Chapter 1: VISHWA MANGAL
There is a fundamental question before man as to how, in the history of the universe, he can make this short, transient life span of his to be full of Truth, Purity and Beauty.
This world of humanity longs for peace. It has been longing for peace not just today but from time immemorial. But no attempt has been made to search for real peace, the peace in life where it really exists. Silencing people on the strength of a sword is also a kind of peace. Becoming calm by forgetting oneself in the dreamland of temptations is also another kind of peace. But this peace is the peace of death, not the peace of life. Living peace is born not outside but inside. When the needs and desires in a person’s mind decrease, when interest in others is awakened and replaces self-interest, when one sees his own welfare in the welfare of the world, it is only then that the real living peace is born. And then the human society experiences heaven on the earth.
Man has reached the sky. He discovered the continents. He reached the depths of the ocean. He laid his hands on even the tiniest atomic nucleus, discovered that it contains energy and scared the world with the invention of the nuclear bomb. In other words, today’s man, by using the eyes of science, has investigated every particle on the earth but unfortunately he has failed to understand his own brother human being.
Look how high the aeroplanes are flying! Yes! Today’s man flies on the wings of science. Well! He does fly in the air, but has forgotten to walk on the ground.
Man builds houses, builds high walls, puts up a roof, doors, and windows and then locks everybody inside. Then he runs all over the house like a madman crying, “Oh! Why sunlight does not enter inside? Why is it dark, damp and musty?"
If somebody asks, “My good man, sun continues to shine, wind continues to blow but how can they enter when you have kept the doors closed? Open the doors. Open the windows. Then sunlight will enter and so will the light and the wind too. Darkness, dampness and mustiness will not remain any more. Man puts himself in bondage and complains that he is in bondage. What a contradiction!
Today’s Allah is incarcerated in the mosque, while today’s God stands motionless inside the temple. Both are waiting to be freed ---and for a new mosque and a new temple. I think today’s devotees should open the doors of mosques and temples of their hearts, so that Allah and God enter there and show the right path of welfare to the human life that has gone astray.
Oh the philosophers of the world! Turn the pages of the book of the mind of hungry public. You will be able to read in them the philosophy of poverty and want. Before solving the riddle of God and the universe, try to resolve the entangled mess in the minds of the public. What is the use of discussing insignificant issues if the reality is not brought out in the open properly?
When the scope of the meaning of “I” gets broadened to include others, when trivial “mine” expands vastly to imply a broader “mine”, when self and not “others” is seen in everything, when personal welfare seems to lie only in the welfare of others, when misfortune of even an ordinary creature becomes unbearable, then understand that the Divine Power is entering into man and he is coming from darkness towards light, from death to immortality. In this state, anything that man’s consciousness may think, speak or do through the mind, speech or action will be benevolent for the world.
Swords of the warriors of the world have been rattling since time immemorial on the road to victory. But where is that victory? That is only a dream even today. And victory over what? Is it over the body or over soul? Victory by means of what? By the strength of the sword or by the force of love? When victory and bravery do not have in their background any heart, love, soul and reassurance for the defeated, then it is not a victory or bravery but barbarism. True victory is only that in which not a drop of blood is shed, there is no feeling of pride in the heart of the victor or the feeling of defeat in the heart of the vanquished; in which the victor’s ambition is to be of maximum service to the vanquished; and the ambition of the vanquished is to install the victor on the throne of his heart. Such a victory raises the status of both the victor and the vanquished and makes them both great.
The roots of the hallowed spiritual culture of India have been weakened only because of the walls of separation between man and man, created by the differences of caste, colour, wealth and status. Until and unless these walls of separation are knocked down, it is hopeless to expect that the Indian culture will be nurtured. Therefore, every man and woman of India must seriously think every morning and evening that “there is no difference between man and man, every man has equal right to develop his own life. The basic proclamation of humanity is to live and let live.”
Attitude of “I” and “Mine” are deadly poisons only as long as it is confined to oneself, bound by the perimeter of trivial sense of self and listens to the tunes of only mind and organs. But as soon as it enlarges its scope and enters the domain of “others” from the limited domain of “I”, and showers friendship and compassion on the whole world, then it transforms into nectar (Amrit). “Sorrows of the world are my sorrows and happiness of the world is my happiness” – this is the great and benevolent form of “me” and “mine”, which makes man immortal in this transient world.
