Lecture delivered at the Academy of Sciences, December 30, 1902
My own self in the form of ladies & gentlemen,
Today so many papers are with us. When a lawyer comes to a law court, he probably brings with him the same number of papers, but all these will not find a hearing. The vast number of these papers does not allow them to be heard, to be answered this evening. There is another reason why we shall not take up most of these papers; because most of them are concerned with the spiritual world, with the next world. At present you are in this world, and it is better to talk a little on the subject which comes more to your business and bosom than about one with which you are not at present concerned.
We shall continue the subject taken up the other evening. It is very important.”Can a married man aspire reasonably to acquire realization?”This is a long subject and cannot be exhausted in to-night’s speech. Let us see what we can learn about the subject tonight.
There was a very cruel and funny master in India. He used to torture his servants in a most funny way. Once, the servant cooked a most delicious dish for the master. The master did not like that the servant should partake of it. It was cooked at night, and the master said,”We won’t eat it just now; we may eat it in the morning. Go to bed just now, and we will eat it in the morning.”The real intention of the master was to eat it in the morning because by that time he would have a very strong appetite. Having abstained from taking any food at night, he would be in a position to eat the whole in the morning, and not let the servant eat anything. That was the real intention of the master. He wanted that the servant should feed on crusts and crumbs, but this intention he could not lay plainly before the servant. He said to the servant,”Well, go to rest, and in the morning, that one of us will eat it who dreams the sweetest dreams, the finest dreams. If by the morning you have dreamed the finest dreams, the whole will be your share; otherwise the whole will come to me and I will eat it up, and you will have to satisfy yourself with crumbs and crusts.”The morning came and now the servant and the master sat before each other. The master wanted the servant to relate his dreams, and the servant said,”Sir, you are master, and ought to have the precedence; you had better relate your dreams first and then I will state mine.”The master thought within himself that this poor servant, this ignorant, illiterate fellow, could not invent very fine dreams. He began to say:”In my dream I was the Emperor of India. In my dream I saw that all the European powers and all the American powers were brought under the sway of the King of India, and so I, as Emperor of India, ruled over the whole world.”You know this was the dream of the cruel master. True Indians do not wish to continue that childish custom of putting up before themselves lumps of flesh called kings and worshipping them. Well, that was the dream of that man. He regarded himself as sitting on the throne of India and governing the whole world, and there he found all the kings of all the countries standing before him and offering him homage. Besides, in his dream he saw all the gods and all the saints brought into his court and sitting on his left hand side, or right hand side (Rama forgets whether it was left or right). Now having related his own dream, he wanted the servant to tell his story, to tell his dream.
The servant, poor fellow, trembling from head to foot, said,”Sir, sir, I have not had any such dream as you had.”The master was elated and very happy, and thought that all the delicious food would come to his lot. The servant began to say that in the dream he saw a big monster, a most ugly, heinous demon coming up to him, with a blazing sword in his hand.”Well, the master began to ask”What next, what next?”Then he said,”Sir, he ran after me, he was about to kill me.”The master smiled that that was a hopeful sign.”He began to kill me, he was trying to slay me.””And what did you do? What was his object in slaying you?”The servant said,”Sir, he wanted me to eat that delicious food or to die.”“And then what did you do?”He said,”I simply went up to the kitchen and ate up everything.”The master said,”Why did you not wake me up?”The servant replied,”Sir, you were the Emperor of the whole world. In your court there was a grand, magnificent gathering and there were men with drawn swords and cannon. Had I tried to approach your Majesty, they would have killed me. I could not come to you and inform you what a terrible plight I was in, so I was forced to eat that delicious food, to enjoy it by myself.”
Rama says you are dreaming about the promised paradise, promised heaven or promised after-worlds. These are things of which you are dreaming, and these are delicious dreams, these are sweet dreams, and in these dreams you are building castles in the air. You are building castles and thinking that you must do this and you must do that. You must fear Satan and you must fear God; you must behave this way, or such and such an angel will not let you go from purgatory to heaven. You are dreaming of these things, but Rama tells you it is preferable to be that servant who was frightened by the monster and ate up the present delicious food. It is better to do that; that was something which concerned the present; that was something which was real at the time. It is more advisable to attend to the matters which come next to your heart, which concern your business and bosom first, and the next world, that world of dreams will take care of itself. Charity begins at home. Begin at home first.
