Delivered at the Golden Gate Hall, Jan 24th 1903
The master of the whole universe in the form of ladies and gentlemen,
Tonight’s subject is “Man, the Master of his own Destiny,” We have been treating of man in his real nature. The real man, the true man is the Divinity, God, nothing else but God; the real man is not only the master of one body’s destiny, but of the whole universe.
Tonight we shall take the word 4man’ in the same sense in which the subtle body of Vedantins is taken, you might say the desiring, willing, yearning man. Even in this limited and narrow sense man is the master of his own destiny. There are different sides to the question. We cannot take them up all in one night; we shall only take up the question from the microcosmical standpoint tonight.
Perhaps it is easier to believe that when a man is born, he can change his circumstances to a large extent. Admitted that a man is placed under certain circumstances, it is easier to believe that he can control his circumstances more or less, he can become the master of the circumstances, he can rise above them, and educate himself. From the poorest boy he can make himself the richest man in his country, as some people have done. Paupers have succeeded in raising themselves to a position of renown and honour in this world. Men born under most ignominious circumstances have succeeded in raising themselves so high. Take the case of Napoleon Bonaparte; take the case of Shakespeare; take the case of one of the Lord Mayors of London, Whittington; take the case of one of the Prime Ministers of China who was at one time a poor farmer, a poor peasant. It is easy to prove that once being in this world, we can in our lifetime change our circumstances. This is easy to prove, but the harder part of the question comes when the Vedanta asserts that even your birth and even your parents are made by yourself. The child is father to the man, but not only that, the child is father to the father. This is hard to prove, but the Vedanta says, look at the question from any side, you are the master of your own destiny. If you are born blind, you are the master of your destiny, you have made yourself blind; if you are born of poor parents, you are the master of your own destiny, for you have made yourself to be born of poor parents; if you are born under most undesirable circumstances, you are the master of your own destiny, you have done that also. Even when you are born, you are the master of your own destiny. We shall take up this phase of the question tonight. How does man select his own parents? In other words, we shall consider tonight the law of transmigration of the soul, to some extent; we shall only take up part of it.
Some people believe that when a man dies, he dies entirely; some people believe that when a man dies, in order to account for his inherent, inborn, native idea of immortality, in order to account for our own inherent desire that our relatives should not die, and our reluctance to see our friends die, it is necessary that we should posit the existence of an imaginary other world, of a world of which we can give no positive proof in this world. Some people believe that way, and even these people have some truth on their side, and the truth which these people have on their side was discussed in this Hall the other evening. But this is not the whole truth. After death your going to hell or entering heaven is not the whole truth. We have to explain matters on this plane, on the plane of material existence. The laws of your spiritual world have no right to infringe upon the laws of your material world. Here is one man who is buried underground; “Earth to earth returneth” is spoken at his grave. But let us see. The body indeed returns to earth, but the body has not perished, the body has simply undergone a change. The material elements of the body are existent in a changed form; they have not perished. The same body of your friend will reappear in the form of a beautiful rose on the grave and will reappear in the form of fruits and trees one day. It has not perished.
Now what is it about which we feel some doubt? Is it the spirit, the truth, the real God that has perished? No, no. That can never perish. The real individual, the true man could never perish, could never be destroyed. Then what is it about which we are doubtful? It is the subtle body, in other words, the mental desires, the mental feelings, emotions, the cravings of the heart, the wishes of the mind, the willing and yearning of the soul, as you might say. This is what makes up the subtle body. What about that? The man is buried, are these things also buried? No, no. They could not be buried. But what has become of them? All the question is about this subtle body which consists of your mental energy, the inner activity or inner emotions, feelings and desires. The resultant of this energy, emotions, inner desires, etc., the combination or aggregate of these, what becomes of that? To say that this goes on in the spiritual world, and here I refer to a plane which you cannot prove by the mechanical laws – may be all right from your standpoint, but Science wants a proof on the material plane of what becomes of this energy. You know the inevitable, universal Law which Science has placed beyond all doubt, namely, that nothing in this world can be destroyed. Here is the Law of the Persistence of Force, the Law of the Indestructibility of Matter, the law of the Conservation of Energy; it tells you that nothing can be destroyed. Well. If the body was not to be destroyed, but was simply to change its state, and if the divinity in us was not to be destroyed, but was permanent, immutable, then should these mental desires, mental energy, inner life be destroyed? Why should they be destroyed? The irresistible law of the Conservation of Energy tells us that they can never be destroyed. You have no right to say that they are destroyed. They must live on, they must live on. They may change their place, they may change their state, but they must live on, they can never be destroyed. Just as when you take a candle and light it, in half – an – hour we see that everything is lost, the wax, wick, and all, all gone. But Chemistry proves that it is not destroyed, it is not lost. By means of a bent test tube containing caustic soda and another chemical, it is shown that all that was apparently lost of the candle is present, is caught in that bent test tube. When we have a saucer full of water, and all the water in it has evaporated, the ordinary man will say, oh, the water is lost, the water is gone, but Physics tells us that it is not gone. By experiments it is shown that it is present in the air; it cannot be destroyed.
