Internal self-satisfaction, disregarding the present environment of the troublesome world, is a valuable asset. It is nearing the soul area. Real bhakti, devotion, is ahaituki, causeless; it is its own cause. It is causeless and it is ‘by itself’, as Hegel said; reality is by itself. Reality is not an abstract thing, but reality means a system, a system that exists by itself. It is anadi and ahaituki, it is eternal, and nothing can produce it. Bhakti is its own cause. These are the definitions that have been given to help us to understand what is bhakti. It is not created by some other thing, it is there eternally, but it is only covered and should be uncovered — discovered. It is there in a potential form. By outside help, it will gradually and progressively come out. It is in a kind of dormant state — it is necessary to rouse it. Anyabhilas, karma, jnan — fleeting desires and the organised attempts for both exploitation and retirement or indifference, are the covers. We have to remove these covers, and then bhakti will emerge in all its pristine glory.

Affinity and attraction for the higher truth is very rarely found, especially in this modern age where the direction of thought is all towards exploitation, even of knowledge. The fact that even knowledge has become subservient to exploitation is creating havoc. Atomic energy and so many other kinds of scientific research are the cause of great apprehension. The world is threatened with destruction at any moment. This scientific knowledge has brought us to such a position that at any moment the whole thing may be finished. It is suicidal knowledge. The increase of such knowledge in this world leads to a suicidal civilisation. Exploitation means reaction. So, if we accept general, wholesale exploitation, the result will be pralaya or mahapralaya, partial destruction or even full devastation. In any case, whether by the atomic bomb or any natural incident, pralaya will come, and after that, again creation: birth and death, birth and death … each individual will be born and die again, and the whole solar system will also be born and die again and again without end.

To escape this entanglement we must leave this atmosphere experienced by our senses. In Bhagavad-gita and in the Upanisads also, it is mentioned, indriyani parany ahuh. Our senses hold the principal position, because if the eye, ear, nose, touch, etc., are gone, then the whole world is gone from us. Because we have senses we have our world. In the world of experience, our senses are all-important. Then — indriyebhyah param manah — the mind is within. And what is the mind? It is the faculty within us which selects, «I want this, I don’t want that.» We have a liking for something, and a disregard for something else, and this is the principle of the mind within us. It is more important than the senses because if I am unmindful, a person may walk in front of me but it is possible that I will say, «Oh, I did not notice him. I did not see him, and I could not hear him. I was unmindful.» So, mind is in the centre, and that is more important than our senses.

The senses are more important than the external world, and the mind is more important because if the mind does not receive, then the senses, which are like so many doors, are useless. Then — manasas tu para buddhih — there is another principle to be traced within us, a fine thing called reason, buddhi. What is its characteristic? The mind will say, «Oh, I shall take that,» but buddhi says, «Oh no. No, don’t take that, it will cause some damage. You rather take this, it will give you benefit.» That faculty of selection, that reason, is a higher principle in us. Then — buddher yah paratas tu sah — that which is superior to even the intelligence is the soul himself.

In this way, we must trace out the elements. More important than the external world are our senses; more important than our senses is our mind; and above the mind is reason which is even more important, more fine and more reliable; and — buddher yah paratas tu sah — there is another thing above the buddhi, and that is our soul. And what is its nature, its characteristic? It is like light.

In the scriptures, an example has been given that on a moonlit night there may be a cloud in the sky which has covered the moon — but the cloud is seen by the light of the moon. The compiler of the Vedas, Vyasdev, says the atma or soul is like that illuminating moon. Or, like the sun: a cloud has covered the sun, but the cloud is seen by the light of the sun. Similarly, the atma is a point of light within us, and because it is in the background we can feel our mental system. If the light is withdrawn, everything is dead. The mental system, the intelligence, the faculty of choice, and so many channels through which we gain knowledge from outside, will have no value if that light is withdrawn. That light is the atma, a point of a ray of light, and it is quite categorically different from all other things here. The soul is a particle of light, and there is a land of light made of souls, and in this way there is development again: from the subjective to super-subjective, from soul to Supersoul, atma to Paramatma. Just as in this world we find ether, air, heat, water, then earth, then stone, and in this way there is development in material existence, similarly in the finer world there is also development from the intelligence to the soul, then to the Supersoul, to the Super-supersoul … In this way, the subjective side goes towards the infinite. It is super-subjective.

Darwin in his theory of evolution says that everything comes from matter. He says that even within the womb, first there is something material which grows, and from that growth of matter, knowledge also gradually grows. In general terms, he thinks that consciousness comes out of matter. But the followers of the revealed truth do not believe in that. They say that consciousness is all-in-all, and everything is floating on the ocean of consciousness. That is subjective evolution. Darwin talks of objective evolution, but the Vedic scriptures say that everything comes under the category of subjective evolution. As Bishop Berkeley, one European philosopher, said, «It is not that the mind is in the world, but the world is in the mind.» Everything is floating in the plane of consciousness. Consciousness presupposes everything.

Darwin’s section say that in the beginning was the fossil. But what is a fossil? ‘Fossil’ is a particular conception, and that is a part of consciousness. Therefore, we contend that consciousness is the most original subject. Whatever you may say to be the beginning, consciousness existed before that, otherwise no statement about anything can be made. So, the Vedic truth states that Brahma — the all-pervading impersonal aspect of the Absolute — is the source of the souls; and above the soul, atma, is the Supersoul, Paramatma. In the mundane worlds, all development is in the black side, but there is also a bright side — the eternal world, which exists with so many joyful activities, so many waves in the ocean of blissfulness and joy.

In this way, we must understand what should be our duty in this life, what is the special importance of the human life, and how to utilise it. There are so many religious opinions, but we seekers after truth shall have to find a harmonising solution amongst them, and for that we shall have to enter into some comparative study.

It is mentioned in the scriptures that we should not change our position too easily. For example, a commander will say to his army, «Don’t change your position. Rather, die to keep it.» But when the chance comes, he will say, «Go forward.» Similarly, the sastra, the scriptures, have told, «Wherever you are born according to your previous karma, wherever you have taken your stand, don’t try to leave that position otherwise there is the possibility that you may go down.» But at the same time, when a proper chance comes, they say, «March on towards the Absolute! Make further progress.» So, in Bhagavad-gita it is given, «Don’t easily lose your present position acquired by your previous action — rather, die there!» But then again, Krishna comes to say,

सर्व्वधर्म्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja

«When you get the chance of marching towards the Centre, you must do it at all cost.» This is the revolutionary method. There is the constitutional method and the revolutionary method. The revolutionary method is to risk anything and everything and march on, march forward towards the central truth, and, because this human life gives the best opportunity, we shall do whatever is necessary for that.

Only in the human form of life do you have the practical power of your discrimination and decision. If you lose this position and go to animal life or vegetable life, no one knows when you will again come back to be able to take an independent and voluntary decision. Therefore, this human life is most important and you should not misuse it for the practices of animal life: ahara, nidra, bhay, maithuna — to eat, to sleep, to be under apprehension at every minute, and to have sense-pleasure; you will find this everywhere. If you become an animal or go anywhere else — to become a bird, a worm, an insect, etc., you will get all these sense-enjoyments, but to cultivate your soul’s life, spiritual life, your proper function — that is a chance you will not get anywhere else other than in the human form of life. In the company of the saints, the entire position may be discussed, and in this way you can make progress in your life and save yourself. But if, despite having received a human birth, you lose this chance, you are committing suicide or worse. After having received a human birth, it is suicide not to try to help oneself properly, to try for one’s wholesale relief.

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