Rama comes now to the question which concerns all of you. It is the question,”How shall a married pair live in order that their marriage may not result in misery, anxiety, pain and sorrow?”They say, ‘Take away our suffering, O God. Christ, take away my sufferings. Krishna and Buddha, take away my sufferings!’ But Rama tells you they may or may not take away your sufferings after death. But in this life, who is to take away your sufferings? In this life, the husband should be the Christ of his wife, and the wife the Christ of her husband; but as it is going on, every wife is the Judas Iscariot of her husband, and every husband the Judas Iscariot of his wife. How to put matters on the right plane, how to place matters on fair terms? Every wife and every husband will have to embrace renunciation. You know Christ, according to the Christian world, is a picture of renunciation. So, if every wife becomes a picture of renunciation, she can save her husband. Renunciation is a word which makes everybody shudder and tremble. Everybody trembles at his word, but without renunciation there is not the least possibility of bringing any heaven unto your households. There is a great misunderstanding about the word renunciation. This word has been used so many times in the previous lectures that it is high time to explain its real meaning. Renunciation does not require you to go into the deepest forests of the Himalayas; renunciation does not demand of you to strip yourself of all clothing; renunciation does not require you to walk barefoot and bareheaded. That is not renunciation. If that were the meaning of renunciation, how could a married pair practise renunciation? They live as husband and wife; they have a household, they have property. How could they be people of renunciation? The picture of renunciation given in the Hindu Scriptures is that of the God Siva and Goddess Parvati sitting together with their family round them. The God Siva and his wife Parvati, husband and wife, live together with their family, with their duties. They are said to be the picture of renunciation in Hindu Scriptures. People understand that the Hindus mean by the word Renunciation retiring into the forest, living away from all society, shunning everything, hating everything. That is not the meaning of the word according to the Hindus. The Hindus have to portray Renunciation even in their family life. If this Vedanta, if this Philosophy or Truth were simply meant for a small minority of people who retire into the forest, what is the use of it? We do not want it. Let it be thrown into the river Ganges; we need it not. This renunciation which the Hindus preach, everyone needs. The kind of renunciation preached by the Hindus is the only secret of success. No hero can distinguish himself unless he is a man of renunciation; no poet can give you any poetry unless he is a man of renunciation. You will mention Byron, who was driven out of England because he was looked upon as a very immoral man. Vedanta says that even Byron owes his genius to his renunciation. It is a very queer idea of renunciation that Rama is going to give you. Washington is a man of renunciation. Had he not had renunciation, he could not have been victorious in the battle. This is very strange now. Don’t you see that every hero, Napoleon Bonaparte, Washington, Wellington, Alexander, Caesar, or anyone, in order to come out victorious, in order that he may be the master of nations, in order that he may be able to sway all armies, has to keep himself practically above the world, above all attachment. His mind must be undisturbed; in peace, quiet, calm, and he must have a single point round which all his energies are concentrated. He must not be disturbed by other circumstances. And what does that mean? It means renouncing all other objects, so to say. The more of this renunciation a man has, the better he is. Napoleon comes on the battlefield, and by a single word”Halt,”stops thousands of men who had come to conquer him. How is that? Where from comes all that power? That power comes from Napoleon’s being lost in the true real spirit, in the divinity within, in the real Atma. This power comes from that. He may or may not be conscious of it. He is standing above the body, above the mind, above everything, the world being no world to him. Similarly, the greatest genius, like Sir Isaac Newton, in order to enrich the world with his Philosophy and Science, has practically to realize this renunciation. He rises above the body, mind and everything. He is sitting in the house, but the house is no house to him; the friends are no friends to him. What state of abstraction! People say he is doing nothing, but when you say that he is doing nothing, there he is at his best. Apparently he is at a standstill, he has renounced everything; but he is at his best. These people, these heroes, these great men of genius, uuconsciously stumble upon renunciation. Now, the truth which they mi consciously put into practice and through which they rise and distinguish themselves, is the object of the Hindu Philosophy to lay before you systematically. The object of the Hindu Philosophy is to bring you to it in the proper way, to make a science out of it and to explain to you the laws, rules and the ways which lead you to it.