“I” is the road to hell, while “we” is the road to heaven. The hellish atmosphere of the society will turn into heavenly atmosphere to the extent the attitude of “I” in the mind of man reduces and the attitude of “we” increases. Wherever “I” prevails there is ego, hypocrisy, cowardice, jealousy, greed, desire and lack of peace. And where “we” prevails, there is humility, straightforwardness, love, unity, equality, generosity, sacrifice and detachment. “I” is petty and restricted, “We” is grand and limitless.
A tiny water droplet faces danger and calamity everywhere. Dust rises up to absorb it, a whiff of breeze tries to blow it away, hot rays of the sun descend to vaporise it, thirsty beak of a bird is eager to drink it. In other words, death rains on it everywhere. If the drop wants to survive then from small it has to become big, from insignificant it has to become noticeable, in other words it will have to become an ocean. There is no danger or fear for him once it becomes an ocean. Dust storms and thunderstorms may come, millions of animals and birds may come, the summer sun may shower heat, thunder and lightening may vomit out death, but what fear does ocean have from these nuisances? It has already become large. There is no danger to its existence from any quarters. Man is also an insignificant drop bound in “I” and “mine”. If he can transform this petty “I” and “mine” of his into the colossal form of “we” and “ours”, then he will transform from that droplet into an ocean and transcend the boundaries of place and time to become immortal.
What personal gain do sun and moon have when they give light to the world? What personal use do trees make of the flowers and fruits? What selfish motive do rivers have when they flow? All the actions of nature are done with desireless attitude, only for the benefit of the world. Cannot the dynamic man, the master of the world, forget his selfish motives and work for people’s good?
Petty love leads to beastliness and large-hearted love leads to humanness. Large-hearted love is that love where there is no place for hate, enmity, troubles and violence. The famous Chinese saint Lao-tse, a protagonist of non-violence, says, “A thief loves his own house, not other people’s; that is why he steals from the house of others for the sake of his own. An armed man loves his own body, not those of other people; that is why he kills others in order to nurture his own body. Officials love their own families, therefore they exploit other families in order to nurture their own. Rulers love their own countries therefore they invade other countries for the benefit of their own. If all people consider other people‘s houses like their own, then who would steal? If all people consider other people’s bodies like their own, then who would kill? If everybody considers other people’s families like their own then who would exploit? If all countries consider other countries like their own then who would invade?”
What is commonly called Dharma is the practice of equability (balance) in the internal and the external life. As much peace will occur as there is equability in the inside and outside; as much lack of peace as there is lack of equability. The original meaning of Dharma and Yoga is to keep a balance in life. That is the reason why Krishna says in Gita: Equability is yoga (2.48).
Are you able to keep proper balance of mind and intellect during adverse conditions? Can you string together opposing principles, arguments, groups and persons in the same string? Are you sometimes able to be softer than a flower and harder than a diamond? Are you able anytime to see unity in diversity and diversity in unity? If the answer is yes then I can give you clearly in writing that when time comes you can become a successful spiritual seeker, administrator, leader, householder and everything else.
Oh gardener, what is this that you are doing? On one hand you are cutting and trimming a plant and on the other you are planting a new one and watering it. What kind of discrimination is that? And what a contradiction? For you, all trees should be the same. Why should you love one tree and hate another?
Brother, this is not anger and hate. It is equability. This is not discrimination; it is the sense of equality. I have to see the general welfare, to protect the garden and maintain its beauty, to see that it develops properly. I will be nowhere if I do not exercise favour or disfavour with the sense of equality while doing my duty. Look from inside instead of from outside. This is not anger and hate; it is the sacred duty in which both the garden and the gardener are uplifted in the same way.
Don’t you welcome guests coming to your home? Happiness and sorrow are both your guests. You must gladly welcome sorrow in the same way you welcome happiness because that is also your guest invited by you. Then how can it go to any neighbours? It can never go; it will stay with you whether you cry or you laugh. It is your guest. It is more dignified to put up a happy face rather than a crying face before a guest.
I have noticed that generally the religious preachers and many others preach we should tolerate our sorrows with an attitude of equability. But is that attitude of equability needed only in sorrow and not in happiness? I feel that it is in happiness rather than in sorrow, that the attitude of equability is necessary. Generally, people are not able to digest happiness as much as they are able to digest sorrow. One can come across thousands of people in history who became insane because they could not put up with happiness with sense of equability. Ravana, Duryodhana, Kamsa and Jarasandha were madmen belonging to this type.
