Hile living at Brahma’s great Yajna bhumi, Pushkar, Rama received a letter asking his opinion about the desirability of reviving the old Yajna ceremonies as a means of bringing about national union. That letter called forth the following:
The highest virtue has no name.
The greatest pureness seems but shame.
True wisdom seems the least secure.
Inherent goodness seems most strange.
What most endures is changeless Charge.
The loudest voice was never heard.
The biggest thing no form doth take.
If the sun should say to the mangoes of Bombay, as I revealed my warmth and light to the birch and cedar trees of the Himalayas, I will not do so to you, you must grow and flourish on my revelation of goodness and power to those beautiful mountainous giants, the mangoes of Bombay would be no more. Neither could the lilies of the field live on the sun that shone upon the garden-apples, nor could Shakespeare, Newton, or Spencer live upon a revelation made to Buddha, Christ, or Muhammad. So have we to solve our own problems and to begin to see with our own eyes rather than to continue peeping through the eyes of your most venerable seers and sages of the past gone by.
Every statute (Smriti) stands there to say “Yesterday we agreed so and so, but how feel you this article today?” Every institution is a currency which we stamp with our own portrait; it soon becomes unrecognizable and in process of time must return to the mint, Nature exults in forming, dissolving, and reforming her crystals. Changeless Change is the essential condition of life.
No one is to be pitied except such whose future lies behind and whose past is constantly in front. Every point in the following discourse could be supported by several quotations from Gita, Manu, and Shruti; but that is purposely and studiously avoided for fear of being side-tracked (switched off) on side-issues, namely, the meeting of counter-texts and chewing of the dry bones of words. Again, that would involve the positive sin of encouraging the wrong method of education, that is, placing the study of books higher than the study of facts in themselves.
The great mistake of the great Shankara was that he did hide his light beneath a bushel. Why waste his time in torturing the old texts to squeeze out the truth which was to hi in a matter of personal realization than which there can be no higher authority? Others came and took the same helpless words and forced out their own meanings from the very same texts, the march of truth being hindered rather than accelerated by this well-meant effort. To put it in plain words, the cause of India1s present troubles has been the inverting of the natural order, making the living self a slave to the ghosts of old books. The fair mother Shruti was reduced to the sad plight where one of her sons pulls her beautiful tresses in one direction, the other in some other, the third gets a stronghold of the locks and clutches in his particular direction, and so on. Thus every one freely inculcates what he had to say passing it in the name of Shruti, tending to sully veracity of character. O sages and seers of ancient Ind! Has it come to this that your sons shall have to settle questions concerning their immediate wants and present facts about themselves by the rules of grammar pertaining to a language no longer spoken?
Dear ones! Laws and institutions are for man, man is not for laws and institutions. Some say “through Bhashya (commentary on religious Scriptures) the future is knit firmly with the past”. How beautifully put and what a plausible idea! But have we not already had too many patches and stitches added on to the old garments? Truth need not compromise. Let the whole world turn round the sun, the sun need not revolve round the world. Could the discoveries of Science be tacked on to the dogmas of the Christian Bible or other religious works as Bhashya or commentaries with the view of knitting well the past with the future? The original sacred texts coming from God should be allowed to speak for themselves. God surely has gentlemanliness enough not to equivocate and to keep the world waiting thousands of years tossing and tumbling from one error to another before His meaning is revealed by a commentator or self-chosen apostle posing with the impartiality of a judge and practising the sinister craft of a lawyer. Can authority establish Truth? Does the Sun require a little lamp to be made visible? Does a simple mathematical truth gain a whit more weight if Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, Zoroaster, Vedas and all come and bear testimony to it?
Chemical truths, we know them directly through experiments, it is the sinful crushing of the intellect to stuff the brain by belief in them. Confound not Truth which is defined as “the same yesterday, today, and forever” with a particular occurrence. Truth is to be known in itself whereas an incident we may believe on authority. Does Vedanta stand in need even of proof and argumentation? Why? Mere enunciation of it in the proper form is proof incontrovertible, Beauty requires no outside recommendations to prove attractive.
