Normally in this world, we are men of action, men who exploit the environment and nature in order to gain energy. There is always the attempt to gather more and more energy to use at our command, and to hoard something so it may be utilised in the time of necessity. In general, that is the very nature of those who live here, and if any hindrance comes in that attempt, then it is considered that those circumstances are very bad because they oppose the object of life here, which is to gather more energy. However, to remind us about the importance of the inner wealth, we are advised that the outer nature cannot do as much harm to us as our internal nature can do in its apathy to collect more wealth for the inner existence: the man within. We should be mindful of this point: what comes from outside is not so important — it all comes and goes. Even the body, which is at present the centre of our thoughts, will vanish, so what is the necessity of gathering so much energy in connection with this body? Awaken from within your soul the proper man within you. Try to find him and try to get help for him. This campaign is possible only with the connection of the sadhu, the saint.
We shall be the loser on any day that we do not meet with a saint and hear some discussion about the inner meaning and substance of life. Be conscious of this. Somehow or other, be mindful of your own person. Look after your own interest by finding your own self. Be unmindful towards the external world and circumstances and dive deep into the reality, your inner wealth. Find your inner self and the inner world within, where your inner self is living. Try to find that home. Back to God, back to home. Utilise your energy only for going home, and not for wandering into the land of others — the land of death. Try to avoid the land of death at any cost, and always try to seek out the eternal soil. You must realise that you are a member of that soil. Try to understand what is your home, and why that is your home. What does home comfort mean? It means it is the natural place which is our birthright. We have to face the fact that we are not at home, but if there is some hankering within us to search for that, we are fortunate.
Our necessity is to find how that inner thirst can be quenched. Our feeling should be: «The world is here and I am here, but I am unsatisfied. How can my inner self be satisfied?» We are in want, therefore by what process can this want be removed? For the present, we have this fleshy body, but to know anything and everything about the body — about the bones, nervous system, blood, etc. — is all unnecessary. To know about the composition of the blood, etc., is just unnecessary detail. Our enquiry should be regulated in this way: «Who am I, and why am I troubled? I do not know how to rid myself of these problems.» This is the general question, and we should be concerned with that.
«Athato Brahma jijnasa — from where have I come? How am I living, and what is my future?» These are the main questions that should concern us, and we must concentrate the whole of our energy to find the solution. This does not apply to only one person — myself — but it is the concern of all creation.
To seek the source of everything is the nature of proper enquiry, but to enquire after this and that and so many hundreds of things is simply a waste of energy. The sastric or scriptural enquiry has been couched in such a way: «From where have I come? What sustains me? What is my future? Why am I uneasy, and how can I acquire my inner fulfilment?» All enquiry should follow this standard way, otherwise there is some disease in our enquiry. It won’t be genuine. More and more curiosity may arise endlessly, so we must learn how to question, how to enquire, and in this way our energy will have some value and won’t be wasted.
Enquiry is bona fide when it is directed towards fulfilment of the real goal, therefore we must save our energy and regulate it in the proper channel. This is Kali-yuga — the age of quarrel — and our real and only helpful necessity in life is to have the company of the established saints and the Holy Name of Krishna. Otherwise, deviating from that, we may be misguided at any and every step.
সাধুসঙ্গে কৃষ্ণনাম — এই মাত্র চাই ।
সংসার জিনিতে আর কোন বস্তু নাই ॥
sadhu-sange krsna-nama — ei matra chai
samsara jinite ara kona vastu nai
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave this as the substance of all advice, and there is nothing more useful than this to help us get out of undesirability. He says that to chant Krishna-nam but without the association of the sadhus means that it will be very difficult for us to proceed. Therefore, in one word, the solution is in sadhu-sanga. We are to secure the company of a realised soul of the proper standard, then everything will fall into place. The king of the sadhus is the Guru. Gurudev is the king of the great souls who can give guidance. For one to be guru, it means that he can guide us satisfactorily, otherwise who can we believe and trust to our utmost understanding, and to whom can we fully submit and surrender? The Guru is where our enquiry will be fulfilled to its utmost necessity. From him, higher direction will come from above, from a more and more elevated sphere of love. We have to connect with that high and subtlemost wave, and we will be most benefitted. This is the general idea.
