The Destiny of Man
Sri Swami Chidananda
Blessed immortal souls, beloved children of the Divine!
I am greatly blessed to spend this evening hour with you and toshare my thoughts on this subject pertaining to all of us.
When we speak of the destiny of man we don’t speak of aspecial human being or a historical person, but we speak very much of ourselves–today–here–inthis world of the fourth quarter of our very troubled yet eventful 20th century.What is our destiny? Man wants to know and scans the newspapers, he listens tothe radio, he views occurrences all over the globe on the television screen. Hewants to know what is going on in this world, what is happening to man, what manis doing to man and where this world is heading. He tries to look ahead and tohave a glimpse of what is in stall for man.
But our concern today is not so much to know this in asuperficial way, for what is happening upon the surface soon every schoolboycomes to know. A few years ago what was man’s destiny? Was it to remain boundto the earth or was it to fly into outer space? They said: “We can evenreach the moon!” “Can we or can we not?”–“Is itpossible?”–All these speculations came to an end when man actually landedon the moon. The question was no more there–it had become a fact, a scientifictruth. So scientifically the destiny of man may be to conquer outer space, landon the Mars or some other planet. But what he achieves from this is not known.
So it is in a deeper sense that we want to know man’s destinyor perhaps as it has been conceived by a cosmic mind, by a supreme intelligenceand power that is imponderable, that is far beyond the furthest comprehension ofthe human intellect, that transcends reason–that mastermind that has broughtabout this amazing cosmos where heavenly bodies move about in an absolutelycorrect, precise, systematical manner, keeping to their courses, maintaining thesame rate of speed in outer space and demonstrating an incredibly predictablebehaviour. Those who are masters of astrophysics and astronomy can say exactlywhat the movements of certain planets will be, how many years hence will Haley’scomet appear next? They are able to chart its course, calculate its speed andpredict its appearance. See, from within the sight of man on earth this is notan ordinary achievement. But it is possible. Because there is a system workingthere with absolute precision and accuracy that makes it possible for man topredict certain things. It is not a chaos, it is an orderly system. Tomanufacture even a small simple machine, a watch, a timepiece, a little timer,man has to make so many calculations, he has to make the wheels of exactdimension and shape with the exact number of teeth, he has to bring all hisintelligence and observation, his concentrated attention, his skillful action.And when it is old, it is discarded and one buys another one… To produce sucha small machinery so much of intelligence, calculations, skill is necessary. Andthis vast, imponderable, amazing thing which we call cosmos, our solar system,sun, moon and the terrestrial world, the innumerable stars, the mind-blowingdistances, staggering in their magnitude–do you think it came about withoutthe combination of some great incomprehensible master intelligence and masterpower and master skill? The cosmic intelligence, the universal mind is thatwhich we call–we don’t know what …
Kant, the great German philosopher, had no name for it. Hecalled it “the thing in itself”. For when nothing was, IT only was.And IT itself knew what IT was. There was no other, no second one to know it.Therefore he called it “THE THING IN ITSELF”. Thousands of years ago,long before the time of even Jesus Christ, the great mystic and prophet Moseswent into the wilderness, prayed, did penance and tried to attune himself to theInvisible, to the Infinite. Humbly he tried to know IT, sought ITS guidance, ITShelp. And a strange power made itself manifest in response to Moses’ quest. Hefelt it, it guided him. And he wanted to know by what name he could refer to it,by what name he could call it. And that being said: “I AM THAT I AM”.I am that I am. What else can I say? I am that being existing by itself. I aloneknow what I am. I exist–I know that I exist. I am that cosmic intelligenceself-cognising, for in that state of absoluteness I am alone. There is no other,no second. I pervade all. I exist by myself, supremely independent, supremelynon-dual. I am that I am.
