Lecture delivered on Sunday afternoon, February 8, 1903
We shall take up this afternoon the question,”Why do people suffer, why is there this suffering in the world?”
Rama shall not take up this question from the stand-point of History, or of what has been read in historical writings, or of the sayings of sages or the opinions of wise men. It is true that all these great writers, all these great thinkers and authors have spoken the truth. They have told what occurred to them to be the absolute truth. But all the writings of all the authors of the world put together do but little good, unless you sift matters through and through, and see by your own personal experience. Rama will say only what he has seen through his own personal experience, and what each and all may see by personal experience.
There is a great tendency in these days to refer to some authority, to refer to a great name, a great historian, or a great scientist, and the speaker who can use these great names is honoured most; this is a suicidal tendency. Rama will tell you from his own experience and will tell you what you can learn by your own experiments.
The great cause of suffering in the world is that”we do not look within, we do not form our own opinions, we take matters too much on trust, we rely on outside forces to do our thinking”. What other people say we take for granted, and we do not look within; we do not rely on our own stamina. In addition to belief in Mohammed, Buddha or Krishna, we have created all sorts of fetishes before which we bow. Any child can criticize our conduct and that is sufficient to throw us off our balance, and cause us suffering. We care too much for the criticisms and opinions of others; we spend too much time in currying favour with others. This idea of looking at ourselves through the eyes of others and not looking at our true Self, not seeing ourselves but through the eyes of others around us is the cause of our suffering. The habit of looking at ourselves through the eyes of others is called vanity, self-aggrandisement. We want to appear so good in the eyes of others; this is the evil of society, the bane of all religion.
There was a man in India who was half crazy, and just as in the month of April, you make April fools in America, in the month of March in India people play all sorts of jokes with their friends. The merry-making young men of the village thought it high time to have some fun with this man. So they made him drink some wine, and made him tipsy, and then sent to him his most intimate and most trusted friend and companion. When this trusted friend came up to this man, the friend began to cry, to weep and wail and shed crocodile tears, and said,”O, I have just come from your house and found your wife widowed, I found your wife a widow.”And the crazy fellow also began to cry and shed tears, he began also to bewail the widowhood of his own wife. Finally, others came and said,”Why do you weep?”The crazy man said,”O, I weep because my wife is a widow.”They said to him,”How can that be? You say your wife is a widow. You are not dead. How can your wife become widowed unless you, her husband, die? You are not dead; you are bewailing the widowhood of your own wife that is self-contradictory.”The crazy fellow said,”O, go away, you don’t know, you don’t understand, this my most trusted friend told me he had just come from my house, and that my wife was widowed. He was an eye-witness to that fact, he saw her widowed.”They said,”Look here, what a terrible absurdity is this!”(laughter). Now, we laugh at this man because he bewailed the widowhood of his wife and would not be persuaded that his wife was not widowed because he was alive; but remember this terrible absurdity is being perpetrated by all the sects and religions of the world, and by all the vain, proud, fashionable people of the world. They don’t look with their own eyes, they don’t think with their own brains. Here is your own Atman, your true Self, the Light of lights, Pure, Immutable, the Heaven of heavens within you. Your real Self, your own Atman is ever alive, ever present, never dead, and yet you cry and weep and shed tears and say,”O, when will happiness come to me,”and you invoke the gods to come and help you out of your difficulty. There you prostrate yourselves, adopt sneaking habits, look down upon yourselves. Because such a writer, such a divine or saint called himself a sinner, because he calls you worms, therefore you must do that, your salvation lies in thinking yourselves dead. This is the way people look at matters, but it won’t do. Begin to realize your own life, begin to feel your own Atman, bid adieu to this tipsy state which mikes you bewail your own death. Stand on your feet whether you are great or small, whether you are highly placed or very low, care not, a straw for that. Realize your divinity, your Godhead. Look at anything in the face, shrink not. Look not at yourself with the eyes of others but within your own Self. Your own Self will always tell you that you are the greatest Self in all the world. Similarly, people say Vedanta, Buddhism, etc., tells them to think so, but Rama tells you that heaven from within tells you never to think yourself dilapidated, decrepit, or worsted. Realize the Divinity within.
