Most of the following was originally written in reply to a
question asked on the road just before the parting of ways.
Was it you, Blessed one, who once asked Rama’s views about “Property-rights?” or, if you excuse me for the correction, “Property wrongs?” Well, whoever it may have been that put the question, in Rama’s eyes it was your own noble self, whether in this body or some other.
What is Property?
That which is proper to one or right for a being (or
Inherent lightness, combustibility, etc., are the properties of Hydrogen but the glass which holds the gas can never be its property. So, manhood, nay, Godhead is your property, but the house in which you live or jewellery can never be your property. People are willing to lose their birthright, their natural Property -Godhead, but how persistently they make fun of themselves by tenaciously clinging to house, gold, and the like regarding these their property! What a huge joke!
All divisions and distinctions on the riches and possessions are quite as unnatural as mankind’s classification by shoes.
Rama proclaims by this that the only veil or hindrance to the realization of Self is the usual sense of property, the rights of bundles and baggage. The very moment we want to possess a thing, possessed we are by the demon of Self-delusion. Renunciation, or you may call it All-Possession, by identification with Truth is Vedanta pure and simple. Perfect Democracy, equality, throwing off the load of external authority, casting aside the vain accumulative spirit, throwing overboard all prerogatives, spurning the airs of superiority, and shaking off the embarrassments of inferiority, is Vedanta on the material plane. And Vedanta carries that spirit on the mental and spiritual planes as well. Giving up the exclusive claim to anything and everything including the body, intellect, writings, sayings, house, family, reputation, prestige is Vedanta. In other words, destroying all hedges and limitations, fencing not yourself in by fencing others out, but as God regaining supreme dominion over every power, atom, star, and tree in the world is Vedanta. Many organized attempts are being made (often unconsciously) to pave the way for the realization of Vedanta by the world at large. The flag of Sannyasa must eventually wave all over the world. Some Vedantins are already living a life of perfect Love-Government and in some quarters the flame has been kept alive from prehistoric times.
Just think of a sage sitting on the bank of the Ganges while cows, dogs, fishes, and birds, emboldened by his love, fearlessly approach and share with him the loaf of bread from his hands* Let me cite an extreme case.
I know of a Swami whose body was suffering from a severe wound. Worms were eating up the skin, no ointment to kill the worms would he use, or when the satiated worms fell down from the pus of the sore he would pick them up and laughingly, smilingly help them on to the sore part. This little body belongs to every insect in the world and the wide world belongs to me. The universe is my body. Air and earth are my dress and shoes.
Swami means a continuous giver. Keep to Truth and let everything else go. A Sannyasin, the only alms taken by whom are given away to the more needy, when he has nothing more to give, very cheerfully does he give away his body to flies, worms, and reptiles, and, as the Self of all, he enjoys in the capacity of receiver as well. He enjoys as flies and worms while partaking of the feast of flesh; he enjoys as air and heat while drying up the bones.
Ordinary Charity: The sense of possession had taken such a turn, and things have come to such a pass that to give back a nominal moiety of the wealth which has been accumulated by degrading, impoverishing and hard pressing one portion of society is called noble charity, as if to pour a little water into the mouth of a dying victim to prolong his tortures were the highest virtue. To charge no vyaj (which originally means in Sanskrit, fraud, craft, and nowadays designates interest) is considered great favour, because vyaj is the order of the day.
This describes the charity of Europe and America. Indian charity, however, does not trouble itself so much about the starving, labouring classes (Sudras), but it takes the charitable donors straight to heaven by feeding the oversated idlers, in the store-houses of God, the high representatives of religion petrified.
I shall make simplicity fashionable. What makes you more attractive? Is it the clothes that conceal you or the grace that reveals you? No need of borrowing beauty from clothes or anything. Wear natural smiles, health, and cheerfulness.
Let anybody come and steal. Let the poor government make a fool of herself by becoming possessed of possessions. What is that to you? You give not your portion up. Truth, truth is yourself. Certainly not for the “salt sea spray” (of material riches) but for Truth you stand up. Shall we require any University Degrees? Nonsense. The final Degree must be self-conferred.