Great Indian sages like the Buddha went to the depth of thoughtand attained illumination–they said: “The only way you can describe ordefine or state that thing is to be silent. “SILENCE”. If you sayanything you say wrongly. You cannot define it. To say anything is to limit it,for human expression, human language is limited, is finite. Therefore silence isthe one and only way in which you can express the inexpressible. SILENCE.
The philosopher Plotinus observed all things in this world andfound them wanting. He found that they were all limited and finite, finite intime and space, limited by name and form. Nothing was full, nothing complete,something was there, something else was not there. He found that all things herewere fragmentary, partial, wanting. Therefore he called the ultimate reality,that imponderable, absolute, transcendental reality “THE SUPREMEPLENUM”. The only thing which is all full, all perfect, not limited, notbound by anything.
Thus great philosophers, great mystics, those who have enteredinto the transcendental experience of that supreme cosmic power-intelligence,they were silent about it. But they knew that it existed beyond the least shadowof a doubt, because this cosmos is proof positive of that great intelligence andpower of the Universal Being. No other proof is necessary. This universe itselfbears witness of something beyond, something imponderable. That then is theBeing that can tell you something about the destiny of man. For it is yoursource and origin, that is your invisible support and ultimate fulfilment. Inthat you have come into being, in that you exist, in that you ultimately have tomerge. Man–whence–where–whither? It is the Cosmic Mind that knows it.Because having come into this phenomenal existence, we are also bound by itslimitations. We can only think in categories, in an objectivised way. The mindcannot think without an object, a name, a form. By its very nature absolutethought is only a concept, because the mind is conditioned. It can only movewithin the field of relative thinking. Everything is known in comparison to someother thing that is also previously known in relation to some other thing.Whether a thing is high or low, short or tall, all this is known in relation tosomething else. All thought processes are limited by the very nature of themind.
The most rudimentary thing on earth requires a maker, a certainintelligence and power. Even a crude broom to sweep the floor in some settlementof an aboriginal tribe who lives in mud huts with thatched roofs. The peoplepick up dry twigs and plants, gather them together and tie them with string madeout of the bark of some tree. They will not take reeds or twigs that have nostrength, they will not tie the thinner end, but tie the thicker end and keepthe thinner end free to sweep the floor. Even for this elementary thing theprinciple of thought is there–what to say of this amazing cosmos which is thewonder of the greatest masterminds, the physicists, astronomers and scientistsof today… it is a marvel… they stand aghast, Einstein and all these people.Therefore the secret of man, his ultimate destiny is hidden in this mysteriousall-knowing cosmic mind.
But then, there has been in human history the phenomenon ofindividuals like you and me, but endowed with some special genius, with a hungerto know, with a keen desire to unravel the mystery of life, to see the unseen,to cognise that which is hidden behind the mere appearances. These individualshave come into the human society at different periods, and they beheld thephenomenal process of this universe, these multifarious, innumerable names andforms, all these things which come, exist for a while and vanish. Seeing thisthey were filled with great curiosity and thirst to know from where these thingscame and where they went–what was the origin and ultimate destiny of things.They wanted to see that which is hidden behind the scene. They brought to bearall their intelligence, their logic, their thought-power, their discrimination,their reasoning, their analytical force in order to grasp what seemed to eludetheir ordinary thought. They put to work their concentrated mind, they ponderedover it, they contemplated it, they reflected upon it, they thought deeply aboutit, they entered into a state of absolute, one-pointed meditation about it, andit is to their eternal credit that they did not give up their quest until theygot what they were searching for. And we have to congratulate ourselves for thesacrifice of these great souls who were explorers upon the inner dimension ofman, the dimension of the spirit, and we have to congratulate ourselves fortheir persistence, perseverance, their refusal to take a no and come backwithout achieving their objective. They were willing to sacrifice their entirelife, the last drop of blood for this quest. And with this perseverance, withthis determination to get what they wanted to the exclusion of everything else,they entered into a state of atunement with the cosmic mind, they entered intoan experience of the universal being, and in that state of vast expandedconsciousness they broke all the barriers of limitation, they broke the fettersand jails of mere objective perception through the senses and went beyond thesenses into a state of transcendental consciousness–there in that state ofcosmic consciousness all their questions vanished. There was no more doubt,nothing hidden anymore–everything became revealed, everything became instantlyknown, past and future blended into the present, the timeless present. They cameinto direct experience with the heart of existence, they became one with theCosmic Mind… Some of these great seers (they are called seers because they sawwhat was unseen), some of these great sages of illumined wisdom have tried tobring to us some glimpses of what they had experienced. They have tried to sharewith us their insights, their wisdom, their experience–what they knew withcertainty. And there we can find some idea about the destiny of man.
