For the Indian people and a Message to the world
Give the poor labourer food for the soul; give him love, and he will work for you even without asking any food for the body. Love you the workman; the workman shall love your work. Labour actuated by love, can it be called labour f Nay, it is entertaining play.
What is art? Bringing out Beauty in what we touch. And what on earth or in heaven is that which draws out (and unveils) Beauty? Why, what else could it be but Love?
Thus, spirit of love shining upon our labour makes Industry artistic, and produces what are called Industrial Arts. Why is there no original designing, no aesthetic workmanship, no Industrial Art worth the name flourishing in India in these days? Why, because no love is lost upon labourers. The poor working classes, instead of being welcomed in the heart, are turned out from their own huts.
Where labour is despised, the result is stagnation, decay and death, and Art becomes laborious. Where labour is loved, life and light abide and labour becomes artistic. Oh, Lord Love! Has it come to such a pass? Love is misunderstood to such a degree that the very mention of the word ‘ love’ suggests to the dear people the idea of cupidity and stupidity, instead of that divine flame! Sometimes they make big talk about divine Love, Bhakti, and Upasana. But practically it amounts to muttering aloud some Sanskrit hymns and chanting certain Man trams, hardly understanding, not to say feeling, what they say.
Vain bullets with no powder! Counterfeit imitation of Chaitanya’s genuine burning heart!
From temples, hymns in the vernacular are often beard, sung with the most perfect music known to them; but. Oh, dear me! not a single sanctifying tear of love! Blessed Hindustanis!! You cannot befool God and win His love by calling yourselves sinners and slaves. Just as you think, so are you bound to become. The inexorable Law of Karma works with a vengeance, and makes sinners and slaves of you when you pray that way. That is not Bhakti.
My own Poor Rich! White, towering templed and stone Vishnus erected by you, will not allay the fever of your heart. I know you are suffering. Your pride may not acknowledge it. Worship the hungry Narayanas and the labouring Vishnus of the country. Send poor Hindustani students to learn useful arts and industries in America, who, on their return to India, will save hundreds, nay, thousands of starving people by helping them to help themselves.
A man, on reading Nizami’s Leili and Majnoon, cut out the picture of Leili from the book, was hugging it to his breast and kissing it ever so fondly. Why? “I have fallen in love with Leili,” he replies. Fool! It is not worthwhile to take away poor Majnoon’s sweetheart! You may have Majnoon’s burning love, but as to lady lore, have a living one of your own.
Bhaktas of India! You are all very ready to take up the sweetheart of Gopis and Chaitanya, but how many of you have the pure flaming passion of Gopikas and Gauranga? You will be the darling dear of that sweet Cowherd when you see Him with divine love in the Chandala, in the thief, in the sinner, in the stranger, and all, and not confine Him to mere stone images.
Bhakti (love) is no crying, begging, negative condition. It is an indescribable sense of equality, beaming sweetness and divine recklessness. It is the seeing of the All in all we see. It is seeing your own self in where your eyes fall. It is to realize that All is Beauty and I am that. Tat tvam asi or That Thou Art.
Oh, thief! Oh, slanderer, Kobber dear!!
Come, welcome, quick! Oh, don’t you fear.
Myself is thine; thine is mine.
Yes, if you, never mind, please take away these Things
you think are mine.
Yes, if you think it fit,
Kill this body at one blow, or slay it bit by bit.
Take off the body, and what you may!
Be off with name and fame. Away!
Take off! away!
Yet, if you look, just turning round,
„Tis I, alone, am safe and sound.
Good day! Oh, dear! Good day!
Mohammedans! You may slay me. But my heart burns with your love. Christians! You may misunderstand me, I love you. Pariahs! Sweepers! If no one will enter your filthy, diseased wigwams, Rama you will find there with you.
Feigned love, false feelings, and assumed sentimentalism are an insult to God. A genuine flame is needed, even if it be accompanied with the smoke of lower passion.
Conventionality, customs, conformity, slavery to shame, name, and fame act like a heap of chaff and charcoal, choking down the spark of truthful feeling which may be burning in the innermost heart of a youth, borne down by the dead weight of appearances. Welcome, Truth! Thou alone art my relative, friend, sweetheart, lord liege, and myself.
Kings! Laws and communities! Bless your hearts, but you have no power to extract any compromise from Rama. Spare your threats, favours, and frowns. My king, the tyrant Truth, is stronger than myriads of Emperors, despots, autocrats put together.
They say every tie in the Panama Railway cost a man his life. Whether this be true or not, there is not the least doubt that the march of tyrant Truth has gone on, on the road paved with human skulls. Happy are the heads that were blessed with the tread of Truth’s lordly footsteps.
