Delivered on July 28,1904
Beloved in the shape of ladies and gentlemen,
When I first came to America, I landed at Seattle. I was received by the Spiritualists. They gave me the first welcome to this blessed land. I have among these Spiritualists in Seattle some of my most beloved, sweetest friends. In Portland, Oregon, again the Spiritualists arranged for my lectures; and also in South America I have met among those Spiritualists the sweetest souls I have ever known. My opinion about the Spiritualists of America is that they are among the most liberal and broad – minded, most sympathetic and true, real Christian souls. I am delighted to be here among my own people once more. I am about to leave America now, and here I have an opportunity of addressing once more the people who welcomed me to this land. And here we are all brethren, my dear heathens. A heathen is one who lives on a heath, and as we are living in the country now, under the free canopy of heaven, of the trees and clouds, so we are once more heathens, brethren. I am happy to address my heathen brethren. I will talk to you first of “The Ancient Spiritualism of India,” and will then pass on to another subject.
The Ancient Spiritualism of India is apparently not something like the organized spiritualistic societies of this land. And yet we read in the ancient Scriptures allusions and references, over and over again, to clairvoyant powers.
I am working, reading, writing and dictating under the possession of what is known in India as Divya Drishti, which means the vision of light. You have heard a great deal about the Bhagavad Gita. This was spoken by a man, Sanjaya. In the very beginning of Bhagavad Gita, you hear the name of Sanjaya. This Sanjaya was a person on the battle – field where the Bhagavad Gita was recited before Arjuna. He was at a distance of about two hundred miles from the battle – field. So his preceptor blesses him with this power, known as Divya Drishti. Staying at a distance of two hundred miles, he goes on citing everything that was passing in the battle field, and among the doings of the battle was the chanting of the song known as the Bhagavadt Gita. You might remember there was a case of some of the sayings, doings and writings of what are called ‘mediums’ in this land. One of the greatest books, the most wonderful according to me, ever written under the Sun, is “Yog Vashishtha,’ which nobody on the Earth can read without escaping God – consciousness, and which nobody can read through without becoming one with The All. That book was written under similar circumstances. Again, one of the greatest books in India, known as the Ramayana, was written by Valmiki several hundred years before the actual incidents took place. Such are the accounts given about the writings of some of the books in India.
Then again, in the Mahabharata, the greatest book of the world, consisting of four hundred thousand verses, the story is given of a queen who, in a vision, sees the most beautiful prince and falls in love with him. She was so deeply in love with him that her body, under the severe passion of love, fell sick. Her father sent for all sorts of Doctors and physicians, but to no avail. At last somebody discovered that her disease was the blessed disease of love. The Prime Minister of the king tame up, put his hand upon her pulse, and ordered one of the greatest painters to come up and paint the pictures of all the beautiful kings in – India. This painter was a woman. This gives you some idea of the ability of women in India and the position they occupied in that land. This woman – painter came up, and, on a board against the wall, she drew picture after picture of the great kings that lived in India in those days. This Prime Minister was watching the beating of the pulse of this princess. The paintress drew a picture of Shri Krishna. Then her pulse beats faster, and the Prime Minister stopped short. He thought that here was the man perhaps whom she had seen in her vision. But he saw that the pulse did not beat fast enough, and ordered the painter to go on painting pictures. Then she paints the picture of the youngest son of Krishna, and when that picture was painted, lo, not to speak of the pulse, her whole heart began to heave and beat. Then the Prime Minister came to the conclusion, “Here is the man who will drive away her sadness.” This we believe to be no story but historical fact.
As to this paintress, what about her? Did she see all the kings and princes of the land? No! She was again under what we call Divya Drishti, under that higher vibration with the All, so much so that the book of Nature remained no longer a sealed book, but everything was an open book to her. I might multiply as many incidents of this kind as you please, might give you example after example. Suffice it to say that there is a vision and sight, rather there is an inner light which makes you possessed of all the knowledge in this world.