There is a great cycle. In this cosmic existence there is agreat cycle. The sun shines upon the oceans, upon the seas, upon huge lakes,upon all collections of water. And when the heat of the sun intensifies, thewater begins to evaporate, it gives up its substance, its thickness and rises upas vapour and ascends into the skies, and upward winds help its ascent. Raisingfrom oceans and seas and lakes millions of tons of water become vapour throughthe heat of the sun and they rise up into the higher atmosphere until they reacha level where the cold is intense and they cannot retain their vaporous nature.Once again they become form and amass themselves in dense rain-bearing clouds.And then starts the most interesting phenomena. The upper winds begin to pushthese clouds and make them sail towards the land. And moving across the landthese dense rain-bearing clouds become heavier and heavier and descend lower andlower until they meet an obstruction like the mountains and there they releasetheir waters. They release their waters, they fall in torrents, descend in heavyrains. And the moment they hit the earth, they begin to flow, they become tinyrivulets, little streams, mountain streams, then they join bigger streams, theyjoin rivers and they keep flowing, they keep flowing from the higher to thelower, overcome all obstacles, they twist and turn and bypass all obstacles–thenultimately where do they end? What is the destiny of rainwater? What is thedestiny of rivers, what is the destiny of streams? Ultimately? They all join theocean, they all join the sea. The cycle is completed. From where they came intobeing, from where they arose as vapour into the high skies, completing thecycle, they once again join and become one with their origin and source, theocean. Ponder this cycle!
Have you ever asked yourself in all your life, sitting quietly,turning away from all your occupations and preoccupations, have you ever asked,becoming silent, becoming introspective and serious: “From where have Icome to this earth-plane?”–I am intelligent enough to know that my fatherand mother fashioned my physical body upon the pattern of their own species,even as every father and mother, whether a bird, reptile, beast or insect, alsofashion a biological gross body upon the pattern of their own species. This iswithin their genes, within their biological make-up. They are capable ofmanufacturing only a prototype of their own species. Every unit of thebiological world, every plant, every flower, every fruit tree, has this capacityof duplicating, reproducing, multiplying and bringing about a prototype of theirown. So upon the physical, material level the body has been fashioned.
But what is that within you which says “I am”? You arenot merely existence, you are conscious existence, distinct from the existenceof a piece of metal or stone or mountain. You are existence qualified byself-awareness which makes you assert: “Yes, I exist.” What is thisprinciple? It is not a biological principle. Your father and mother did not giveyou this principle. They gave you the means through which this consciousness canexpress itself and can make itself felt by other such units of consciousness.And that means is the human brain and the central nervous system. The brain andthe central nervous system are not the mind. The mind is something beyond, it isa different tattwa, a different principle altogether. If a person with the mostperfectly fashioned brain and nervous system–perfect according to medicaltests, scanning and X-ray–is struck with grief, overcome by anxiety, hesuddenly becomes unhinged and is incapable of making use of that perfectlyfashioned brain and nervous system. The mind therefore is not a part of thisbiological unit brought about by our parents, which is only a medium, a channelfor something higher to operate. What the mind is, what the origin and the seatof its movements are, how thought comes into being, how a desire comes intobeing, this has been the special field of study of the great scientists of themind, the yogis of the ancient East. They have made a tremendous contributionthrough their science of the mind called Raja Yoga and Vedanta.