By singing and enchanting siren-songs, nay sweet lullabies, to prolong lethargic sleep, by tickling the humour of the masses, or by flattering Ignorance, it is no hard job to gain and gather a large innumerable following. But Truth is real and all the moving or unmoving forms are unreal, and woe unto him who sacrifices truth for the mere seeming forms. Let the truth burst forth as it pleases. The Sun of Truth knows best how to dawn. Let it go rumbling and thundering, shaking up and waking up the long, long sleep by the music of bomb shells. I am the Truth, I will not suffer suicide for the sake of having: the form (body) exalted.
Coming now to the question of Yajna, we shall discuss it independently and impartially from different stand-points.
Havan ceremony forms a most important and necessary feature of Yajna as ordinarily understood. The most common argument on the lips of some of its present day votaries is; -”Havan purifies the air and it produces fragrant perfumes.”That is very far-fetched. The perfumes, delicious to smell like all other stimulants or “white lies of physiology,” exhilarate for the moment entailing a depression of spirits for reaction. Stimulants may help to borrow from our future store of energy but they borrow always at compound interest and never repay the loan.
But fragrant perfume is a very small product of Havan. By far the most significant product is carbon-dioxide, which is positively pernicious.
There was a time when India had more forests and less human population. In those days the burning of Ghrita and other hydrocarbonates might be a factor, though very insignificant, in helping the vegetation inasmuch as it generated carbondioxide, the aerial food of plants. But in these days matters are reversed. We have practically no forests and overcrowded teeming population, and consequently too much of carbon-dioxide in the air already. That makes the people lazy. India needs more oxygen and ozone in these days and not carbon-dioxide.
Be it remembered that the chemical results of Havan affecting the air are exactly the same as those of feeding people. Now instead of wasting precious ghee into the mouth of artificial fire, why not offer even hard crusts of dry bread to the gastric fire (Jatharagni) which is eating up the flesh and bones of millions of starving but living Narayanas? That Havan is more needful in India.
Again, what if we feed thousands of poor people for one day. This indiscriminate charity simply helps in breeding respectable paupers. Why all this misery in India? Through indiscriminate charity. “Charity,”says a French writer, “causes half the suffering she relieves, but she cannot relieve half the suffering she has caused.”Charity is to be judged not by its motives but by its results. The weak-minded Yatri who pays a pittance to the persistent beggar-drone may compliment himself on having done something to save his soul in the next world. Be it as it may, there is not the least doubt that he has done something to ruin the nation here now.
The problem before us is to perform the right kind of Yajna—i.e., serving and saving the poor and to perform it in such a way that the act may not defeat its own end. The highest gift you can confer on a man is to offer him knowledge. You may feed a man to-day, he will be just as hungry to-morrow, teach him an art, you enable him to earn his living all his life. And the knowledge must be of a kind which will really make life worth living. It is more important to learn the art of shoe-making today.
Let every inhabitant of India feel towards all his juniors in rank, wealth, knowledge, or power, as his own children to be helped by him, and without an eye on reward, reap the Mother’s supreme luxury of utilising the privilege to serve them with the food of the soul -encouragement, knowledge and love. This is grand Nishkama Yajna.
About the history of Karma Kanda in India, we hope on some future occasion to give a detailed account of it. In those good old days, when society was not so artificial, and fashion and custom about food, clothing, and shelter demanded little attention from the people of India, when there was abundance of fruit trees growing wild as in some parts of Kashmir even now, when they could live without clothes as the American Indians still do, when the shady trees and caves or small wigwams could afford enough shelter; the pent up speculative and physical energy having no other outlet began to express itself in dealings with gods, that is to say. Yajnas of all varieties. All these Yajnas were originally no more than fair and square transactions with gods. They involved no cringing, sneaking, bowing, self-condemning and begging element. They were conducted on healthy terms of equality with the Powers of Nature as understood by the ancients. They might be called a kind of “shop-keeping” with the personified Elements, but decidedly they did not have the present “Commercial spirit,” although they did involve the principle of compensation and the Spirit of Commercial “give and take” bargain.