“The mountain and the squirrel had a quarrel;
And the former called the latter ‘Little Prig.’
Bun replied:”You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year and a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I’m not as large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry,
I’ll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all’s well and wisely put.
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.”
Thus your body may be like that of a little squirrel and another body beside you may be as big as a mountain, but don’t think you are small; be as wise as the small squirrel. Remember that even if your body is very little, you have a function to discharge in this world, which the big body cannot perform. Then why look down upon yourself? Be cheerful and happy.
A gentleman came to Rama and said that his superior officer ill-treated him all the time. Rama told him that the superior officer looked down upon him because he looked down upon himself. If we respect our own selves, everybody must respect us. If a value of one cent is put upon this little book, nobody will pay two cents for it, but a value of 25 cents is placed upon this little book and everybody is willing to pay that amount for it.
Similarly, set upon yourself a small value and nobody will take you at a high value. Set upon yourself the highest value, respect yourself, feel your Divinity, your Godhead, and everybody must take you in the same way.
They say, faith will save you; but faith in external principles will not save you; faith in your own Divinity will save you. Believe, have living faith in your own Divinity, respect yourself, and everybody will respect you.
Well, the gentleman who had made a complaint against his superior officer, being instructed by Rama, began to spend his time in realizing his Divinity. He began to pray and pray. Now prayer does not mean repeating certain words. Prayer means feeling and realizing Divinity. He began to pray that way. He found that the master was bound to respect him and treat him well. One day the superior officer approached him in a very peevish mood. This man answered the superior officer in a most pleasant tone, in a most happy way and said,”O sir, indeed you draw a much larger salary than I do, and I know that you do a particular kind of work that I don’t do; it is true that I need you, but it is also true that you need me. Could you do without somebody to fill my position? You could not. So you need me just as badly as I need you, and in fact YOU needed me first. You needed someone to fill this position and you sent for me. I do not serve you. If I am a servant, I serve my own needs and wants; I am not your servant, I am my own servant. I am servile to nobody. Serving in a good sense is alright.”
That being the case, you are dependent on nobody in the world; no servant is dependent on any master if he is dependent on his own desires. Outward dependence is illusory, real dependence is on our own self. That being the case, feel and realize your independence. Why should you consider yourself dependent on God, Christ, Mohammad, Buddha, Krishna, or any of the saints of this world? Free you are, each and all. The idea of freedom brought home makes you happy.
A man was taken to be a criminal by a certain king of Asia, because he would not bow before the king. This old king got offended when people did not bow before him. The king said to the criminal,”Do you not know what a powerful and strict monarch I am? Do you not know that I will kill you, you are so audacious?”The man spat in the king’s face, and looked so fiercely at him that he was exasperated. The man said,”O foolish dolly that you are, you have not the power or the authority to put me to death. I am my own master. It is in my power to spit in your face, it is in my power to insult you, and it is in my power to see this body put on the cross or scaffold. I am the master of my body. Your authority is second-hand, my authority comes first.”Similarly, feel and realize that you are always your own master. Look at things from the stand-point of your Atman, and not through the eyes of others. Feel your independence, feel that you are the God of gods, the Lord of lords, for that you are.
Why do people suffer? They suffer through the ignorance of their own self, which makes them forget their own self, and which leads them to think themselves to be what others call them. So long as this ignorance is here, so long as man does not realize his own Divinity, there will be suffering always.
Ignorance is darkness. If you go into a very dark room, you are certain to strike against the wall, you are sure to hit your head against something or injure yourself in some way. It cannot be avoided, you cannot help it. In some of the poor huts in India, the people are so poor that they cannot afford light in the houses, and Rama has observed in passing along the streets that upon entering the house during the darkness of the night, the master of the house would always find fault with the wife and others of the household. He would exclaim,”O, why do you keep this table here, I broke my knee over it? Or why did you put that chair there, I nearly broke my hand over it? Or utter complaints of a similar nature. Is there any remedy? No, none; for if the wife removed the table or chair to another corner or part of the room, then the man would have to go to some other place in the dark and would get hurt. So long as there is darkness, the knee, the arm, the neck or shoulders must be broken: the head must knock against the cornice or wall. It can’t be helped. If you simply light the room, let things be where they are, you will not have to bother; you will then be able to walk unhurt from place to place.