There can be no love where there is no truthfulness. Lord Love is the vice-regent of the tyrant Truth. It may be vice versa. Perhaps both are the same.
But God said,
‘I will have a purer gift,
There is smoke in the flame.’
Deep, deep are loving eyes,
Flowed with naphtha fiery sweet;
And the point is paradise Where their glances meet. Their reach shall yet be more profound And a vision without bound; The axis of those eyes sun-clear Be the axis of the sphere.”
Roar, ye torrents from the mountains! Roar, oh sea! Rave under the pale stars, O gulf of death! yawn blackening beneath. But Oh! great Heart over the forests, the mountains, and the seas, o’er the black chasm of death, in spectral haste, I know Thou ridest, my Lord Love, and the hungry winds and waves are but thy hounds, oh tyrant Truth I Thou, the eternal huntsman.
In the twilight of Galilee, He saw them (the Disciples) toiling and moiling, tugging and towing, hurriedly rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them. But there was no toiling and rowing for the Master. Why should not such a man sleep in the midst of the storm, knowing He would walk upon the waters? Oh! joy! My Love rides the winds and waves.
In Japan, three-hundred-year-old cedars and pines are kept as dwarfed as an onion plant, by stunting their outward growth. No, but by cutting their inner rootlets, not being allowed to strike their roots deep into the ground, they naturally cannot shoot high into the air. So is the natural growth of men and women stifled by the unnatural educators.
Foolish moralists! Religious fiends! Hands off! You have no right to dictate to the young folks. The only right anybody has is to serve. Nature, if allowed to have her free course, will never err. The Law or God that worked up the evolution of man from the tiniest amoeba to the human form divine, can well be trusted.
Why are cattle and other animals more regular, cleaner, and better behaved in the control of what human jealousy has styled animal passion? The plain reason is that the former are not pestered by “Thou shalts”and “Thou shalt nots.” Service and love, not mandates and compulsion, is the atmosphere for growth.
How can we make the flowers grow? By loving them. A woman raised beautiful flowers in a climate the most uncongenial for their growth. How did you manage it? I loved them, and the means were suggested of themselves. The genial heat of love is the only incubator. It makes industries artistic and brings about beauty in our work.
Confound not love with attachment. Your wife and children, instead of being the circumscribing hedges of your affections, ought to be the centre of radiation of love to the whole world. Says Jean Paul Richter, “I love my family more than myself, my country more than my family, and the whole world more than my country.”
How noble are the words of Lovelace (slightly altered) to Lucaster on going to the wars:—”I could not love thee, dear! so much, loved I not the nation more.”
True love, like the sun, expands the self. Attachment (Moha), like the frost, congeals and contracts the soul.
The first Law of Moses means, “Thou shalt have no other God but Love”. This jealous Lord Love will not allow any idols of cupidity and attachment to usurp his majestic throne.
A woman complained about the loss of her only child. Rama asked, “Could you adopt a negro baby and caress it as your own? Are you ready for it?” She says, “No.” Then that is why you lost your child.” Inclusive love, not exclusive attachment, is the unfoldment of Heaven.
People complain of the ingratitude of others. Shylocks trying to exact usury on what little good they happen to do. Peace! Peace! little grumblers! God has not only one hand. All hands are His. All eyes are God’s eyes and all minds His mind. In your dealings with anybody, did you ever care whether the person pays you back by the same hand as he used in the act of receiving? He may employ the other band. What of that? Your customer is not the hands but the wielder of the hands.
So, really your business is with God (Law) and not with the mere forms that seem friends and foes. God is never remiss in the discharge of His dues. Any unselfish act lays God under debt. He may not pay you by the hand which He employed in receiving, but through some other hand (person), you will be paid with interest.
Why fret and worry, you restless infidel? None, none but your own sweet Self (Law divine) has an exclusive rule over the universe.
What is idolatry?
To give the forms of foes and friends a sense of personality, individuality and reality to such an extent, as to miss the Impersonated (masked) individual (indivisible) Real Self or Law.
Why is it that the sight of woods, landscapes, rivers, lakes, and green hills inspires, uplifts, charms and breeds ecstasy? Why? Because it relieves us of the sense of limited personality, it takes off the put-on looks which weigh us down in the crowded streets. The blessed trees and dear water in their impersonal gentleness, nay sweetness, no more force on us any sense of smallness.
Happy he who turns the whole world into a Heavenly Garden by seeing the same impersonal breath of Life in the throngs of men and women as inspires in the rose garden and oak groves.