This renunciation is described by the Hindus as Jnana, which means knowledge, that is, renunciation and knowledge are one and the same thing. The word renunciation is synonymous with knowledge. But not this established knowledge, knowledge of the material objects. Oh, yes, that also does a great deal to help you, but that is not the real knowledge. This alone can never bring you any peace. The knowledge which is synonymous with renunciation is the knowledge of the Truth, the knowledge of the real Atma, the knowledge of what you are. Now, the knowledge of what you are can be imparted to you intellectually. Will that suffice? To a certain extent, but not perfectly. In order that you may become a Jnani that you may be liberated, even when you are in this life, in order that the wide world may become a Heaven for you, you will have to realize this divine knowledge, the knowledge that you are God, that you are the divine principle, that you are the impersonal supreme energy, force or whatever name you please to give it, that this Supreme God you are. This knowledge acquired not only through the intellect, but in the language of feeling, this knowledge brought into your action, permeating your blood, running through your veins, throbbing with your pulse, being instilled into you and drilled into you can make you Jivanmukta. This knowledge is renunciation. Get that knowledge and you are a man of renunciation.
Retiring to the forest is simply a means to an end; it is like going to the university. In the university we acquire knowledge, but it is never understood that we should remain there forever and ever. Similarly, to acquire this knowledge you may retire into the forest for a while, but the Vedanta philosophy never teaches that retiring into forest is renunciation. Renunciation has nothing to do with your place, position, or your bodily work; it has nothing to do with that. Renunciation simply places you at your best, places you on your vantage-ground. Renunciation simply enhances your powers, multiplies your energies, strengthens your force, and makes a god of you. It takes away all your sorrow; it takes away all your anxiety and fear. You become fearless and happy.
How can a married man realize this renunciation? If the husband and wife agree to bring about each each other’s pleasure, the matter can be settled even today. All the Bibles can do little good unless wives and husbands undertake to be each other’s saviours or Christs. Just see. When people come to religious lectures, they are told to renounce everything, to look upon their property and their body as God’s, to look upon themselves as not this body, but as the Divinity; they are preached to that way. They receive some knowledge. Hut when they go home, what happens? There comes the wife and she says, “Mr. so and so, I want a big gown,” and he says he has not the money. What does it mean? There comes a child and it says,” Papa, oh dear papa I Come in.”Oh, my boy, my wife, my daughter, my sister, begins to say that.
The same daughter, sister, property, house, and family, all these were turned over to God in the church; when the house is reached, all is taken back from God. It becomes ‘mine’, ‘mine’. It is no longer God’s. That momentary passing feeling that overtook the mind, ”O God, I am Thine, I am Thine, everything is Thine, I renounce everything unto Thee”, that feeling disappeared in a moment, when the face of the wife and children was seen.
You see that spiritual progress and family life as it stands at present are contradictory to each other; they are conflicting. What is done in the church is undone at the house, more than undone perhaps. It is just like Penelopese. She used to wind the thread all day long and when the night came, she used to unwind everything that was wound up. Similarly, all of you wind up your spiritual progress in the churches, and in your sermons and prayers, and all is undone, unwound at home. If matters go on that way, there is no hope.
If you are not playing a joke with God, and if you do not want to make your prayers a mockery, you will have to attend to the matter in the proper way.
You will have to remove the cause that retards your spiritual progress; you will have to mend matters at home. Every wife will have to become the Christ of her husband and every husband will have to become the saviour of his wife. People say,”Oh, I love you, I love you.”What humbug! If you really love your wife or your husband, you ought to be able to sacrifice something for her or him. If you really love him or her, you ought to sacrifice something for him or her, but do you? No, no. The wife wants to possess the husband and the husband wants the wife to belong to him, as if she were an insensate object which could belong to him, could be his property. One wants to make the other a dependent. If you really love each other, you ought to try to advance each other’s good. Do you really do that? You think you do, but you are mistaken in the way you think. Brother, to pander to the sensual desires of the wife or husband is not bringing happiness to him or her, is not bringing real happiness to him or her, not at all. If that were the only way to engender happiness, then all families would have happiness. Is it so? Are families happy? Not one in thousands. Why should they not be happy? Because they do not know how to advance each other’s happiness and promote each other’s welfare. They do not know that. They think that simply to gratify the animal desires is to advance happiness. To pamper each other’s vanity is not doing any real good. Somebody says, “To love is to make a compact with sorrow,” and the experience of most of the novelists, historians, and people in this world is the same. ”To love is to make a compact with sorrow.” But is there something wrong in love that brings about sorrow? No. There is something wrong in the use you make of love that brings you sorrow in its train.
