Spiritual Intelligence
An attempt of the finite to explain the Infinite is the content and import of all the scriptures of the world. The Upanishads are exceptions to this rule. To define the Infinite is impossible, although, through words we can certainly indicate the Truth to one who is ready to recognize the indication, following up their direction and come to experience Godhood. The attempt of the Upanishads is to express the inexpressible, to paint the formless and to sing the voiceless beauty and bliss of the Absolute. The finite words are no instruments to reach the roaring silence of the all-full Spiritual Perfection. Even in our ordinary experience, when we have voice forth our intimate subjective experiences, we know that language fails in its own limitations. It is only a superstitious belief that language can do wonders everywhere, except perhaps, in the market place and in the banker’s office, everywhere else it must feel choked. Factual ideas directly perceived through the five sense-organs can be expressed, to an extent, by means of sound symbols which have, by mutual consent, come to represent literally some uniform meaning. Thus, a botanist can, with ease and efficiency, describe the flower, part by part, but when the poet enters the field to express the message of the flower and the thrills of beauty it has produced in him, the trembling sentiments and the throbbing emotions must snap the silver strings of every language.
It is not a biological freak to declare that Lord Shiva has three eyes. Every one of us has two fleshy eyes with which we see the gross world of plurality. He sees with this special power of vision, the Substratum of the entire Universe. This ‘eye-of-wisdom’, whoever has, is a person with the third-eye, an eye of wisdom. People increase their standard of living but their standard of thinking. The best computer is the one between the ears. Understand the mind, transform the mind—this is possible through the discipline of yoga and Vedanta. On perceiving supreme Brahman, the soul drinks deep into the Tran sensuous eternal bliss. Attachment to sensual pleasures automatically wears off. It is possible to sublimate desires. Desires and attachment to sense objects can be turned God-ward by perception of Supreme within through Brahman Gyan.
One of the most cherished and widely read sacred scriptures; the Bhagavad Gita has inspired and transpired many political acumen and thinkers, philosophers, freedom fighters, writers around the world. The beauty of the text lies in its universality. Its universal appeal beyond the narrow strictures of religion, caste, race or nationality makes it an eternal philosophy.
My Love towards Vedanta and Yoga compelled me to write this book. Until now in my life, I met many Divine Prophets, Masters and Mystics, Teachers and Acharyas. And throughout the history of my life, God has revealed Himself to me through a series of all above Divine Messengers, each of whom has showed me a path walked by hardly very very few. Majority of the people walk on beaten track. The expanse that filled my mind made me a totally different person, its’ a real transformation.
In writing this book I have chosen the common or garden approach to life and living so as to help my brethren everywhere to find the way to get along. To me life is a beautiful garden with plants and trees to every kind, some barren, some laden with fruit, some with heart-warming flowers, mingling, conversing, dancing with delight in the gentle breeze, teeming with life, and birds and animals are abound. They follow the laws of nature and thrive. They caress, embrace, stretch out a hand, care for one another, and God cares for them. You hear the concord of sweet sounds. There is harmony. Weeds try to choke them but are outgrown. They are, however, subject to the storms and stress of time and pay their toll.
In a world full of people we are as babes in a wood, lost to higher intents and purposes in pushing a pen, fixing a pin, or driving a wedge, and wrapped in the slumber of dreams, hopes and aspirations. We believe or discover to our surprise we are each-an-island-unto himself. Living in isolation we grope in the dark, wanting to reach out to something, somewhere, or somebody, sometimes not even knowing what or why, let alone how. Forces, good and evil, within and without, jostle against us and affect our lives. They govern our attitudes, which, in turn, condition our approaches. This book attempts a study in that direction. You can dip into its pages any time, anywhere and find matter for instruction, enlightenment as well as entertainment.
The dynamics of human relations:
As we look around and witness a plethora of strikes and the spate of demonstrations, morchas and gheraos, which infest the country like a plague, we know that attitudes, if not vested interests, are at the bottom of it. Unless attitudes change both among the work force and the employer, the epidemic will scourge the nation with all the power it commands regardless of consequences. Success or failure in business is caused more by mental attitudes than by mental capacities. No condition or set of circumstances is in itself a calamity to be feared. Rather it is a challenge, and, it is our reaction to it that makes it a ‘Waterloo’ or a field of triumph. The most valuable thing which ever comes into a life is that experience, that book, that sermon, that person, that incident, that emergency, that accident, that catastrophe—that something which touches the springs of a man’s inner nature and flings open the doors of his great within, revealing its hidden resources. It happened to me. It is more important to be human than to be important.
Today life for most of us is beset with loneliness and deep frustrations. The rapid pace of life engendered by advanced technology, the problems of scarcity, attendant on population explosion, and the growing inhumanity of man to man has increased the pressures of life around us and added to our tensions, leaving us engulfed and gasping for every breath.
‘Know then thyself, .the proper study of mankind is man’, said Pope. There is nothing like knowing your-self. It gives you confidence in your handling of others. And knowing yourself takes time, work and striving. If you despite the knowledge of yourself you are likely to be punished with ‘poor luck’ and not at all likely to get on with others.