So it is in the world. In order that your suffering may be remedied, you should not rely on the adjustment of your surroundings or on your position in life for the remedy, but depend upon the remedy which deals only with the adjustment of the Sun within. All people are trying to get rid of suffering by placing or adjusting as it were the furniture, by placing this and that differently in the world, or by accumulating money, or by building errand houses or by acquiring certain land which somebody else owns. By adjusting your surroundings, or by placing your furniture in this order or that, you can never escape suffering. Suffering may be shunned, removed, and got rid of only by bringing light into your room, by having Light, by having knowledge in the closet of your hearts. Let darkness go and nothing will harm you.
There was a community of savages that lived in a certain part of the Himalayas, savages who never lighted any fire. The old savages of the world did not light fires; they knew not how to make a fire. They used to live on dried fish, and never cooked their food except by the heat of the sun, or dried it in the sun. Before the evening came they went to bed, and got up with the sun, and thus they had no occasion to mix with material darkness. There was a big cave near the place where they used to live. These savages thought that some of their most revered ancestors were living in this cave. In fact some of their ancestors had entered the dark cave and had died in it, by being stuck in the mud, or probably striking their heads against the jagged walls of the cave. The savages looked upon this cave as very holy, but these people, not being accustomed to associate with darkness, the darkness in the cave was to them a giant monster which they wanted to get rid of (laughter). You laugh at this absurdity, but the people of to-day are committing greater absurdities. Well, someone told them that the monster in the cave would leave, if they approached the cave in a worshipful mood. So they went and prostrated, themselves in front of the cave for years, but the monster did not leave the cave by this reverence. Afterwards someone told them that the monster would leave the cave if they bullied him, if they fought him. So they got all sorts of arrows and sticks and rocks, all kinds of weapons that they could find, and began to shoot arrows into the cave and strike the darkness with sticks; but the darkness did not move, it did not leave. Another said,”Fast, fast. The darkness will leave the cave by your fasting. All these years, you have not been doing the right thing. Fasting is what is needed.”The poor fellows fasted and fasted. They sacrificed by fasting but the darkness left not; the monster still did not leave the cave. Then somebody said the darkness would be dispelled if they distributed alms. So they began to distribute all that they had, but the monster did not leave the cave. At last there came a man who said the monster would leave the cave if they followed his advice. They asked him what his advice was, and he said,”Bring me some long sticks of bamboo, and some grass to fasten the bamboo sticks together, and some fish oil.”Then he asked them to bring him some straw or rags or something to burn. This man applied them to the long end of the bamboo and by striking a stone against a piece of flint he struck fire and lighted the straw at the end of the bamboo stick.
Fire was made and this was a queer sight to these people, for this was the first time they had seen fire. This man then told them to take hold of the bamboo stick and run it into the cave and catch hold of the ears of the monster and drag him out of the cave, if they met the monster darkness. At first they did not believe in his theory and said that could not be right, since their great-grandfathers had told them the monster would leave the cave if they prostrated themselves before it or if they fasted, or if they gave alms, and they had practised all these things for many years, and the monster had not left the cave.”And now,”they said,”here is a stranger; he surely cannot advise us aright; his advice is worth nothing. O, we will not listen to it.” So they put out the fire. But there were some who were not so prejudiced. They took up the light and went into the cave, and lo! The monster was not there. They went on and on into the cave, (for it was a very long cave), and still found no monster; then they thought the monster must be hidden in the holes in the cave, and so they thrust the light into all the holes in the cave, but there was no monster anywhere, it was as if it had never been there.
Just so, ignorance is the monster, darkness, which has entered the cave of your hearts and is making havoc there and turning it into a hell. All anxiety, all suffering, all pain lies in yourself, never outside. Suppose somebody calls you names, or rebukes you; such a person prepares for you the food which, if taken into your mouth, will hurt you. Thus, nothing can enrage or excite you, unless you take it up and appropriate it to yourself. Rama never takes things unto himself; people often pass unfavourable remarks as he passes along the streets, but such words have no effect unless they are taken up and believed to be true.