Similarly when a man dies, his mental energy, the desires, emotions, feelings apparently suffer a loss, and seem apparently to suffer death, but the Vedanta comes up with its Chemistry of soul, as it were, and proves to you experimentally that it is not destroyed and could not be destroyed. Then if it is not destroyed, what becomes of it? We shall solve this question in the same way as we solve mathematical problems. We take up a problem and we look at the data as well as the quisita, the hypothesis as well as the required conclusion. We meditate upon both sides. Sometimes by meditating upon the hypothesis or the data alone, we succeed in proving the whole thing, and sometimes we have to take up the conclusion or quisita and reflect upon that, and to think and think, and to connect the quisita with the data, or connect the conclusion with the hypothesis. Well, what are the data and what is the quisita? Life and death. These are the quisita and data; the phenomena of birth are like the data and the phenomena of death are like the quisita. or vice versa; it is one and the same thing. Here are so many people being born into the world, and there are so many people dying. These people who are apparently dying, if their mental energy, or their desires, etc., die with them, then by assuming anything like that, you will be positing something against the established laws of Science. If our mental energies pass away, then there will be something passing into nothing, bat you know that it is impossible. Something can never pass into nothing. To avoid that fallacy, you must believe that after death, mental desires, mental energy and mental activity do not pass into nothing; you must assume that first, you must take that for granted. You must accept that, and the next question will be, what becomes of it?
Now the next question, what becomes of the mental desires, etc., we shall consider by reflecting upon the phenomena of birth. So many people are being born into this world with different capacities, with different inclinations, different propensities, different physiognomy, different phrenology, different construction of the brain, some people with a heavy brain, others with a very light brain, some people with a round head, others with an oblong head. How is that? Children of the same parents with diametrically opposite inclinations. How many parents are giving birth to Cain and Abel in the same house, Joseph and Joseph’s brothers in the same house? Students going to College, living in the same Boarding House, reading with the same Professors, and yet with different inclinations, with entirely different tastes, one liking Mathematics, another liking History, one a poet, another a dullard. Is there any difference in the inclinations or propensities of people or not? There is a difference. You cannot deny that. Some people are born precocious, they are smart even in their childhood; others are very lazy even in their childhood. The Vedanta asks to what is the difference in taste or inclinations due? If you explain it by saying that it is God’s will, that it is His work, that is no answer, that is simply evading the question; evading the question is unphilosophical; that is declaring your ignorance. Explain it by the established laws of Science. If you say that it is God’s will ‘ that they are being born with these different desires from their childhood’, you are violating the established Law of Science. Here you are practically asserting that something is coming out of nothing, and that is absurd, you know. In order to escape this difficulty, you will have to assume or accept that the child brings this difference of inclinations and propensities with him, as it were, from the other world. Children do not bring these different kinds of desires from nothing, but they are coming from something; they do not come into existence from nothing; they have been existing before. In other words, all these desires which people bring with them at their birth are brought from previous existent form. These desires existed a short while ago – here we are considering the quisita of birth and the data of death. The Vedanta connects the two and says, when a man dies, his unfulfilled desires at the time of death could not be destroyed. Here was a stranger born with different pronounced desires. His desires could not come out of nothing, Could it not be that the desires which were buried with the man in the grave reappear with the new man that was born in a house? If you assume that, you escape from the terrible fallacy which you committed by saying that something is lost into nothing, and something is come out of nothing. You escape that terrible difficulty by accepting this Law of Karma, as the Hindus call it, and the whole phenomena of Death and Birth become so natural, exactly in accord with the laws of nature, with the established laws of harmony in this universe.
