Words of the Master

TO DO works in a close union and deep communion with the Divine in us, the Universal around us and the Transcendent above us, not to be shut up any longer in the imprisoned and separative human mind, the slave of its ignorant dictates and narrow suggestions, this is Karmayoga.


To work in obedience to a divine command, an eternal Will, a universal impulse initiated by a transcendent compulsion, not to run under the whips of ego and need and passion and desire, and not to be guided by the pricks of mental and vital and physical preference, but to be moved by God only, by the highest Truth only, this is Karmayoga.


To live and act no longer in human ignorance, but in divine Knowledge, conscient of individual nature and universal forces and responsive to a transcendent governance, this is Karmayoga.


To live, be and act in a divine, illimitable and luminous universal consciousness open to that which is more than universal, no longer to grope and stumble in the old narrowness and darkness, this is Karmayoga.


Whosoever is weary of the littlenesses that are, whosoever is enamoured of the divine greatnesses that shall be, whosoever has any glimpse of the Supreme within him or above him or around him let him hear the call, let him follow the path. The way is difficult, the labour heavy and arduous and long, but its reward is habitation in an unimaginable glory, a fathomless felicity, a happy and endless vastness.


Find the Guide secret within you or housed in an earthly body, hearken to his voice and follow always the way that he points. At the end is the Light that fails not, the Truth that deceives not, the Power that neither strays nor stumbles, the wide freedom, the ineffable Beatitude.


The heavens beyond are great and wonderful, but greater and more wonderful are the heavens within you. It is these Edens that await the divine worker.

All that is is the manifestation, even as all that is not is the self-reservation, of a Supreme, an Infinite who veils himself in the play of impersonal forces, in the recesses of a mysterious Inconscience and will at last rediscover here his most intimate presence, his most integral power, light, beauty, Ananda and all vast and ineffable being through a growing illumination of the still ignorant consciousness now evolving in Matter, a consciousness of which Man is only a stage, at once the summit of an ascent that is finished and the starting-point of a far greater ascension that is still only preparing its commencement.

All manifestation that is not evolution is a play and self-formulation of the One Infinite in one term or another of his existence, consciousness, force, Ananda, his self-knowledge, self-power, self-delight, for the glory, joy and beauty of the play and for no other reason.

All evolution is the progressive self-revelation of the One to himself in the terms of the Many out of the Inconscience through the Ignorance towards self-conscient perfection.

The evolution has a purpose, but it is a purpose in a circle. It is not a straight line of progression from the not to the is, from the less to the more.


There is no beginning or end of the Universe in space or time; for the universe is the manifestation of the Eternal and Infinite.

Manifestation is not an episode of the Eternal. It is his face and body of glory that is imperishable, it is the movement of his joy and power that needs not to sleep and rest as do finite things from their labour.


In the beginning, it is said, was the Eternal, the Infinite, the One. In the middle, it is said, is the finite, the transient, the many. In the end, it is said, shall be the One, the Infinite, the Eternal.

For when was the beginning? At no moment in Time, for the beginning is at every moment; the beginning always was, always is and always shall be. The divine beginning is before Time, in Time and beyond Time for ever. The Eternal, Infinite and One is an endless beginning.

And where is the middle? There is no middle; for there is only the junction of the perpetual end and the eternal beginning; it is the sign of a creation which is new at every moment. The creation was for ever, is for ever, shall be for ever. The Eternal, Infinite and One is the magical middle-term of his own existence; it is he that is the beginningless and endless creation.

And when is the end? There is no end. At no conceivable moment can there be a cessation. For all end of things is the beginning of new things which are still the same One in an ever developing and ever recurring figure. Nothing can be destroyed, for all is He who is for ever. The Eternal, Infinite and One is the unimaginable end that is never closing upon new interminable vistas of his glory.


Who knows the beginning of things or what mind has ever embraced their end? When we have said a beginning, do we not behold spreading out beyond it all the eternity of Time when that which has begun was not? So also when we imagine an end our vision becomes wise of endless space stretching out beyond the terminus we have fixed. Do even forms begin and end? Or does eternal Form only disappear from one of its canvases?


The experiment of human life on an earth is not now for the first time enacted. It has been conducted a million times before and the long drama will again a million times be repeated. In all that we do now, our dreams, our discoveries, our swift or difficult attainments we profit subconsciously by the experience of innumerable precursors and our labour will be fecund in planets unknown to us and in worlds yet uncreated. The plan, the peripeteia, the dénouement differ continually, yet are always governed by the conventions of an eternal Art. God, Man, Nature are the three perpetual symbols.