I would say that every man’s policy towards his neighbors concerns itself primarily with his own security and protecting his own progress. Would that be or tend to selfishness? Well, it depends on how you operate that policy. If it is only to get or take whatever you can and is so motivated, it tends to selfishness. But if it is directed towards the happiness wellbeing of others, there is more giving in it than taking and makes for your own wellbeing and happiness ultimately. This is the big secret of building happy human relationship explored by Vedanta. Here’s wishing you a thrilling human encounter and conquest.
I believe every human is attractive in his or her own way. But you want to forge ahead in life. You want to avoid the pitfalls that trap so many people. You are anxious to discover the tracks that build personality power and catapult you to fame and success.
I shall try to give you a peep into the unplumbed secret caves and treasure-houses of meaning-wealth that lie so beautifully concealed behind vedantic texts. The modern atheists, the secularists, the materialists etc., have often come to discuss with me, with a seeming dignity of wisdom and a boastful intelligence, that it is the glorification of desirelessness in our Scriptures that has wrought material havoc to the quick prosperity in this country. Strange are the arguments that the wolf could give when it is impatient to make a meal of the lamb!
To these comrades, vairaagya or desirelessness is that negative state of mental coma, into which a person falls when poisonous fumes rise in the bosom as his disappointed desires putrefy there! If it were so the great Masters of the world could not have recommended it as the Supreme State of Perfection.
There is a lot of difference between the disappointed-fox proverbially crying “the grapes are sour”, and a Nero rejecting his golden plate of grapes declaring it to be not really perfect!! Desirelessness and the state of mental poise gained therein by the Master are because of his realization of the Self and the State of Absolute Bliss. After a complete dinner and plenty of dessert, a fully satisfied glutton will certainly cry ‘no’ to any loving offer of yet another slice of toast and butter as far as he is concerned; for the time being at least, he is desire less in the kingdom of food. Similarly, a moment of total satiation comes, in experiencing the perfection of the Self, so that the Master of realization cries ‘no’ to all material sense-objects; not because they do not contain any glitter of joy, but, because, from his standpoint, these tiny toys-of-life have no more any joy-contents when they are compared to the Infinite treasure of joy which has already become his. A millionaire would rarely go to a poor-feeding, with hopes of getting a glorious feed,--even in his dreams.
During the past 30 years, besides counseling and teaching Yoga and Vedanta, I have successfully practiced and taught a variety of healing and meditation techniques that enable people to increase their personal fulfillment and outer success. You do not need to import power, for you were born with it; you just need to plug the holes in your bucket through which it is leaking. And yet there is a gift in the process, you remember that the source of your strength is inside you. Time does its impartial duty and doesn’t allow anyone to dictate terms and conditions. But we have to be prepared. Further, it is much evident that every event may occur in accordance with the time frame of eternity and invariably one has to undergo all sorts of experiences to come to some conclusion that nothing is in our hands.
I am not interested in the theory of Vedanta or the theory of God-realization. I only want to know how to live in this world with composure, clarity, freedom and effectiveness as an individual and as a universal man, accommodating different types of interactions and enabling effective performance under all circumstances. If spirituality does not have a relevance to these, I think I have no need for it. Spiritual wisdom is aimed at making the mind light, the intelligence clear and the ego extinct, resulting in the dawning of an illumined and expansive personality. Imbued with deep inner strength, freedom and stability, the Knower begins to live and move in the world with benevolence and brilliance. His mind delights in universal fondness and dispossession, which naturally blossom into a life of renunciation—the crowning glory of spiritual wisdom.
Live in continuous and unbroken God-remembrance and intelligent detachment, in self-control and purity, always cheerful and always happy, regular in meditation and in charity, ever playing the allotted part in life, but never taking it seriously to heart—this is the secret way of serving a true man of realization. To him, flowers are a criminal waste, paada poojaas are painful nuisance, namaskaars, a burning botheration, and crowds of devotees cringing and begging, praising and fondling, a terrible agony!!!
It should not be that one feels devotional during the half-hour worship in front of the Idol, and for the rest of the day his attitude becomes different. Everything one does should constitute worship, ensuring that devotion and worship remain ceaseless. That alone will make the seeker a wholesome devotee, forging a continuous bond with the Supreme Reality. Such incessant worship leads to spiritual perfection.
It means, although we are saying that the Lord is Supreme, we are not giving Him the supreme position in our life. We are not ready to leave any of our desired possessions for the sake of the Lord. We want to cling to our petty desires and we seek petty things from the Lord. Having everything around us and with us, if Lord comes additionally, we are happy. Otherwise not.
If whatever we do transcends the boundary of our personal, selfish motives and desires, then our activity becomes a part of the Universal Yajna of the Lord. The moon goes around the earth relentlessly; so does the earth around the sun. The sun and the galaxies move at fantastic speed. So many things are happening in the Universe! Our body has been born as an infinitesimal part of such incessant activities in Nature. And with that body, as the flower blossoms with its beauty and fragrance—without even thinking whether anybody will see it or not, whether anybody will appreciate its beauty or not—we too can blossom naturally with whatever qualities and virtues we have. When we make our life such a desire-free blossoming, all our actions become part of the Universal Yajna of the all-pervading Lord. Whatever we do, be it small or big, becomes an offering to the Divine Yajna.
