Lecture delivered on January 26, 1903, in the Golden Gate Hall, San Francisco, U.S.A.
My own Self in the form of ladies and gentlemen,
Three boys were given one five cent piece by their master to share equally among themselves. They decided to purchase something with the money. One of the boys was an Englishman, the other a Hindu and the third a Persian. None of them fully understood the language of the other, so they had some difficulty in deciding what to buy. The English boy insisted on purchasing a watermelon. The Hindu boy said, “No, no, I would like to have a hindwana.” The third boy, the Persian said, “No, no, we must have a tarbooz.” Thus they could not decide what to buy. Each insisted upon purchasing the thing which he preferred, disregarding the inclinations of the others. There was quite a wrangle among them. They were quarrelling and walking through the streets. They happened to pass a man who understood these three languages—English, Persian and Hindustani. That man was amused over their quarrel. He said, he could decide the matter for them. All the three referred to him and were willing to abide by his decision. This man took the five cent piece from them and asked them to wait at the corner. He himself went out to the shop of a fruitseller and purchased one big watermelon for the five cent piece. He kept it concealed from them and called them one by one. He asked first the English boy to come and not allowing the young boy to know what he was doing, he cut the watermelon into three equal slices, took out one part; handed it to the English boy and said, “Is not that what you wanted?” The boy was highly pleased; he accepted it cheerfully, gratefully, and went away frisking and jumping, saying that it was what he wanted. Then the gentleman called the Persian boy to approach him and handed him the second piece and asked him if that was what he desired. Oh, the Persian boy was highly elated and said, “This is my tarbooz! This is what I wanted!” He went away very merry. Then the Hindu boy was called, the third piece was handed to him and he was asked if that was the object of his desire. The Hindu boy was well satisfied. He said, “This is what I wanted; this is my hindwana.” Why was the quarrel or quibble caused? What is it that brought about the misunderstanding among the lads? The mere names. The mere names, nothing else. Take off the names, see behind the veil of names. Oh! there you find that the three different names— watermelon, tarbooz and hindwana—imply one and the same thing. It is one object which underlies them all. It may be that the Persian tarbooz, the watermelon that grows in Persia, is slightly different from the watermelon they have in England, and it may be that the watermelons of India are slightly different from the watermelons of England, but in reality the fruit is the same. It is one and the same thing. Slight differences can be ignored.
Just so is Rama highly amused at the quibbles, quarrels, misunderstandings and controversies between different religions; Christians fighting Jews, Jews conflicting with Mohammadans, Mohammadans combating the Brahmanas, Brahmanas finding fault with the Buddhists, and the Buddhists returning the compliment in a similar manner. It is highly amusing to see such quarrels. The cause of those quarrels and misunderstandings is chiefly in names. Take off the veil of names, strike out the curtain of names, see behind them, look at what they imply, and there you will not find much difference. Rama oftentimes uses the word “Vedanta,” a name. It is this name which makes some people prejudiced against hearing anything from Rama. One man comes and he preaches in the name of Buddha; many people do not like to hear him, because he brings to them a name which is not agreeable to their ears. Be more considerate, please. In the twentieth century it is high time to rise above names. What Rama brings to you or what anybody else brings to you, take it on its own merits. Be not confounded by names, be not misled by names. Examine everything by itself, see if it works.
Accept not a religion because it is the oldest, its being the oldest is no proof of its being the true one. Sometimes the oldest houses ought to be pulled down and the oldest clothes must be changed. The latest innovation, if it can stand the test of reason, is as good as the fresh rose bedecked with sparkling dew. Accept not a religion because it is the latest. The latest things are not always the best, not having stood the test of time. Accept not a religion on the ground of its being believed in by a vast majority of mankind, because the vast majority of mankind believes practically in the religion of Satan, in the religion of ignorance. There was a time when the vast majority of mankind believed in slavery, but that could be no proof of slavery being a proper institution. Believe not in a religion on the ground of its being believed in by the chosen few. Sometimes the small minority that accepts a religion is in darkness, misled. Accept not a religion because it comes from a great ascetic, from a man who has renounced everything; because we see that there are many ascetics, men who have renounced every thing, and yet they know nothing, they are veritable fanatics. Accept not a religion because it comes from princes or kings, kings are often enough spiritually poor. Accept not a religion because it comes from a person whose character was the highest; oftentimes people of the grandest character have failed in expounding the truth. A man’s digestive power may be exceptionally strong and yet he may not know anything about the process of assimilation. Here is a painter. He gives you a lovely, exquisite, splendid work of art, and yet the painter may be the ugliest man in the world. There are people who are very ugly and yet they promulgate beautiful truths. Socrates was such a man. There was Sir Francis Bacon, not a very moral man, not of over-fine character and yet he gave to the world “Novum Organum”, and was the first to teach Inductive Logic; his philosophy was sublime. Believe not in a religion because it comes from a very famous man. Sir Isaac Newton is very famous, and yet his emissory theory of light is wrong, his rate or proportion at which a flowing quantity increases its magnitude, method of fluxions (Newtonian calculus) does not come up to the Differential System of Liebnitz. Accept a thing and believe in a religion on its own merits. Examine it yourself. Sift it. Sell not your liberty to Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad or Krishna. If Buddha taught that way or Christ taught this way, or if Mohammad taught in some other way, it was all good and all right for them; they lived in other times. They mastered their problems; they judged by their own intellects; it was so grand of them. But you are living today; you shall have to judge and scrutinize and examine matters for yourselves. Be free, free to look at everything by your own light. If your ancestors believed in a particular religion, it was perhaps very good for them to believe in that, but now your salvation is your own business, your redemption is not the business of your ancestors. They believed in a particular religion which may or may not have saved them, but you have to work out your own emancipation. Whatever comes before you, examine it per se, examine it by yourself, not giving up your freedom. To your ancestors only one particular religion may have been shown; to you all sorts of truths, all sorts of religions, all sorts of philosophies, all sorts of sciences are being demonstrated. If the religion of your ancestors is yours on the ground of its being laid before you, so is the religion of Buddhism yours on the ground of its being placed before you, so is Vedanta yours on the ground of its being put before you.