According to Vedanta, a person of realization is one who never takes the trouble of taking up or appropriating in the least any poisonous feasts; such a person never suffers himself to be rebuffed or disturbed.
Be your true Self, be your Divinity. Take pity on those people who are blaming or defaming others. Never think yourself to be maltreated, downtrodden, or fallen. Feel, feel your Divinity, live in your Divinity; all else is darkness, all else is ignorance; it is darkness within you which creates a hell for you. To get rid of this darkness, you may try all sorts of methods but they will avail nothing.
If three hundred and thirty-three billions of Christs appear in the world, it will do no good, unless you yourself undertake to remove the darkness within. Depend not on others. All these processes of joining this Church or that, this society or that socie’ty, worshipping this Christ or that Krishna, this fetish or that, will avail nothing. Do all that you like, but it will avail you nothing. The only remedy is Light, and Light is living knowledge, living faith in your Divinity. That is the remedy, there is no other.
O Divinity in the form of ladies and gentlemen! O my true Self in the form of everybody! O my own beloved Real Self in the form of all these bodies! O blessed mother in the form of all these bodies! O blessed Atman in the form of all these bodies! Light simply means the realization of Truth to such a degree that all the apparent bodies and forms may dwindle into nothingness.
Light, or the true realization of Truth, would make all these bodies transparent, would make all personalities evanescent. Whatever a person appears, a man of realization never sees the little ego, the apparent body, but only the Divinity. To him the apparent form or body is an illusion; it is darkness, ignorance.
The removal of ignorance means seeing God, seeing the real Self, seeing only Truth, realizing Divinity only, and being exempt from all fears and all anxiety.
O Divinity! Divinity!! O my own beloved, dear, dear God in all these bodies!! People who in the eyes of others are called enemies, are all my own true Self; those who in the eyes of others are called friends, are all my own true Self. See not the outside personality, see not the little ego; seeing the Divinity not only in all bodies, but in your own body also is light, which makes you see Divinity one and the same as yourself. Divinity is the synonym of my true Self. That I, the true Self, is everywhere. Realize that, feel that, live that, and all walls, all difficulties, all bars, all barriers vanish. What a vision! What a truth!! What a grand fact!! It is a pity it cannot be described; no words can reach it, no language can portray it. It is a fact. If you simply want it, if you crave for it, it must come to you.
When we read Astronomy, we have to make astronomical calculations; and in calculating the distances between the different stars, in estimating the great magnitudes of the different stars, we come across such enormous figures that this Earth, taken as a mathematical point, becomes a vanishing point.
Similarly, when you begin to realize the Truth, to feel that you are the Light of lights, the Sun of suns, the God of gods, the Lord of lords, all these astronomical stars, all these gigantic Milky ways are a mere insignificant speck. When you realize that, when you feel that and think that, O, how can any of your worldly bugbears produce any effect on you?
If in the presence of these great stars, this Earth dwindles into nothingness, then in the presence of this Sun of suns, this Light of lights, in the presence of my own true Self, how can these worldly troubles and anxieties keep any dimensions?
Realize the Truth, feel that, live that and when you feel it in its full intensity, nothing, nothing will move you. Let millions of suns be hurled into annihilation, let an infinite number of moons be melted into nothingness, a man of realization, a man of light stands immovable like a rock. What harm can come to him? What is there that can bring suffering to him?
O wonder of wonders! Such enormous, such infinite, such ineffable glory!! That is your real Self, and it is ignored by the people.
That sun, that infinite sun is hidden by a small curtain so close to the eyes that the whole world is shut out. Such a glorious, majestic reality is shut out by such a little, insignificant ignorance. O, throw aside such enfeebling, such weakening ignorance; away with it. Realize”I am the Lord of lords, the Light of lights, the Ineffable, the Indescribable”. That you are, that you are. O, how plain, how clear does everything become when you feel that Reality!
Rama tells you nothing from history, from the lives of great men. What Rama tells you is from his own personal experience and it is what you can also realize for yourselves.
Rama tells you that when we realize the Truth and feel the Reality, the world is converted into a veritable heaven for us. There are then no foes, no fears, no troubles, no anxieties, no pain. Verily, verily, it is so.