In one of the Indian Scriptures, there is a story that Lord Krishna, the famous God of India, the Christ of India, was about to be devoured by a big demon. He took a dagger in his hand. He was devoured and swallowed up. Finding himself in the stomach of the dragon, he pierced the heart of the dragon; the heart broke, the dragon bled to death, and Lord Krishna came out. That is exactly the case. What is Love? Love is Krishna; that means Love is God. Love is God and it enters the heart, it enters the inner mind of a man of sensual desires. It enters the heart and just when it has got a seat, when it has a place in the very core of the heart, it deals a thrust, and what is the result? The heart: breaks; hearts break. Agony and sorrow is the result; weeping and gnashing of teeth comes about in all the cases of worldly love? That is the way. That is what happens. That is the law. Attach yourself to any worldly object, begin to love any worldly object for its own sake, and there the God Krishna gets into you and then stabs you. The heart breaks, you are sorrow stricken, and you murmur and cry, ”Oh, this love is very cruel, it has ruined me.”
There is a law that anybody in this world who will attach himself to any personality or worldly object shall have to suffer; either that friend or object will be taken from him, or one of them will die, or there will be a rupture between them. This is an inevitable Law. Do not hear listlessly; let it sink deep into your hearts; let it penetrate your minds. Whenever a man attaches himself to any worldly object, whenever a person begins to love a*n object for its own sake, whenever a man tries to seek happiness in that object, he will be deceived, he will find himself simply the dupe of the senses. You cannot find happiness by attaching yourselves to worldly objects. That is the Law. All your worldly attachments will end in the breaking of the heart; nothing else. Trust not in the mighty dollar, trust in God. Trust not in this or that object, trust in God, trust in your Atma or Self. All worldly attachments bring misery in their train, because all worldly attachment is idolatry. There are beautiful images made, beautiful statues, etc. All these bodies also are images, idols; they are statues, pictures, portraits. You begin to love a picture for its own sake and ignore the person whose picture it is, are you not worshipping an idol? Suppose you have a picture of one of your friends, and you keep it with you, you love it, shower your caresses, bestow all your affections upon it, so much so that when the man whose picture it is, comes into your house, you heed him not, and you slight him. Is that fair, is that fair? Will that, friend leave his picture with you? No, no. He gave you his picture in order that you might remember him; he did not give you his picture that you might forget him. That picture ought not to have been the object of worship; it was idolatry to love the picture for its own sake. You had to love the God, you had to love the master, the owner of that picture. Similarly, all the objects in this world are simply pictures, emblems of God. Husbands and wives fall a prey to the pictures; they fall a prey to idolatry and become slaves of the image. Your Bible tells you that you should set up no idols, no images for God, and you ought not to practise idolatry. By the word ‘idolatry’ it was not meant that you should not worship these idols; it was meant that these were the living idols. Do not forget the original for the idol, that was the meaning.
In one of the cemeteries in India, Rama saw an inscription on a tomb which ran like this;
“Here lies the babe that now is gone,
An idol to my heart.
If so, the wise God has justly done,
It was needful we should part.”
It was written by a lady. She idolized that child. She began to make more of the child than of the original, of the reality, of which the child was simply a picture, and the child must be taken away. That is the Law; that is the rule. If you make the right use of the pictures, they will be with you; make the wrong use of them, there will be rupture, sorrow, anxiety, and fear. Make the right use, we can keep the picture with us, but only when we love the original more, more than his picture. Then alone can we keep the picture with us, otherwise never. That is the Law. This is Renunciation.
This is the way that in every house Renunciation ought to be practised.
