike the best balance between the individual good and the welfare of mankind in general. Selflessness is a virtue that blends individual good with the welfare of society. On this loom of selflessness, individual good and the good of society become the warp and woof, producing the fabric of a commonwealth in which all the individuals are happy, prosperous and peaceful; the fabric of a civilisation which is characterised by peace and progress all round. Let us vigorously work towards this peak of achievement.
Practicable Ideals for the Nations
The aim of nations should be to direct their power towards the transformation of the hearts of the people from the subhuman and the weak human nature into the rightly human and divine natures through right government, right education and insistence on right living, based on perfect Truth. This shall effect the great renaissance for the healthy and peaceful life of all on earth, and also for the Eternal Life transcending the earthly life.
Man cannot discard material prosperity, nor can he ignore spiritual refinement. Either he effects this balance between material prosperity and spiritual progress, and thereby ensures peace and welfare, or he destroys himself through the worship of the deities of materialism, by their subservient genie, the weapons of destruction.
Beneath the Civilised Barbarism
It is worth remembering that the universal degeneration of the human character and unrestricted play of baser passions in the individual and social life, is at the root of each repeated wave of scientific and civilised barbarism that sweeps over the world time and again. Uncontrolled human passion is certain to plunge the nations into savage warfare in the future also. A living faith in spiritual values and earnest practical religion seem to be the one hope if mankind is to live. The refinement, ennobling and sublimation of human passion and desire are the special function and purpose of true Religion. The dictates of elementary logic and rationality clearly direct that to rescue humanity from the present and safeguard it in the future, the right way is to recognise the important role of Ethics.
Towards One World
Behold the Self in all; he who knows that the same life, that throbs in the innermost recess of his heart, indwells others too, dares not harm anybody; for, if he does harm anybody, he harms but himself. In a fray one might injure his brother. But under no circumstances would one wish to hurt himself. When a person on to a robbery feels that he is to rob his own hard-earned property, when one assigned to murder another person, belonging to a rival community, feels that he is but to murder himself, when a nation set out to aggrandise another nation feels, that it is actually exploiting and slaughtering its own people only then will the inner call to desist from these savage acts come. This spirit of oneness must be cultivated and intensified in every human being.
Raison d’^tre of All Relationship
If family or society or nation is understood as a means to separate one from another, however large the scope of its inclusion of human beings may be, such a family, such a society, such a nation cannot triumph. All relationship is expected to end in the absolute unity of existence, excluding nothing from itself. This goal of life should be borne in mind in the process of our daily activities, if our actions are to be free from selfishness, if our actions are to be at-one with the universal movement of Nature. Life is a divine worship. The proper conduct of family, the administration of the country and the society, is a part of the Universal Government which looks at the entirety of beings with a strict impartial eye.
Reconciliation of Science and Technology With the Peace-giving Culture
What is wrong with science? What is defective in technology? The implements that help man cook his food could kill him if they are misused and abused. Electricity has come to be the very "breath of life." But, then, it should be used with caution and with the sole aim of subserving man’s selfless longing to serve his fellowmen. Science is not the enemy of culture; science and culture are sisters. They can live together amicably and help make the house (the world) a paradise if there is the bond of real love uniting their hearts. Once the basic ideology if accepted and implemented, why should science itself not be elevated to the grand status of a cultural institution? Technology will be a branch of national culture. They can promote the spiritual welfare of man, enrich his heart, broaden his outlook and enlighten his soul, as profoundly as any other branch of culture can.
Not because there is anything diabolical in scientific advance itself does culture look upon it with an eye of suspicion and dread. But, it is because the canker of uncultured, baser, animal passions eats the very vitals of Man in whose erring hand science serves as the best suicidal agency. If culture enters the heart of man, if cultural institutions receive the rightful place of honour in all Plans and Schemes of nation-building the world over, then science itself will promote culture!
The Ultimate Message—Realise: "I am the Immortal Self’
BROTHER! Courage is your birthright, not fear. Peace is your divine heritage, not restlessness; Immortality, not mortality; Strength, not weakness; Health, not disease; Bliss, not sorrow; Knowledge, not ignorance.
Thou art Divine. Live up to it. Feel and realise thy divine nature. Thou art the master of thy own destiny. Do not be discouraged when sorrows, difficulties and tribulations manifest in the daily battle of life. Draw up courage and spiritual strength from within. There is a vast inexhaustible magazine of power and knowledge within. Tap it. Plunge yourself in the sacred waters of Immortality. You will be quite refreshed, renovated and vivified when you go to the divine source and realise: "I am the Immortal Self."
Rely on your own Self. Be not a slave. You are the Immortal Self. Destroy inferiority complex. Draw power, courage, strength from within. Be free. Believe not in any dogmas. Have no blind faith. Accept nothing except after reasoning out carefully. Never be carried away by the blind surging emotions. Subdue them. Be not intolerant. Expand. Constant meditation on your inner Immortal Self, is the master-key to open the realms of Knowledge. Your essential nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute. The outer cloak, this mortal physical body is an illusory Mayaic production. You are the sexless Self, the King of kings; you are Immortal and Infinite. Feel. Assert. Recognise. Realise, not from tomorrow, but right now. O Blessed one! Thou art Immortal!
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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25-Mar-2008 00:58:25 EDT
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