Vedanta and Raja Yoga reveal the secrets and mysteries of thisthing called mind and the consciousness that is beyond the mind. Before I canthink I have to exist. Descartes discovered and cried aloud: “Cognito ergosum.” “I think therefore I am.” But I think he put the cartbefore the horse. You are, therefore you are able to think. If you did notexist, how would the thought process be possible? Is the thinking process firstor the thinker? The thinker is first, therefore he is able to think. ButDescartes was not filled with that self-awareness and stumbled upon it. Thething he was doing always, day in and day out, suddenly he took a new look atit: “Oh gosh, I am thinking–that proves I am existing.” He had beenthinking always, but had never thought about this thinking process. That day hesuddenly thought about thinking. But the ancients discovered first the existenceof being, the existence of consciousness. Then they said: “That alone makespossible all other phenomena. I exist, therefore thought is possible, feeling ispossible, reasoning is possible, everything is possible.” And they attainedto a state of Self-realization. And as I was saying, these great onestranscended the objective mind, the objective world and objectifying, limitingand finite thinking process of the mind–they went into a state of deepmeditation and attained oneness with the cosmic consciousness. Everything becamerevealed to them, past and future were in the eternal Now, all things becameinstantly cognised. There was no more process, only direct instant experience ofall things–they had a glimpse of omniscience. From these heights of theirrealization they brought us certain insights and they have something to tell usabout man’s destiny. One of the things is the existence of this cycle.
The destiny of man as seen by these mystics is to be a similarprocess of going back to his source and origin. And that source and origin is asupreme state of independence, supreme state of consciousness, transcending allvexing limitations, infinite, boundless, eternal, beyond time and space. That isthe source and origin of each one of you sitting and listening to me. Withinthis confined, limited body house you are an immortal spark of the cosmicspirit. You are the radiant ray of this light of lights beyond all darkness. Youare ever a wave of this ocean of infinite eternal existence, never apart fromit, inseparable from it, always one with it, but not aware of it. You are ever awave, a dancing blissful wave upon the bosom of this vast, infinite ocean ofeternal existence. And from that state, loosing the awareness of your essentialnature, you have come down to a lesser level of consciousness, what made youloose the awareness of your essential nature? It is an unfortunateidentification with some aspects of your present human nature which constitutesnot your essential Self, but a temporary added factor being part of yourtemporary human personality. Before your father and mother married what wereyour features? What was your face? What was your name? Were you a Malay or aChinese or an Indian or a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist or a Hindu or anatheist? Were you male or female, short or tall, dark or fair? What were you?You were nothing. All these qualifications which now bind you to a little unitof human consciousness, where you identify yourself with the date of birth,height, age, the weight on the bathroom scale, what a great fault! You a shiningcenter of consciousness beyond time and space, ever free, without limitations,now you are held prisoner by a little confined unit of consciousness,characterized by identification with a body, a name, a form, all these vexingqualifications and limitations. Can there be a greater bondage? You are at themercy of the appetites of the senses, you are at the mercy of the limitations ofthis physical body, hunger, thirst, heat and cold, and you have to provide forall these factors. And because you have become habituated to this bondage youdon’t even feel it. If a person is born a slave, he is not aware of his state.It is only father and mother who were once free and then sold into slavery, theyonly know, they feel the bondage, the chains, and they long to get back intothat state of freedom. The child who is born into that state is quite contentbecause he knows of no other experience. But rousing us from this state ofcomplacency our great sages and saints called to us from the tremendous heightsof their divine experience and they said: “What is it you are doing, youmortals wailing and weeping? Why are you prolonging this bondage? Do you notrealize that this is not your natural state? You have come here and allowedyourself to be bound into this little, abnormal, unnatural state. This is adisease. Come, come, wake up from this state, break the fetters of this limitedhuman consciousness and claim your birthright. Come back again into that shiningstate of divine consciousness beyond time and space, beyond all limitations,where sorrow cannot approach you, where pain cannot touch you–into that stateof absolute bliss, indescribable peace, total satisfaction, fearlessness,deathlessness!