The idea of eternal recurrence affects with a shudder of alarm the mind entrenched in the minute, the hour, the years, the centuries, all the finite's unreal defences. But the strong soul conscious of its own immortal stuff and the inexhaustible ocean of its ever-flowing energies is seized by it with the thrill of an inconceivable rapture. It hears behind the thought the childlike laughter and ecstasy of the Infinite.

God, Man, Nature, what are these three? Whence flow their divergences? To what ineffable union advances the ever-increasing sum of their contacts? Let us look beyond the hours and moments; let us tear down the hedge of the years and the concept-wall of centuries and millenniums and break out beyond the limits of our prison-house. For all things seek to concentrate our view on the temporal interests, conceptions and realisations of our humanity. We have to look beyond them to know that which they serve and represent. Nothing in the world can be understood by itself, but only by that which is beyond it. If we would know all, we must turn our gaze to that which is beyond all. That being known all else is comprehended.


A beginningless and endless eternity and infinity in which divisible Time and Space manage to subsist is the mould of existence. They succeed in subsisting because they are upheld by God's view of Himself in things.

God is all existence. Existence is a representation of ineffable Being. Being is neither eternal nor temporary, neither infinite nor limited, neither one nor many; it is nothing that any word of our speech can describe nor any thought of our mentality can conceive. The word existence unduly limits it; eternity and infinity are too petty conceptions; the term Being is an X representing not an unknown but an unknowable value. All values proceed from the Brahman, but it is itself beyond all values.

This existence is an incalculable Fact in which all possible opposites meet; its opposites are in truth identities.

It is neither one nor many and yet both one and many. Numberlessness increases in it and extends till it reaches unity; unity broken cannot stop short of numberlessness.

It is neither personal nor impersonal and yet at once personal and impersonal. Personality is a fiction of the impersonal; impersonality the mask of a Person. That impersonal Brahman was all the time a world-transcendent Personality and universal Person, is the truth of things as it is represented by life and consciousness. “I am” is the eternal assertion. Analytic thought gets rid of the I, but the Am remains and brings it back. Materialism changes “I am” into “It is”, and when it has done so, has changed nothing. The Nihilist gets rid of both Am and Is only to find them waiting for him beyond on either side of his negation.

When we examine the Infinite and the Finite, Form and the Formless, the Silence and the Activity, our oppositions are equally baffled. Try however hard we will, God will not allow us to exclude any of them from His fathomless universality. He carries all Himself with Him into every transcendence.


All this is Infinity grasped by the finite and the finite lived by the Infinite.

The finite is a transience or a recurrence in the Infinite, therefore Infinity alone is utterly real. But since that Real casts always this shadow of itself and since it is by the finite that its reality becomes conceivable, we must suppose that the phenomenon also is not a fiction.

The Infinite defines itself in the finite, the finite conceives itself in the Infinite. Each is necessary to the other's complete joy of being.

The Infinite pauses always in the finite; the finite arrives always in the Infinite. This is the wheel that circles for ever through Time and Eternity.

If there were nothing to be transcended, the Transcendent would be incomplete in its own conception.

What is the value of the Formless unless it has stooped to Form? And on the other hand what truth or value has any form except to represent as in a mask the Indefinable and Invisible?

From what background have all these numberless forms started out, if not from the termless profundities of the Incommensurable? He who has not lost his knowledge in the Unknowable, knows nothing. Even the world he studies so sapiently, cheats and laughs at him.

When we have entered into the Unknowable, then all this other knowledge becomes valid. When we have sacrificed all forms into the Formless, then all forms become at once negligible and infinitely precious.

For the rest, that is true of all things. What we have not renounced, has no worth. Sacrifice is the great revealer of values.


As all words come out of the Silence, so all forms come out of the Infinite.

When the word goes back into the silence is it extinct for ever or does it dwell in the eternal harmony? When a soul goes back to God is it blotted out from existence or does it know and enjoy that into which it enters?

Does universe ever end? Does it not exist eternally in God's total idea of His own being?

Unless the Eternal is tired out by Time as by a load, unless God suffers loss of memory, how can universe cease from being?

Neither for soul nor universe is extinction the goal, but for one it is infinite self-possessing and for the other the endless pursuit of its own immutably mutable rhythms.


Existence, not annihilation is the whole aim and pursuit of existence.

If Nothing were the beginning Nothing also would be the end; but in that case Nothing also would be the middle.

