Golden Gate Hall, San Francisco, January 29, 1903
Would it not be best to start a Society of our own for pursuing these truths given us by tie Swami?
One of Rama’s objects is to break down caste and sectarianism.
It is true that by starting a society or forming an Association, the cause of Truth may be strengthened, but often there is more harm than good done.
If an association or society be formed, it should not be as other societies. Rama wants no slavery, no yoke of Vedanta. You are all free to attend any other Association, to listen to all new comers; my own will come to me. If you are attracted to other speakers, if there be something in this one or that for you, then go to them. Every speaker is Rama. Krishna I am, Mohammad I am; hear them freely. Rama does not want you to become slaves to him; do not shut out the light. At the same time Rama wants you to benefit by this truth (There seems to be an underlain if reference to the custom common in America especially with the Hindu and Vedantic preachers in America to try to dissuade their admirers and disciples to look askance on other preachers and lecturers — Ed.).”
Truth as old as the hoary-headed peaks of the Himalayas, truth sung on the banks of the Ganges thousands and thousands of years ago, is the same truth which was apprehended by Emerson, Whitman, and alt the others, the same truth which put them into ecstasy. The same truth presented in a thousand forms by the present day associations and societies, comes in its entirety or in its parts; the same truth which is talked of in your journals and papers may be presented beautifully, but truth has not changed, it is the same today as it was thousands and thousands of years ago, but Rama says the truth is brought most beautifully by him, and if you but read these books, you will see that these truths are magnificently, wonderfully portrayed by Rama. Some people could not relish Rama’s oratory, because he did not humour and pamper their tastes. Let Rama swerve from the truth and take up a tone which will flatter and humour and please your fancy, and people will gather in large numbers to hear Rama, but Rama did not descend from the heights of truth in order to pamper anybody’s taste, and never will.
Christ spoke only to eleven disciples, but those words were stored up by the atmosphere, were gathered up by the skies, and are today being read by millions of people. Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.
It may be that this thought is being expressed by many persons, but Rama’s way of putting this same thought which is being propounded by the Press of today will supply some need and impart some good; some will be benefited by this way, and others will be benefited by other ways; but then millions of people will receive great benefit from Rama’s way. Rama says that if you take interest in it, take it up, advance it and pass it on to each and all. If after Rama leaves, you form a society, take up the works of Swami, take up the works of Emerson, Whitman, Spencer, and all the others; form a society which is not bound to any name, having for its object the true advance of Truth, and if in that society there be any one who has anything original, or in studying or reading have run across some helpful points, they can bring before the society such information so that all may be benefited; or some members who in private meditation come across some new ideas may also communicate them, but let it all come naturally, not in accordance with rules etc.
Here is a whistle which when blown produces the note of the nightingale. We can blow it when we like and get the note of the nightingale, but the note is not natural. The natural song of the nightingale cannot be bound by any space, time, or law. The nightingale will sing when it pleases him and not when you approach him and say “O nightingale, sing.”So you will see that a fixed time for speaking or lecturing imposes conditions, and the best results are not obtained.
Fixed conditions are necessary to procure hall rental and in order that more money may be commanded, but all these laws crucify the Truth. This is selling the Jesus of Truth for thirty pieces of silver.
Rama tells you that if you want to form a society, let it be formed on natural lines and not in imitation of the present societies. It may be that it will be the first of its kind.
The Christian Church is a blunder by itself. Whereas it has done immense good, it has also done proportionate wrong by placing walls around its members and preventing them from receiving Truth from any other source than the Christian Bible. So are the Buddhist, the Mohammedan Church, and many others, a tremendous blunder, because they confine the members in narrow limits and prevent them from receiving truth from any other source. You must reach Heaven through that door or window and through no other.
You have the right to look at the skies through any door or window; in fact you have a right to leave the house, to leave the window or door, and enjoy the whole heaven in the open air. So Rama wishes a society formed not on unnatural plans like other societies, but on the most natural plans. Members must not be bound by any lines but must be free; a society where members lecture when they feel free to lecture or when they feel inspired; just as the nightingale, when forced to sing, all the beauty of his song is lost. Do not make yourselves like artificial wishes, do not imitate the sound of the nightingale. Do not be bound by laws and rules. Truth cannot be bound by lines.
Rama’s best works are written in the deep forests of the Himalayas where nobody was listening. There Rama sang out to the trees of the forest; the air in the woods took up the sound and echoed it far and wide. Those works began to spread, but whenever Rama was compelled to speak before a society and spoke in accordance with rules and laws, his efforts were not good. It was unnatural and the beauty was gone. Sometimes when only one person listens to you, truth comes more beautifully and magnificently. Truth cares not whether the audience is large or small. Take up the idea and by and by the whole world will listen.