All these Yajnas turned round an “if”. If you want rain, perform this Yajna; If you want progeny, that Yajna; If you need victory, some other; If you require wealth, still another, etc.
Thus hinging round my own “ifs” of wants they were only optional (like all duties) and not compulsory in the beginning. By and by they became a matter of fashion and custom and hence of self-imposed obligation.
Later in Indian History we find them replaced by Pauranic Karma Kanda. We see material changes brought about by the Mahaibharata Civil War; the constitution of the nation entirely up-turned by religious and political revolutions; the attitude towards the ancient gods changed; physical needs enormously multiplied. People could no more spare months and years for one Yajna and hence is to be explained the introduction of Pauranic Karma Kanda to replace the old Yajna ceremonies. This furnishes a strong precedent to make the necessary change in our Karma Kanda without the least damage to our Dharma.
Let Rama observe further that Smriti (or laws), customs, ritual ceremonies (Karma Kanda) have not only been changing with time, but have been different in different parts of the same country, and the health of a society consists in continuous flux, growth, and appropriate change. “Change or perish” is the grim watch-word of Nature.
“In our discussion of Social Evolution,” says President Dr. David Starr Jordan, one of the great Evolutionists of the day, “we must remember that the very perfection of society must always appear as imperfection; for a highly developed society is dynamic. A static society is in a condition of arrested development. The most highly developed organism shows the greatest imperfections.”The most perfect adaptation to conditions needs re-adaptation as conditions themselves speedily change. The dream of a static millennium, AY hen struggle and change shall be over, when all shall be secure and happy, finds no warrant in our knowledge of man and the world.
So, let us adapt our Karma Kanda to our environments. Our wants today are different from those of the Vedic Rishis. The “ifs” round which the whole Karma Kanda hinges are moved. The question is not today “If you want more cattle, offer oblation to the God Indra” or “If you want more progeny, appease Prajapati,” and so forth. The question of the present Karma Kanda takes the following altered shape: “If you want to live in the present century of marching and advancing industries and arts, and not die, by inches, of Political consumption, do capture the Matirashva of Electricity, and enslave the Varuna of Steam, become familiar with the Kuvera of the Science of Agriculture.” The Purohit to introduce you to these gods is the Scientist or artist who instructs in these branches of knowledge.
Try not to convict Rama of using heretical language. Everything is subject to change here. The face of the country is almost entirely changed. Government changed, language changed, colour of the inhabitants changed, why should the gods of the Vedic days still remain swinging in their cradles away, up and not grow with the years and come down to mix freely with us and become familiar subjects to man.
Dear blessed people of India! Far be it from Rama to prevent you from seeing the “Ekam Sat” God in the thunder, lightning, sun, moon, wind, fire, water and earth, as did those venerable sages. Do see God in Nature as Nature; but something more, see Him also in the laboratory and the Science room; let the chemist’s table be as sacred to you as the Yajna fire. The old sacrificial fire and Yajna fire you cannot revive, but the old spirit of love, reverence, and devotion you can and you must revive and bring to bear upon the present day Karmas which the requirements of the day make obligatory for you.
“Is not,” as Agassiz says, “to study out Nature to think again the thoughts of God? “Let a spirit of holiness, sanctification, breathe over all your works. As I cannot lit the altar-fire, I will make the black smith’s fire quite as sacred. Dear, it depends on your Rama-vision to convert the former’s hoe into the chariot of Indra. The spirit of real Yajna is the development of this God-sight.
In not realizing your present national position, you are entirely ignoring your after-life or after-self. Don’t become such dreadful agnostics (Nastikas, non-believers). Your paramount duty in life is toward your after-self. So live that your after-self, the man you ought to be, may in his time be possible and actual. So live that your after-self, fifty years hence, may not be ashamed of you. So live that your after-self in the future child of India may not find itself hopelessly lost.