The Vedanta Philosophy is popularized by very beautiful illustrations. Let me give you an illustration to distinguish this inner supreme spiritual vision from that kind of light which you imbibe from the study of books and through the medium of Professors in the Universities.
They say, at one time a prince was going to get one of his most glorious palaces painted in a marvellous way. Many painters came hoping that he would select the very best painter for the job. He set them a test. Two walls stood side by side parallel to each other, and two painters were employed to paint these walls. Curtains were hanging on these walls so that the work of one painter could not be seen by the other. About two weeks were allowed to them to finish their work. One of the painters reproduced on the wall all the scenes of the Mahabharata, the grandest book of the world, and his work was most marvellous and glorious indeed. As to the other painter, I will not tell you yet what he was doing. Two weeks passed, and the king with his retinue came to the scene, and the curtain was lifted from the work of the first painter, and there were thousands and thousands of pictures upon the wall. Everybody who looked at the wall was wonder struck. They stood, all surprised, in a most wonder struck mood. How glorious was the work I All the spectators cried out, “Give him the reward, select him for the highest work which you want to be done! Let him be the victor, let him be rewarded! “Then the king ordered the other man to lift up his curtain. When the curtain was lifted, all the people stood there with bated breath, their lips half open, their breathing suspended, and their eyes wide open with amazement. They could not utter a word; they were pictures of amazement and surprise. Why? What had this second man done? Everything on the wall of the first man was inscribed on the wall of the second man, with this difference that while the first man’s paintings were relatively rough and rugged and uncouth, the second man’s paintings were so smooth, neat and clean, and so soft and polished, that even a fly in its attempt to sit upon the wall would slip down. So beautiful was the work!
And further, they saw that in the second man’s paintings there was a curious beauty, for they were painted three yards behind the surface of the wall. How had this work been done? The second man had been polishing, purifying and smoothing his wall to such an extent that he made it transparent, and it became a veritable mirror, a looking – glass. Like a looking glass, it took in all that the first man had done, but everything was painted within it. You know that the pictures within a mirror reflect within it as far as the object is without it.
Thus there are two ways of acquiring knowledge. One is the cramming and outside painting work, taking in picture after picture, and idea after idea, and pumping into the brain thoughts and ideas of all varieties, – Geology, Astrology, Theology, Philology, and all sorts of Ontologies and Non-practicologies. This is one way of acquiring knowledge. I don’t mean to say that you cannot acquire knowledge that way. You can, just as that man painted the wall by all sorts of colours used on the surface. But there is, blessed ones, another way of mastering the knowledge of the world. It is a purifying process. It is not stuffing in, but taking away, and using only the thoughts which are needful. It is to make your breast beating with the ALL. As Emerson says, “Heave thine with nature’s heaving breast, And all is clear from east to west.”
There is that method of realizing my oneness with the ALL. Walt Whitman says, “Unless you feel all, you cannot know all.” It is feeling all.
Wherefrom did all the original workers, all the men of genius, get their knowledge? We have ever so many Professors of Theology, Doctors of Divinity, Reverends, ministers in the Churches, who have devoted their life – time to the study of tomes filling large libraries. And yet how many of them deliver original sermons like the sweet little sermons that came from the blessed lips of dear Jesus. We have ever so many writers and speakers, but dear ones, out of all the speeches delivered in America, no speech was so powerful as the speech of the seven words. You all know that speech of seven words: “Give me liberty or give me death!” There are ever so many Professors of Mathematics, Doctors of Philosophy, but how many of them did produce a work like the single little “Principia” of Newton. Wherefrom did he get all this knowledge? The knowledge of Mathematics which he derived from books was not as much as the knowledge which he poured into the world. He got it from some higher source. Shakespeare’s books are read today in the Universities by the students in the Master of Arts class. This poor Shakespeare was not a Graduate of any University, yet he wrote books which the people must read before they graduate from the Universities. The great Scientist of today, Herbert Spencer, was not a Graduate of any College. Somebody asked him if he was an Omnivorous reader. “No, sir; if I were as big a reader as others, I would have been as big an ignoramus as others.” Now we see that these original workers, these people who advanced the march of Science, derived their original ideas and thoughts evidently not from the books written before them. If it were copied from other books, it could not be original at all. Here arises the question, wherefrom does original knowledge come? Wherefrom does this originality derive its origin?