And all the great systems of religious thoughts have at theirorigin this divine freedom, this divine insight, this wisdom. All the greatprophets, be it Mohammed, be it Jesus the Christ, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, beit anyone, they came with this knowledge of man’s destiny. They called manback to his original state, to perfection and freedom. “Be ye also perfecteven as your father in heaven is perfect.” In this way Jesus called manback to his supreme destiny. Every prophet said the same thing. You are not whatyou are now. This is a fallen state. Yours is the state of immaculate purity,and this birth of yours as a human being with feeling, thinking, reasoning is achance given to you to ponder your own life and once again regain this loststate of divinity. Paradise lost is the state of man–paradise regained is thefate of man.
All the great religions came into being to show man the otherhalf of the cycle. You are now in one half of the circle. You have been borninto this state of identification with the gross physical body which isperishable, which is subject to so many imperfections, change, disease, old age,infirmities and one day it has to pass. Now you are involved with that which isnot your real identity, your real Self–it is non-self. It is something whichis part of created phenomena, whereas you are an uncreated principle, eternal,beginningless, timeless, for you are one with the cosmic principle. Temporarilyyou have forgotten your eternal oneness with that. It is a state where you havewandered away and have become alienated from your source and origin, and thathas started all your problems. All your weeping and wailing, all your presenthuman pains and sorrows and sufferings are to be directly attributed to yourhaving separated yourself in consciousness from that great reality which is thevery quintessence of peace and joy. So from this state where only half the cyclehas taken place you have to start the journey back home and complete the cycleand rest once again in that pristine state of divine perfection and freedom.This is the destiny of man as cognised by seers of transcendental divineinsight. They saw man not as a weeping, wailing, fighting, quarrelling, laughinglittle earth creature. They saw within this earth creature potential forGod-consciousness, potential for cosmic consciousness, potential for divineexperience. And until and unless that is attained man has not fulfilled hisdestiny. This is the vision of man and his destiny of the illumined sages andsaints, the Mahapurushas.
But then as all man-made institutions they are perfect when theycome into being and gradually the limitations and defects of human naturecorrupt them. And when the spirit is lost overemphasis is given to form and manclings to the outer shell. So the spirit of the quest and the attainment of onceagain recapturing that glorious divine state, that spirit is lost. Man becomessatisfied in fulfilling only the outer form of religion, in performingceremonies and rituals and does not know that he deprives himself of thegreatest experience. The real essence of religion, the heart of religion isGod-realization. Within the context of the great religion of the Vedas and theUpanishads the one insistence is upon realization and direct experience, notmerely secondhand experience and outer form, but direct realization. The outerforms may help if intelligently pursued. They may bring about a gradual upwardrise of the consciousness, day by day, if you are genuine about them. Otherwisethey can become serious obstacles holding you bound forever to a lesser plane ofconsciousness.