Truth is nobody’s property; truth is not the property of Jesus; we ought not to preach it in the name of Jesus. Truth is not the property of Buddha; we need not preach it in the name of Buddha. It is not the property of Mohammad; it is not the property of Krishna or anybody. It is everybody’s property. If anybody basked in the Sun’s rays before, you can bask in the Sun today. If one man drinks the fresh waters of the spring, you can drink the same fresh water. Such should your attitude be towards all religions. Nobody in his heart of hearts would hesitate to divest his neighbours of his worldly possessions, but is it not strange that when our neighbours offer us most willingly their spiritual or religious treasures which are admittedly far superior to worldly riches, we instead of cheerfully accepting stand up in arms against them? Rama brings Vedanta to you, not with the intention of nicknaming you Vedantins, no. Take all that, assimilate it, make it your own, you may call it Christianity —names are nothing to us. Rama brings to you a religion which is not only found in the Bible and in the most ancient Scriptures but also in the latest works on Philosophy and Science. Rama brings you a religion, which is found in the streets, which is written upon the leaves, which is murmured by the brooks, which is whispered in the winds, which is throbbing in your own veins and arteries; a religion which concerns your business and bosom; a religion which you have not to practise by going into a particular church only; a religion which you have to practise and live in your everyday life, in your hearth, in your dining room; everywhere you have to live that religion. We might not call it Vedanta, we might call it by some other name—the term Vedanta simply means the fundamental truth; the Truth is your own, it is not Rama’s more than yours, it does not belong to the Hindu more than to you. Truth belongs to nobody, everybody and everything belongs to it.
We will see now how it is that this Vedanta makes our way smooth and our undertakings so pleasant in this life. We shall take up Practical Vedanta today, in other words, the Secret of Success. The secret of success is Vedanta put into practice. Practical Vedanta is the secret of success. Every science has its corresponding art, and we shall take up today that phase of Vedanta which is more Art than Science—the Practical Vedanta.
Some people say that Vedanta teaches pessimism, Vedanta teaches hopelessness; it teaches idleness, laziness. Rama requests those people to keep their logic with them and not to sell their intellect to others; keep it to themselves and see whether the teachings of Vedanta lead to life, energy, power, success or something else. Ask not whether the Indians live it or not. Rama tells plainly that it is not the exclusive property of the Indians, it is everybody’s property. It is your own birthright. The Americans in business-life live it more and thus they are successful in the line; the Indians in practice do not live it to the same extent as the Americans do, thus they are backward from the material standpoint.
Rama brings you no perverted Vedanta, but the real Vedanta from the fountain-heads of Nature. Apply your logic and bring your reason to bear upon the subject; and you will see how wonderful Vedanta is and how it leads us to success in every department, how everybody despite himself must drift along the line of Vedanta and obey its dictates.
The Secret of Success is manifold. There are phases of the secret. We shall take these principles one by one and find out their relation to Vedanta as expounded in the Hindu Scriptures.
It is an open secret that work, attack, persistent application is the secret of success.
“Hammer on! hammer on!” is the first principle of success. Without work you can never succeed. A lazy man is bound to perish in the “struggle for existence,” he cannot live, he must die. Here presents a question most commonly raised against Vedanta. How can you reconcile continuous labour with the unaffected, impersonal, pure nature of Self or Atman, as demonstrated by Vedanta? Does not Vedanta lead to laziness and inaction by inculcating the realization of rest and peace of Divine Self and by preaching renunciation? This objection is due to the terrible misunderstanding of the nature of work or renunciation. What is work? Intense work, according to Vedanta, is rest. Here is a paradoxical statement, a startling statement, “Work is rest.” All true work is rest. That is what Vedanta preaches. The greatest worker, when he is at the height of his work, when he is doing his best, mark him. In the eyes of others he is engaged in strenuous efforts, but examine him from his own standpoint, he is no doer. Just as in the eyes of distant observers, the rainbow contains beautiful colours, examine it on the spot, there are no colours of any kind present therein. The hero in war, say Napoleon or Washington or anybody, when he is fighting, doing his best, look at him. The body works automatically, as it were, the mind is absorbed in the work to such a degree that “I am working” is entirely gone, the small enjoying ego is absolutely lost, the credit-seeking little self is absent. This incessant work unwittingly leads you to the highest yoga.
Vedanta wants you to rise above the little self, the small ego through intense work. Let the body and mind be continuously at work to such a degree that the labour may not be felt at all. A poet is inspired when he is above the idea of the little self or ego, when he has no thought of “I am writing poetry”. Ask anybody who has had the experience of solving difficult problems in Mathematics, and he will tell you that only then are problems solved and difficulties removed when the idea—”I am doing this” is entirely absent; and the more a man can rise above the little ego or the small self, the more glorious works come out of him.
Thus does Vedanta teach rising above the little ego by dint of earnest work and losing everything in the real indescribable principle which, according to Vedanta, is the real Self, Atman or God. When a thinker, philosopher, poet, scientist or any worker attunes himself to a state of abstraction and rises to the heights of resignation to such a degree that no trace of personality is left in him, and Vedanta is practically realized, then and then only does God, the Master Musician, take up in His own hands the organ or instrument of his body and mind and send forth grand vibrations, sweet notes, exquisite symphonies out of him. People say, “Oh, he is inspired!” whereas there is no I or me in him, no doing, no enjoying traceable from his standpoint. This was realizing Vedanta in practical life. Thus all success flows from Vedanta being unknowingly put into practice.
There is no necessity of your retiring into the forests and pursuing abnormal practices to realize Vedantic Yoga. You are the father of Yoga Shiva himself, when you are lost in activity or merged in work. According to Vedanta the body is not your Self, do you not see that you are at the height of glory, at your very best, only when in practice you realize this truth, and the body and mind become to you non-existent by virtue of intense exertion?
What work is, will be explained by a lamp or light. Take a gas or oil lamp. The light is so glorious, so dazzling, so splendid, brilliant and bright. What is it that lends glory and lustre to the lamp? It is denying the ego through constant work. Let the lamp try to spare its wick and oil, the lamp will be dark, all failure, no success. In order that there may be success, the lamp must burn, must not spare its wick and oil. That is what Vedanta preaches. In order that you may have success, in order that you may prosper, you must through your acts, by your own everyday life, burn your own body and muscles, cremate them in the fire of use. You must use them. You must consume your body and mind, put them in a burning state; crucify your body and mind; work and work and then will light shine through you. All work is nothing else but the burning of your wick and oil; in other words, all work is nothing else but making your body and mind illusions, practically nothing from the standpoint of your own consciousness. Rise above them and that is work.
All true work is accomplished when we rise above it. Once there came two brave Hindu brothers to the court of Akbar, the great, an emperor of India. They requested to be employed by the king. The king inquired about their qualifications. They said they were heroes. The king asked them to give a proof of their heroism. In Akbar’s court they stood face to face; off flashed their shining daggers, sharp-pointed daggers. Each of them placed the sharp end of his dagger against the breast of his brother. Cheerfully and smilingly they ran to each other. Their hands were steady, and the daggers were piercing through the bodies, but unflinchingly and calmly they approached each other, no swerving, no hesitating; their souls united in heaven, their bodies met on earth and fell bleeding on the ground. A very queer proof of their heroism was given to the king. That is an illustration of the fact that true work is accomplished only when the self-asserting worker is sacrificed.