And again you see you will, have to accept this law of Karma through another law of logic, what the philosophers call the law of parsimony. When a thing may be explained by natural and usual rules, we should not resort to far fetched, unnatural and hypothetical explanations. The law of Karma gives you the most natural explanation, the plainest and most scientific. In preference to this you should not resort to any extra or mundane explanations.
Here comes a question. Scientists say, Oh, no; oh no, we will not explain the different propensities in new – born children by the law of Karma, we ought not to resort to that; we can very easily explain all that by the law of Heredity. The law of Heredity will explain all that, but the Vedanta says, the law of Karma is not opposed to the law of Heredity. It covers that, it explains that, but at the same time the law of Karma in addition to explaining the law of Heredity, also explains the apparent loss of mental energy at the time of death; the law of heredity does not explain that. So this law of Karma has a greater claim on the attention of all scientists and philosophers than the law of Heredity by itself. How does the law of Karma explain the law of Heredity? When a man dies, all his desires are apparently lost. The Vedanta says they are not lost; as when a candle is burning, the wick and wax are lost, but when apparently lost, by the law of chemical affinity the carbon combines with the oxygen, the hydrogen combines with the oxygen, is attracted to it. So these desires, this mental energy, or the subtle body of man, after death, by a law of spiritual affinity, or we might call it material affinity just as well, combine; all your mental energy is drawn to a soil where the environment, the circumstances, will be congenial to its growth, helpful to its fruition, and of great aid in its development, la other words, the compound or resultant of your desires or mental energy is drawn to a place where you will find congenial soil, where all unutilized energies and unfulfilled desires will fructify and be realized.
Thus does everybody select his own parents. We see again that when a man is alive, he is full of desires; most of his desires are satisfied in his life – time, but some are not. What will become of these? Will they be altogether ignored and lost? No, no. When a bud is seen in a garden, it gives a promise of flowering and blooming; the promise of the bud is carried out, satisfied. We see that even the desires of ants and lower creatures are satisfied. Why should the desires of Man be frustrated? Why should Man be mocked by Nature or Providence? He is not to be made fun of. His desires also must bear fruition. Most of our desires do bear fruition in our life. Thus Ave see that it is the desires that become our acts, they are the motive power. But many desires are not fulfilled. What will become of them? The Vedanta says, “O man, you are not to be mocked at by God. All your unfulfilled desires and unsatisfied energy must bear fruit if not in this world, then in the next.”
Here is a question now. If we were existent in some previous birth, and if after death we have to reincarnate, how is it that we do not remember our past births? The Vedanta asks, what is Memory? Here is Rama speaking to you, for instance, in a foreign language. Rama never lectured in India in the English language. While talking to you in English, not a single word of the mother tongue comes to Rama’s mind, but is that Indian language entirely lost? No. It is there, but if Rama likes Arabic, Persian, or the other Indian languages, they can come to his memory at a moment’s notice. Then, what is Memory? Here is the lake of your mentality; all the Indian languages, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit, are settled at the bottom of this lake in Rama’s case. We can stir up the lake and bring up all these things to the surface at a moment’s notice, and that is remembering the thing. You know a great many things, but all of them you are not conscious of. You can become conscious of them this moment by stirring up the lake of your mentality; by bringing them to the surface, they come into your mind.
Similarly the Vedanta says, all your births and past lives are there in your inner lake of consciousness, inner lake of knowledge. They are there; at present they are settled at the bottom; they are not on the surface. If you wish to recall your past births, that is not a difficult task. You may stir up the very bottom of the lake of your knowledge and you can bring to the surface anything you like. You can remember even your past births if you like, but then it is not worthwhile to try the experiment, because, according to another law, the Law of Evolution, you have to go onward, you have to go ahead. Let the dead bury the dead; let the post bury its past. You have nothing to do with that. You have to go ahead.
Again, all these things that you see in this world, in which you are so much interested, which you like so much, by which you are attracted, the Vedanta says, according to the Laws of Karma you like them, you are interested in them, you love them, you recognize them, only because you have been all that at one time, you have been rocks, you have been asleep in the rocks, you have glided with the streams, you have grown with the plants, you have run with the animals, and you recognize and see all of them. We can prove that by another argument now.