It will be explained more fully. Just see. Here you are, a man or woman, lady or gentleman, a goddess or a god. There is your object of love. What is it that charms you, fascinates you, attracts you? Is it his body, is it his skin, is it his eyes, nose, ears, etc.? No, no, not at all. Be more rational and reasonable than the poets. It is not these that attract you. If these were the object of love, if these had any charm in them, when the body is dead, they would be attractive. When the person dies, even in that state you would be attracted by the body; but you are not. Then in what did the charm lie? Who caused all this charm and fascination? It is the spirit, then, it is the Life within, it is the Power within, the Atma within, nothing else. Through the eyes of everybody it is the God within that is speaking to you; the God within has the body for its picture, portrait, or dress. Love not the dress more than the person, more than the reality within, which wears that garment. Now, reflect and you will see.
There are some people who are more attractive than others, who have more grace in them. You will excuse Rama if he talks about a subject which it is not customary to talk about. It is a strange thing that we do not listen to the things which, in our heart of hearts, most interest us. It is not usually the custom to talk on this subject. But as it is very important and really concerns you, and as others do not talk on this subject, for that very reason Rama talks on it.
Well, it is grace, and wherefrom does grace come? What is grace, movement and activity? What is that? Is that due to the eyes, the ears, or the nose? No, that appears in the eyes, the ears, etc. You may have heard about Cleopatra, that Egyptian girl, Cleopatra that African, Negro girl. She fascinated that Emperor, Mark Antony, charmed him, kept him spell-bound. It was through grace. Grace comes from the Divinity within you and from nothing else. It is activity. And to what is activity, energy, or motion due? Just see. You can walk uphill, you can ascend steep mountains. You can go from place to place, you can move anywhere you like, but when the body dies, what becomes of it? When the body dies, that activity, that God within you that could lift you up to such heights, does not give it help in the same way as it did before. Who is it then within this body that makes the muscles move, that makes the hair grow, that makes the blood circulate in your blood vessels? What is it? What is it that gives all the movement, energy, activity to the organs of the body? What is it? It is the one Universal Power, the one Universal Divinity, the one Universal God which you are in reality, it is the Attn an. When a man dies, some men have to carry him to the cemetery or crematorium; and when he was alive, what was it that lifted his heavy weight of so many pounds to such heights, to such mountains? It is something invisible, indescribable, but it is there. That is the Divinity within you, that is the God in every body, and it is that God who gives activity and power to everything; it is that God to whom is due the grace in the movements of every person. When a man is asleep, his eyes do not see; when he is asleep, his ears do not hear. When a man is dead, his eyes are there, but he does not see; his ears are there, but he does not hear. Why? Because that Divinity or Atma within does not help in the way it did before. It is the God within that sees through the eyes; it is the God within that makes the ears hear; it is the God within that makes the nose smell; ‘and it is the God within that gives energy to the muscles. It is the God within that is the essence, or the quintessence of all the apparent grace. It is the God within. Remember that. Mark that. Who it is that faces you, who it is that looks you straight in the face when you look at a person? It is God within. The outward eyes, skin, ears, etc., are only the garb; they are only the outward raiment, nothing else.
Now when the people in this world love, and desire objects, they begin to love the dress, the raiment more than the Reality within, which shines through that dress or raiment. Thus they idolize and worship the raiment or the image more than the Reality, the Original, the Truth within. Thus it is that people suffer the bad consequences of this sin. This it is. Rise above it; rise above it. Let every wife and every husband try to see the God in each other. See the God within; worship the God within.
Everything should become Divine to you. Instead of the wife being a wide gaping door to hell, should be, as it were, the mirror through which the husband could see God. The husband should be the mirror in which the wife could see God, instead of being the wide gaping door to hell.
How can a wife or husband raise her or his companion to this realization, to this Divinity, to this Vedantic concentration of all the energies? How can they do it?
If a wife is to be the saviour of her husband, first she is to s:ive him from all outside contaminations. If he is unmarried, he is liable to fall a victim to all sorts of temptations. He is like a boat without a rudder, at the mercy of all the winds and storms, no matter from what direction they blow. So long as a man is unmarried, a man without divine knowledge, so long as he is unmarried, he has to bear «1I sorts of contaminations from all directions, and the wife is, first of all, to save him from these temptations. Now, what happens? Ordinarily wives do not save their husbands from these temptations, but they themselves become a heavy burden upon their shoulders. It is just like a man giving away all his dollars and purchasing one big note with all these dollars. He has got rid of the burden of other temptations, but now this one dependence outweighs all the previous humiliation. He is not subject to the previous kinds of temptations, but this one temptation is enough for him.