When we are at a great elevation, the small differences in the level of objects down below disappear. Down below, this house appears very high, and over there that house appears very low, or this street appears very high and another street appears very low, but when we ascend the high hill and look at these same objects, we do not mark the difference. Similarly, when you rise to those heights of spiritual glory, and when you feel the true Atman, when you realize the Truth within, then to you the small differences of friend or foe, of malefactor or benefactor, all disappear. It is the perception of these small differences which causes us uneasiness, which produces certain unpleasant effects. Rise above this, so that the Reality becomes real, and all differences disappear; this is what Vedanta calls—Ekatwam. God is the Reality; the world or phenomena is illusion.
Thus realize your own true Self, realize the Atman to such a degree that this world may become unreal and that God or the true Divinity within may become real. Oh, what a crime you commit when you address your brother as a man and do not realize the Divinity within him.
Crimes are called by many names, matricide, homicide, and the like, but by not feeling the divinity within each and all, you commit the crime of God-cide or Deicide. When you call a man father, brother, son, friend or foe, and feel not the divinity within him, you employ words to such a degree that the divinity is killed out. When the body, the form, or outside illusory shape becomes so prominent that the God within is forgotten, then you become worsted. You are annihilated, so to speak, in this world, whenever you try to kill out the Divinity within you. This killing of God, of the Divinity is ignorance, and this ignorance is the cause of suffering in this world. This truth will remain a dream only if people do not practise it. It is a fact; realize it and you make yourself happy; feel it, live it, and you will see that you live in a world of miracles, you will see that all the powers serve you; feel it, and all the suns, stars and moons obey your commands. This you will find by persistent experiments.
Happy is the man who can ever feel his oneness”with all, who can ever feel his true Divinity.
There is a Sanskrit verse, the literal meaning of which is”As darkness, accumulated in caves for centuries, takes no time to vacate when light is brought, so it is with the man who has accumulated darkness even from his birth. All flies away when this Reality, this Divine Light, shines in the closet of his heart.”
Rama sees from personal experience every day that when he sees the Divinity in the man or person who appears, when he treats the body of the man as God, or in other words, when he sees not the personality but sees the Reality in the person, then he does not suffer; but when he sees only the body, sees only the personality of the person, then does llama suffer. but from all these past shortcomings and past successes, Rama has by this time become wise to this degree that never, never, even in a dream is left any possibility of looking on anybody as anything else but God. Rama sees that by taking you to be the true Self, by feeling you to be his own Self, by feeling all these bodies to be his, by feeling all these bodies to be the same as his, they are bound to feel the same way.
There was a man called Majnun. He was called the prince of lovers. Nobody ever loved as he did, but his love was for the personality, the body of his lady, and it was thus that he could not see her. Rama says, if you have desires and want them fulfilled, you must leave those desires, you must rise above them. Well, this poor fellow did not possess the secret; yet he was the ideal lover of the whole world. It is related that he became crazy and went mad over his great disappointment, and the poor crazy prince left his father’s house and roamed about the forest. If he saw a rose, he would rush to it thinking it to be his beloved one; the cypress tree he caressed thinking it to be his beloved one; he came up to a deer and thought it to be his beloved one. That was his feeling, he had transformed these little bodies into the body of his beloved one, seeing that everywhere. His object of love was material and he suffered through it.
Rama says, u Love as he loved, bun let the object of your love be the real Self, the God, the Divinity.”Is not the whole world mad, crazy after happiness, and happiness is a synonym of God? This poor fellow knew not where to find True Happiness or God. Blessed is he who realizes the Truth like that Majnun who realized his lady-love in the trees, in the animals, and in the flowers. Well, the poor fellow at last fell senseless in the forest, and his father searching for him came upon the spot where he was lying. He picked up the poor boy, wiped his face and said,”O my beloved son, do you recognize me?”Majnun was staring vacantly, and he looked and looked, but to him there was nothing left in the universe. Majnun’s whole frame was saying,”What is father, what is father?”The father said,”My beloved son! I am your father, do you not recognize me?”He said,”What is father”meaning is there anything in this world but my beloved one?
Realization means the same love of Truth as this fellow had for his material object, for the flesh and skin. When you rise to that height of Divine love, when you rise to such a degree that in your father, in your mother, in everybody you see nothing but God, when you see in the wife no wife, but the beloved one, God, then, indeed you do become God, then, indeed are you in the presence of God.