In one word, as experienced and envisioned and declared by yourgreat ancestors, great philosophers of divine experience and wisdom, in one wordit is evolution. Evolution means a steady upward movement into perfection,gradually transcending all limitations, all defects and ultimately finishingyour ascent in a state of absolute perfection. It is called evolution and it isinbuilt into cosmic nature also, even into this physical nature. Take anything,any living thing in this universe. Ponder it, observe it, what do you see?Somewhere in a bush, in the branches of a tree a little bird has built a nest,an empty nest. After some time you see a tiny inert pebble-like object, maybewith delicate designs and colours. You are looking at this little inert objectwhich you call egg, but you are not seeing it–seeing it, yet you are notseeing it. For within that delicate shell a tremendous cosmic dynamism is takingplace. Some wonderful, marvellous thing is happening. The life principle ismoving in the contents of the egg, ever progressively, ever ascending. And thatlife principle, that tremendous movement that is going on and is not seen byyou, ultimately brings into being a perfect prototype of the bird which broughtinto being the egg. Held within that delicate shell is therefore the beautifulmelody of birdsong, there is dormant, latent the colour of the plumage, thewonderful sweetness of the bird’s flight into the blue skies, the grace of itsmovement through the air, the descending, all these, sweetness, grace, colour,melody, beauty, everything is there–the fullest potential for it is there. Andthis law of evolution, this tremendous activity is going on unceasingly, day andnight, even when you are sleeping. Ultimately what happens? Though it containednothing of this when the egg was laid, the egg hatches and out comes a livingthing. Not very beautiful, immediately no one will make a marriage proposal toit–no feathers, no proper wings, all beak and all tummy–but then the sameprocess is going on. The tremendous process of making an incomplete into acomplete thing, an imperfect thing into a thing of perfection, a partial thinginto a whole thing. Taking all powers around it, the nourishment of themother-bird, the warmth of the sunlight, the wind and then the day comes when itspreads its wings and out of the nest flies into the sky another bird.
Take a little bud on the branch of a flower plant. It looks veryinsignificant and you don’t know what is hidden in it. But if only you hadsome other eyes, you would be able to see the tremendous dynamism and theprinciple of evolution at work–forming the softness of the petals, thedelicate colours, the power of attraction, the fragrance, day and night it isgoing on. The bud grows and slowly the inner beauty begins to make itself felt.If only someone would take a video of the entire life of a bud until it becomesa fully unfolded flower, what a marvel it would be! It would be the answer toyour question “What is the destiny of this thing?” The destiny is toreach a stage where it shines as a complete perfect unit of its own species,filled with beauty, filled with fragrance, filled with the power of attraction–attractingman, woman, child, bee and bird, everything around it, wafting its fragrance,shining with colour, softness of velvety and silky petals–a thing of beauty,of joy. And a little while ago it was just a bud.
Take an unripe fruit on a fruit tree appearing like a hardbutton. You bite in it and you make a face. But give it some time. Here also thesame life principle is going on. It makes use of all things, sunshine, rain,water and nourishment from the earth and gradually it grows, develops, changescolour and inside that dry button juice comes to be, and then taste, sweetness,fragrance, the power to satisfy, to give joy. Then it is a ripe, mellow, juicy,tasty delicious fruit upon that selfsame tree upon which was a green, sour,tasteless bud. So you see everywhere in nature is this movement towards becominga perfect unit of the same species. An apple will be a perfect apple, a mango aperfect mango, a vegetable will be a perfect vegetable, a bird’s egg willbecome a perfect bird, a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and afterwards itbursts out into a butterfly with amazing colours and design. When a butterflyspreads its four wings, no human artist can ever fashion these colours and thatdelicate texture. They were not there in the caterpillar climbing the stem of aplant where it makes itself into a chrysalis, and goes into a cocoon and there Ithink it meditates itself into a butterfly, and when it bursts there is thisbeautiful butterfly–children dance with joy when they look at it. It flitsfrom flower to flower, beauty meeting beauty!
So we see that in the whole of nature there is this process ofevolution, which is the law of life moving towards a state of fullness andperfection of its own species. But then there is something wonderful about you–thereis something wonderful about the destiny of man. And here we come to the heartof the theme.