If indiscriminable unity were the beginning it would also be the end. But then what middle term could there be except indiscriminable unity?

There is a logic in existence from which our Thought tries to escape by twisting and turning against its own ultimate necessity, as if a snake were to try to get away from itself by coiling round its own body. Let it cease coiling and go straight to the root of the whole matter, that there is no first nor last, no beginning nor ending, but only a representation of successions and dependences.

Succession and dependence are laws of perspective; they cannot be made a true measure of that which they represent.

Precisely because God is one, indefinable and beyond form, therefore He is capable of infinite definition and quality, realisation in numberless forms and the joy of endless self-multiplication. These two things go together and they cannot really be divided.

 

II

Ours is an integral mission, essentially religious and spiritual, but whose field for application is the whole of life. Our aim of aims is to change the whole normal human being into its divine type.


Our Sadhana stands upon Karmayoga with Jnana and Bhakti.

We have to get rid of the past Karma in ourselves and others which stands in our way and help the forces of kaliyuga to baffle our efforts.

Success must not elate our minds nor failure discourage us.


We are working for a general renovation of the world, by which the present European civilisation shall be replaced a spiritual civilisation.

In that change, the resurrection of the Asiatic races and specially of India is an essential point.

It is only by a wide Vedantic movement...that the work of regeneration can be done.


A strong spiritual foundation is necessary.


What we are within, our karmas and kriyãs will be without.

The Mother demands a pure ãdhãra for her works.

Let us not try to hurry her by rãjasika impatience; that will only delay the success instead of hastening it.


Try to see God in all and the Self in all.


Every ascetic movement since the time of Buddha has left India weaker and for a very obvious reason.

Renunciation of life is one thing, to make life itself, national, individual, world-life greater and more divine is another.

You cannot enforce one ideal on the country without weakening the other.

You cannot take away the best souls from life and yet leave life stronger and greater.

Renunciation of ego, acceptance of God in life is the teaching of our Yoga — no other renunciation.


Put faith in God and act.


The first and supreme object now is to put forward the Adhyatma Yoga for practice in life.

The spread of the idea is not sufficient; we must have real Yogins.


A collective Yoga is not like a solitary one; it has a collective soul.


The first discipline necessary is self-discipline, ãtma- samyama.

The first element in that is obedience to the law of the Yoga.

All difficulties can be conquered, but only on condition of fidelity to the Way.

There is no obligation for any one to take it; but once taken, it must be followed or there can be no progress or success.

Difficult and trying is the Path — it is the way for heroes and strong souls, not for weaklings.


Remember the true basis of Yoga.

It is not founded upon the vehement emotionalism of the current bhakti-mãgra — though it has a different kind of bhakti, but it is established on samatã and ãtma-samarpana.

Obedience to the divine Will, not assertion of self-will is th very first mantra.


There can be no complete utsarga, if there is any kind of revolt or vehement impatience.

Revolt and impatience means always that there is a part of the being or something in the being which does not submit, has not given itself to God, but insists on God going out of His way to obey it.

All that may be very well in the ordinary bhakti-mãgra, but it will not do in the adhyãtma yoga.


The revolt and impatience may come and will come in the heart or the Prana, when these are still subject to imperfection and impurity; but it is then for the Will and the Faith in the buddhi to reject them, not to act upon them.

If the Will consents, approves and supports them, it means that you are siding with the inner enemy; and every time it is done, the enemy is strengthened and the Shuddhi postponed.

This is a difficult lesson to learn, but every Yogin must learn it, thoroughly.

It is hard, very hard indeed to know even the principle well enough; it is hundred times harder still to master the lower nature in this respect.


Only do not associate yourself with the enemy 'Desire'!

Only consciously and fully assist the Master in the work of purification.

These are the keywords of our Yoga.


Shuddhi is the most difficult part of the whole Yoga; it is the condition of all the rest.

If that is once conquered, the real conquest is accomplished. The rest becomes a comparatively easy building on an assured basis, — it may take longer or shorter time, but it can be done tranquilly and steadily.

To prevent the suddhi the lower nature in you and around you, will exhaust all its efforts, and even when it cannot prevent, it will try to retard.

And its stronger weapon than is, when you think you have got it, suddenly to break in you and convince you that you have not got it, that it is far away, and so arouse disappointment, grief, loss of faith, discouragement, depression and revolt, the whole army of troubles that wait upon impure Desire.

When you have once found calm, peace of mind, firm faith, equality and been able to live in it for some time, then and only then, you may be sure that suddhi is founded; but you must not think it will not be disturbed.