So long as Majnun was alive, he could not see his beloved one. The poet says that Majnun was brought into the presence of God, and God said,”O fool, why did you love so much a material, a worldly object; had you loved Me with a millionth part of the intensity of love which you wasted upon your lady-love, I would have made you the Archangel of Heaven.”It is related that Majnun answered God in this way.”O God, I excuse you for this; but, if you were really so anxious to be loved by me, why did you not come as my beloved lady? If you had the desire to be worshipped, you should have become the object, the lady-love.”This fellow turned the tables, so to speak, but Rama says you must have that same intense love of Truth, you must love your Atman, you must think it the beloved one. Love it, feel, feel it as Majnun did, and nothing else must come to you except it be presented to you as the beloved Truth. You must see the beloved Divinity in it, nothing else.
Now you say,”What is the use; we don’t want to realize it; we are happy in this hell of ours.”Rama says,”You may be happy, but that is your goal; so what is the use of wasting time, trudging along the road. You will have to come to this stage, but trudge not along in the mud; take the elevated railway, take electric cars, nay, take wings, and don’t waste time on the roadside.
Observe your everyday surroundings; and what happens? You will see that it is the plan of Nature that you should reach that goal. This is what happens, it is a natural phenomenon. When a person is in a calm, placid and happy mood, by living in that placid, tranquil mood for some time, he finds that some good news, good change, or something good comes along; it always comes without exception.
Live in that state of harmony, in that state of calm and tranquility, and you will see that some friend will come, or some object of love will come or something flattering comes to you. If ordinary people become elated over this success or attach too much importance to this beloved thing, that comes to them. If you begin to lay that material form to your heart, if you clasp it and stick to it, and love it so dearly, you will see that without fail, something indescribable comes and takes it away or makes another change. That cannot be avoided; it is the law.
If books have not been written upon it, it is nevertheless the law. Thus when you cling to that something, when you hold it so dear, something takes place which takes it away, and you are sad and worsted; then two kinds of phenomena take place. Some people on becoming worsted, begin to find fault with circumstances, to struggle and criticize circumstances. Such people are visited by still harder difficulties and they exclaim,”O, misfortunes never come singly.”People who after one misfortune do not regain their equilibrium, but go on fault-finding and criticizing, and go on struggling after frail reeds,—for these misfortunes do not come singly,— after suffering for some time, they are in a state of mind to which is again added the power unseen. Then comes a state of harmony, a state of resignation, a state of leaving those desires, a state of geniality, a state of universal peace, and then again the clouds disperse and fairer circumstances come. Again they are misled, and keep depending upon outride manifestations only, and again are led into difficulties; and after a while they come to religion. It is said that misfortunes lead to religion.
Thus in your everyday life there is day and night. Every day of suffering is followed by a night of pleasure, and every night of pleasure is followed by a day of suffering. So long as you keep clinging to forms, this rise and fall will continue, it will go on, one succeeding the other. Now, what is the object of this inner rise and fall? The object of this inner rise and fall is to make you realize the Sun within.
On the earth is night and day, but in the sun there is all day; it is the earth revolving round the sun that makes night and day; but in the sun there is no night, there is always the God-light, always day.
Misfortune, anxiety and trouble are to make you realize the Heaven within. It is to make you feel that you should realize the Sun of suns, the Light of lights within and when you realize that, you are above all worldly pun and suffering, above fluctuation. You then go beyond and above all of them.