Orthodox Hindus, clear your conscience, you need not have two Karma masters to serve, you need not add to the clothing which you actually require the out-of-season unsuitable suits left by your ancestors simply because they have left it as a relic for you, as a souvenir of the past world. The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job off the line of your career. The man of purpose says “No” to all lesser calls.
Yajna implies offering to the Devas. Now what does Deva mean in the Vedantic (and often in the Vedic language? The light and life-giving power. Again Devatas (in the plural form) signifies the different manifestations of that Divine Power either as outward (objective) forces or as inward (subjective) faculties. Further Devata, often denotes a power considered cosmically as in the world adhi-daivat when contrasted with adhi atmik. The Chakshu or sight refers to the sight of an individual; but the devata of the sense of sight is the power of sight in all beings, known as Aditya which is only symbolized by the outward Sun or the World’s Eve. The indriya Hand means the power in the hands of one person; but the devata of the hands means the power that makes all hands move. The name given to this power viewed cosmically is “Indra.” So on, when Ave talk about the devatas of the senses, the word if it has any meaning at all has this signification alone.
Now, what would be the rational import of offering to the Devas in a Yajna (sacrifice)? Offering or dedicating my individual faculties to the corresponding Cosmic Powers or identifying my little self with the Self of all realizing my neighbours as myself, merging my will in God’s will. Offering to Aditya, for instance, would mean firm resolution and decision to the effect that no eyes should be offended by unworthy conduct. Love, smiles, and blessings to be presented to whatsoever eyes may turn upon you, to recognize God in all eyes. This is the offering to Aditya.
The offering to Indra would mean working for the good of all hands in the land. Each is fed by its own proper food taken properly. Hand and arm muscles feed, grow and develop on their exercise, work. Thus the feeding of Indra would mean finding and giving employment to the millions of poor hands, seeking after work in the land. Yes, Indra being fed, the land must be blessed with plenty. All hands being cropped, where could poverty exist? They raise practically no crops in England and yet the country is rich. Why? Because Indra, the God of hands, is fed although to the degree of indigestion on arts and industries. Putting our hands together for the common good is sacrifice to Indra. Putting our hands together for universal good is sacrifice to Brihaspati; putting our hearts together is sacrifice to the Devatsi of hearts or Chandra. So on with other gods.
In short, sacrifice to the gods means offering my hands to all the Hands or the whole nation; offering my eyes to all the Eyes or entire community; offering my mind to the All mind; merging my interests in the interests of the country; feeling all as if they were my own self; in other words, realizing in practice Tat Twain Asi, “That Thou Art.”This is Resurrection as the all after suffering crucifixion, as the selfish “flesh”. This is Vedanta.
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my heart and let it be
Full saturated, Love, with Thee
Take my eyes and let them be
Intoxicated, God, with Thee.
Take my hands and let them be
Forever sweating, Truth, for Thee.
(The word ‘Lord‘ in this poem does not mean the invisible bugbear sitting in heaven, catching cold in the clouds; ‘Lord‘ means the All, your fellow people).
This Yajna everybody must perform. This must be the Universal Religion. India, have it or die, there is no other alternative.
Rama tells you what your Scriptures say about the gods becoming visible on the occasions of Yajna ceremonies is indeed literally true. But that simply proves the power of Collective Concentration, The latest researches of Psychology show that the effect of concentration increases as the square of the number of one-minded people present on the occasion. That is the virtue of Sat sang. Now, if Rama alone can materialize any idea he pleases, how could the hundreds and thousands of people of one mind, chanting the same hymn, thinking the same form, help materializing it?
But what does it show? It shows that you, the real Self, the All, are the Parent and Creator of all gods and devas. But these gods and Devas, your own ideas, govern and direct the apparent, false, limited ego of yours. You are the makers of your own destiny, Remain an abject slave grovelling in dread and filth, or wear the crown of glory which is your birthright. Do as you please. Just suit yourself.