Dear blessed ones, dear sweet ones, hear, consciously or unconsciously, mark these words, it is coming into unison, becoming one with what is called the heaven within; the origin of all life within, the origin of all light within. There, there is the source. The origin of all light, of all life, heaven of heavens, is your real self, the true self. Let us for a second enter into silence with this thought that all life, all light is within men, all is within me.
Now I shall tell you the method which the sages of India adopted to acquire that God – vision. In India it is said that all the Vedas were written by God, by Rishis. It means that the people who wrote these Vedas wrote them while this body – consciousness or this egoistic consciousness, the personal consciousness, was entirely absent. So the people from whom these Vedas sprang are called Rishis. But they are not the authors. The word Rishi merely means the seer of divine light, the seer of divine truth. Again, in other parts of the Hindu Scriptures, it is stated that all the Vedas (the Veda is the Hindu Bible) are like a tree which sprang from the seed known as OHM, OHM, OHM. This is called the seed from which the tree of the Vedas sprang.
How can we reconcile this idea with the other, that the Vedas came from the people who did not write them, bat sprang spontaneously as light emanates from a lamp or fragrance proceeds from a rose? The two ideas are reconciled in this way that those people who want to get a higher inspiration, those people who wanted to acquire that God – vision, who wanted to rise above the egoistic, personal, little, limited, local consciousness of self, they got the inspiration and light through the chant of OHM, OHM.
Now it is not the mere chant by the throat; it is something else also. While the lips and the throat chanted physically, the mind chants it intellectually, and the feelings chant it in a language of higher emotions. Thus the threefold chant of this sacred syllable brings you to that unison and oneness with the All, the LIGHT. This was the method which they adopted. This requires of me to lay before you the significance and meaning of the Mantram OM. I might take that up Some other day. But before I lay before you the significance and meaning of the Mantram OM, I must tell you why this Mantram has inspiration or God – consciousness dependent upon these little sounds.
Is God a respecter of words? This is the question that comes to the mind of everybody. I will show you that this OHM is the most natural and real name of the Holy of Holies, and for the ALL. This is a name not belonging to any particular language. If the Hindus took it up, it does not mean that it belongs to the Sanskrit language. It is nature’s name, nature’s word, it is nature’s syllable, nature’s mantram, and some people would like to discard it because it comes from Sanskrit, from the Hindus. You know that orthodoxy means my doxy, and your doxy is heterodoxy; so the orthodox are prone to reject everything that does not come in the name of their label. So you need not reject it because you think that it comes from the Hindus. In Sanskrit, this word OHM is not subjected to the same conjugation or inflection or other grammatical manipulations to which all other Sanskrit words are subjected. So it is not a Sanskrit word. It is a genuine word by itself, the word of nature. The Hindus took it up. Every child is born with this sound. What is the very first sound which a child utters? It is either, am, urn, Om or ma. Now oh, ah, uhm, these three elemental sounds compose OHM. In the French language, when the sounds oh and ah come together, they coalesce together into oh. Similarly when the sounds come together in Sanskrit, they coalesce. So the sounds oh and ah compose it, and every child of every nation is born with these sounds which he brings from the other world. We see again when a man is sick, what is the sound by which he seeks relief? He says uhm, uhm, uhm; therein he finds relief. A sick man, a man suffering from excruciating pain, finds in this sound his OHM. Wherever in this world children are happy, very happy in any place, their ecstasy finds expression in the ejaculation of the sound ohm? There it is. This is the sound which stands for that state of your mind in which you are standing above or beyond this little, local, egoistic, personal, small, limited consciousness. Whenever you rise above the local consciousness, according to which you feel yourself to be limited within the short area of about five or six feet, on the north having a head covered sometimes with a hat or turban, and on the south a pair of shoes, when you rise above this little egoistic consciousness, the natural sound of the mantram OHM finds expression through you We see again that in all the languages of the world, OHM occupies a very prominent place. Omniscient begins with OM, (then the nasal sound); so also Omnipresent, Omnipotent. They are the sweetest and highest names for God, – Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and they begin with the natural name for God – Ohm. In your prayers, when you come to that point where all speech stops, you say the word amen; in Arabic we say amin; in Persian we say amin; so in Hindustani or English – it is amen or amin. We see it in the principal languages of the civilized peoples in the prayers, when they come to that point. There all speech stops, the silence that speaks when you enter into that blessed silence, which the Hindus have expressed in the phrase.
यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते अप्राप्य मनसा सह
Translated, this means ” Wherefrom all speech and all thought turns back like a ball flung against the wall, jumps back”, When you reach that state, it is the word Amen that introduces you into the whole world, Amen is only a distorted expression of Ohm, Ohm, Ohm. So Ohm is the most natural name for God, the most natural name for the Holy of Holies.
Further. Did you ever notice the sound which accompanies your breath, your respiration? We will see just now, – it is so – ihm, ihm, ihm. Breathe alone and breathe aloud, you will see that so – ihm is the sound of vour breath. In the Sanskrit language so – ihm has a meaning; and remember please, if it has a meaning in the Sanskrit language, the English language ought to adopt it. Philology proves that English, French, Scandinavian, Russian, Greek, and Persian are all the daughters of the Sanskrit language. So, blessed ones, Sanskrit is the mother of your English language. So if it belongs to the mother, why should not the daughters take it? So, in the Sanskrit language So – ihm has a meaning. So means that, and ihm means I am. I am that. Connected with that is a particular way of breathing. In So – ihm, the sound of your breath, there are two consonants, and the rest are independent sounds. Drop out the ‘first consonant, drop out the “h,” it becomes OM. So we see that the breath of man, or the inner living being in this world, consists of two sounds that are consonants, on which the others are dependent, Take away the dependent or consonant sounds, then the soul or independent life in your breath is OM. Thus the life in your breath is OM. The sound which is the soul of your breath is OM. This is then the most natural name for the heaven within, the God, Supreme Spirit, that enlightens all spirits and all souls; the soul of all souls, the life of all lives is OM.
I could further explain to you the scientific reason for the higher vibration and the higher state which is brought about by the chanting of Ohm.
Sounds are of two kinds, you all know. Your books on Grammar call them the articulate and the inarticulate. In Sanskrit we have the articulate, that is, the sound which can be recited in letters of the alphabet, and the other sound is the inarticulate or intonation. The alphabetical and the intonational are the two varieties of sounds. The alphabetical or articulate sounds are concerned with the topics which deal with the knowledge of tile head, and the intonational sounds are those which deal, in the language of the present – day psychologists, with what is called the subjective mind, or the heart, the feelings. We see that the articulate sounds can have a meaning for a limited class. Here I am talking to you in the English language. To those who do not know English, all this talk will be Greek. So those who have been trained in the same artificial way in which the people learning a particular language have been trained, can understand me when I talk English. Nobody else will. Here comes a man who speaks to me in Persian or Russian, in Sanskrit, you do not under – stand him. He docs not know English and begins to cry. Then you all understand him immediately. You know that he is in need, that he is distressed. There comes a man who tells you something in Sanskrit, Persian, Japanese; you do not understand him. He begins to laugh and laugh and you understand. So this crying, this laughter, was it the intonational or alphabetical sound? It did its work. The baby cannot speak to you in your language, but they say the language of Love is understood everywhere. Here comes a cat, and you want to drive it away. You speak to it in Persian, Sanskrit, Arabic, English, it does not understand; but clap your hands and off she goes. There it was the intonational sound, it was not the alphabetical. It did its work immediately. So we see that the intonational language is universal, the language concerning the mediums which are deeper down than the head. The philosophers of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries have been placing the ruling centre of man in the brain somewhere. But today the mistake of these philosophers has been discovered, and once more the philosophical world has come to realize that it is in the gangleonic centre of the heart. There lies the ruling seat of man. So we say that the intonational language comes from somewhere deeper down than the head or the intellect. I heard a lady say, “You cannot preach to me in your Churches, but you can sing to me there.” You will all agree that you enjoy the music in the Churches more than the sermons. How is that? You are all sad, and somebody begins to play upon’ the piano, and brings out the harmony of the vibrations, and you are immediately at rest. I have a friend in East Aurora.