Bees have to put their lives into the sting they give. “The man who is his own master knocks in vain at the doors of poetry,” says Plato.
Thus all prosperity and success come by living Vedanta in practice. Incessant work, incessant labour is the greatest Yoga for a man of the world. You are the greatest worker to the world when to yourself you are no worker.
Again in what mood and mode does successful work become natural for us? It is very easy to say, “Work, work,” but it is very hard to work. Everybody wants to become the greatest painter, everybody wants to become a great musician, but everybody does not become what he wants. What is it that disposes you to inaction? What is it that makes you enjoy labour? Have you not found that oftentimes when you wished to work, you could not? Have you not observed that sometimes you did not like to labour and yet was splendid work done? Have you not marked that there is something higher which governs your working capacity? How often a man wakes up in the morning and finds himself in a peculiar mood, a mood which is indescribable in perfect harmony with Nature; he takes up his pen and from his pen flows magnificent poetry or philosophy. A painter tries to paint a beautiful picture but he cannot, despite all his struggles. He rises one morning and finds himself inspired, as it were, and there he draws beautiful works of art. Is it not so?
Thus we see that there is something higher which puts all your working powers at their best. If you avail yourself of that higher mood, you can always keep yourself at your best and the work through your hands will be perfect, most beautiful. That higher mood or that higher secret Vedanta lays before you; it is nothing else but being in perfect harmony with the universe, being in tune with the Divinity, practically living in the true Atman or God within you and being raised above the little ego or selfish desires. Thus work can become wonderful by availing yourself of the secret of all light or power within you.
An artist or painter goes into the street, and there he sees many faces; the eyes of one person charm him, those eyes are unconsciously stored up in his mind; he meets another person and the chin of that person impresses him, he stores up that chin in his mind; the eyes taken from one person and the chin stolen from another. Another man comes to his shop to purchase a picture. A picture is sold to that man, the customer goes away with the picture, knows not that he has left his hair behind in the mind of the artist. Then comes another man who wants the painter to do something for him; the painter does that something for him but he snatches the remarkable ears from this man and so impersonally the mind of the painter is at work. While the painter is appropriating the eyes, chin, nose, etc., of different people, he is not living in the idea that he is taking these, but impersonally, unconsciously, this work is being done. After a few days the painter sits in his studio before the canvas. He wants to produce a striking portrait, and there the eyes of one person, the remarkable nose of another person, the attractive hair of another, all these are blended into one painting, and the artist brings out a most magnificent piece of work, a picture which excels all the originals. How was this beautiful work of art done? Was this work personal? No, the work was impersonal. All this work was done by living continually in a mood free from egotistical, selfish taint, above the “I am doing” mood. Let the artist suffer from hatred or cupidity, oftentimes miscalled love; the watch of his mind becomes magnetized, remains no longer in working order, he is deranged or out of gear. The impersonal tone of his mood is lost, he is hypnotized into selfishness, the serene mood has disappeared, the Vedanta spirit which keeps us in touch with the All is replaced by limiting attachment or repulsion, and no longer can the artist’s mind do the impersonal work of abstracting from the features of this man or that. The practical Vedanta is gone, and gone with it is the master-power of producing exquisite work of art.
Thus you see that the more your work becomes impersonal and the more you rise above “I am doing,” the more you renounce the proprietary, copyrighting spirit, and the more you leave behind the accumulating, favour-currying spirit, the more you deny your unreal apparent self, the better will your work be. Vedanta requires you to work for its own sake. In order that your work should be success, you should not mind the end, you should not care for the consequences or the result. Let the means and the end be brought together, let the very work be your end. Vedanta wants you to be at rest in your inner Self. Let the inner Soul be at rest and the body be continually at work, the body subject to the laws of dynamics being in action, and the inner Self always at statical rest. It is our selfish restlessness that spoils all our work. Follow work for the sake of peace or nirvana connected with it.
Second Principle—Unselfish Sacrifice
There was a quarrel between a pond and a river. The pond addressed the river thus: “O river, you are very foolish to give all your water and all your wealth to the ocean; do not squander your water and wealth on the ocean. The ocean is ungrateful, the ocean needs it not. If you go on pouring into the ocean all your accumulated treasures, the ocean will remain as salty as it is today, the ocean will remain as bitter as it is today, the brine of the sea will not be altered. ‘Do not throw pearls before the swine.’ Keep all your treasures with you.” This was worldly wisdom.
Here was the river told to consider the end, to care for the result and regard the consequences. But the river was a Vedantin. After hearing this worldly wisdom the river replied, “No, the consequence and the result are nothing to me; failure and success are nothing to me; I must work because I love work; I must work for its own sake. To work is my aim, to keep in activity is my life. My Soul, my real Atman is energy itself. I must work.” The river went on working, the river went on pouring into the ocean millions upon millions of gallons of water. The miserly economic pond became dry in three or four months; it became putrid, stagnant, full of festering filth but the river remained fresh and pure, its perennial springs did not dry up. Silently and slowly was water taken from the surface of the ocean to replenish the fountain-heads of the river; monsoons and trade winds invisibly, silently and slowly carried water from the ocean and kept the river source fresh for ever.
Just so Vedanta requires not to follow the sophistic policy of the pond. It is the small selfish pond that cares for the result, “What will become of me and my work?” Let your work be for work’s sake; you must work. Your work should be your goal and thus Vedanta frees you from fretting and worrying desires. This is the meaning of freedom from desires which Vedanta preaches. Worry not about the consequences, expect nothing from the people, bother not about favourable reviews of your work or severe criticism thereon. Care not whether what you are doing will tell or not; think nothing of that. Do the work for its own sake. This way you have to free yourself from desire; you have not to free yourself from work, but you have to free yourself from yearning restlessness. This way how splendid does your work become. The most effective and best cure for all sorts of distracting passions and temptations is work. But that would be only a negative recommendation. The positive joy that accompanies faithful work is a spark of Salvation, unconscious Self-realization. It keeps you pure, untainted, and one with Divinity. This happiness is the highest and surest reward of work. Corrupt not this health-bringing, heavenly treasure by setting your heart on selfish motives for work. Sordid ambitions and petty hankerings retard rather than accelerate our progress; outward and concrete allurements are detrimental rather than beneficial to our efficiency of labour. No prize or appreciation can be more benign or salubrious than the immediate joy which accompanies earnest action. Follow, then, action to realize the renunciation, religion or worship it involves, and be not led by the childish frivolities it promises. Feel no responsibility, ask for no reward. Now here should your goal be. People say, “First deserve and then desire.” Vedanta says, “Deserve only, no need of desiring.” “A stone that is fit for the wall will never be found in the way.” If you deserve, by an irresistible Divine Law, everything will come to you. If there is a lamp burning, the lamp should go on burning, the lamp need not send any invitations to the moths; moths will flock to the lamp of their own accord. Where there is a fresh spring, people of their own accord will be drawn to it; the spring need not care a straw for the people. When the moon rises, people will be drawn out of themselves to enjoy the moonlight. Attack! Attack! Hammer on! Hammer on! Work, work, work so as to realize the nothingness of the body and the supreme reality of the true Self. Thus at the height of apparent activity you will taste Nirvana and Kaivalya, and when in this way you have suffered your personality and ego to be raised on the cross of labour, success will seek you and there will be no scarcity of people who will come and appreciate. People did not accept Christ so long as he was alive; he must be crucified before he is worshipped. ‘Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.’ No seed can spring up and multiply without suffering destruction as to its form and appearance. So the second essential to success is sacrifice, crucifying the little self, renunciation. Misunderstand not that word “renunciation.” Renunciation does not mean asceticism.