It is true that a dream-built sword is necessary to vanquish a dream-tiger. But from the stand-point of wakeful consciousness both the sword and the tiger of dreamland do not count anything. Just so with the empirical sciences and arts: however indispensable they may be as worldly knowledge, they carry no value in Divine Wakefulness. One of the great stumbling blocks in the way of self-realization is the deference and abnormal respect for intellectual capital -University Degrees, certificates, titles, honours, and other mental possessions. To a man of realization the world is simply the creation of the hypnotism of people, who in this self-created bedlam keep each other in countenance by mutual suggestion. All the objects in the world are simply like the lakes created by a hypnotized man on dry floor, and being of such nature, the knowledge of those objects also, on which the Doctors and Professors pride and take airs of superiority, is nothing more than hypnotism. The world is but etherial and so is the knowledge of these people. To a man of realization who has risen to the fountain-head of all worldly phenomena, neither the great spheres, the rivers, the mountains, the suns and stars appear as surprising, nor the knowledge of such phenomena as possessed by astronomers, mathematicians, botanists, geologists, and zoologists appears to be of any intrinsic value Beyond mere play, amusement, and fun. The people who possess worldly objects (capitalists) and those who possess the knowledge of objects (Scientists) stand on the same level with those objects, that is to say, are phenomenal. The frowns and favours, criticisms and suggestions of the Doctors, Philosophers, and Professors fall flat upon a man of God-Realization, have no meaning to him. Usually Universities, shows and fairs are nothing short of different means to prolong the hypnotic state. As a rule churches, temples, gatherings, and meetings are different methods of prolonging the hypnotic world-sleep. The jivanmukta feels no surprise or wonder if the sun were to cool down to the freezing point, or if the moon were to rise in temperature to the highest decree, nay even if the flame of fire were to burn below the fuel instead of above it, or all space were rolled away like a scroll. There was a time when the Brahmans (Priestcraft) ruled the world; there was an age when the Kshatriyas (Chivalry) reigned; these are now the days when Vaishyas (Capitalists) govern; and next is coming the era of the supremacy of labour in Sudras, but Sudras blessed with the spirit of Sannyasa.
In Europe and America the working class (the Sudra caste) is not stereotyped and rigidified by rules of heredity and religious injunctions and yet matters are very unsatisfactory. In India the evil and injustice is doubly multiplied by the caste-system coming to aid the self-delusion of all the parties. This prevents strikes but makes the whole nation more helpless and more timid than innocent sheep.
Up to this time Vedanta has been the exclusive property of a few only. It has lived on the intellectual plane mostly. This child conceived so long ago remained in the womb of the earth (the Himalayas), but it comes down at last to the plains as the holy Ganges, washing alike the Brahman and the Sudra, purifying man as well as God, sweeping away all unnatural differences. Organic man should be one, which is seldom felt. Just as regular meals you need to take consciously but the assimilation or distribution of the food material into different parts and organs of the body takes care of itself unconsciously to you, while you concentrate in unity and integration (love and divinity) the differentiation and appropriate variation will take care of itself.
O Princes, Priests, Sudras, and ruling classes of India I Can you conceive the state of affairs a few years hence? Call it odd and curious, yet I see before me a world of Swamis; gods walking on the face of the earth; clay-classifications of Man swept away; the distinctions in India, China, America, England, etc., dissolved; new crystals springing up to be dissolved again in their turn.
O dreaming darlings! Cast away the scales from your eyes and see the highest Sannyasins joining hand with the lowest Sudras; lo! there is the begging bowl converted into a spade or hoe. Sannyasins shorn of their laziness, Sudra -labour exalted to the dignity of Sannyasa, the spirit of renunciation actuating all, shameless boldness of a harlot and the purity of Rama combined, the tenderness of a lamb wedded to the resolute intrepidity of a lion, the extremes meet and the intermediate unnatural distinctions dissolved, the world becomes one family. See all this, look there and see!
Shall we require sword or fire? No. Any police? No. Is it Utopia? No flimsy phantom this. Is it communism or socialism? May be. But for India it is the native growth, the most natural application of Vedanta. O Indians, if you know yourselves and adopt this renunciation, where will the disease be?
When the mental malady is gone, material disease is bound to flee. No need of underhand work, no need of policy playing, no need of suspicion and fear. Let that be followed by the timid Decides.
I am Emperor Rama, whose throne is your own hearts. When I preached in the Vedas, when I taught at Kurukshetra, Jerusalem, Mecca, I was misunderstood. I raise my voice again. My voice is your voice. Tat-Tvam-Asi. Thou art all thou seest.
Some of you are scowling. Some of you I see have turned up your noses at an angle of thirty degrees. Some of you have thrown off the paper in disgust. Do what you please, but the Dispensation must work. No power can prevent it, no kings, devils, or gods can withstand it. Inevitable is Truth’s order. Faint not. My head is your head, cut it if you please, but a thousand others will grow in its place.
Shams-Tabriz sings the same melody. Did the sweet Bullah and powerful Gopal Singh of the Punjab chant the same song? Did Jesus babble the same Truth? Did Muhammad see the same Crescent moon? That is nothing to me. My Id comes when I see her. Old truth is ever new. Your Id comes when you realize for yourself. All the prophets, and saints, the heroes of your self-ignorance, are merged in you the moment you wake up to your real Self, God’ Truth.
OM! OM!! OM!!!