Why should you belong to a society? The society belongs to you.
Here you are. You breathe into your lungs very little air at a time and yet all the air in the world is yours. Is it not? You are heir to all the air in this world. All the atmosphere is yours, you can breathe the whole atmosphere. The air of India, Japan, China, England and America is Rama’s and Rama is you also. The air of the Himalayas with its sweet fragrance is yours. No one has any proprietary right over air. Similarly, no one has any proprietary right over Truth or knowledge. All the religion of the world, all the Truth of the world is yours.
When you breathe, just reflect upon this thought and feel this idea that as this body is breathing the air of the whole world, so the mind is heir to the Truth of the whole world.
Breathe the Truth of the whole world, gather it from all sources, from Emerson, Whitman and others, from the Upanishads, Gita, and all, they are yours. Think them to be yours.
When you take up a book to read, look not for the author. Let books come out as the Upanishads, written without the author’s name.
The authors of the Upanishads took no credit for giving their ideas to the world. The Greatest works in India, the six systems of Philosophy, contain nowhere the name of the author. The author does his work impartially, devoid of that copy-righting spirit, free from this proprietary self, and full of the spirit of “I am the Truth.” It is pleasure enough for me to feel “The Truth I am.” What pleasure there is in, the idea “I wrote 100 books, I own $5,000,00.” True happiness is brought to me by realizing that “I am the whole, the Absolute Truth, the Magnificent, indestructible Atman, the Reality;”that happiness casts into the shade all your worldly personal joys and pleasures.
So breathe and when you breathe, feel and realize that everything in the world is yours. Feel that the air of the whole world is yours, that all the beauty and love of the whole world is yours, just as the air is yours passing through the lungs, just as every drop of blood in your veins belongs to every individual cell. Every individual cell in your body owns every individual drop of blood of the body. Similarly, when you breathe this thought, realize that all knowledge, power, truth, happiness, all dogmas, all creeds, Krishna, Mohammad, Rama, Jesus, all belong to you. Count not your contents by what is flowing through you at this instant.
Now a word as to how to cure yourself of the dumps or this dejected state. The remedy is very simple, and on account of being so plain and simple, people neglect it.
Experience has shown it, and all these great men consciously or unconsciously stumble on the process which Rama lays before you; and when you try it, you will marvel at its effects.
If while sitting in your room you are dejected, or you feel tired, or a little selfish or an evil thought, unhappy idea, or thought of jealousy, or undue attachment of a lower nature should crop up, just bear in mind that in a healthy state of body these thoughts cannot approach us; remember that there is something wrong with the stomach.
When a man comes to Rama and begins to use improper language or is harsh in his tones, he never finds fault with him. Nor does he answer him in the same tone. You should not retaliate when somebody expresses jealousy, sarcasm, or signs of displeasure against you, you may rather take pity on him and give him some medicine for the relief of his stomach. “When you yourself suffer, what are you to do? Are you to take outside medicines? O no. These outside medicines will not be an efficient remedy, the effect will not be lasting. When you feel in a state of depression, Rama’s advice is to give up your laziness, throw aside your book, be on your feet, walk out in the open air, and walk rapidly. Naturally your breathing becomes deep. Naturally will this breathing take place, and that will cheer you with energy, and all depression will be gone; that cold breeze blowing on your face will produce a wonderful effect. It is a wonder of wonders that more people have not observed it.
People have delivered many Lectures on Pranayama or controlling the breath, but Rama’s method is the most natural one for it. While walking on the seashore or elsewhere, by Rama’s method your Prana will be put in the right order. Another way is after walking out of the room in the open air. Suppose you do not walk rapidly but slowly, suppose you do not think it nice to walk rapidly and being slaves of nicety more than freedom, if you think more of public opinion than of your own good, suppose then that you walk gently, then your breath simply fills the upper part of the stomach and does not go deep enough, then Rama advises you to stand still in a corner or at some place where you are not noticed, then open the mouth and take in the air fully. Inhale the air fully through the mouth and exhale it through the nostrils; this process should be practised rigorously, and you will see how wonderfully it will cheer you up.
Rama suggests to you the most natural Pranayama. Breathe, breathe, breathe. In deep breathing the air will all the lower part of the stomach and will also pass through the entire canal within. This way you will be at once released of depression, and your energies will be put to the best advantage. While breathing you can exercise the mind by feeling “I am breathing the air of the whole world. All beauty and love of the whole world are mine.”Continue this idea in the mind with deep breathing “All the beauty, all the wealth of the world is mine,” will cheer you up. Just test it, it is so simple and yet so wonderful in its results.