This is an adaptation of the argument of Plato. What is reminiscence? Reminiscence implies the knowing of a thing beforehand which we remember now. For instance suppose some persons come to these lectures together, always an inseparable pair. They come to the seven lectures that were delivered in this hall, but to the eighth lecture only one comes the other does not. Friends will put this question to the separated man, “Where is your friend or dear one? Where is he?” Why will this question be put? This question is caused by the law of reminiscence, which is the law of association also. We see the two together always, the two become familiar to us, the two become, as it were, one in our mind, the two were united, and afterwards we see one of them, and this one at once reminds us of the other. This is how association in the brain was established, this is how reminiscence was brought about. This very reminiscence implies a previous knowledge of the thing which we remember.
Now here is your syllogism. All men are mortal. John is a man, therefore, John is mortal. All your logic, all your arguments, all your reasoning depend* upon this premise – all men are mortal. John is a man. Speak only these two premises, hold back the conclusion and at once in our mind comes up like a reminiscence the conclusion, John is mortal. How was this conclusion brought about? Was it not brought about by the law of reminiscence as defined by Plato? It was. The three Propositions, ‘all men mortal’ John a man and ‘John is a mortal;’ are there. Out of these, two were placed before you, ‘all men mortal’ “John is a man”. These two were placed before you, and all at once, by the laws of thought, as philosophers call it, the third proposition comes to your mind. It will come up in the mind of everybody. How is that? This is brought about in the same way as when we see one of the friends, we are reminded of the other that was always in the company of this friend. Well, how could this reminiscence come about, how was this law of thought inherent in the brains of each and all? How was this law of thought which brought about this kind of reminiscence present in the minds of each and all? By a kind of reminiscence. Now reminiscence implies previous knowledge. Every child that has a brain is capable of reasoning, we can argue with every child. When he begins to reflect a little, we may present to him this syllogism, and he will accept it.
Here we are proving a Proposition of Euclid. We arrive at the conclusion at once. This conclusion is brought about by reminiscence. This reminiscence being inherent in the brains of each and ail is a sure proof of the fact that you have already been familiar with the things which are revived in your brains by reminiscence. Now, in order that you should have been cognizant, familiar with the things which are revived in your brain by reminiscence, you must have learned and acquired them at some time or other. Now you are sure that you did not learn or acquire them in this life. Where did you get this knowledge? The Vedanta says, in a previous birth.
Here is another question. Well, if we are the masters of our own destiny, none of us ever desires to be poor. How are we born poor then? All of us desire to be born rich, none of us want to be poor, and yet most of us are born poor. How is that? The Vedanta replies, you should look at matters in their proper light, you ought to study them thoroughly. Do not count on half truths. Look at the facts from all sides. It is not true that everybody desires to become the Lord Mayor of London. It is not true that everybody wishes to become a millionaire. Here is a man who gets $ 5.00 a week; his ambition is to be promoted to a position where he will get $ 7.00 a week. Never does the idea enter his mind to become the Lord Mayor of London, No, it is not true, you see.
And look at the matter from another standpoint. People are inconsistent and unreasonable in their desires. They do not adjust their desires to the circumstances, they become slaves to desires. They are not masters of their desires, and thus despite themselves, by their own desires they are led into straits and difficulties, they are led into trouble and anxiety.
Now comes the interesting part of the talk for each and all. Suppose, here is a man who wants to satisfy his animal passions; he does not want to have anything to do with knowledge; he wants to meddle in no way with spirituality, with religion, with morality, with name or fame. He wants to have nothing to do with these things; all that he wants is to satisfy his animal desires, his sensuous appetites. This man dies. (This is an hypothetical case to illustrate the matter.) Now what kind of parents will he make for himself? His desire does not require him to be born of learned parents, the kind of energy which is in him does not demand any rich parents for its congenial soil. It does not demand any educated or civilized parents. No, the Vedanta says that if this man is entirely made up of animal passions, he will get a most proper and befitting body in the form of hogs or dogs, because there he will inherit a body which is not tired of eating, which is not tired of gratifying animal desires, a body which is fit for making a fool of himself. He will get a body of that kind. In
Order that his desires may be fulfilled, he must be born as a hog or dog. Thus is he the master of his own destiny, even if he is a dog or hog.
