Crown of Human Achievement


Sri Swami Sivananda

Spirituality is an exact science. God is a verifiable reality. Samadhi is a living experience.

Numerous have been the saints and sages, in every land and clime, who have proclaimed the unmistakable actuality of transcendental spiritual experience. The combined pleasure of all worldly enjoyments is nothing compared to the superlative all-full bliss experienced in Samadhi. That is why the Rishis of yore have defined God as that attaining which nothing else remains to be attained, nothing else remains to be desired. God-realisation is the crown of human achievement.

God-realisation, let me repeat, is the crown of all human attainments. We are born to realise God. Human birth has no greater significance. Human birth is not granted to us that we may consider reaching into space or diving into the ocean depths as the zenith of our endeavours. These are of mundane value and much lesser than mastering one’s mind and unfolding one’s spiritual potentialities.

Detonating nuclear bombs and shooting rockets into space may excite the mind, but they cannot satisfy the spiritual hunger of the people. They cannot bring peace of mind to the human race.

In the recent past, science and technology have made tremendous strides for the good as well as for the potential evil of man. They reflect a great spirit of adventure and extraordinary human ingenuity in inventing marvellous devices. The energy is there, the inventive genius is there, the spirit of discovery is there, but, alas, it is all diverted into exclusively material spheres, without taking into consideration the spiritual growth of man.

Science has progressed, no doubt, but, at what cost? Science has contributed to the welfare of humanity but its misuse has tragically left in its wake devastation and desolation, fear and moral degradation. Science has taken strides forward and spiritual values of life have deteriorated. Civilisation is said to have progressed, but its signs of progress are marred by the increasing number of mental hospitals, divorce courts, juvenile courts, psychiatric clinics and penitentiaries.

Stem the tide and change the course. Let there be a balanced progress of science and moral values. Live a balanced life. Manifest the basic virtues in daily life. Take to Yoga. You will reap a rich harvest. You will gain vigour of body, clarity of intellect, peace of mind and enrichment of soul.

Yoga is a way of life. It is life in the spirit. Yoga is not a dogma or a creed or a religion. It is the science of life itself, of integral self-development, of harmonious living. Root your life in strong ethical foundations. Without an ethical base, spirituality cannot live. Draw inspiration from the ‘Sermon on the Mount.’ Control the mind and senses. Purify and expand your heart. Serve the Lord in the suffering. Adapt, adjust, accommodate.

The West and the East are no longer strangers to one another. Humanity is gradually waking up to its spiritual responsibility. A powerful force is at work. A spiritual revolution is taking place on a global scale, bringing the East and the West closer. Play your part nobly and well in this revolution of unity, of universal love, of blending science and spirituality for the good of man.

May God lead us all from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.

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