As to walking, people want to take walks in the society of someone else, and some silly poet has written a poem to this effect:—
“Have a friend with whom to talk,
Somebody with him to walk.”
Rama says that if you are no thinker, or if you are not spiritually minded, if you have nothing grand or noble to do with the mind, it may then be necessary for you to keep somebody beside you; or suppose you are very weak, then Rama advises you to avail yourself of the privilege of walking with a teacher. That will do you some good. But walk not with people who will not elevate or raise you; walk not with those who bring you upon the lower planes of hatred, envy, or jealousy. If you walk alone, and if you are a thinker, there can be nothing more beneficial to you than to begin to chant OM when nobody is around. As you walk and chant OM, you will see that the very atmosphere will inspire you and in you will be evoked wonderful and marvellous thoughts.
People do not avail themselves of this fact. It seems to be a very commonplace advice, but when practised you will be astonished at the wonderful effects which are produced.
Here is the great and mighty ocean. In this mighty ocean, one drop of water has the same power behind it as the wave of the ocean. One wave has the same power behind it as another; every bubble has the mighty ocean for its soul, every ripple is supported by the infinite sea.
Similarly, feel, feel, please that this what you call the body is supported and upheld, is nourished and fed, -this small tiny drop, like the wave, -this body is strengthened and supported by the same mighty Ocean of oceans, the same which keeps up and upholds the sun and stars.
Your self is the support of the sun and stars, it is the self of every drop of your blood, it is the self of the whole body, every hair of the head is the self of the whole body.
You are this Infinite Self; you do not only support and keep up this body, but you are the Self of all space and all time. Now mark, -you are that self which is supporting all time and space; you are that Self of Infinity. Now see, if this body die, will that Self die? No. If the body die, the Self cannot die so long as there is time or space; -O wonder of wonders! -I am the Self of all space, the Self of all Eternity, the Self of all time.
Feel that idea while in lonely walks, while walking on the beach or in the open air; -while standing alone, feel this idea. You may not chant OM freely; holding the idea is chanting OM through feeling.
You need not put too much stress on the outward chanting OM, but through feeling you should realize “I am all Infinity, all space I am, ail bodies are full of me; all desires of friends or foes are mine, all desires are mine.”
Here is a person of whom I am jealous,—a person whom I consider my rival; now think “That rival I am.”Give up all separateness; realize that this little jealous Self you are not. Suppose you love someone and you find that another loves the same one, then comes the thought of jealousy; encourage it not; the loved one you are, the other one who also loves the idol of your heart you are also; his joys are your joys, realize the truth. In order to realize truth you must realise yourself as Truth. Think “I am he whom that person approaches, there is no separateness.” Rise above that. Get rid of this idea of great and small. Apply your Vedanta in realizing no great and no small. Think “I am he who is great today and he who is not great today he also I am.”One man may be greater than you, he may have the power of gaining more wealth than you, he may gain more honours than you. Now the only way to advance is to see that what I envy is the body, but the body is not the self of the hero, the self of the hero and I are one. Feel that and get above this idea of jealousy.
The more your heart beats with the best in nature, the more you feel that throughout the whole of nature it is you who are breathing. You breathe in the growth and decay of trees. The Sun rises and sets, the same is inhaling and exhaling.
Life and Death are like inhaling and exhaling. So long as you are shut off from nature, you are lost; the more you feel that the whole world is your breath, and that Infinite power you are which breathes through the phenomena of Death, through the coming and going through the Earth and all, you rise above all petty cares and anxieties. That is inner beauty. People who become inwardly beautiful, whatever their faces may be, become lovely, they become the centre of attraction of the whole world.
Socrates was very ugly and prayed for inner beauty. To have good thoughts is inner beauty.
How smooth does it make the whole world for you! There is no unevenness, no roughness in the world when you feel that you are free.
If the Sun comes down, if the Moon is driven into the dust, if the systems are dragged into annihilation, what is that to you, the Real, the true Atman. Feel that because then nothing can harm you. The Sun, the moon, and the stars may be destroyed, but you are not destroyed; you are the soul of all space and all time. You are indestructible; you stand as a rock. Realize that. This is the way you must breathe; breathe through the lungs and mind. Through the mind you breathe the self of the whole world; you breathe the whole universe, and thus bring yourself in harmony with Nature. Your life becomes harmonious with the whole Universe.
What is harmonious motion? Let the motion of the brain become harmonious. Harmonious motion is the music of the spheres. All the spheres of the universe are breathing in that harmonious motion. Acquire this harmonious motion. Be in time with Harmony, in time with the music of the spheres, then you become inwardly beautiful.
