"My goodness, you have meditated for so long and yet are unsure of the Lord's favor!" I gazed at him in astonishment. "Then what about us poor mortals?"
"Well, don't you see, my dear boy, that God is Eternity Itself? To assume that one can fully know Him by forty-five years of meditation is rather a preposterous expectation. Babaji assures us, however, that even a little meditation saves one from the dire fear of death and after-death states. Do
not fix your spiritual ideal on a small mountain, but hitch it to the star of
unqualified divine attainment. If you work hard, you will get there."
"How quickly we weary of earthly pleasures! Desire for material things is endless; man is never satisfied completely, and pursues one goal after another. The ‘something else’ he seeks is universal consciousness, who alone can grant lasting joy.
“Outward longings drive us from the Eden within; they offer false pleasures which only impersonate soul-happiness. The lost paradise is quickly regained through divine meditation… One finds instant guidance. His adequate response to every difficulty.”
Intuition is soul guidance, appearing naturally
in man during those instants when his mind is calm. Nearly everyone has had
the experience of an inexplicably correct "hunch," or has transferred his
thoughts effectively to another person.
...quietly attentive to the wisdom pouring from Sri Yukteswar's lips. His public speeches emphasized the value of Kriya Yoga, and a life of self-respect, calmness, determination, simple diet, and regular exercise.
...My guru smiled affectionately. "Tonight you have conquered fatigue and fear of hard work; you shall never be bothered by them in the future."
The starry inscription at one's birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the
very heavens seek to arouse man's determination to be free from every limitation. God created each man as a soul, dowered
with individuality, hence essential to the universal structure, whether in
the temporary role of pillar or parasite. His freedom is final and immediate,
if he so wills; it depends not on outer but inner victories.
"'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.'
"He that is unmarried careth for the things
that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: but he that is married
careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife."
I had analyzed the lives of many of my friends who, after undergoing certain spiritual discipline, had then married. Launched on the sea of worldly responsibilities, they had forgotten their resolutions to meditate deeply.
The Yoga system as outlined by Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path. The first steps, (1) yama and
(2) niyama, require observance of ten negative and positive moralities—avoidance
of injury to others, of untruthfulness, of stealing, of incontinence, of gift-receiving
(which brings obligations); and purity of body and mind, contentment, self-discipline,
study, and devotion to divine universal consciousness.
The next steps are (3) asana (right posture);
the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position
(4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life
(5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses
from external objects).
The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration);
holding the mind to one thought;
(7) dhyana (meditation), and
(8) samadhi (superconscious perception). This is the Eightfold Path of Yoga which leads one to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), a term which might be more comprehensibly put as "realization
of the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension."
Not to be confused with the "Noble Eightfold Path" of Buddhism, a guide to man's
conduct of life, as follows (1) Right
Ideals, (2) Right Motive, (3) Right
Speech, (4) Right Action, (5) Right
Means of Livelihood, (6) Right Effort, (7) Right
Remembrance (of the Self), (8) Right Realization
The Hindu scriptures declare that those who habitually speak the truth will develop the power of materializing their words. What commands they utter from the heart will come true in life.
"Outward ritual cannot destroy ignorance, because they are not mutually contradictory," wrote Shankara in his famous Century of Verses. "Realized knowledge alone destroys ignorance. . . . Knowledge cannot spring up by any other means than inquiry. 'Who am I? How was this universe born? Who is its maker? What is its material cause?' This is the kind of inquiry referred to." The intellect has no answer for these questions; hence the rishis evolved yoga as the technique of spiritual inquiry.
In the Vidyalaya I had to play father-mother to the little children, and to
cope with many organizational difficulties. I often remembered Christ's words: "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."
Sri Yukteswar had interpreted these words: "The
devotee who forgoes the life-experiences of marriage and family, and exchanges
the problems of a small household and limited activities for the larger responsibilities
of service to society in general, is undertaking a task which is often accompanied
by persecution from a misunderstanding world, but also by a divine inner contentment."
"That is why I opened Santiniketan under the shady trees and the glories of the sky." He motioned eloquently to a little group studying in the beautiful garden. "A child is in his natural setting amidst the flowers and songbirds. Only thus may he fully express the hidden wealth of his individual endowment. True education can never be crammed and pumped from without; rather it must aid in bringing spontaneously to the surface the infinite hoards of wisdom within."
["The soul having been often born, or, as the Hindus say, 'traveling the path of existence through thousands of births' . . . there is nothing of which she has not gained the knowledge; no wonder that she is able to recollect . . . what formerly she knew. . . . For inquiry and learning is reminiscence all." ~ Emerson]
"Where the mind is without fear and the head
is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening
thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country
Thus did Krishna exhort Arjuna to face fearlessly
the battle of life and become spiritually victorious: “Surrender not to unmanliness;
it is unbecoming to thee, O Scorcher of Foes, forsake this small weak heartedness!
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.
Truth is exact correspondence with reality.