In his establishment, when the workmen are a little out of gear, and there is discord and lack of harmony, he stops the work immediately, and asks somebody to play upon the piano, and in half-an-hour everything is set aright. You know what a charm music has upon people. Some Frenchmen in the Franco-Prussian War were treated with martial music, and all of them became homesick. The officers received application upon application for leave of absence. All were homesick and could not fight. You know how Music inspires people in battle. You have heard of the city of Troy coming out of the music of Apollo; out of his Music the city appeared. You all know about those sirens who lived on an island in the sea, and the passers – by, who travelled on the sea, no sooner did they hear that music than they were drawn to that cruel island where they knew that the sirens had to make merry with them for three days, and then they would be cut up and eaten up. Yet they could not resist. Such is Music.
This shows the temptations of this world. People know that when the temptations get the upper hand, they will make merry for three days, and then be eaten up. Yet they cannot resist. It is said that when Orpheus sang, the brooks and running streams stopped to listen to him. On one side stood a lion, and on the other a cow; on the one side a sheep, and on the other a wolf; but all forgot themselves in that harmony. You know about that St. Cecilia who brought an angel down to the Earth. And you may have heard that in “Alexander’s Feast,” hearing about the musician who brought Alexander in rapport with the divine, he said,
“He raised the mortal to the skies,
And she (St. Cecilia) brought an angel down.”
Consequently this musician was higher than St. Cecilia. What is Music? Is it alphabetical or intonational? Intonational, evidently. What a wonderful effect it has! Science can prove why particular sounds should have particular effects, and even if Science cannot prove it, the fact is a fact that intonation has a marvellous effect in producing wonderful results. In your mind it remains a fact.
So I say that intonation is connected with the chant of Ohm, and experience has proved that it has a marvellous effect in bringing your soul at one with the soul of the ALL. It has a marvellous effect. If Science cannot prove it today, let it grow, and a little later it will be able to explain it. In the meantime the fact will remain a fact. So, on the basis of this experience of the ages, I mean personal experiences, I lay before you this, the treasure of the Vedic philosophy. Thus it is that the Hindus reached the higher vision of clairvoyance, of the inner, spiritual light.
PEACE LIKE A RIVER FLOWS TO ME
Peace like a river flows to me,
Peace as an ocean rolls in me,
Peace like the Ganges flows,
It flows from all my hair and toes,
O fetch me quick my wedding robes,
White robes of light, bright rays of gold,
Slip on, lo! Once for all the veil to fling
I Flow, flow, O wreaths, flow fair and free,
Flow, wreaths of tears of joy, flow free.
What glorious aureole, wondrous ring.
O nectar of life! O magic wine.
To fill my pores of body and mind!
Come fish, come dogs, come all who please,
Come powers of nature, bird and beast.
Drink deep my blood, my flesh do eat.
O come, partake of marriage feast,
I dance, I dance with glee
In stars, in suns, in oceans free,
In moons and clouds, in winds I dance,
In will, emotions, mind I dance.
I sing, I sing, I am symphony.
I’m boundless ocean of Harmony,
The subject – which perceives,
The object – thing perceived,
As waves in me they double,
In me the world’s a bubble.
OM! OM!! OM!!!