Each species of the plants and animals has this evolutionaryprocess upon one level only. Whereas you, you are a citizen of two worldssimultaneously. Having been born into this universe, man sits on the thresholdof two universes. The outer universe is this gross material world. But he knows”I have not been here some time ago, and after some time I will not behere. I do not belong here.” And all the sages, mystics, the men of broadvision confirm: “Oh man, you are but a pilgrim on this earth, move along tothe divine realm of perfection and fullness, where death cannot reach you, wherethere is no time, no decay. There is the Kingdom of God.” Every religionhas this concept of a great realm transcending the mundane plane of grossmaterialistic existence, where everything is perfect. They give it differentnames, but the sages of the Upanishadic religion went further and broughtspecific data based upon the authority of their own deepest experiences. Theysaid: “We tell you. This is thus. We know it. And if you fulfil theconditions which we fulfilled, you will also know it by experience. It is forall mankind. This state of perfection and divine consciousness is the birthrightof every human individual.” Because man is made in the image of God. Thelight of Allah shines in every human individual, the breath of God in everybeing. Therefore you have another dimension. It is the unseen dimension of yourspirit–you are a dweller of the spiritual universe as well. With your body andmind you are dwelling in this physical universe, but with your consciousness youare ever in the spiritual universe. You are a citizen of two worlds. Andtherefore in your case evolution means a dual process.
As a human being your destiny here is to make use of all thefactors that surround you and utilize them wisely and try to make yourself aperfect unit of the human species. What does that mean? Observe the laws ofhealth. Control the senses, master your passions, be moderate in eating,drinking, sex, pleasures and everything. Develop for yourself a perfectphysique, high standard of health, strength and energy. But then you are endowedwith a mind and an intellect. They must also evolve. They want some knowledge.Guide your powers of reasoning into the right channels. Let your mind bepurified of the dross of mere greed, desire, ambition, craving. Make it pure andthink nobly. Have sublime sentiments. Rise above yourself and ask yourself,”While I am here on this earth what can I do for others? In what way can Imake myself a source of benefit, happiness and help to others?” You aloneof all created living beings are capable of thinking on these lines. Let notthis intelligence think crookedly, let it think straight. Intelligence can beprostituted to desire and passion and make you a crude, crooked, cunning,diplomatic, manoeuvring individual, a danger to others. The intellect must begiven higher thinking, Have an ideal. Ponder the lives of great men, make themyour ideal. Let your intellect think great–how can I become like these people,how can I shine like them? What one man has become, all men can become. Andtherefore I must strive. Even if I strive all my life and do not completely riseup to the level of my ideal, it does not matter. I have not failed, I havesucceeded in my life because I never gave up this idealism. That is success inlife. And therefore man’s destiny is to become an ideal human individual, inhumaneness, in feeling and consideration for others. As you wish others tobehave towards yourself, so behave always towards them. Shine as an ideal humanindividual, as an asset and a blessing to your contemporary society, be a centerof good and benefit to all others and a character with ethical principles andmoral standard. You become a jewel, a priceless diamond and you enrich thesociety for living and acting in it. This is the destiny of man for which he hasto intelligently work.
And upon the inner realm of the spirit your destiny is to regainthe lost divine perfection which is your eternal state, for you have your originfrom that supreme cosmic being, that tremendous imponderable cosmic being, thecosmic power and intelligence which is the sum totality of all that isauspicious, beautiful, good, pure and holy. That is the Supreme Being. You arepart of it. You are rooted in that. You live, move and have your being in thatSupreme Being, whether you know it or not. For that Supreme Being is not locatedat any point in space or time–He is all-pervading. He is immanent in all thesebillions of universes that He has created, and because He is infinite all thesecreated things are within Himself. And He inter-penetrates, permeates and fillseverything He has created. Therefore He is without and within. And you–whetheryou know it or not–live, move and have your being in this divine perfection,in this divine bliss, in this divine sanctity and holiness and sacredness. Thisis your element, like a fish in the vast Pacific Ocean has its origin in thewaters of the immeasurable, limitless Pacific Ocean, it dwells in the PacificOcean and ultimately it ends its existence in the Pacific Ocean. Even so yourlife is in that supreme divine principle. Therefore within the inner dimensionof spiritual consciousness the destiny of man is total divinity. Upon the outerplane the destiny of man is to try his/her best to shine as an ideal unit of thehuman species in human society in this human world. That is the human destiny.