When the people of this world desire anything, they do not see what the consequences will be, they do not see to what they will be led, and afterwards when they receive the consequences of their desires, they begin to weep and cry and bewail their destiny, bewail their stars, they begin to weep and gnash their teeth. So even while you are desiring, you see what the consequences will be. It is you yourself that bring about this misery and nobody else.
Rama will tell you now the story of a poet in East India. He was a Mahomedan poet, a very good and clever man. He was living at the court of one of the native princes who was highly interested in him. One night the native prince kept him long in his company, and this poet amused the prince with all sorts of poems, witty stories, and most amusing tales. The prince went to bed very late on account of being amused by the witty poet to such a degree that he forgot all about his sleep. The queen asked the prince what was the cause of his unusual delay in retiring to his rooms. The prince replied, “Oh, we had a wonderful man with us this evening; he was so good, so witty and amusing.” Then the queen enquired more about him, and her curiosity made the king expatiate upon the capability and attainments of the poet to such a degree that they had to sit until a late hour, so that it was near dawn when they retired. Now the curiosity of the queen being excited to the highest pitch, she asked the prince to bring this witty poet before her some day. Well, the next day this witty poet was brought before the queen. You know in India the customs are quite different from those in the West. In India females live in separate apartments and do not mix much with males, with gentlemen. They live apart; especially Mahomedan women, not Hindus, wear heavy veils and do not let anybody see them excepting their husbands or those who are very pure and noble and pious. Well, this poet was brought by the king into the harem, as we call it, into the private apartments of the ladies. There he sang his poems and recited his stories; the ladies were highly amused. Then the poet gave out that he was blind, he was suffering from a disease of the eyes, but he was not blind in reality. Now the wicked intention of this poet was to be allowed to live in the private apartments of the ladies, so that they might not mistrust him, and the ladies thinking him to be blind might be free in their walks and talks, in going from room to room, and might not keep any veils on their countenances when passing by him. Now, believing him to be blind, the prince allowed him to remain in the apartments of the ladies. But you know, truth cannot be concealed.
“Truth crushed to earth shall rise again, The eternal ears of God are hers.”
It cannot be concealed, it will out one day. One day this poet asked one of the maid servants to bring something to him. You know those people who become a little rich in India become very lazy. The sign of riches is looked upon to be laziness. You are a very noble man if you can do nothing yourself; if somebody has to come and help you to get a seat in the carriage, you are a most noble man; if somebody else has to help you to dress yourself, then you are a most noble man; if somebody else has to come and help you even in your walks, then you are a most noble man. Thus dependence is the sign of honour. Independence and self – mastery are looked upon to be dependence and servility. When this poet got an honourable position in the house of the prince, he thought it beneath his dignity to leave his seat and bring a chair to where he wanted it. So he ordered one of the maid – servants to do it, but she replied harshly that she had no leisure, she could not spare the time. After that there appeared another servant, and he beckoned to her to come forward to him and asked her to move the chair, but she said that there was no chair in the room. He said, “Bring that basin of water to me.” She said, “There is none in this room; I will go into the other room and bring it to you.” He said, “Bring it, there is one in the room, do you not see it, there it is.” In his anxiety to get the thing done, he forgot himself. That is what happens. This is how truth plays a joke with liars. You know Lady Macbeth perpetrated that deed, but she could not conceal it. The truth made her mad and she confessed it to the Doctor of her own accord. That is what happens. This is the Law of Nature. When this poet said, “Here it is, do you not see it?” the n aid at once, instead of doing that job for him, ran straight to the queen and divulged the secret, and said, “Lo! That man is not blind, he is a wicked man, he ought to be turned out of the house.” He was turned out of the house, but about three days after he actually became blind. How is that? Why, the Law of Karma tells you that this man becomes blind by his own will. He is the master of his own destiny. Blindness is brought on himself by his own self, nobody else makes him blind; his own desires make him blind. Afterwards when blindness comes, he begins to weep and cry, to gnash his teeth and beat his breast.
There was a man carrying a heavy weight upon his shoulders; he was old, weak, and feverish, and lived in a hot country, India. He sat down under the shade of a tree and threw off his burden from his shoulders and rested awhile, and cried, “O Death, O Death, come, O Death! Relieve me, relieve me.” The story says that the God of Death appeared to him on the spot. When he looked at him, he was astonished, he trembled. What is that hideous figure, that monstrous something? He asked the God of Death, “Who are you?” The God of Death said, “I am he whom you called; you have called me just now and I have come to satisfy your wish.” Then the old man began to tremble and said, “I did not call you to put me to death, I call you simply to help me to lift this burden and put it on my shoulders.”