Again Rama knows from the Psychological stand point the marvellous effect of appropriate symbols and signs in carrying home an idea or suggestion. A man absorbed in the concentrated determination of dedication, offering his hands, as it were, in marriage to the Cosmic Hands, if while his mind is filled with devotion and his whole frame is being thrilled with the holy decision, he also outwardly pours the oblation into the Fire, symbolizing the pouring of his little self into Cosmic Energy, chanting Mantras expressing his inner resolve ending with a loud svaha; what a solemn Seal is not stamped on the holy deed by symbology! But ah me! Where there is all seal and no deed drawn up, what can be expected of that mockery? Where the idea or suggestion is absent and the meaningless form or symbol is forced upon us, that is like a body the life from which is departed. Burn up immediately the carcase, nurse it no more; it is dangerous, destructive. Attend to new forms with life.
They say it is easier for the river to flow in its old channel, so attempts should be made to put new life into the old institutions. Rama says it is unnatural. Name me a single river that began to flow in the old channel, having once abandoned it; or tell me a single instance where new life was put in the body deserted by old life. New wine in old bottles won’t do. The sugar-cane whose juice has been dried up can never regain its sap in the same form. It must be burned. Structures and objects change their forms and relations, and to the forms and relations once abandoned they never return.
“Let us make an offering (Ahuti) of sacrificial offerings (Ahuti) in the Fire of Knowledge (Jnana-Agni). We shall have the spirit of true Yajna in the forms suited to the times. There are some for whom Patriotism means constant brooding over the vanished glories of the past. Snails carrying on their backs the weight of an old home in the new surroundings! Bankrupted bankers pour in over the ledgers long out-dated and credit books now useless! Waste no time in thinking what India has been. Call up all your energy which is infinite} and feel, feel what India shall be.
History and personal observations prove, that when people come together and eyes and hands meet, there often presents a splendid opportunity for the meeting of hearts, there takes place unconsciously or consciously a mutual exchange of feelings and ideas, and people tend to come to the common temperature of feeling, the same level of thought and an equal potential spirituality. Thus is engendered mutual fellow-feeling and unity. Muhammad’s wisdom lay in bringing together before God at least five times a day the illiterate fighting Arabs. Thus did he succeed in creating organized nationality out of mere chaos.
Yajnas, Tirthas, Melas, Mandirs, law courts, inns, marriage and death occasions, Sabha and Samaj and the Congress meetings have been the opportunities in India to bring people together. Churches, hotels, exhibitions, excursions, Universities, public lectures, clubs, political gatherings usually bring people together in the West. But the great unifying power lies in those gatherings where we meet in a gentle spiritual mood, there it is that the holy water of (Savitt) love ratifies and cements the union. Abiding union takes place only where the hearts meet. The mere meeting of skins involves no encouraging results, often breeding jealousy and the like. There is no need of attempting forced surface union. Friendships where hearts do not unite (combine) prove worse than detonating mixture resulting in loud disruption. Exertion of the legs cannot always bring two minds nearer to one another. Nor is it the friends and followers whose neighbourhood we really need or should care for, it is by nearness to the perennial Spring and Source of all life, that we shall naturally find comrades around us. The willow stands near the water and sends out its roots in that direction. So let us issue from the Eternal Source of all life, many kindred willows we shall find in our vicinity. You need in the first instance only to stand by the spring of Truth.
Again, the mirrors in a telescope can co-work harmoniously only when their focal lengths are adequately adjusted. The solar system is a harmonious unity inasmuch as the orbits of different bodies are at proportionate distances. We cannot work with certain friends if they are brought a little nearer in intimacy or removed a little further away. The keeping of proper proportions in spiritual distances is necessary to secure an abiding loving unity in the solar system of friendship. Often times people having suffered through their own mistake of drawing too near or receding too far begin to mistrust and suspect everybody. Love, Harmony, and Union can be secured and kept by observing the proper diversity of distances from people.