There are two types of tendencies – the canine tendency and the leonine tendency. Canine refers to a dog. When somebody hits a dog with a stick then the dog jumps and catches the stick in his moth. The dog thinks that it is the stick that is beating him. But can grabbing the stick solve his problem? As long as hand controls the stick, the action of the stick cannot stop. The second is the leonine or lion tendency. Whenever somebody hits the lion with a stick or stone, he doesn’t jump at the stick or stone. He jumps on the person who hit. For him the stick is nothing, it is the person behind the stick that is important.
In the same way, an ignorant person gets angry with a person who gives him trouble, thinking that he is the root cause of his trouble, but person of knowledge does not get angry with the person who gives him trouble. His attention is at the evil feelings in that person. He thinks, “This poor fellow is only instrumental. He is influenced by the evil feelings therefore he is compelled to commit the evil act. What is the point in getting angry with him? If I can remove these feelings from his mind then he will automatically become a good person”. So, a seeker of lion tendency fights the evil feelings of the trouble-giver and routs them by love and non-violence.
Gentlemen! There is no need to run away from worldly matters. And where will you escape anyway? The world is going to be there wherever you go. Therefore do not run, change your outlook! Get rid of the poison of the attraction for other people’s wealth, for worldly things and for the people around you. It will then not give you trouble but strength and immortality even if you use it. You know that by neutralising the poison, arsenic becomes, like nectar, a life-saving medicine.
When you climb a tall hill, the objects below appear very small. Tall trees appear as if stuck in the ground and cows, buffaloes, men etc. appear like little dwarfs. In the same way, when a seeker ascends the heights of detachment and self-realisation, then all the worldly pleasures, wealth and honour appear to be insignificant and unimportant. Importance of the world remains as long as one leans towards it, not when one rises high.
Oh man! Why do you make a show? Be what you are. Real humanness lies in making outside and inside as one. If man shows himself to people as he really is then he will be free of all troubles.
A gentleman asked, “What is ideal for the principle of action in practical life?” I said, “A man is going somewhere. Another man comes and throws a stone at him. Tell me, what happens then?” The answer was “There arises in the mind a terrible anger and a conflict. Hate, enmity, and anger pour from all sides. After all, why did he hit me at all?” I said, “Imagine, no one hit. The person himself stumbled by his own mistake and is suffering in agony. Tell me what happens then.” The answer was, “Since he has stumbled by his own mistake, why blame anybody? Against whom will he have hate and enmity? There is injury, well! It has to be tolerated with composure. After all, my own mistake has hurt me.” I said, “Path of action teaches, ‘The action is your own, suffer or enjoy it in peace.’ ” What does one gain by blaming and hating others unnecessarily? Hence, blame and hate will put you in a bind later. The root cause of sorrow lies within us, in our own faults. Others are only instrumental. Path of action is an extension of the equability of the thinker.”
Going to heaven after death is not as important as bringing the heaven itself down to the earth through one’s behaviour in this life itself. If you want to have the desired changes in future life then make changes in this life itself first.
The advancement of human race lies in co-operation, not in conflict, not in competition but in collaboration, not in enmity but in love. Our beautiful future depends upon mutual brotherhood. Peace and benefit will develop on this vast earth to the extent the brotherly feeling develops among human groups living in different corners of the world.
Truth is a spiritual exercise, a very hard exercise! Its path passes over the sharpened edge of a sword. One cannot bend on this side or that side while walking on it and neither can one stop in the middle. One has to proceed step by step towards a definite goal. There is only one motto for a person treading the path of truth. “Walk on! Walk on!”
Truthful speech is one thing and a hurting speech is another. One should speak in such a way that it should have the desired effect but should not hurt the listener.
Surrender to truth without leaning towards this person or that. Person who is born has to die too, but truth is birthless, ever young and immortal.
It is not proper that whatever one speaks should be true. But it is proper that one speaks the truth that is beneficial to people and is spotless.
Non-violence is that wonderful power before which feelings of fear, doubt, lack of peace, dispute, hate, beastliness etc. cannot survive even for a moment.
Non-violence is the foundation stone of humanity, its shining symbol. If one wishes to see peace established in the family, society or nation then the basic mantra of non-violence will have to be adopted. Non-violence is the heart of spiritual practices. If that is working than spiritual practice is alive, otherwise it is dead.