It is just the case of the horse that came to a man to be saved. You know there was a time once when Man too lived in the jungles. The horse also lived in the jungles; the deer and stags too lived in the jungles, as they do in these days. A horse was once worsted in a fight with a stag. The stag stabbed him with his antlers. The horse came to the man to seek help. The man said, “Alright, I will help you. I have arrows in my hands. You take me on your back and I will go and kill your enemies”. The man rode on the back of the horse, went into the forest and killed the stag. They came home victorious. The horse was very happy. Now the horse wanted to go. The horse thanked the man, and said, “Dear sir, I thank you. Now I want to leave you”. The man came up and said, ”O horse, O horse, where do you want to go? Now that I have come to know how useful you are, I will not let you go. You have to be my servant, you have to become my slave.”The horse was saved from the stags, deer, and other, beasts of the forest, but he had lost his freedom; and the slavery which was the result of his outward success, did not counterbalance his loss of freedom.
So it is with Man. After his marriage he is saved from many temptations, but the one temptation, the slavery or dependence to which he is reduced in relation to his wife, is just like the treatment that the horse received at the hands of man.
Now, how is the wife to become the saviour of the man? She saves him from some temptations; well and good so far as it goes, alright. Now, the next subject is that she ought not to enslave man. (The Americans say they have conquered the Philippinos, but they will be enslaved if they are not careful) How is this to be effected? A wife should not try to enslave her husband, and her husband should not make her a dependent. This is the next step now. If this is effected, there is every hope; otherwise none. This is a point which is seldom or never brought to your notice, but it is a fact. You know Christ was taken to be the Saviour of mankind, and it was said that he would save the whole universe, and he would wipe out all sin, and bring about the Kingdom of heaven upon the earth. But in spite of all your Bibles, Korans, and Vedas, in spite of all these, we find the world just as irreligious as it was before. What is the cause? It is because the real cause of evil is not eradicated; the real difficulty lies in your domestic circles. Unless the wife undertakes to do real good unto the husband, and the husband undertakes to promote the welfare of the wife, religion can never prosper; there is no hope for religion.
You know these are days of steam and electricity. Religion ought to pack up and depart. O Christians, O Hindus, O Mohammedans, if you really want that the misery of the world should be eradicated, if you want that the suffering of man-kind should be removed, you ought to attend to this, you ought to establish the matrimonial relations on fair terms, you ought to instill into the heart of every lady and gentleman that it is a duty to prove the Christ to his wife or to her husband. It is incumbent on us to do that; it is our bounden duty to prove the Christ. And how can that be done? That can be done if the wife does not want 1o make a slave of the husband and the husband does not want to make the wife dependent on him. Free all of yourself, and you will be free. That is the Law.”Action and reaction are equal and opposite. ”Make her dependent upon you, make her your slave and you will be a slave too. Oh, this is a most terrible speech. Truth is always disagreeable, terrible. Christ taught that terrible Truth, and he was persecuted and crucified. Socrates came and he was given hemlock. Truth is never taken cheerfully by the people. It seems to be a terrible statement, but so it is. Just mark.
A man has a rope round the neck of an ox, fastened to the horns of the ox, and he holds the other end of the rope in his own hand. He thinks that the ox is his servant, his slave; but he is just as much a slave of the ox, as the ox is his slave. What reason has he to say that the ox belongs to him? Because the ox cannot leave him. Now just mark, if the only reason is that the ox can’t leave him, we say that he cannot leave the ox and go. The ox cannot leave him because he cannot leave the ox. If he could leave the ox, if he had been free, if he had not been a slave of the ox, the ox would not have been a slave unto him. This is the Law.
