Delivered at Castle Springs, June 9, 1903
The way with the people here is to keep talking while they are eating, but in India it is different. There while you are eating, you have never to talk. You know while eating everybody has to do that process religiously as it were, has to make it sacred. With every morsel of food that goes into your mouth, you have to contemplate on the idea that this morsel is a representation of the outside earth and here am I incorporating into me the whole universe. And while they are eating, they constantly keep that thought in their mind and chant OM, mentally realizing and feeling that the whole world is incorporated in me. OM, OM, the universe is in me, the world is my body. Thus with every morsel they find themselves spiritually strengthened. Spiritual and physical must go together. The whole world is I, my own flesh and blood. The food is a representative of the whole world, my own flesh and blood. All is oneness. That being already familiar to the Hindu minds, all those ideas flock into their minds and the feelings, emotional nature and will power are strengthened to such a degree that realization comes immediately, and the very process of eating called animal process is a realizing process.
While bathing, you are to chant, which means water; water is the ocean of solid earth. Stripped of the clothes the body is united with the water, the body is receiving that water into every pore and we are one with nature, one with the fish, regaining our brotherhood with the water of the universe. Just as the water is taking off the soil and dirt from the body, so is the soil taken off the soul. The whole universe is my food, I am eating air. Similarly every process and every act of life, according to the Vedanta, may be turned into a religious act. Even diseases are deified.
When smallpox visits a house in India, they never worry, never do anything, they rejoice. Is it not wonderful? They have all sorts of music, it is a most religious occasion. Divinity is worshipped by each and all in the house. They have no grief or anxious desires. When the child is cured, they celebrate the worship of the divinity by giving away money, and beating drums and making great show of joy and happiness, expressing their gratitude and love to the divine universe. Nowadays these ceremonies have lost their significance to the masses. Whether the people understand that or not, Rama knows the meaning and puts all that to the best use.
Rama recommends one thing to every one of you. Early in the morning when you get up or are walking or doing anything else, keep your thoughts always at home. Keep yourself always in centre. Be not centre out. Just as the fish live in the ocean of water, just as the birds live in the ocean of air, just so you live in the ocean of light. In light you live, move, and have your being. Even when it is dark, it is light then according to Science. The inner light is always present. In the deep sleep state, light is present. In order to aid concentration, in order to rise to the highest summit of realization for beginners, it is found absolutely necessary to associate their being with light.
We do not worship Light as a material thing, as the Roman Catholics do with their idols. As a most decided step which is calculated to bring you realization of Self, it is preached over and over again in the Hindu Scriptures that you must begin by continually contemplating the light of the world as yourself. When you are chanting OM, feel that you are Light, Glory. Light you are. This idea, which is so scientifically brought about in the Hindu Scriptures was stumbled upon by all the prophets. Christ said, “I am the light of the world.” Mahomet and all the great saints spoke in the same way. As fight you permeate all things. These ideas are to be constantly kept before one and in that way you are always in touch with divinity. Thus with the Hindu, everything is done from a religious stand – point, in harmony with the Spirit.
Willing or unwilling, all the forces of nature are bound to bring man to the Realization of Self. Favourable as well as unfavourable circumstances make no difference whatever. Just as in walking we raise one foot and then the other is brought down, pleasure and pain continually following each other, this process is working throughout the whole universe. Those people are really happy who keep themselves above worldly pleasures and pains. Both of them are to be avoided and therein lies true happiness. One is as welcome as the other. Worldly pleasures and pains do not appear to him as being different, one is as acceptable as the other to the man who rises above them. In the womb of every pleasure is pain present, and in the womb of every pain is pleasure present. He who takes up the pleasures must take up the pains also. They are inseparable. The way to True Happiness is to rise above them. Enjoy the Self all the time. That man is free who can enjoy the pleasures as well as the pains. Live in the Real Self always, and nothing can mar your happiness. All nature pays homage to the man who is free, the whole universe bows down before him. I am that, you are free. Whether this is appreciable today or not, it remains a stern reality, and it must be realized sooner or later by all. The chanting of SOHAM and OM is simply to keep you in the truth. The greatest fall is being brought down to the plane of causality. The very moment one begins to reflect upon the causes of the phenomena in the world, from that very moment one falls. A child is above causation, he enjoys everything and cares not for the reason. So he is cheerful and happy. He is above the plane of causation, causality. Instead of falling into the plane of causation, you must rise into Divinity. I am simply the witness of the phenomena, never entangled in them, always above them. All these phenomena are simply harmonic vibrations, the upward and downward motion of the wheel, the raising and bringing down of the step. The object is to make you rise above causation and not to bring you down. Continuous struggles and efforts have to be made to rise above the plane of causation. Live in your Godhead and you are free, your own master, Ruler of the Universe.
OM! OM! OM!