Everybody wants to be white, dazzling, brilliant, bright. How can you become glorious? Why are objects white? Just look at the white objects. What makes them so white? Science tells you that the secret of whiteness is renunciation, nothing less. The seven colours in the rays of the Sun impinge upon different objects. Some objects absorb and retain most of these colours and project back only one. Such objects are known by the very colour they throw back or deny to themselves. You call that rose pink, but that is the very colour which does not belong to the rose. The colours it has absorbed, which are really in it, are the colours you do not attribute to the rose. How strange! The black objects absorb all the colours in the rays of the Sun. They give out no colour, they renounce nothing, they throw back nothing, and they are dark, black. The white objects absorb nothing, claim nothing, they renounce everything. They do not try to keep selfish possession. They have not a proprietary spirit and thus they are white, dazzling, bright, brilliant.
Similarly if you want to become glorious and prosperous, you shall have to rise in your heart of hearts above the selfish, proprietary spirit. You must rise above that. Be always a giver, a free worker; never throw your heart in a begging, expecting attitude. Get rid of the monopolizing habit. Why should you lay exclusive claim to the air in your lungs? That air is everybody’s property. On the other hand when you cease to appropriate the small quantity of air in your lungs, you find yourself heir to all the atmosphere, unlimited become your resources; breathe in the oxygen of the universe. Be not vain, be not proud. Never feel that anything belongs to your little self; it is God’s, your real Atman’s. Take the case of Sir Isaac Newton. How was it that he became so bright, brilliant, glorious in the eyes of the world? At the time of his death, the spirit in which he had worked was made known. When complimented on being the greatest man in the world, he replied, “Oh, no! this intellect or this small personality of mine is simply like a little child gathering pebbles on the vast, immense sea-shore of knowledge.” He was yet lying upon the sands, gathering pebbles. Thus we see that the unassuming spirit which appropriates or claims nothing, which does not aggrandize the little self, is the spirit which puts your capacity and working powers at their best and this is the characteristic spirit of Vedanta.
You own desires, you have all kinds of desires, and you wish that your desires should be fulfilled; but learn the secret of the fulfilment of desires. How do we raise the window shade? We want the window shade to rise up, but we have to give it a downward pull and let it go and there the window shade ascends. This illustrates the secret of the fulfilment of all your desires. It is only when you let go the desire that it fructifies. How are arrows shot? We take up the bow and bend it. So long as we are stretching the string, the arrow does not reach the enemy. You may stretch it ever so hard, the arrow will be with you still. It is only when you let it go that bang flies the arrow to pierce the bosom of your foe. Similarly so long as you keep your desire stretched or go on desiring, willing, wishing and yearning, it will not reach the bosom of the other party; it is only when you let it go that it penetrates the soul of the party concerned. “It is only when you leave me and lose me that you find me by your side.” It is only when you cast yourself in a strange, indescribable sentiment which is higher than both of us, that you find me. This is what Vedanta tells you.
Two monks were travelling together. One of them maintained in practice the spirit of accumulation. The other was a man of renunciation. They discussed the subject of possession versus renunciation till they reached the bank of a river. It was late in the evening. The man who preached renunciation had no money with him, but the other had. The man of renunciation said, “What do we care for the body; we have no money to pay the boatman, we can pass away the night even on this bank singing the name of God.” The moneyed monk replied, “If we stay on this side of the river, we can find no village, no hamlet or hut, no company, wolves will devour us, snakes will bite us, cold will chill us. We had better ferry to the other side. I have money with which to pay the boatman to ferry us over to the other bank. On that side there is a village; we will live there comfortably.” Well, the boatman came over and both of them were ferried across the river to the opposite shore. At night the man who had paid the fare remonstrated with the man of renunciation: “Do you not see the advantage of keeping money? I kept money and two lives were saved. Henceforth you should never preach renunciation. Had I also been a man of renunciation like you, we would have both starved or been chilled and killed on that side of the river.” But the man of renunciation answered, “Had you kept the money with you, had you not parted with the money, renounced it to the boatman, we would have died on the other bank. Thus it was the giving up of money or renunciation that brought us safety.” Again, he continued, “If I kept no money in my pocket, your pocket became my pocket. My faith kept money for me in that pocket. I never suffer. Whenever I am in need, I am provided for.” This story indicates that so long as you keep your desires in your pocket, there is no safety or rest for you. Renounce your desires, rise above them and you find double peace—immediate rest and eventual fruition of desires. Remember that your desires will be realized only when you consciously or unconsciously lose yourself in the Divinity, then and then only will the time be ripe for the fulfilment of desires.