The national festivals ought to be improved in such a way as to afford opportunities to all classes of people to come together and by spiritual affinities to seek and flow toward their own, fashioning the distance of their relations according to the Natural laws. The winter national festival might be held in the genial climate of Southern India, the summer national festival in the grand scenery of Northern mountains, the spring festival in Bengal. In autumn they might meet in Western India. These festivals outgrowing the denominational and sectarian limits should become National, directed by the representative committees of all classes. There let the Exhibitions of Art and Industry, shops of all sorts, museums, libraries, laboratories, playgrounds, lecture-fields, social clubs, Conference and Congress tents, and last, but not the least, national theatres bring together the people from different provinces, the people of different sects and religions. There let the convivial as well as serious sides of life hive display. There let sisters walk and play with brothers, wives with husbands, as in ancient India, there let the mothers be escorted by their children as is already the custom in the Bombay Presidency. And there should also be one common platform open to the speakers of all classes, denominations, and religions to exercise their eloquence of love.
To produce, improve, and promote national literature and to bring about a unity in the living vernacular languages is another step conducive to National Unity.
Om Mandirs might be erected at different places where people of all religions are welcome to enter, read, meditate, silently pray, and cast at each other looks of sympathy, kindness, love, but not to speak.
Young men could take open air exercise together on Rama’s system, turning each physical movement into a strong suggestive spiritual symbol serving the same part as the pouring of oblations could play in fixing the divine seal on the mental deed (as shown above).
While bathing let us sing the suitable sanctifying hymns but not in a language which we cannot understand.
Let young folks dine together on the green swards on the banks of rivers under the shade of trees or beneath the canopy of heaven (as weather permits). Let each morsel of food be accompanied by an inward as well as outward chant of Om! Om!
National songs replete with “words that burn and thoughts that breathe” sung in chorus are a potent factor in unification.
Instead of litting artificial fire for Havan, let the pious youth make use of the glowing glory of the morning Sun or the Setting Orb as the Altar-fire to offer his dwarfed limited ego (Ahankara).
Disciple! Up, Untiring hasten
To bathe thy breast in morning red.
Do thou dive into that sea of glory and come out of it as the flood of Light, thyself bathing the whole world in thy heavenly lustre. This is Havan.
An effective method of creating love and union among the masses and specially women and children (and hence the future generations) is Nagar Kirtan, singing and dancing processions or pageant-shows, passing through the streets, fearlessly proclaiming the Truth.
The most effectual force of all to bring about union in the country is the cruel persecution and martyr’s death of a leader of the nation for the cause of Truth. But it is the living Death, nay, the dying Life of unselfishness that eventually unifies not only one but all nations. Let one live in God, the whole nation am be united through him.
Courage, veracity of character, self-sacrificing spirit and virtue are fostered where the young folks are let pass through baptism of blood and fire, military education.
Neglecting the education of women, children, and the labouring classes is like cutting down the very branch that is supporting us, nay, it is like striking death-blow at the very root of the whole tree of nationality.
Twentieth century descendants of the Rishis! If you understand your Shruti teachings, you shall have to burst asunder the narrow squeezing shell of class and creed limitations imposed upon you by Smriti. But even if you don’t recognize the true Atman and never mind the Shruti and still want in hot summer to cling to the clothes enjoined for use in the long past winter; in the name of the wisdom of your ancestors, do please try to realize your situation. The apparent man lives not only in time but in space as well. Longitudinally (or in time) you may; belong to the hereditary line of Himalayan sages, but latitudinally (i.e. in space) you cannot deny your relation of co-existence with the European and American matter-of-fact wielders of Art and Science. Do inherit the wisdom of ancient Upanishads; but on the material plane it is only the absorbing and assimilating of the practical methods of Japan and America that will make you fit to survive. A tender oak plant will soon die out if it keeps merely bragging of the virtue of its acorn and refuses to grasp and work into life the material from the surrounding soil, water, air, and light. Far be it from Rama to ask you to give up your national individuality, but certainly Rama demand of you to grow by absorbing the present as well as the past, to assimilate their Science even as they are assimilating your ancient divine wisdom.
