Otretched beneath the cedars and pines, a cool stone serving for pillow, the soft sand for bed, one leg resting carelessly on the other, drinking fresh air with the whole heart, kissing the glorious light with fullness of joy, singing OM, and letting the murmuring stream to keep time, Rama is questioned, half in joke, by a visitor -some upstart of civilization:
“Why do you import Asiatic laziness into America? Go out, do some good.”
Rama -O my dear Self. As to doing good, is not that profession already chokeful, overcrowded? Leave me alone, me and my Rama.
Laziness, did you say? Oriental laziness? Why? What is laziness?
Is it not laziness to keep floundering in the quagmire of conventionality and let oneself flow down the current of custom and fashion and sink like a dead weight in the well of appearances and be caught in the pond of possession and spend the time which should be God’s in making gold and call it “doing good?” Is it not laziness to practically let others live your life and have no freedom in dress, eating, walking, sleeping, laughing, and weeping, not to say anything of talking? Is it not laziness to lose your godhead? What for is this hurry and worry, this break-neck hot haste and feverish rush? To accumulate almighty Dollar like others, and what then? To enjoy as others? No. There is no enjoyment in running after enjoyment. O dear dupes of opinions, why postpone your enjoyment? Why don’t you sit down here in this natural garden on the banks of this beautiful mountain-stream And enjoy the company of your real blood relations -free air, silvery light, playful water and green earth -relations of which your blood is really formed? Hide bound in caste are the civilized nations. They separate themselves from fellow-beings and exile themselves from free open Kature and fresh fragrant natural life into close drawing rooms -dens and dungeons. They banish themselves from the wide world, excommunicate themselves from all creation, ostracise themselves from plants and animals. By arrogating to themselves airs of superiority, prestige, respectability, honour, they cut themselves into isolated stagnation. Have mercy, my friends, have mercy on yourselves.
The wealth swept out of the possession of more needy and added to your property by organised craft will enable you simply to have sickening dinners of hotels and taverns and furnish you with pallid countenances and conventional looks, will imprison you in boxes called rooms, choked with the stink of artificiality, will keep you all the time in the restlessness of mind excited by all sorts of unnatural stimulants -physical and mental. Why all such fuss for mere self-delusion? In the name of such supposed pleasures lose not your hold on Real joy, no need of beating about the bush. Come, enjoy the Now and Here. Come, lie with me on the grass.
Don’t you waste away your life in soliciting the favour of silver or gold to insure your life. Can your life be insured by becoming rich in money and paying in time? Don’t you believe it, O deluded Immortal! Why seek excuses for existence in rush and push about dainty trifles?
“The world is much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon;
This sea that bears her bosom to the moon;
The winds that would be howling at all hours;
And are up gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything we are out of tune;
It moves us not -Great God! I’d rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn!
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn,
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn
The so-called advanced nations of Europe and America are only in advanced stages of mortification.
Advancement means spiritual or intellectual advancement. True progress must touch the real man and not waste itself on his mere shadow. Progress has nothing to do with material riches or with the multiplying of unnecessary necessities. The ancient Aryans, writing magnificent works, living unsophisticated, free lives and owning nothing in the world, led a mode of life to be repeated by History again with proper modifications. Present civilization is side-tracked from its main end. Man is talked of just as they speak of corn and wheat; prices rising and falling. Rise above it. Nothing can set a price on you.
Beloved devotees of Show, to you the Aryan ideal of Sannyasa, Renunciation, appears as idle dreaming. Be on your guard, please, the time is ripe to shake you and wake you up and make you realize what a terrible nightmare you were under. The civilized man without renunciation through love is only a more experienced and wiser savage.
Be not charmed by the glamour, artificiality, conventionality, money-madness of the civilized world. These have proved a failure. These were tried in the fire and found wanting like wood, hay, or stubble. Half the population is dying of starvation, the other half is buried under conspicuous waste, superfluous furniture, scent bottles, affectations, galvanized manners, all sorts of precious trifles, squalid riches, and unhealthy show.
Neither mental nor manual labour is incompatible with health and longevity except the one is maintained at the expense of the other. But in the present-day world some are living on (rather dying of) manual labour, others are perishing from the luxury of intellectual dissipation (mental strain). This is like dry bread being divided among some members of the family and mere butter (or garnishing) distributed among some others.