Well, the third principle of success is love, harmony with the universe, adaptation to circumstances. What does Love mean? Love means practically realizing your oneness and identity with your neighbours, with all those who come in contact with you. If you are a shopkeeper, unless you realize the interests of your customers to be one with your own, you will make no progress, your work will suffer. If the hand want to be selfish and assert itself as different from the other members of the body and begin to argue this way, “Look here, I am the right hand, I do all sorts of labour, why should the whole body partake of what is earned by my sweating drudgery? Should the food earned by my toil be given to the stomach and thence to all other organs? No, no, I will have everything to myself.” Then in order to carry into effect this selfish idea, there is no other way for the hand but to take that food and inoculate or inject it into skin. Will that be beneficial to the hand? Will the hand succeed that way? Impossible! Never! Oh yes; one way the hand can become very fat, can exclusively prosper to the envy of all other members of the body; the hand can take a wasp or bee, and get itself stung. Thus the hand will become very fat, very big. Thus and thus alone can the selfishness of the hand be gratified, thus can the selfish philosophy of the hand be carried out. But how undesirable is that! We do not wish that kind of gratification or that kind of success. That is disease. Similarly remember that all the world is one body. Your body is simply like the hand, one organ simply like the finger or nail. In order that you may succeed, you should not look upon yourself as separate and distinct from the Self of the whole world. In order that the hand may prosper, it must realize that its interests are identical with those of the whole. In other words, the hand must feel and realize that its Self is not confined within the small area beyond the wrist, but must practically feel itself as identical and one with the Self of the whole system. Feeding the Self of the whole is feeding the Self of the hand. Unless you realize this fact, live this truth that you are one with the universe, that you and God are one, you cannot succeed. Deprived of ease, afflicted by disease you are when you stagnate in the slough of separation and division. You are perfect and whole when you realize yourself to be the Whole and the All. By feeling this oneness you practically live Vedanta. Infringe upon this divine and sublime truth, break this sacred law in practice and you are bound to suffer for your sacrilege like the silly, selfish hand. Coleridge in his ‘Ancient Mariner’, very beautifully brings out this truth. So does Byron in his ‘Prisoner of Chillon.’ It is proved in these poems that whenever a man falls out of harmony with Nature he suffers; the very moment you realize your unity with fellow-beings, all prosperity is yours:
He prayeth best who loveth best,
Both man and bird, and beast.
He prayeth well who loveth well,
All things both great and small.
A king went into a forest on a hunting expedition. In the heat of chase the king became separated from his companions. Under the scorching rays of the burning Sun, he felt very thirsty. He found in the woods a small garden. He went into the garden, but being in his sportsman’s dress the gardener could not recognize him; the poor village gardener having not seen the king’s person before. The king asked the gardener to bring him something to drink, because he felt so very thirsty. The gardener went straight into the garden, took some pomegranates, squeezed out the juice and brought a big cup full of it to the king. The king gulped it down but it did not quench his parching thirst entirely. The king asked him to bring another cup of the pomegranate juice. The gardener went for it. When the gardener had left the king’s presence, the latter began to reflect within himself, “This garden seems to be very rich; in a few minutes the man could bring me a large cup full of the fresh juice; a heavy income-tax ought to be levied on the owner of such a flourishing concern, etc., etc.” On the other hand the gardener delayed and delayed, did not return to the king even in an hour. The king began to wonder, “How is it that when I first asked him to bring me something to drink, he brought that pomegranate juice in only a few minutes, and now he has been squeezing out the juice of pomegranates for about an hour and the cup is not full yet? How is that?” After one hour the cup was brought to the king, but not brimful. The king asked the reason why the cup was somewhat empty, whereas he filled the cup so soon at first. The gardener who was a sage replied: “Our king had very good intentions when I went out to bring you the first cup of pomegranate juice but when I went out to bring you the second cup, our king’s kind, benevolent nature must have changed. I can give no other explanation for such a sudden change in the rich nature of my pomegranates.” The king reflected within himself and lo! the statement was perfectly right. When the king had first stepped into the garden, he was very charitably disposed to and full of love for the people there, thinking in his mind that they were very poor and needed help but when the old man had brought him one cup of pomegranate juice in so short a time, the king’s mind had changed and his views altered. The falling out of tune with Nature on the king’s part affected the pomegranates in the garden. The moment the Law of Love was violated by the king, that very moment the trees held back the juice from him.
The story may be true or false. We have nothing to do with it. But truth is undeniable that so long as you are in perfect harmony with Nature, so long as your mind is in tune with the universe and you are feeling and realizing your oneness with each and all, all the circumstances and surroundings, even winds and waves, will be in your favour. The very moment you are at discord with the All, that very moment our friends and relatives will turn against you, that very moment you will make the whole world stand up in arms against you. Understand this divine Law of Love and practise it. Love is a vital principle of success.
The fourth principle of success is self-possession or cheerfulness. And how is self-possession or cheerfulness kept up? It is very easy to say, “Be cheerful, be calm, be collected.” But how difficult it is to remain cheerful, calm and collected under all circumstances! By simply laying down the law you cannot be cheerful. You cannot do anything by artificial rules. How are we then to keep ourselves cheerful? What is it that governs your mood? Vedanta points out that we become moody, cheerless or “in blues,” we become sad and melancholic, when we descend to the plane of the body, the little self and craving desires. Then only are we unbalanced. We feel our stomach only when it is sick. We feel our nose only when we are suffering from cold. We feel our arm only when it is aching. So we feel our personal ego, little self, or body only when we are spiritually out of order. The engrossing regard for the body and care-creating attention to the personal little ego involves sad spiritual illness. We fall from ‘Eden’ the moment our bodily weakness makes itself felt. Hurled are we from Heaven the instant we taste of the tree of distinction and difference. But we can regain the ‘Paradise lost’ by suffering the flesh to be crucified. You can recover your balance and be cheerful the moment you rise above the body, above the little selfish, sordid, paltry, petty clingings.
Thus in order to secure cheerfulness, self-possession, you will have to put into practice the central teaching of Vedanta, the eternal Truth that your true Atman, your real Self is the only rigid Reality. The phenomenal worldly circumstances become mobile, malleable and volatile unto you when you are soaked in the stern fact, your true Atman. I am not the body; all the bodily concerns, connections and ties are mere playthings. They are simply the relations or offices in a theatrical performance. I, as an actor, have one man for my enemy and one man for my friend, another man is my father, someone else my son, but in reality I am neither the son nor the father; the foes and friends are no foes and friends. I am Absolute Divinity. The worldly ties and connections do not concern me. All relations are mere illusions. Every actor should well perform his role in the play; but he who takes to heart and applies to his real Self the dramatic part of love or hatred is nothing short of insane. Again the world being but a dramatic show, why should I attach undue importance to the outside forms of duty? If one man is king, why envy him; another a beggar, why despise him?
Honour and disgrace from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Vedanta inculcates that you should not bother yourself about your surroundings and circumstances. Know the Law and shake off all fear. Here is, suppose a magistrate. He comes into his court and takes his seat. He finds the parties, clerks, lawyers, servants and other people already waiting for him. The magistrate has not to send for the witnesses, invite the lawyers or go and call the plaintiffs and others. He has not to dust the room, sweep the floor, and fix the table, etc. The very influence of the magistrate puts everything in order just as the very presence of the Sun wakes up all Nature, enlivens rivers, plants, birds, beasts and men. Similarly when you plant yourself firmly in the Truth, when you install yourself in the position of the disinterested Supreme Judge, your very Atman, when your glorious Self shines in its full splendour, all the circumstances, all your surroundings will take care of themselves, everything will be enlivened and put in order in the genial light of your presence. It is related of Rama, the greatest hero of India that when he started to regain Sita, which represents Divine Knowledge, all Nature offered services to him; monkeys, geese, squirrels and even stones, air and water vied with one another to get enlisted on his side. Shine in the glory and majesty of your Self. Away beyond grovelling attachment and degrading hatred, and woe unto the gods and angels if they do not serve you as abject slaves. Why does everybody lackey a child? The little tyrant rides on the strongest shoulders and pulls the hair of laurelled heads. How is that? Why, because the child lives above the circumstances, in Divinity unconsciously.