History and the Science of Political Economy show that the health of a nation like the health of a tree depends on timely pruning— emigration. If we send the poor, starving, workless Indians to less thickly inhabited parts of the world to labour there and live, they will survive and India will be through them striking her roots into distant parts of the world. This will break the lethargy of old India which will have lighter burden to carry and less of fatiguing carbon-dioxide produced to poison the atmosphere. If you do so willingly you have as it were hitched the gods to your wagon. Else the relentless wheels of gods go on working without the least intermittance crushing whosoever falls in their sweeps; and bless your hearts as you don’t save yourself from stagnation, take it as you may, God in His tender Mercy must perform the pruning process through famine and plague. “If a man employs his consciousness to work with the law he survives and in him the conscious effort taking up the role of natural selection, freedom from struggle is secured”. Such a man alone goes scot-free.
Now some say, “Why should the poor workless children of the soil be banished from home? “This question is based on the strait-jacket view of home. Why leave the four walls where the body was born? Why come into the streets at all, leaving the house behind? You are not a child of the soil and dust more than of Heaven. You are the child of Heaven, nay, Heaven itself. Everywhere is your home. Pin not yourself to one locality. Nor can India shut herself out of the world today and keep herself separate. There were days when India was a country by herself, and Persia was another, Egypt still another, and so on; but now-a-days time and space are annihilated through steam and electricity, the ocean has become a highway instead of remaining a barrier, the former cities are now turned into streets and the former ‘countries‘ are now turned into ‘cities‘ of the same one small land called the ‘World‘. So it is high time to broaden your notion about ‘Home‘. All countries are equally yours, O child of Nature and God; all mankind are your brothers and sisters. Go where you can live the best as a useful worker instead of multiplying the number of millions of beggars that are already attached as a ‘sink‘ (deadweight) to the Hindu nation. Go in the name of God and humanity, go.
For some to alleviate the suffering of India might be a national problem, to Rama it is international. To some it might be a question of patriotism, to Rama it is a question of humanity. Let my children live although away from me rather than die before my eyes. With streaming tears of love in the eyes Rama bids you Good-bye! Go.
Come back, if you become more than self-supporting in foreign lands. Come back and bless your old home with the knowledge you have gained abroad like the Japanese youths importing Western Practical knowledge to their native home. But if you cannot more than support yourself in foreign lands, remain there. And if you are to be a workless creeping leech on the aching bosom of Mother India, jump into the Arabian Sea and share well her Arabian hospitality rather than set foot again on India. Love of home and true patriotism demands that of you.
Rama loves all animals and even stones as much as men, and monkeys are as dear as gods. But facts are facts and woe unto him who lies. The only way for the little relief that Ireland has gained under the monkey grip of John Bull was for the Poor Pat to begin to emigrate and flow and pour into America by thousands every year.
Nor does Rama want to overburden his dear America or other lands with the idle stuff of Ind. As a matter of fact your going to foreign lands will be conducive to their health as well. The trees that grow thickly together are all weaklings; transplant one of them elsewhere away from the original grove, it will grow into a royal giant. When you go elsewhere, you will be an honour to the land where you go and grow. So it was with the present grand Americans, most of them were originally poor emigrants of Europe. A study of the history of all nations demonstrates the coming of a happy change in the flowing, moving emigrants.
A few more words about Yajna: Yajna or sacrifice-is sometimes interpreted to denote renunciation. Now that sublime word; renunciation should not be identified with passive helplessness and resigning weakness; nor should it be confounded with haughty asceticism. It is no renunciation to let the sacred temple of God, your body, be devoured up by cruel carnivorous wolves without resistance. What right have you to give up yourself to Injustice and Enormity? It is no virtuous renunciation for a woman to give up the sacred tabernacle (her person) to a slave of impurity. True renunciation means delivering everything to Truth. This body, this property is God’s. Stand on your watch. Let not Injustice and Inequity meddle with jour Sacred Trust. To keep thyself as something different and separate from Truth and then l>egui to renounce in the name of religion implies appropriating what is not yours, it is embezzlement. To practise charity on what is not yours, is it not sin? Shine as the blazing Sun of Truth, become Truth. This is the only lawful Renunciation. Wait a second, could we call it renunciation? Is it not divine majesty? Yes, Godhead and Renunciation are synonymous. Culture and character are its outward manifestations.