The comprehensive, universal attitude we miss. So we miss the Yajna. We miss the divinity in all our actions. If we are conscious of this universal dimensions, then that will make every moment of our life divine. That will make each action of ours a Yajna—for the pleasure of the Lord.
Man has an abiding aspiration to discover, understand and actualize the basic values and ideals of life. In this respect, the thinker of Bharat have, right from ancient times, displayed a rare interest and depth—nourishing these values and basking in their grace. The ageless Vedas are a magnificent legacy that came to be evolved as a result, bestowing enlightenment and fulfillment to human life on this earth. The Vedas laid out a framework of four ashramas (orders or stages) of life through which one can rise step by step to the highest level of human attainment. Sannyasa is the fourth and final order, culminating in freedom and fulfillment. Under its persuasion, the ascetics leave blood and matrimonial relationships, abandon all possessions as well as sources of income, and embrace the whole universe as their own. Like plants, birds and animals, they rely exclusively on the grace of the Supreme Lord, who sustains the entire creation. By dint of this rare sublimity, leading to inner freedom and fullness, they move around making the whole earth a heavenly garden.
It is no wonder that adoring this lofty resignation, some good people get drawn to the Sannyasins to be guided by them towards their own fulfillment and also to share in the social welfare mission conducted by them. This kind of householder-ascetic bond has been the prime force driving and perpetuating the great spiritual culture of this subcontinent. The mind that was all along tied to household routines and possessions is now poised to outlive that habit and live on a day to day basis, making Nature the sole companion and benefactor. Imagine how lofty and fulfilling will it be when adopted wholeheartedly and wholesomely! You will find a new challenge, inspiration and persuasion. Nursed by its grace and grandeur, the anchorite develops a new dimension—inner strength, purity and elevation.
Professional and family life does not generally allow you to think deeply and make your inner personality pure, expansive and delightful. After retirement, you have all the opportunity and freedom, and even persuasion to take up inner enrichment as a full-time pursuit. Take to it gladly with resolve. Vanaprastha has the sole aim of purifying and refining your personality. He should not hoard or store anything for the morrow. Whenever he finds anything surplus, he should immediately distribute it to others around, including creatures.
The ascetics first strive to redeem themselves from the afflictions and torments caused by worldly life. Once this is achieved, their hearts begin to melt for others around. And, like the spring season, they live with extreme benevolence to spread the message of Truth—to enlighten people, enabling them to gain peace, contentment and stability.
This kind of nobility and fondness is characteristic of the Wise people. It is like that of a moon, which with its cool radiance comforts the earth scorched by the hot rays of the sun. It is but an act and expression of spontaneity. There is neither expectation nor desire for any reward or recognition.
The Sun rises in the east, yet illumines the west too. So do the religious Masters and Mystics. The spiritual leaders in India stand as beacon lights of the age striving to illuminate the mind of man shrouded in religious fanaticism and perverted parochialism. To them Geeta is the Mother—the source of inspiration and solace in distress. Mahatma Gandhi wrote: “I find a solace in the Bhagavad Geeta that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Geeta. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies…..”
The great rishis have asserted emphatically that even some knowledge of the inner spiritual constitution of man will give him mastery over his life. The attempt of the scriptural masters was, therefore, to analyze the individual who comes in contact with the world outside. They found out what the vehicles or instruments that constitute the experiences of life are, and how best they can be controlled, purified and readjusted so as to bring forth more and more success and happiness into each one’s life. This analysis is the content of the sacred textbooks of the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians and the Buddhists, or any religion in the world.
Each age has its prescription. To find it out is the job of the seer and the sage; to pursue it is the exacting duty of the supreme lover of Man, and when both these qualities are met within the make-up of one and the same individual, he rises up to the eminence of a prophet who, if he has a complete knowledge of Truth and a full realization of its bliss in his own experience, becomes then an incarnation, a seer, a sage, a prophet, a guide all rolled into one, to be the best teacher of the world. In India we have that tradition.
Each age has its prescription. To find it out is the job of the seer and the sage; to pursue it is the exacting duty of the supreme lover of Man, and when both these qualities are met within the make-up of one and the same individual, he rises up to the eminence of a prophet who, if he has a complete knowledge of Truth and a full realization of its bliss in his own experience, becomes then an incarnation, a seer, a sage, a prophet, a guide all rolled into one, to be the best teacher of the world. In India we have that tradition.
Generation after generation, all right thinking people had come to this certain conclusion, some time or other during their lifetime; but few indeed were those who pursued the enquiry and found out the remedy, the eternal answer for all the banes of life…….and even among them a rare lion-hearted soul alone could follow the path and redeem himself and his generation. These were the seers, saints and sages of the ages. They proved to have had the heroic heart, the moral grit and the intellectual daring to hammer out their problems in their own mental workshop until they shaped out of their experiences a destiny which would waft him to bliss and make them the fittest instrument to pin hope, faith and comfort to their generation. To all men of action, to decide is to act.