If you go on doing your duty, if you are faithful to your work, bother not yourself about the outside aids and helps. They are bound to come to you, must come to you. When you make a speech and have anything worth being preserved, bother not yourself about who will come and take it down or who will publish it, etc. Take the seat of a magistrate, be firm in your pristine dignity, never mar your cheerfulness by scruples about the outside matters and external aids.
If there be felt an itching sensation in any part of the body, the hand automatically reaches that region to scratch. The power or Self which underlies the hand is evidently the same as the power or Self which underlies the place of irritation. Just so bear in mind that the Self in you is the same as the Self in all surroundings or environments and when your mind is in harmonious vibration with this underlying Self Supreme and to you has become the whole world your body, outside aids and helps must fly to you as naturally and spontaneously as the hand runs to the place of sensation.
When we run after our shadow to catch it, the shadow will never be caught; the shadow will always outrun us. But if we run towards the Sun, turning our back on the shadow, it will dog us. Similarly the moment you turn towards these outside matters and want to grasp them and keep them, they will elude your grasp, will outrun you. The very moment you turn your back upon them and face the Light of lights, your inner Self, that very moment favourable circumstances will seek you. This is the Law.
Most people are turned pale, are driven into the corner by the word “Duty.” Duty like a bugbear haunts them, goes on thrashing them, leaves them no rest or time, is always upon them. Such hurrying slaves, nay, machines of “Duty” lose in power what they gain in speed. Allow not the sense of Duty to throw you off the balance or damp your spirits. Remember that all duty is after all imposed on you by yourself. Ultimately you are your own master. You yourself chose your position, offered your services and created your superiors. Again if you need their money, they require your services just as much. The terms are of equality, the action and reaction being equal. You serve your own will and of nobody else. Your present surroundings are created by yourself, the little world of relations is your own workmanship, your future will be your own doing. You are the master of your own destiny. Know that and rejoice, be cheerful.
We build our future thought by thought
For good or bad and know it not.
Thought is another name for fate;
Choose, then, thy destiny, and wait.
Mind is the master of its sphere;
Be calm, be steadfast and sincere;
Fear is the only foe to fear
Let the God in thee rise and say
To adverse circumstance—‘Obey’
And thy dear wish shall have its way.
Take to your work, not as a plodding labourer but like a noble prince for pleasure’s sake, as useful exercise, as happy play or merry game. Never approach a task in a scared spirit. Be yourself. Realize that kings and presidents are simply your servants. Work as stars work—
Undismayed at all the things about them. Unaffrighted at the things they see, These demand not that the things without them Yield them love, amusement, sympathy. The exquisite reward of song was sung—the self-same thrill and glow Which to unfolding flowers belong.
And wrens and thrushes know. Feel no responsibility, ask for no reward. All authority should be subservient to you. You are your own authority. No sense of duty or outside authority should be to you an overshadowing cloud. The order wrought by outside authority may at best be geometrical, but the order which you create yourself will be organic.
We come next to the fifth principle of success, fearlessness. What is fearlessness? No faith in Maya, but a living knowledge and a true faith in the real Self. Fear comes to us when we feel ourselves to be the abode of fear or the body; the body is always liable to be eaten by worms of anguish; it is vulnerable and pregnable to all kinds of suffering. The very moment we rise above the little body, we are free from fear. Live as Divinity, live Vedanta, and who can harm you? Who can inflict injury upon you? Fearlessness and Vedanta are inseparable.
How is fearlessness essential to success? This will be illustrated by a fact of personal experience. There came five bears at one time in the Himalayan forests face to face with Rama, but they did not molest him at all. Why was it so? Simply on account of fearlessness. Rama was filled with that spirit, “I am not the body, I am not the mind; the Supreme Divinity I am, I am God; no fire can burn me; no weapon can wound me.”
They were looked straight in the eyes and they ran away. At one time a wild wolf was outstared; at another time a tiger likewise fled. When a cat comes, pigeons close their eyes; they think the cat does not see them because they do not see the cat, nevertheless the cat eats them up. If you are afraid, the cat will eat you up. Have you not noticed that while walking in the suburban quarters, if we betray the least sign of fear, even dogs rush at us and molest? Dogs even will tear us if we fear. But if we are fearless, we can overcome and tame lions and tigers. When we are pouring liquid from one vessel into another, if our hands waver even so little, the liquid is sure to be spilt. Pour the fluid unhesitatingly, confidently, fearlessly into the receptacle, no drop will be lost.
It is by hesitation and fear that you bring yourself into sad plights.
Let nothing disconcert you or take you by surprise. You are the All. Dispel the fear inducing attachment to the body. Is it not a pity that the noise of a trivial fire-cracker or even a small mouse, a rustling leaf, nay, a trembling shadow should startle a full hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois of wool-clad flesh? No calamity is ever worse than the dread of the calamity. You would rather suffer death than harbour fear of death.
Some one says: “No one ever found the walking fern who did not have the walking fern in his mind.” If you have love in your mind, you will find love; if you entertain hate, you will meet hate. If you are afraid of detectives and defrauders, you will not miss them. If you expect selfishness and deceit, you shall not be disappointed; from all sides will selfishness and deceit confront you. Fear not then; have holiness and purity in you; you will never come across anything unclean. Life-success and spiritual success must go together. Deluded are they who divorce one from the other.
Thieves break into a house only when it is unguarded. If the house is kept lighted all the time, they dare not steal into it. Keep in your mind the light of Truth ever ablaze, no devil of fear or temptation will approach you. Believe in the Law Divine. Please make not your life wretched by hanging on worldly wisdom. Timid prudence makes a downright atheist out of you. Why allow the mists and fogs of circumstances to cloud you? Are you not the Sun of suns? Are you not the Lord of the Universe? What vagaries of circumstances are there which you cannot disperse, dispel and evaporate? Far be it from you to consider any menacing surroundings as real in the least. Fearless, fearless, fearless you are.