That is what people do. All your difficulties, all your troubles and what are called sorrows are brought about by your own self; you are the master of your own destiny, but when the thing comes, you begin to cry and weep; you invite Death and when Death comes, you begin to cry. But that cannot be. When once you bid the highest price in an auction, you will have to take the thing. When you make the horse run, the carriage follows the horse. So when once you desire, you will have to take the consequences. How is it that people usually die in their old age and very few die in their youth? The Vedanta says when people become old, their bodies become diseased; they are harassed by sickness and then they begin to desire death; they begin to ask for relief and relief comes. Thus your death is brought about by your own self. Everybody is a suicide according to the Vedanta. Death comes the moment you wish it to come. How is it that people die in the prime of life? You will not, perhaps, believe Rama at present, but if you make correct observations, you must concur with what Rama states just now. Rama has observed many people dying in the prime of life; Rama entered into their private life, enquired into the whole matter, and came to know that these young men in their heart of hearts sought death, they were sick of their circumstances, and wanted to change the surroundings. That is always the case. There is no time now to advance any concrete illustrations, but this is a fact.
There was a bright young man working as a Professor in one of the sectarian Colleges in India. In one of the public meetings he declared his life to be given to that cause, he dedicated himself to that cause. He worked there most zealously for a time and then his opinion changed, his thoughts expanded, his mind broadened, his views enlarged, and he could no longer work with these sectarians, and these sectarians could not sympathize with him in their heart of hearts, yet he had to pull on with them, because he had committed himself, because he had bound himself to their cause; there was no escape for this young man. His heart was in one place and his body was somewhere else, the heart and the body were disunited. This could not last. The man died; he could not change his circumstances by any other means than death; by death were the circumstances changed. Thus even death is not the bugaboo that it appears to be.
You are the master of your circumstances, you are the master of your destiny, flow is it that people are made miserable? How is it that difficulties are brought about? By the conflict of desires. You have one kind of desire leading you to do one kind of act, and then you have other desires which lead you to do differently, both desires are there. One desire wants to raise you to a certain position as a writer, a speaker, a professor, a lecturer, or a preacher, another kind of desire comes and wants you to become a slave to the senses. Here are conflicting desires which cannot go together. What happens? Both must be fulfilled. While one is being fulfilled, the other suffers and you are in pain. While the other one is being fulfilled, the first one suffers and you are in pain. This is how people bring suffering on themselves. Even your suffering shows that you are the master of your own destiny. Rama will illustrate this by a very pretty story.
An Indian had two wives. You know the Hindus never believe in polygamy, but the Mahomedans do. It was a Mahomedan who had two wives. One of them used to live upstairs and the other downstairs. One day a thief broke into the house. He wanted to steal all the property, but the members of the house were wide awake, and the thief could not get an opportunity of stealing anything. Near dawn the members of the house saw the thief, and they caught him and took him before a magistrate. Nothing was stolen, yet the thief had broken into the house. That was a crime. The magistrate put some questions to the thief who at once admitted that he had broken into the house with the intention of stealing something. The magistrate was going to inflict some punishment upon him. The man said, “Sir, you may do whatever you please, you may throw me into a dungeon, you may cast me before dogs, you may burn my body, but do not inflict one punishment upon me.” The magistrate being astonished asked, ‘What is that’? The man said, “Never make me the husband of two wives. Never inflict this punishment upon me.” Why is that? Then the thief began to explain how he was caught, how he had no opportunity to steal anything. He said that all night long the master of the house had to stand upon the stairs because one wife was pulling him up – stairs and the other was dragging him downstairs. The hair of his head was pulled out and the stockings on his feet were torn off; he was shivering with cold all night long, and thus it was that he had been caught, and had no opportunity of stealing anything.
So it is, all your sufferings come through your conflicting desires, and our desires are not in harmony, and you know a house divided against itself must fall. So examine your own hearts and minds and see if there is peace there. If you have singleness of aim and unity of purpose, you will have no trouble, you will have no suffering, but if there is conflict and discord, the house must be pulled down, you must suffer.