Don’t you see that all the families are suffering? Is it not a fact? Is it not a fact that almost all the families in this world, in Europe, America, India, Japan, or anywhere, are suffering? They say u Happy home, happy home.”What humbug! What a name, a mere name, a mere dream!! How is it that people are suffering and the homes are not happy? And do you not, from your heart of hearts, desire that the homes should be happy? If you wish for happiness, you must be in earnest; do not make the home a big joke. Be in earnest, be sincere; try to find out the cause. Examine it, scrutinize it, investigate it, and you will see that the only cause of the discord and want of harmony in the families is that they do not know the laws of nature, and are ignorant. They are possessed by that demon Ignorance. They do not know what the plan of Nature is, in what line the course of Evolution runs. They do not know that. Rama tells you that the line along which evolution courses and all this nature works is that each and all should, step by step, by slow degrees, come up nearer and nearer to the realization of the Divinity within them. That is the course, that is the line along which all the phenomena in this world move. Everybody should realize the God within him; everybody should become the perfect Atma, the perfect Divinity by realizing the Divinity within. All this struggle for existence is due to people not realizing this.
Make your relations with your wife or husband such that the progress may be in the right line, that you may work with the plan of nature. The plan of nature is freedom, freedom, freedom. Make your wife free of yourself, and you will be free of her. What does that mean? Does it mean that all ties should be broken at once, snapped all at once, cut like the Gordian Knot? Does it mean that? Does it mean that every man should be let loose in this world and every woman should be altogether free? No, not at all. Freedom cannot be had that way, that is bondage, slavery. By making the companion “free” it is meant that you should make him or her believe and trust not in your body but in the God within you. When she loves you or you love her, you love the God within her and make her love the God within you. They say they all believe in Jesus Christ. Rama says you ought to believe in your wives and husbands. Kama says, “Believe not in the lump of flesh of your companion; believe in the Divinity within”. You should look at this outward flesh and skin as a curtain which become transparent to you, and you see beyond the curtain the God within.
Let us be like a bird, that one instant lights upon a twig that swings. He feels it bend but sings unfrightened, knowing that he has his wings. The twig swings up and down, the bird is not frightened; for even though he is sitting on the twig, he is on his wings, so to say. The bird knows that he is trusting not in the twig but in his own wings. That is the way. His trust is not in the twig on which he is sitting; he relies upon his wings.
Similarly, wherever you may be, however you may be attached to your wife or child, rest not there, set not your heart on that. Let your heart be with God, let your heart be upon the Divinity within you: that is the way. Behave in this way yourself and make your wife and children behave in the same way. You will be free of them, they will be free of you. No dependence; independence, freedom!! Thus can every American be made free.
The interesting part of the lecture comes now.
There was seen at one place a most beautiful picture. In that portrait or picture, there was a magnificent coach. Upon the coach there were splendid, royal cushions and pillows. A lovely queen was lying upon the coach; the children were on one side of the coach and the king was sitting on a chair. It, was a beautiful picture, it was charming, it was so splendid. The queen was very sick, on the point of death; and her husband, the king1, was shedding tears, and her son and daughter were weeping. It was a beautiful picture. Would you like to possess that picture? Oh, indeed, every one of you. Had you seen that picture, you would have purchased it, it was so lovely. Why would you like to possess that picture? There was a charm about it which would have kept you spell-bound, but would you have liked to be that dying lady? Just answer. Would you have liked to be that queen? Very rich she was, but she was about to die. And would you have liked to be that weeping husband, or those crying children? No.
Vedanta requires you to live in your families, to live in your homes, in a position of God, to live in your houses as a witness, as an impersonal God, not attached, in no way mixed up or entangled. Keep your mind always at rest, always unattached, keep your heart and mind always fixed upon the Divinity within, and look at all the household matters just as you would have looked at that picture. You know that when you look upon it as a witness, it is a source of enjoyment; when you get entangled in it, it is a source of misery. If we get entangled in the phenomena of this world, we are in a sad plight. When we look at it from an impersonal standpoint, as a witness, we enjoy it, it is so lovely to us. Similarly, realize the Divinity within. Hear all of Rama’s lectures, and by gradual advancement you become convinced. Rama guarantees that anybody in this world who hears all of Rama’s speeches, would get his doubts removed, is sure to come to the conviction of his own Divinity. First acquire a firm conviction in your Divinity or Godhead. Get that, and then by the process which will be given, by the methods which will be told, centre yourself in that Divinity. Become the same, realize yourself to be God, eternal and all-powerful.”The same am I, the same.”Realize that and look upon all your household concerns and all these matters as if they were that picture, as if you were not concerned at all. This seems to be paradoxical and self-contradictory. People say that if they do not get entangled in these matters, they can make no progress. Oh, you are wrong. The very moment you get entangled in these matters, you cease to make progress. When you are writing, the writing is being performed impersonally. At that time your
egotism, your little self, false ego, is altogether absent; automatically, mechanically is the work being done, It is a kind of reflex action, the hand goes on writing by itself. Why? Because you do not thrust your little self, your selfish ego, into the matter. The very moment you begin to reflect in your mind, “Oh, I have written splendidly, I have done wonderfully”, you will make a slip.