The sixth secret of success is Self-reliance. You know the elephant is a much larger animal than the lion. The elephant’s body seems to be much stronger than the body of a lion, and yet a single lion can put to flight a whole herd of elephants. What is the secret of the lion’s power? The only secret is that the lion is a practical Vedantin and the elephants are dualists. The elephants believe in the body; the lion practically believes not in the body, but in something higher than the body, the spirit. Even though the body of the lion is comparatively very small, the lion practically believes his power to be infinite, his inner force illimitable? The elephants live in groups of forty or fifty, sometimes one hundred or two hundred, and when the elephants go to rest, they always keep one strong elephant as watch and guard. They fear that their enemies may attack and devour them. They know not that a single one of them is capable of destroying thousands of lions, only if he has faith in himself, but the poor tuskers lack faith in the inner Self and the consequent courage.
Thus is self-trust, a fundamental principle of bliss. Vedanta teaches you not to call yourself a grovelling, sneaking, miserable sinner or wretch. Vedanta wants you to believe in your innate power. You are Infinite, God Almighty you are, Infinite God you are. Believe that. What an inspiring truth! Believe in the outside and you fail. That is the law.
Two brothers involved in litigation appeared before a magistrate. One of them was a millionaire, the other a pauper. The magistrate asked the millionaire how it was that he became so rich and his brother so poor. He said: “Five years ago we inherited equal property from our parents. Fifty thousand dollars fell to his share and fifty thousand dollars to me. This man, regarding himself as wealthy became lazy (you know some rich people think it beneath their dignity to labour) and whatever work was to be done he entrusted to his servants. If he received a letter, he would give it to his servants and say, ‘Go, attend to this business.’ Anything that was to be accomplished he told his servants to do. He lolled away his time in ease and comfort —‘Eat, drink and be merry.’ He would always bid his servants, ‘Go, go, attend to this business or that.’ Speaking of himself the rich man said: “When I got my fifty thousand dollars, I never committed my work to anybody; when anything was to be done, I would always run to do it myself and I always told the servants, ‘Come, come, follow me.’ The words on my lips were always ‘Come, come,’ and the words on the lips of my brother were ‘Go, go.’ Everything he possessed obeyed his motto; his servants, friends, property and wealth went away, entirely left him. My maxim was ‘Come.’ Friends came to me, property increased, everything multiplied.”
When we depend upon others, we say “Go, go.” Everything will go away, and when we rely upon Self and trust nothing but the Atman, all things flock to us. If you think yourself a poor, sneaking vermin, that you become and if you honour yourself and rely on your Self, grandeur you win. What you think the same you must become.
An inspector came to a school in India. One of the schoolmasters pointing to a student said that he was so bright as to have learnt by heart such and such a piece of literature, say, Milton’s Paradise Lost; he could recite any part of it. The student was presented to the inspector but he had no Vedanta in him. He assumed bashfulness and modesty and when asked, “Do you know that piece by heart?” He said, “No sir, I am nothing, I know nothing.” Those words he thought to be an indication of modesty, a sign of bashfulness. “No sir, I know nothing; I did not learn it.” The inspector asked again, but the boy still said, “No sir, no sir, I do not know it.” The master was put out of countenance. There was another boy who did not know the whole book by heart, but he said, “I know it; I think I shall be able to recite any passage you may desire.” The inspector put to him a few questions. All the questions were readily answered by the boy; this second boy declaimed passage after passage and secured the prize. No one can ever estimate you at a higher value than you set upon yourselves.
Do not, please, make yourselves cringing, sneaking, miserable creatures. As you think, so will you become. Think yourselves to be God and God you are. Think yourselves to be free and free you are this moment.
A man came into the house of a Vedantin one day and occupied the vacant seat of honour in the absence of the master of the house. When the master of the house was coming back into the room, that intruder put this question, “O Vedantin, let me know what God is, and what man is.” Well the sage did not directly answer the question. He simply called his servants and began to talk loud and use harsh language, telling them to turn him out of the house. This peculiar language did the really wise man use. When such unexpected language was employed, the intruder got frightened, he became nervous and left the seat of honour. The wise man occupied the same and then calmly, serenely told him,” Here (pointing to himself) is God, and there (pointing to the other) is man. Had you not been frightened, had you kept your place, had you preserved your balance, had you not been put out of countenance, then you were also God. But the very fact of your trembling, quivering and losing faith in your Godhead makes you a poor vermin.” Think yourself to be Divinity, have a living faith in your Divinity and nothing can harm you, nobody can injure you.
So long as you go on relying and depending upon outside powers, failure will be the result. Trusting upon God within put the body in action and success is assured. If the mountain does not come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain. There was a man who was hungry and in order that he might appease his hunger he sat down at a certain place, closed his eyes and began to eat imaginary curry. After a while he was seen with his mouth open, endeavouring to cool his burnt tongue. Somebody asked him what the matter was. He said that in his food there was a very hot chilli. The name is cool but the thing itself is very hot. Thereupon the bystander remarked, “Oh, poor fellow, if you had to live on imaginary food, then why not select something far sweeter than hot chilli, pepper. As it was your own creation, your own doing, your own imagination, why did you not make a better choice?”
According to Vedanta all the world being but your own creation, your own idea, why think yourself a low, miserable sinner? Why not think yourself a fearless, self-reliant incarnation of Divinity?
Have a living faith in the Truth, a right knowledge of things around you, take all your circumstances at their own worth and realize the spirit to such a degree that this world becomes unreal to you. Don’t you know, in Astronomy, while calculating the distances of the fixed stars, this world is looked upon as a mathematical point as nothing in relation to those stars and planets, a mere cypher? If so, can this earth be anything in contrast with the Supreme Infinite Power, the Atman? Realize that, feel that. The Light of lights you are, all glory is yours. Feel that. Feel that and realize it to such a degree that this earth and name and fame, the earthly relations, and popularity and unpopularity, worldly honour and disgrace, criticism of your foes and flattery of your friends may become meaningless to you. This is the secret of success.
Two men were being carried down by the swift current of the Niagra. One of them found a big log and he caught hold of it with the desire to be saved; the other man found a tiny rope thrown down for their rescue by the people on the bank. Happily he caught hold of this rope which was not heavy like the log of wood, and though the rope was apparently very wavering and frail he was saved; but the man who caught hold of the big log of wood was carried off with the log by the rapid current into the yawning grave of surging waters beneath the roaring falls.
Similarly O people of the world, you trust in these outward names, fame, riches, wealth, land and prosperity. These seem to be big like the log of wood; but the saving principle they are not. The saving principle is like the fine thread. It is not material, you cannot feel and handle it, you cannot touch it; the subtle principle, the subtle truth is very fine, but that is the rope which will save you. All these worldly things on which you depend will simply work your ruin and throw you into a deep abyss of hopelessness, anxiety and pain. Beware, beware. Have a strong hold of the Truth. Believe more in the Truth than in outside objects. The law of Nature is that whenever a man believes practically in the outside objects and wealth he must fail. That is the law. Trust in the Divinity and you are safe. Be not dupes of senses.
