Delivered on 28th December, 1902
Some objections on the teachings of the Vedanta have been brought to Rama’s notice. Somebody said the other day that if this be the Philosophy of the Hindus, then the causes of India’s political fall were easy to understand. Another man asked Rama if the teachings of the Hindus, the Vedanta, this philosophy, this religion, be the most sublime religion and philosophy in the world, how is it that India is so benighted and all the Christian lands so prosperous?
Rama is not going to answer these questions at this time, because if these questions were taken up, then the subject that was promised would have to be dropped. But these questions will be taken up in some succeeding Lectures and will be answered in such a way that all the people will be surprised. Rama simply requests all those who happen to hear anything of the teachings, not to be impatient, not to jump at conclusions at once. Rama wants them to have a little patience and hear the speaker through.
In the Al Koran, the Bible of the Mohammedans, there is a passage which runs like this: “Give ye yourselves up to unrighteousness and vice, devote your lives to drinking and sensuality, and you are working your own ruin; you will then work your own ruin.” A Mohammedan gentleman was seen drinking wine and running after the pleasures 6f the flesh, enjoying carnal desires. A Mohammedan priest came up to him and admonishing him, told him not to do so because he was infringing the rules laid down by their prophet; and then this drunkard at once recited the first part of the verse in the Al Koran and said: “Look here. The Al Koran says, ‘drink ye and make merry and give ye yourselves up to sensuality.’ Here is the exact reading in the Al Koran, our Scriptures, our Bible. The Al Koran, the Scriptures, enjoined drinking and sensuality.’ Why should they not?”
Then the priest said, “Brother, brother, what are you going to do? Read the succeeding part also, ‘ye shall work your own ruin.’ (This was the second part of the verse). Read the second part too.” The drunkard replied, “There is not a man on the face of the earth who could put into practice the whole of the Al Koran. Let me put into practice this part. Nobody is expected or supposed to put into practice all the teachings in the Bible. Some can put into practice only a small fraction, and some a larger fraction; that is all. The whole of it nobody puts into practice, so why do you expect me to put into practice the whole of the verse? Let me enjoy the first part of the verse.”
So Rama simply requests that the logic or philosophy of that Mohammedan drunkard ought not to be employed; the whole of the verse should be read, then the con* elusion drawn, not before that.
At one time Rama had a gold watch; among the trinkets attached to the chain there was a toy watch, really a compass. It did not go, but by adjusting needles in a certain way, it could strike one. Always one o’clock, no room for duality. That one you are, stand above time, space, and causation; all these are ruled by you, not you by them – they are the servants of your imagination – two and three are unreal – the one is free from the bondage of time.
Can a married man aspire to realization?
In answer to a suggestion that this be put aside and Rama’s chosen subject followed instead, Rama says that every subject is Rama’s. This, if taken up thoroughly, will do you much good – but it is startling, you must hear it all. Perhaps it may seem strange to the ideas of this country. But Rama does not care for this, he respects only you.
The Vedanta says in reply to this question, “Certainly medicine is offered to the sick, and not to the one who is well.”
Those most involved in the world and its dangers need it most of all. An unmarried man cannot so easily realize as one who is married and leads a family life in the right way; but in a careless way he cannot realize and is dragged down. The neglect of knowledge of the true connection between man and wife leads to much misery. Why should a subject so important and close to the heart be avoided? One aspect of this question – preparation for marriage – will not at present be taken up; this is a great subject and will be dealt in a later Lecture.
After Rama’s marriage he and his wife lived single lives for two years, a fact, not mere talk.
Marriage is not detrimental, only the weakness that may be allowed to rule in it; that is harmful indeed; lowering elements, – fear, attachment to objects, form, strengthening the idea, “I am the body, my companion is body,” craving, grasping sense of possession. If this be the way in which matrimonial relations are observed, then a man can never realize.
Penelope, weaving and unweaving, how can her work be ever finished? How can that man progress who constantly undoes all that he has gained? The Vedanta says fearlessly that you must be inspired with strength, saturated with higher Love, raised from the humiliation and abasement of what is falsely called Love – rise above body consciousness. This is the weaving process. When you see only the body in husband or wife, all is undone! How can you progress? Does it follow that people should not marry? No, but the use of marriage should be different. Grasp the teaching of the Vedanta. Make marriage a means of raising yourself, it becomes a great help then. The stumbling – block becomes a stepping – stone. When marriage is slavery to passion, each time you are satisfied, the thraldom is intensified, you sink lower and lower.
Prophets speak against woman, say she is “a door to hell.” Rama differs. A man walking in the street, (a bottle of wine protruding from his pocket), meets a priest, asks the way to the jail, wishes to visit it, as Rama did last week. The priest has a stick in the hand, and with it he touched the bottle. “Brother, this is the shortest way; it will surely guide you there.” Thus is woman spoken of. The world is a jail – modern marriage surely leads you there. If man and woman are to cause each other’s downfall, why did the same God who wrote the Bible write such a Bible in the hearts of man to seek woman? A contradiction. There is a secret meaning in this tie. It is ignorance which makes it a means of perdition. That is solely to be blamed, not the marriage relation. How to remove it is the question. Here is a cipher – zero. If the zero is placed on the right side of a decimal point, its value decreases, – if on the left, it increases. Zero has no value except in its relation or position. So your position in this matter determines the value of relation, not from itself, only your own attitude.
Why does a man take pleasure in his wife? This must be investigated, or the difficulty cannot be solved. It is this pleasure which makes slaves of men. The Trojan War exemplifies it. This is what makes one girl a heroine and another not. It is false to say that this pleasure comes from the woman herself. We must understand the fallacy in that. There is no pleasure in her or in the body.