The self-condemned slums of the Universe are those who possess anything, the real Sudras are those who claim anything, the self-impeached prisoners in dingy dungeons are those who own anything, the pitiable atoms are those who are for accumulation. These suicides choking and strangling themselves in the dirty dust of riches calling themselves kings and presidents, some drowning themselves in the depth of darkness calling themselves doctors and philosophers, some befoundered in the quagmire of weakness and nervousness calling it strength, bottom-like taking airs of superiority at their very ludicrous condition, self-hypnotised to fish on dry floor -helplessly suffering from the nightmare of possession and property, these self-persecuting strange ascetics need emancipation and waking up. Down with the prerogatives and presumptions of wealth, knowledge, titles, and authority. Equality is the law of happiness. Savage greed, the animal instinct of clutching, grasping, and the worse than animal tendency to possess and accumulate keeps them hurried, worried, and flurried. Let the typhoid fever of arrogance and vain ambition be allayed. Let the inexorable Truth be instilled and drilled into every ear: “Just inasmuch as thou hast possessed anything, thou hast been possessed and obsessed.
Be not oppressed by the pressure of Civilization or the ways of the world around you, O aspirer after Truth! Be not handicapped by the show and display of the so-called advancing nations. Their “facts and figures” are mere trickery of the senses, fables, and fictions; and their “hard cash or stern reality” is mere gossamer and will-o’-the-wisp. In the twentieth century the day is not far off when the progressing nations must change their forms of government or ways of living and fashion them on the principles of freedom and Vedanta. In renouncing the sense of possession, in adopting the spirit of Vedantic renunciation lies the salvation of nations as well as of individuals. There is no other way.
In all the civilized Western countries, suffering from the fever of thirst to accumulate, indigenous forces are strongly at work which soon, very soon, must wake up the self-stifled grubs from the nightmare of Possession. The Reign of Renunciation is to bless the world, the Kingdom of Freedom.
Do you mean to advocate a new faith?
Rama is no advocate of any idea. Truth advocates itself. Rama simply offers no resistance to the Master, just keeps himself transparent, lets the light shine free. Let it shine in any form. Let the body, mind, and all be consumed by the flame!
There can be nothing more fortunate, message delivered, kill the messenger.
Do you play the role of an apostle or prophet?
No. That is below my dignity. I am God Itself and so are you. The body is my vehicle.
It (your message) won’t succeed. People are not prepared to receive it.
What is that to me? I (Truth) never march on these catchpenny considerations. Ages are mine, Eternity is mine. If Christ was rejected by his own people, the whole world took him up. If rejected by his own time, the succeeding ages were his.
History does not bear out your thought.
Rama.— Your History is incomplete. That chapter in History which this Truth is to write, you have not read yet. History shrivels up before Will, even if it be the will of one man. History loses itself on the study of symptoms missing the intrinsic cause.
According to Emerson, true bond of love is feeling alike, and you, a typical non-Conformist, don’t seem to agree with anybody, what a loveless life you must be dragging!
I exult in looking at my paintings (world) from different stand-points. Here I view them as a conservative from behind; there I watch them as a progressive liberal from the front; as Rama (or Puran) I examine from the right; as a critic (of the Thundering Dawn) I inspect from the left. All these poses and side views are entirely mine. When a milk-woman is churning out butter, the string in the right hand is being pulled by herself as well as that in the left hand, All views being mine own, how could I differ from anybody? Thus am I the ocean of Love surging in different waves. I agree to differ from each and all. Come, enjoy with me this Agreement in difference.
Ques. -Is it not mysticism? How can one individual be identified with another individual who lives in complete separation from him?
Ans.—Well, let it be so. I also wonder that to all appearance we cannot be one, and yet we are one. Lame Philosophy may not be capable of proving it, senses may be helpless in showing it; yet it is so. When reality is realized, appearances vanish. Love demonstrates it. “That Thou Art.”God itself thou art.
Why do you say God-Itself?
Some worship God as Father in Heaven and address It as He. Some worship God as Mother Divine and ought to address It as She. Others worship God as beloved sweet-heart (like Persian poets), so before using any personal pronoun for God we ought to determine whether God is Miss, Mrs., or Mister.
Then what is God?
Neither Miss, nor Mrs., nor Mister, but Mystery.