Thus we see that work is done only when we get rid of the little selfish ego. The moment you assert the selfish ego, your work is spoiled. The best work is the work that is done impersonally. Renunciation means getting rid of this little personal, selfish ego, getting rid of this false idea of Self. The sun shines. The sun has no idea that he is working, but as the sun is impersonal, he is so charming and attractive. The rivers flow; there is no little personal $go in their flowing, but the -work is being done. The lamp burns, but it is not the personal ego—”I am great, I am burning, I um shedding light”—that does the burning. The flowers bloom and send sweet fragrance all around, but they have no idea that they are very sweet, that they are very good.
Similarly, let your work be impersonal, let your work be free from the taint of selfish egotism; let your work be just like the work of the stars and the sun; let your work be like that of the moon. Then alone can your work be successful. Then alone can you really do anything in this world. All heroes, all men of genius had this secret, they possessed this master key. They threw themselves in a state of impersonality, and then alone could their work be so prosperous. That is the rule Give up the mistaken idea that unless you get yourself entangled in a matter, you will never prosper. You are wrong in believing that way.
The Law is that -a man should be at rest, at peace, undisturbed, and the body should always be in motion; the mind to be subjected to the Laws of Statics and the body subjected to the Laws of Dynamics; the body at work and the internal self always at rest. That is the law. Be free. Let things lie as truly but as softly as the landscape lies on the eyes. The landscape lies on the eyes truly, fully, wholly, but how softly. It does not burden the eyes. All the landscape lies on the eyes, but the eyes are free, not burdened. Just so let your position be in your household matters, in your family or worldly life. You may see all these phenomena and be unentangled, free; and this freedom may be attained only through knowledge of the true Self, through realization of the perfect Truth, called the Vedanta. Realize the true Divinity, and all the stars and planets will do your bidding.
Roll on, ye suns and stars, roll on,
Ye motes in dazzling Light of lights,
In me, the Sun of suns, roll on.
O orbs and globes mere eddies, waves
In me the surging oceans wide
Do rise and fall, vibrate, roll on.
O worlds, my planets, spindles, turn;
Expose me all your parts and sides,
And dancing, bask in light of life.
Do suns and stars or earths and seas
Revolve the shadows of my dream?
I move, I turn, I come, I go.
The-motion, moved and mover I.
No rest, no motion, mine or thine.
No words can ever me describe.
Twinkle, twinkle, little stars,
Twinkling, winking, beckon, call me.
Answer first, O lovely stars,
Whither do you sign and call me?
I’m the sparkle in your eyes,
I’m the life that in you lies.
This is your true Self; this is what you are. Realize that and be free. Realize that and you are the master of the universe; realize that and you will find that all your business matters, all your affairs by themselves, by their own accord, turn up before you in the most desirable way. You will see that success will h.ive to seek you, and you will not have to seek success. You will see that this faith in the Divinity within, this realization of the God within, will make the whole universe your abject slave, will make everything in this world subordinate to you. You will find that success and prosperity will seek you, and you will not have to seek them. ‘If the mountain does not come to Mohammet, Mohammet will go to the mountain’. The very moment you stop seeking pleasure from those worldly objects and become free, realize the Divinity within you, you need not go to Mohammet, Mohammet will come to you. That is the Law. That is the secret; that is the hidden secret governing this world. You are that principle. Realize that, make your wife and children realize it. Be free yourself and set them free. There you make a heaven out of a veritable dungeon, you make a paradise for you in your homes, you make your most quarrelsome homes happy homes. There is no other way. There is no escape from this inevitable, unrelenting Law. This is the way, this is the only sesame; this is the only master-key which unlocks all the treasures in this world. If you realize the Divinity within you, you are free. Help others, to realize it.