On the whole, we must always try to be at the disposal of the higher agency, at the disposal of the higher thinkers of the higher provinces. In this way, we shall come in connection with the higher and most subtle layer of life. There are different waves of different types and interests, and of different loss and gain, but to connect with the highest should be our aim.
We should see that the charm of this life is finished. Already we have had much experience that this is all stale. After all, wherever there are the four enemies, janma, mrtyu, jara, vyadhi — birth, death, old age, and disease — there cannot be any real happiness. Wherever there is death, there cannot be any happiness. In such a plane, we are always under the threat of death, so there is no charm. All charm is completely finished. Therefore, with eagerness we must enquire as to where we shall be able to live. We must select a higher plane where we can really live.
यद्गत्वा न निवर्त्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम ।
yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama
In Srimad Bhagavad-gita (15.6) Krishna says, «That place from which one never returns having once reached it, is My supreme abode.»
आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः पुनरावर्त्तिनोऽर्ज्जुन ।
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते ॥
abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate
He instructs Arjuna, «A permanent position is only possible in My plane. All occupations in this plane, even that of a king, are nothing more than dreams. So if you want to get out of this dreaming state and enter into reality, you must raise yourself to the standard of finding the plane of reality, however elusive it may appear to be, for that cannot be devoured by death. Gather your energy to build up something permanent. At present, you are investing your energy in something that is going to be demolished at the next moment — a foolish attempt.»
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥
uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanah
«Note that you are your own friend, but you are your own enemy too. You are your own enemy if you don’t take good care of your own development for your real progress. But you can be your own friend, and none can help you as much as you can help yourself.»
बन्धुरात्मात्मनस्तस्य येनैवात्मात्मना जितः ।
bandhur atmatmanas tasya yenaivatmatmana jitah
«If you can control your mind, then you can save your energy from going astray and direct it to the proper channel where you can really thrive. Then you will be your own best friend. However, if you allow yourself to be led by the various senses of the lower nature which are always trying to move in the land of exploitation, reaction, and suffering, then you will be your own enemy. Consider all these things.»
विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु ।
vimrsyaitad asesena yathechchhasi tatha kuru
«Consider deeply, then take the right step forward.» The human form of life is very valuable. You have the power of discrimination, but that will be denied you if, compelled by the reactionary wave, you have to take the body of a tree, a beast, or whatever. Can you say for certain that in your next life you will not be demoted to an animal body? What guarantee is there that you won’t be?
It is not that all action and all progress takes place only in the realm of death. Progress is not limited just to darkness and ignorance, but if you really participate in positive progress, you will be able to feel what real progress is. Hrdayenabhyanujnato — you will feel and conceive this progress with your inner approval, your heart’s approval. It is not that some bogus hope has been given and you will be taken into a foreign land to be murdered, tortured, or mistreated. There is no question of that.
भक्तिः परेशानुभवो विरक्तिर्
अन्यत्र चैष त्रिक एककालः ।
प्रपद्यमानस्य यथाश्नतः स्युस्
तुष्टिः पुष्टिः क्षुदपायोऽनुघासम् ॥
bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir
anyatra chaisa trika eka-kalah
prapadyamanasya yathasnatah syus
tustih pustih ksudapayo ’nughasam
This famous sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam explains that when you eat something, your belly is the witness. It says, «Yes, I am eating.» Hunger will be satisfied, the body will be nourished and gain strength, and you will feel the fulfilment of having eaten. Furthermore, there will no longer be any feeling of necessity to eat more and more. Similarly, in spiritual life so many symptoms will come to show proof of your progress.
We now have a human body, and this is the most valuable time for us, but it is being lost due to misapplication. Our most valuable energy is being lost through misappropriation. Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata — so awake, arise, and engage yourself for your own benefit. Not only that, but address others also to engage in this campaign, and that in turn will give you further help in a particular way.
The main thing is that under the guidance of a higher agent, we should engage ourselves in devotional activities and have a busy programme so there may not be any spare time to go on with any trifling mundane matters. Such a busy programme in the association of the devotees will be very helpful for us.