This is the cause of your suffering, and it is brought on by yourselves. You are the masters of your own destiny. A man has lower desires as well as higher. There is warfare between the two, but according to the universal law of Evolution, in this strife and struggle, the fittest must survive; the survival of the fittest is the plan of nature. Thus in harmony with this universal law of the survival of the fittest, in this warfare those desires carry the day which have the most strength in them. But whence does this strength come? Strength comes from truth, and truth only. Those desires alone which have more of the truth in them, more of righteousness, justice, godliness or purity will carry the day. You will have to improve and progress at the bayonet’s point. You cannot stagnate in sensuality all the time. You cannot stagnate in selfish greed and avarice. You will have to rise, slowly but most surely. Here is Happiness before you. Here is the Law of Karma holding out Happiness to each and all.
Why must desires be fulfilled? The Vedanta says your real nature, your real self is immortal; Rama is immortal God. Now all your desires, mind and body being only ripples and waves in the ocean of Truth, in the waters of Eternity, partake of the nature of the substance of which they are made up. The true God, Divinity or Self makes the world as His breath. The world is my breath. In the twinkling of thy eyes, I created the world. In the twinkling of your eyes, the world is created; (I am yourself. All these desires partake of the nature of the Divinity as well as of the little selfish ego. Now that phase of the desires which depends upon the Divinity or the Immortality within obliged all the desires to be fulfilled. Now those elements in the desires which rest upon Maya cause a delay in the fulfilment of the desires. This delay in the fulfilment of your desires is caused by the Maya element of your desires and the certainty of the fulfilment of your desires is due to the inherent godly nature of your desires. Well, you will say how are desires godly? All desires are nothing else but Love, and Love is nothing but God. Is not Love God? All desires are of the same sort as Gravitation. What is Gravitation? Here is the Earth attracting the moon. Here is the Sun attracting the Earth. Here are the planets attracting each other – ‘universal love,’ here is the law of affinity, one atom attracting the other. What is the force of cohesion in molecules? One molecule attracting another molecule. Attracting is desiring, from your stand point. Why this attraction, this force, this cohesion, or chemical adhesion, gravitation? All this is desire. All your desires are godly. Thus the godly nature of your desires insists upon their fulfilment; but when you make them selfish or personal, their selfish character makes the desires partake of the nature of Maya and thus they are delayed in fulfilment.
In order that your desires may be fulfilled smoothly and easily, and may be realized to your entire satisfaction, you have to lessen the Maya nature of your desires, you have to bring into predominance the godly or unselfish nature of your desires, and they will bear fruition.
We will read a poem and then stop.
Once realize that you are the master of your destiny and how happy you feel. When you are chanting OM and when you feel that you are the master of your own destiny, there is no longer any need for crying and weeping, and feeling miserable. You have made your circumstances different. Realize your mastery, do not feel yourself to be a slave of your surroundings, realize this truth, feel this truth that you are the master of your own destiny and whatever be your circumstances, your surroundings, whether the body is put into jail, or is being carried away by a swift current, or crushed under the heels of somebody, remember “I am He,” who is the master of the circumstances. I am not the body, I am He, the master of destiny.” Your friends are made by you. It is your own desires that place around you those whom you call friends. It is your own wish that has placed around you those whom you call your foes. O foes, you are made by me, 0 friends, you are my creation. Realize that idea and feel that and how happy you become.
Oh, brimful is my cup of joy,
Fulfilled completely all desires;
Sweet morning’s zephyrs I employ;
‘Tis I in bloom their kiss admires,
The rainbow colours are my attires,
My errands run like lightning fires,
The smiles of rose, the pearls of dew,
The golden threads, so fresh, so new,
All sun’s bright rays, embalmed in sweetness,
The silvery moon, delicious neatness.
The playful ripples, waving trees,
Entwining creepers, humming bees
Are my expression, my balmy breath,
My respiration is life and death.
What shall I do, or where remove?
I fill all space, no room to move.
Shall I suspect or I desire?
All time is me, all force my fire.
Can I be doubt or sorrow-stricken?
No, I am verily all causation
All time is now, all distance here,
All problems solved, solution clear.
All ill and good, all bitter and sweet
In those my throbbing pulse doth beat.
All lovers I am, all sweethearts I,
I am desires, emotions I.
No selfish aim, no tie, no bond,
To me do each and all respond,
Impersonal Lord, in foe and friend,
To me doth every object bend.