If all pleasure be not centred in the object of Love, then would wife and husband be always a source of happiness to each other? This we know is not true. After you have reaped your pleasure, in what state are you? Conscious of no more pleasure. When you are impotent, is she a source of pleasure? When your companion is diseased, when she is unfaithful, when you are ill, no pleasure resides in her. Here you have two separate entities – duality. When these are absent, there is perfect unity not only of body but also of mind and soul. Then comes a state which cannot be described. Body is no body, world is no world; union, heaven, freedom, fearlessness, because no duality – identity, oneness exist. Annihilation of world and body utterly destroyed! An illusion no longer in existence. I am not the body nor is she: we are above body, mind, world, Paradise regained, the goal reached, no state or condition! The Vedanta says that you are then Power and Bliss for your true Atma, that which you truly are has formed a perfect circle, – positive and negative uniting, light comes as in an electric lamp, when turned on fully. The electric circuit is completed, the poles come together – and the normal or original state is restored! Blips, fearlessness, creative power, God – present, – that is original right Self, and then we can say, “This man is Son of God.” When husband and wife are merged into fundamental principle, all melts into it, the whole world disappears, eaten up by Atma, all castes, colours, creeds are like rice, of which death is the seasoning, Atma eats it up, for Atma is the creative power.
On the other side we see, according to the Vedanta, the ignorant man, not knowing, falls in love with outward appearance, unreal objects, causes Atma to be disregarded and exterior signs only are thought of.
A man in a wood sees a book lying on the ground; lightning comes; he ignorantly thinks that the book has caused the lightning, cannot be persuaded otherwise, saw these two things together and thinks one causes the other. So a man finds happiness in the union which is really not caused by man or woman, but by the reality of God and associates it in his mind with a human object.
What use can you make of this fact? You must realise then and there that when the mind is taken off matter and sensuality, and thinks only of happiness, which is a force, a power, the true Self, there is no need to descend into the lower mind which disappears, – this Divine Principle it is which is the Sun, the Moon, Power, Infinite, beyond causation, time, space, an ocean in which all objects are like waves, ripples, eddies, – forms of real, basic, fundamental principle, your bodies are like these ripples and waves, the only cause of differentiation is water. A child looking at a river, s.iys “Brother, see, here is a wave coming!” Here is water already, but prominence is given to phenomenon. “I’ll show you a wave, not a river!” Just so here, one indivisible God 1 the Sun, the moon, bodies, and ripples ring in the ocean of mentality – menm and tuum – so does man bring in plurality; comes into phenomena, bodies collide, ripples counteract one another. Pleasure does not only come through the colliding of object, it is the presence of Atma, which is manifested when waves break. The Vedantin wishes to teach the child what gold is, shows him a ring and says, “This is gold.” The child says, “Is roundness gold?” No. “Is colour gold?” No. “Smoothness?” “No, no! How can an idea be given? Another object also of gold is shown, the idea is at last extracted, – he realizes it. Identify their attributes and work them into life.
Beerbul asked the King if blind or seeing people were in majority. There was argument and it was decided to put it to the proof. The King thought the minority to be blind. So he came as a proof with a piece of cloth, and winding it round his head he asked “What is this?” “A turban,” was the answer. He put it on his shoulder and asked the people, “What is this?” “Shawl,” was the reply. The third time he wore it as a loin cloth, and they called it by this name. “Blind, blind all! it is none of these, but cloth, – by names and forms is cloth concealed.”
Realize what Atma is – to see gold you need not break it. When you think of man, woman, eddies, waves, cloth and gold, you do not think of the reality behind.
Do not say that marriage is opposed to religion. See what the real state of happiness is, what the real Self is. As a man aspiring to realization, meditate upon true Bliss, reality, fundamental principles. When you lose consciousness of identity, – man, turban, shawl, – meditate, eradicate the cause of bondage, sink into reality. OM – that I am – verify, “Is that my real nature?” “Am I that?” If I am, the world is only a ripple; why should I hanker after it? Why? Because in the blazing Sun no electric light appears. In darkness only does it shine forth and give light. Be led gradually into bright sunshine, sensual pleasure like a lamp sheds no beam. It is unnatural to abuse and denounce. You cannot crush this save by rising above it, make use of the means and rise, Brother!
The world itself is a miracle. There is no need of other miracles. Fear the cause of all sin which is only removed by knowing Atma. Realize purity and become pure. It is unnatural to teach any other religion.
“Do come or do not come,
You are in me.
Stay near, or stay far, wherever you be;
In me you are, in me you move,
Nay me is thee,
Dissolve in me, and be the blissful sea.
Giver and not seeker –
Partake of my nature and be happy.”
The logical, scientific, natural method practised in India, the wife helps, does not hinder the husband.
After Rama had realized, he lived the family life two years more. His wife was told about the Vedanta and brought flowers, lights, and became absorbed in Self. She kneels and worships, then looks at Rama until his body becomes to her an emblem, chants OM, thinks Atma in Rama and in herself sees God, sends forth these thoughts, each sees God in the other, mutually help each other, and obtain realization. Rama helped to raise her. This continued for some time, then they passed months together, no idea of lower thoughts came to them, passion was conquered; there was mutual understanding; both were free. All idea of husband and wife was lost, there was no bondage. She does not consider him her husband, nor he, her wife.
Domestic troubles are caused by narrowness of ideas, and of possessions. It is then that interests clash and marriage hindrances arise. Understand the Vedanta and be free! There are no ties but nominal ones. Everyone is meant to be free. Allow your children to be absolutely free. That never spoils a man. The whole world is a heaven, and God will never be deceived.
Om! Om!! Om!!!