Any Karma Kanda rooted in the little ego even in the old Vedic days was not calculated to bring final emancipation (Mukti). Salvation results always from Jnana. So the present day Karma Kanda of a duty-ridden, hurrying, civilized slave of selfishness cannot save him from sin and sorrow. He may accumulate all the riches of the world, but no peace can accrue unless one knows himself as the Self of all. There is but one purpose running through and underlying all changes and circumstances in the world and that is Self-realization. And indeed so long as a man’s life can ground itself only on artificiality, superficiality or appearances, each new change and reform turns up only a new stratum of dry rubbish, bringing no soil to view. So long as perfect health is not realised in feeling yourself the whole, all your show of civilization is only a linen bandage hiding the swollen sore of painful body-consciousness. This Jnana or knowledge portion of the Vedas is the real Veda, that alone has been referred to as Shruti (Inspired Revelation) by the writers on the six orthodox systems of Hindu Philosophy as well as the Jain and Buddhist writers. Keep to this Shruti, Hindus. Change the Smriti and Karma Kanda according to the needs of the day. Thus you can not only retain your individuality as Hindus but also expand and grow as Hindus, as real masters, teachers of the world. Thus you can cure yourself of exclusive stagnation and breathe inclusive freshness. The man working without Self-knowledge is like a person working in a dark room, knocking his head against the wall, breaking his knee against the table, tumbling over chair, receiving oil sorts of bumps and blows. The man working in the light has no struggle. The man without knowledge is travelling by catching hold of the tail of a horse, being kicked all along. The man of knowledge rides with ease and positive joy, being mounted on the back of the horse. The work is no work to the man of Self-knowledge. The most gigantic tasks to a self-poised man are as the lifting of a flower’s fragrance by the summer breeze. Shankara says that the Man of Self-knowledge does not work at all. Yes, from his own stand-point; because there is no work which can ever appear a task to him; all is fun, all is play, all is joy. There is no obligatory duty for him, he is the master of his situation, lie never worries, never hurries, all is finished for him, he frets not, regrets not, is ever fresh and firm, freed from the fever of “doing”.
But can such a one be idle or lazy? “You might as well call nature indolent and the sun slothful”. Look at the marvellous apostle of non-work, Shankara himself. Show me a single other instance in the whole range of history where so much work proceeded from a single individual in so short a time. Hundreds of works written, organizations formed, kings converted, splendid gatherings held throughout the length and breadth of India. Work flowed from him just as light radiates from a star and fragrance emanates from a flower.
Rama cannot close the subject without saying a few words on the great Brahma-Yajna which in the words of Manu brings the Atma-Yajni to Swarajya, the native throne of inner glory. Offer up to the Fire of Jnanam (Divine Wisdom) all your sense of possession: all your clingings and designs; all mine and thine; loves, hatreds, passions; frowns, favours and fashions; body, relatives and mind; all kith and kin; rights, wrongs, and dues; interrogating Q’s; all names and forms; all claims and charms; renounce, resign. Pour them as oblations into the Fire of Divine Wisdom. Make incense of them and enjoy their sweet smell while ablaze on the flaming altar of Tat-Tvam-Asi “That Thou Art”. Rise above all temptations and weaknesses by asserting your godhead. The world must turn aside to let any man pass who is himself. Be God over your world, or it will lord it over you. There can be no hope for those who entertain suspicions or superstitions: such swear, for they take the name of their “I am” in vain. Have you a doubt as to your own Divine Self? You had better a bullet in your heart than a doubt there. Does your heart fail you? Pluck it out and cast it from you. Dare to laugh and launch into the Truth, Are you afraid?
“Afraid of what?
Of God? Nonsense:
Of man? Cowardice:
Of the Elements? Dare them:
Of yourself? Know Thyself;” Say I am God.