Killing any creature is as good as killing ourselves. And saving other creatures is same as saving ourselves. How can there be non-violence until and unless this solemn truth gets fixed in the depth of our heart?
The power of non-violence and love appears to be weak only until it remains undeveloped. Water can definitely overcome fire, but only when it is used with full force. What will happen if a forest is on fire, and somebody throws just a tumblerful of water on it? But if it rains heavily on that burning forest fire, will even a spark of fire remain? People today use tumblerful, why tumblerful, just a drop of non-violence and expect that the flames of hate and violence will get extinguished. How can they get extinguished? But let there be a shower of love and non-violence and see whether the fire gets extinguished or not.
Suppose a person bites you like a dog and in return you also bite him like a dog. Now that makes me think – What is the difference between you two? Neither of you have gone beyond the role of a dog. Can beastly force be countered only by beastly force and not by human force? In order to uplift the world trapped in the wheels of beastly power awaken human power. That is something you cannot do without. Fire cannot extinguish fire, only water can.
A sword can force a man to bend his body but not his mind. If you want to bend the mind and gain control over it then use the weapon of love. Kingdom of love survives even thousands and millions of years later. On the other hand a sword breaks into bits during a man’s life span itself.
A worshiper of non-violence has no enemies. He who carries only love for others in his heart will get everywhere only love and respect. Love begets love and hate begets hate.
“He who rises by sword will fall only by sword” Can one forget these immortal words of Jesus Christ? Does not this sentence incorporate in it the long history of war tradition of human race? Peace on earth can be attained not through force but through friendship. Power in the hands of only such people as have the attitude “Live and let live” will become a blessing for the world. The power not backed by friendship and people’s welfare is the power that belongs to Ravana, not Rama.
How can there be love where there is lust? The path of love goes over the high peaks of the spiritual feelings. Love does not look at the beauty of the body or the extent of wealth. It looks only at the beauty of the soul and wealth of virtues.
Love and temptation are two different things. It is a big mistake to think that both are the same. Love develops the soul, makes it great while temptation constricts the soul. Love is the pure experience of desirelessness while temptation is the impure attraction due to selfishness.
What is love? Love is that ripple of the heart that runs from enmity to friendship, from trivial individuality to vast generality and assimilates the entire universe through its natural affection.
Indian history says that when Vibhishan met Rama for the first time, Rama welcomed him calling him as “The King Lanka”. An ape sitting nearby smiled and said, “If Ravana returns Sita then where will be his kingdom?” Rama replied seriously, “No problem. I shall then ask brother Bharat to leave the throne of Ayodhya for the sake of Vibhishan.”
This is the Rama of India! Can we too try sometime to raise ourselves to this height? Life is elevated to high level not by accumulating but by distributing generously.
The best thing to do is to establish a service-centre for public in the neighbourhood of where you live and engage yourself in serving people by whatever available means.
If unfortunately you do not possess the serving nature or are not in a position to serve, at least do not do disservice to anybody; don’t give them any trouble. If you are not able to make anybody laugh at least do not make him or her cry! If you cannot bless anybody, at least do not curse anybody or abuse anybody.
Why did the deity known as Rudra (terrible) came to be called Shiva (pure)? How did the god of welfare and purity become Mahadeo i.e. the great deity? When the ocean was being churned for getting nectar (amrit), poison came out first. Churning implies conflict or struggle. It is the poison that comes out first during a conflict. That poison was ready to take the entire universe towards death. So, the gods and demons doing the churning were terrified. It was only Shiva who, for the good of the people, gladly drank the poison and digested it. And Rudra the terrible became Shiva the holy in true sense. This is the lofty unparalleled example of non-violence, of the Divine attitude of saving people even though it belongs only to the mythological Puranas. It is hoped that such persons of pure attitudes, such ‘Mahadeo’s are present in each family, society, religion and nation so that the poison of hate, dissidence, enmity that is spreading in all directions with unstoppable speed may stop and the divine nectar of mutual friendship compassion, cooperation and service is available to all.
Truth is the form of the welfare of the universe. Hence it is pure and beautiful. An action done for the welfare of the people and of the universe is beautiful. Really speaking, this beauty is present not just outside but inside too. The internal beauty full of infinite compassion, friendship and good feelings is what attracts people.
In reality, beautiful and attractive is a quality that becomes new every moment, one that appears more beautiful from one moment to the next. In fact it never gets old, but always remains new.