It will be, so long as your heart and Prana are still capable of responding to the old movements, have still any memory and habit of vibrating to the old chords.

The one thing necessary when the renewed trouble comes, is to stand back in your mind and will from it, refuse it the sanction of your higher being, even when it is raging in the lower nature.

As that habit of refusal forces itself — at first that may not be successfully done, the Buddhi may be lost in the storm — gradually it will be found that the asuddhi, even though it still returns becomes less violent, more and more external, until it ceases to be anything more than a faint and short-lived touch from outside and finally comes no more.


Thus have the pioneers to hew their way through the jungle of the lower Prakriti.

Thus, have they to prepare themselves, who dare share the spiritual burden of the Master and are chosen in any degree to lead, help and guide others on the same way.

These must not be cowards and shirkers who refuse the burden and clamour for everything to be made quick and easy for them.

The master demands strong men and not emotional children.

The master demands endurance, firmness, heroism — true spiritual heroism; — demands manhood and then divine-manhood too.

 

III

Shraddha is necessary in two things: — saktyam bhagavatï ca, in the Lord and his Shakti. There must be faith in the love and wisdom of God, fulfilling Himself through us, fulfilling our life-work, working out all for our good even when it is apparently veiled in evil; and there must be faith in the power of the Shakti manifested by Him in this ãdhãra to sustain, work out and fulfil the divine knowledge, power and joy in the Yoga and in the life. Without Shraddha, there is no Shakti; imperfect Shraddha means imperfect Shakti.

Imperfection may be either in the force of the faith or in its illumination. It is sufficient at first to have full force of the faith, for we cannot from the beginning of the Yoga have full illumination. Then, however we err or stumble, our force of faith will sustain us. When we cannot see, we shall know that God witholds the light, imposing on us error as a step towards knowledge, just as he imposes on us defeat as a step towards victory.

There is no reason for . . . .I never nowadays act on reasons, but only as an automation in the hands of another; sometimes He lets me know the reasons of my action, sometimes He does not, but I have to act or refrain from action — all the same, according as He wills.


The light of reason always fails with me, or if it succeeds momentarily, brings some coarse result afterwards.


It must be understood, that my mission is not to create maths, ascetics and Sannyasis; but to call back the souls of the strong to the Lila of Krishna and Kali.


The present struggle is to make the spirit prevail over matter and circumstances.


Our progress is like the advance of a modern regiment under fire in which we have to steal a few yards at a run and then lie down under cover and let the storm of bullets sweep by. Every forward step to be made is violently combated and obstinately obstructed.

The real difficulty is to bring force, sureness and rapidity into the application of power and knowledge to life, — specially sureness, for it is possible to bring the sureness and rapidity, but if not attended by unfailing sureness of working, they may lead to great errors in knowledge and great stumbles and disasters in action which counteract the successes.


On the other hand, there is only a slow preparation for further progress. It is so likely to be slow, if sureness has to be gained only by not stepping except where everything is sure. This is a dilemma which has to be solved.


How indeed should we think the nations of Europe could have carried there war to an end, if they had grown too impatient of the fatigue of the trenches, suffering, disturbance, scarcity continual postponement of the result and declared that either they must have victory in a given time or throw up the struggle? We must not expect the inner war with our lower selves, the personal habit of thousands of lives and the human inheritance of ages, to be less arduous or to be carried out by a rapid and easy miracle.


You cannot expect the suddhi or any part of the suddhi to be simultaneous and complete at once in all of you. One may attain, others progress, others linger. You must not expect a sudden collective miracle.


I have not come here to accomplish miracles, but to show, lead the way, help, in the road to a great inner change of our human nature, — the outer change in the world is only possible if and when that inner transmutation is effected and extends itself. You must not expect to establish a perfect samgha all at once and by a single leap.


Go forward calmly and firmly, not attached to success, not disturbed by unsuccess; my divine help will then never fail you.


Outer work is bound to be much embarrassed by difficulties, it is at best only a preparatory thing, until we are inwardly and spiritually ready.

That is no reason why it should not be done. Work done in the right spirit will itself become a means of the inner siddhi.


Specially get rid of the aham kartã element, which usually disguises itself under the idea, "I am the chosen Yantra". Despise no one, see and feel God in all and the Self in all. The Shakti in you will then act better on your materials and environment.


If you could make yourself entirely pure instruments, things would go better.


The work can only succeed if I find noble and worthy helpers, fitted for it by the same struggles and the same endurance.