Rise above hypnotism and suggestions of your neighbours. All your worldly ties and connections hypnotize you into misery and anxiety. Rise above that. Believe in the truth, realize your oneness with the Divinity, and saved you are; nay, Salvation itself ye are.
Far be it from you to regard the world more seriously than the real Self. Do not keep yourself a sensitive, pitiable, limited ego. Let nothing pique you. Attend to business as doctors attend their patients without contacting the disease. Work in the spirit of an unaffected witness, free from all entanglements. Remain immune.
The last but not the least point which guarantees success is Purity. It is true that—”Thought is another name for fate”; what a man thinks that he becomes. But if you begin to think impure thoughts and harbour debasing immorality, with the fulfilment of selfish desire, heart-breaking affliction, excruciating suffering and distracting sorrow shall be forced upon you in bargain. Grief shall prey upon your soul. The fool thinks he enjoys sensuous pleasures, but knows not that in an impure thought or deed, his very vitality is bought, sold and consumed. The Law of Karma (action) retaliates and baffles you when you want to abuse it for selfish ends. Do not dictate your will to God. Let God’s will be done regarding bodily wants. In earthly requirements, let God’s will become your will. Feel, feel that you are the very Power Supreme, whose will has shaped the circumstances in the forms they have. Enjoy your poverty as your own work. But if you find yourself led astray by the flesh and caught in the quagmire of carnality, there is the occasion to assert and exert strenuously your giant will to secure and retain God-consciousness. In this country, cupidity is glazed under the holy name of Love. What a mockery! People don’t live whole. Abnormal affections and inordinate passions cut and divide their days into patches.
It is very seldom that an entire young man speaks. It is always a disabled proper fraction, more correctly, a most improper portion of him that appears in public. One part of him lies with his sweetheart, another with some other object. Love your labour, keep your heart where you hand is. While the feet and hands are warm and working, let your head be cool and collected. Keep your thoughts always at home, centred in the real Self, and never mind the circumstances. Let not the thought of doing good to humanity vex you; why should the world be so poor as to be constantly begging your attention? Let the body go on working for your own Salvation’s sake. Ignorant folk keep vainly yearning and praying for light. Why should you desire even that? The craving for the light keeps you in the dark. For one minute, cast overboard all desire; chant OM; no attachment, no repulsion, perfect poise, and there your whole being is Light personified. Banish all worldly motives of work. Cast off, exorcise the demons of desires. Make all your work sacred. Rid yourself of the disease of attachment or clinging. Attachment to one object detaches you from the All. It is the selfish swinish motives that make your business and life secular. Attend your labour to taste renunciation, it unconsciously entails your work because work keeps you with God, above the body or little self. Work minus desire is a synonym for the highest renunciation or worship. Why should you have any motive for work?
Ignorant wretches believe that objects accomplished bring more happiness than the work itself. The blind knows not that no result can bring more happiness than the work itself. Happiness lives clothed in the garb of work. You can have your success always with you. This way does the wide world become your holy temple and your whole life one continuous hymn! What care have you for the effect? Far be it from you to worry about salary or pay. If you get no proud position, let not glaring vanity prevent you from sweeping the streets. Hesitate not to do the duty that lies next to your hand. It is no self-respect to shun the work not sanctioned by fashion. True self-respect is respect for the real Self, the God within. Body-respect is the opposite pole of virtue, the shortest cut to perdition. When you are ready to extend your hands to any labour, the noblest offices and the most respectable occupations will stretch their hands to receive you cordially. That is the Law. If you do not shrink and curl up from God indwelling in labour, God will not be outdone in courtesy. Light will shine through you despite yourself. Believe not in the applause or censure of mankind. All that simply misleads and deceives you. Your Heaven is within you. You play the part of an impure, unchaste adulterer when you stoop down to indulge in so-called outside objects of pleasure. Tell to the external enjoyments, “Get behind me, Satan, I’ll take nothing at thy hands.” Are you not really the source of all joy?
For him in vain the envious seasons roll,
Who bears eternal summer in his soul.
Perch the Indian dove or the nightingale on the top of a pine tree and delicious songs naturally flow from it. Let your mind be seated at home and the sweetest melodies spring from it naturally, spontaneously, without effort. Your God-head is not a thing to be accomplished. Realization is not a thing to be achieved, you have not to do anything to gain God-vision, you have simply to undo what you have already done in the way of forming dark cocoons of desires around you. Fear not, you are free. Even your seeming bondage is imposed by your freedom. To you no harm can accrue unless you invite it. No sword can cut unless you think that it cuts. No need of loving your shackles and chains as ornaments. Shake off vain fancies, burn up all crookedness, and what power is there under the Sun which will not be only too thankful to get the privilege of unloosing your shoes? Assert your God-head, fling into utter oblivion the little self as if it had never existed. When the little bubble bursts, it finds itself the whole Ocean. You are the Whole, the Infinite, the All. Shine in your pristine glory. For you, O perfect One, there is no duty, no action, nothing to be done, all Nature waits on you with bated breath. The world thanks
her stars to have the good fortune of paying you homage, adoring you. Please, would you mind the Powers of Nature kneeling and bowing before you!
Trust, trust the Self Supreme.
The restlessness of Soul is due
To faith in things that seem
The things that fleet as fog or dew,
The way to keep you fresh and new,
To every secret treasure due,
Is to assert the real Self
And to deny deluding pelf.
There is no duty to be done
For you, O everything, O One!
Why chafe and worry o’er the work,
Feel, feel the Truth, anxiety shirk.
Believe not when the people say,
“Oh, what a fine game you play!”
Believe not, never, in their praise,
No, ne’er can acts degrade or raise.
I never did a personal deed,
Impersonal Lord I am indeed.
In vain the raving critics fought;
The dupes of senses know me not.
I am for each and all the home,
I am the Om! the Om! the Om!
O happy, happy, happy Rama!
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 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 “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.
The Infinite is that, the Infinite this;
And on and on, unchanged is Infinite.
Goes out the Infinite from the Infinite
And there remains unchanged the Infinite.
The outward loss betrays the Infinite,
The seeming gain displays the Infinite,
The going, coming, substracting, adding
Are seeming mode and truth the Infinite.
O, what a charm marvellous spreads,
Over every hill and dale,
Wond’rous blue and green my beds
Charming every red and pale.
Glorious, glorious light it sheds
Over every storm and hail,
Beauteous, beauteous one and all,
Heavenly, heavenly blessd call.
Om! Om!! Om!!!