Now, how is it the object of these to raise us? The first coming of pleasure shows us that it comes always when we get ourselves associated with or absorbed in the Divinity within, or when we get ourselves in harmony with the universe. Thus it tells us that all pleasures are ours when we are in harmony with the universe; they must be ours, it is the law. The phenomena of pain tell us that it always succeeds or follows the clinging or attachment to the material, the illusory, the mayavic objects. These pains tell us our clinging to the material and looking upon those material objects as real, brings us pain, anxiety and suffering. Therefore pain tells us that material objects are not real and we need not waste our time and energies on outside worldly forms. All pains teach us that lesson. Rama can take up the history of the world and explain it by this law. You know that even in Shakespeare’s drama,”The Merchant of Venice, so long as Bassanio was attached to the body of Portia, he was worsted, he could not succeed, and in making the choice of the caskets, he was in an indescribable state, he was in a state where nobody was there; here he was in a grand state. It does not mention God, Divinity or Archangels, but by reading closely you will find that while his soul was harmonious, while he was one with Divinity, he succeeded. It may be that Shakespeare has not brought it out clearly. Poets do not depict it clearly, but it is a fact proved every day. All pleasures tell you that you must feel harmonious. They tell you that you must be in unison with the All, with the whole of Nature. Pains teach you the negative side and tell you that you must not cling to worldly things or feel them to be real. Pains teach you that you must not kill the God in all, you must not cling to forms and shapes and forget God. All pleasures teach Vedanta, and all pains teach Vedanta. Because all people do not happen to believe it, does that prove anything? The world is unhappy because it does not realize this truth. Realize the truth and you become happy.
People in India have not the machinery you have in this country. Earthen pots are worked from the clay by the feet. The clay is moulded by the feet in a deep basin, and a double process is employed. From the inside is kept some kind of support and from the outside strokes are applied by which the clay is moulded.
Similarly, this outside beating is making you advance, making God of yon. It is a double process, keep the support within. Pains are the hard strokes, and pleasures are the support within. By pleasures and pains, character is being formed. Pain, which resembles the hard strokes, as well as pleasures, which resemble the support from behind, have for their object the bringing out of the Divinity in you, bringing out the God in you, evolving your Divine nature. It is the Law of Nature that at the bayonet’s point, you must rise to your God-head; and if you don’t do that, well, slap after slap, knock after knock, will be your lot. If you want to avoid or escape slaps and knocks, then do please realize the Atman, the true Self. That is the goal.
O, happy, happy, happy Ram,
Serene and peaceful, tranquil, calm
My joy can nothing, nothing mar,
My course can nothing, nothing bar.
My livery wear gods, men and birds,
My bliss supreme transcendeth words.
Here, there and everywhere,
There, where’s no more a”where?”
Now, ever, anon, and then,
Then when’s no more a”when?”
This, that, and which, and what,
That, that’s above a”what?”
First, last, and mid, and high,
The one beyond a”why?”
One, five and hundred, All,
Transcending number one and all.
The subject, object, knowledge, sight,
E’en that description is not right.
Was, is, and e’er shall be,
Confounder of the verb”to be.”
The sweetest Self, the truest Me,
No Me, no Thee, no He.
That is the Real Self, the All, and yet the indescribable; that ye are!!
Realize this truth. Rama feels offended when people come and worship the body of Rama. Rama has joy, pleasure, happiness enough within, to be altogether free from any joy that, comes to men through being flattered or from riches.
Infinite, indescribable is my happiness. The Divine source within is enough to make Rama rise above the necessity of seeking joy at the door of name, fame, or wealth. Joy enough is within me.
O feel, feel, and realize. This will make you free of all begging spirit which makes a man seek worldly fame.
There was a woman in India who had nine sons. One day a mendicant passed her house and she gave him some alms. The mendicant was so highly pleased that he invoked a blessing upon her. He said,”O blessed Lord, make this gracious lady the mother of seven children”. When the well-meaning mendicant asked God to make her the mother of seven children, she was offended, for she had already nine children and that meant a loss to her. She begged the mendicant to bless her again, and the mendicant again asked God to make her the mother of seven children. The lady became enraged and the people were attracted to the scene and inquired as to the cause of excitement. They were of course amused to know that the blessing was not a blessing but a curse. Similarly, Rama has indescribable joy within himself, and let that be enjoyed by all. That makes us free, free of all worldly things in this world.
Let the body, the personality, like the lily on the Himalayan glaciers, bloom unknown, unnoticed by anybody. Let this body be crucified, let it be put into prison, let it be swallowed by the waves of the ocean, let it be scorched by the heat of the Torrid Zone, let anything come to it, that joy cannot be abated. Feel that happiness, that joy supreme within, and rise above all worldly vanity, worldly tomfooleries, and all gloom.
Be the Lord of lords, the God of gods. That ye are! That ye are!!