Here in the great ocean there is a fish; the water of the ocean fills the gills of the fish, and the water of the ocean passes through it; the whole motion it has.
Similarly, feel that the whole world is mine. What is it that dampens your spirits and your cheerfulness? It is what is called Spiritual Opacity. You have to make yourselves transparent, you have to give up the Opacity in you, it darkens you.
What is this Opacity? It is this little ego, this proprietary self which says, “This is mine, that belongs to me, etc.” This opacity is what must be given up, and while breathing in the open air feel that you are in unison with the whole world. You become transparent and everything will come to you. Two men came before a king and asked him to employ them in ornamenting and painting the walls of his palace. These two rival artists applied to the king in order to get the monopoly of the whole business. The king wanted to examine their work before engaging them, and accordingly they were asked to paint two opposite walls.
Screens were placed before the walls so that the artists could work independently of each other. They worked about a mouth and at the end of that time, one of the artists came to the king and told him that he had finished his work and would like him to come and see what he had done. The king then asked the other artist how long it would take him to finish, and he replied, “Your Majesty, I also have finished.”The day was appointed, and the king together with his entire retinue and other visitors came to see which of the artists had outrivaled the other. The screen before the wall of the first artist was taken down. The king and his retinue and all the visitors pronounced the work as marvellous, splendid; they fell into raptures over the work, thought it great and sublime.
The courtiers whispered to the king that nothing better could be expected; that there was no use to look at the work of the other artist, because this painter had far surpassed all their expectations, they thought the entire work ought to be given to this man. The king was, however, wiser than his courtiers, and accordingly ordered the screen to be taken off from before the other wall, and lo! The people were astonished, they opened their mouths and raised their hands and held their breath in amazement. O wonder of wonders, it is marvellous.
Do you know what they had discovered? Now the second painter had painted nothing on the wall during the whole month. He had worked to make the wall transparent as far as possible; he rubbed and scrubbed and beautified this wall; he succeeded in making this wall perfectly transparent. Upon examining the wall, all that was painted on the opposite wall by his rival was perfectly reflected in this wall. Besides, this wall was more smooth, more even and beautiful, while the other wall appeared to be rough, uneven, and ugly. All the painting on that wall was reflected in this beautiful, smooth wall, and consequently the second wall had all the beauty of the first wall added to it.
Now the kings and people of those days were not acquainted with mirrors, and they did not examine very closely, but exclaimed, “Your Majesty, this man has entered deep into the wall; he has dug two or three yards and has painted everything.”
The images appeared in the mirror the same distance as the images were from the mirror.
Now as this painter rubbed and scrubbed the wall with sand and worked with it until it became a mirror, so Rama tells you that people, who are busy reading books, gain superficial knowledge; while painting outside, let them paint the walls so as to make them beautiful by the process of gaining all knowledge.
This process is trying to make the walls of your mind or intellect transparent, smooth, thin, by rubbing and scrubbing them as it were; by purifying your hearts, by making your hearts transparent; then ail the knowledge of the world will be reflected in your mind; you will be inspired with the whole universe.
Rama tells you from personal experience that while living in the deep forests of the Himalayas, it often happened that when the mind was in a transparent state, when it was negative,— the most splendid ideas, wonderful philosophy and wonderful power came into the mind by inspiration so to speak. So Rama tells you that all books are written through inspiration; the Bible, the Upanishads, the Vedas, Milton’s works, Emerson’s works, and Ingersol‘s works, even though Ingersol is not a so-called Christian. Spencer’s works are all just as inspired as the Vedas, the Koran, or the Bible. There is no knowledge without inspiration, all knowledge comes through inspiration. It is when authors begin this proprietary, mercantile, egotistic claiming, this mercenary spirit of exacting charge, this asking and begging from people which makes the walls of the heart imperfect, rough, and uneven, it is this little crawling, sneaking spirit; and when this spirit is cleaned out, got rid of, the wall of the heart is perfect. When you vibrate with the whole world, when the business of the world is your business, when the heart of the world is your heart, when you feel that you pulsate in the whole universe, when cither consciously or unconsciously you arc in that state, then knowledge comes and fills you:—this is the way.
In books and temples raise your search; search within yourself for the secret; breathe in the whole world. You are transparent. Your opacity is gone when you have in mind no rivalry, no claims to yourself, when you feel the desires of an enemy as your own desires, when you apply this test to your soul and see that all those of whom I used to be jealousy are me,— that I am the owner of their desires. If their desire be to kill this body, if this desire brings to you the same happiness as it does to them, 0, then you are in tune with the universe, in harmony with the whole world. You are transparent, all opacity is gone, you are God Almighty. This is the secret of success. All the treasures of the world become yours.