As regards the prophets of doom who say: “Will humanitysurvive in the 21st century? Will the earth through an atomic explosion of athird holocaust be blown into a nuclear cloud? Maybe the earth and all life willcease to be because of radiation and the planet will become a frozen ballthrough the nuclear winter which is feared by scientists …” those who saythat about the destiny of man, whatever their predictions and fears–I havecome here to give you the vision of the ancients regarding the ultimate destinyof man, not the immediate destiny. If this planet earth is completely destroyeddue to a nuclear war and all life ceases here, nothing will happen to you! Youwill not be touched. You will not be affected. Your destiny will not be altered.You’ll migrate and take rebirth on some other planet that will be fashionedfor you. And there you’ll start where you left off here and continue thisrelentless irresistible process of evolution until you shine as a God! You aresleeping Gods. And so, if this world is lost, what will happen? It is only onelittle college. If a college is destroyed by fire, your educational career doesnot come to an end, you don’t have to stay put in 6th class. You can go toanother college and finish your degree, your M.A., your PhD and go to the top ofyour career. For your evolution this planet earth is not the only place, thereare millions of places. Therefore if anything happens, nothing happens. Forwhatever happens, happens only to the physical things, to matter. And what areyou? You are that immortal radiant divine spirit which weapons cannot injure,fire cannot burn, water cannot wet and wind cannot dry–unborn, eternal,permanent–you are beyond time, and death has no meaning for you. You areimperishable, immortal, indestructible, deathless and birthless. Whateverhappens, happens only to this mortal body, to this cage of flesh and bones. Itdoes not need a nuclear war to destroy it. When it becomes old, it will anywaybe destroyed by a heart-attack or an accident. There are a hundred differentways for this body to come to an end, it does not require a nuclear war.
It is a folly of our ignorant leaders, ignorant heads of state,who have no knowledge of the real man and his destiny. They think all theirsubjects in their countries are just earth creatures who have to be given somelittle education in colleges and universities and have to be fed and clothed.Therefore various social and political philosophies have sprung up in order tokeep man well clothed, well fed, with medical aid, housing, schooling and allthese things. They have but touched the outermost edge of the real human being.They do not know man. Man is still the unknown quantity for these secular rulerswho are themselves blind and in deep darkness of their ignorance. They have noknowledge, no wisdom, no real perception. They have crammed their brains onlywith book-knowledge and are no better than computers. For a computer can also begiven a lot of knowledge if you feed enough data into its computer-brain. Andimmediately it will tell you everything you want to know, and also what you don’twant to know. When man gets old his memory goes and he forgets whatever he haslearnt. So this is not the real man. A great doctor and scientist Alexis Carrel,has written a book “Man the Unknown”, that man whom man himself doesnot know.
So our secular heads of state, with their bodyboundconsciousness, who are slaves of their senses and passions, who don’t knowthemselves and the real destiny of man, what can they provide for this innerprocess of evolution? It is only the wisdom teaching of the sages and seers, ofthe great mystics of the ancient times, the medieval times and the modern timeswho can give you solid directions and light upon the path of man’s greatdestiny to divine perfection. Place and time, background and culture do notmatter–their ultimate absolute experiences were all identical. Therefore mybeloved brethren, the destiny of man is not what the limited vision of social orpolitical theoreticians may give. They can only talk about the terrestriallevel. It is the mystics who can tell you: “You are more than man. Andtherefore your destiny is more than a human destiny–it is a divinedestiny!” This human status is a wonderful opportunity and chance given toyou to be utilized in an intelligent manner for working through this presentstate of bodybound and gross material consciousness into a higher state of freespiritual and divine consciousness. It is the ultimate goal of life. This isyour true destiny. You have come here to work out that DIVINE DESTINY!
OM TAT SAT
This talk was given in Malaysia on 13th August,1989.