Silence – The Speech of Self

Initiation into silence is the most perfect initiation; it comprises looking, touching and teaching. It will purify the individual in every way and establish him in the Reality. Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the scriptures may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and emphatic than all the scriptures put together.

Silence does not mean negation of activity or stagnant inertness. It is not a mere negation of thoughts but something more positive than you can imagine. The one Self, the sole Reality, alone exist eternally. When even the ancient Master, Dakshinamurti, revealed It only through speechless eloquence, who else could convey it by speech or with words?

The silence of the Self is ever there. As long as you run with the running mind you cannot have it. It is a Supreme peace, immutable like a rock, that supports all your activities, in fact, all movements. It is in this silence that God and the liberated souls are rooted. Contact with a enlightened sage is good. They will work through silence. By speaking their power is reduced. Silence is most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence, so mental contact is the best.

True realisation is to cherish with one’s understanding, without any obstruction, the first cause of all that is, that silence which is liberation. The perfect silence in which the ego, the root, has been destroyed is the true nature, which will never be vanquished. The eminent and powerful state of silence can be reached in the Heart only by attaining the Self-state, the unmoving axis. Only silence, which is the end point of jnana [the direct knowledge of the Reality that is the Self], is that true vision which is the profound truth of Vedanta. Silence is the ocean into which all the rivers of all the religions discharge themselves. It is the speech of the Self.

Silence, the unique language, ever surging in the Heart [a synonym for the Self], is the state of grace. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. In the state of silence one merely abides as ‘I-I’. Apart from this, there is neither thinking nor knowing. Silence will manifest itself when the clarity of Self-knowledge, which overflows with the exalted direct experience, causes the trinities of seer-seeing-seen and knower-knowing-known to depart. If the trinities that have risen from silence subside in silence, then bliss will arise.

A mind that has experienced the light of silence will not readily accept the conceptual drama, consisting of the trinities, that appears in the other light [chidabhasa]. It is the mind that is diminished when there is a feeling of deficiency. In the fullness of silence, there is only consciousness, but no thoughts. That bliss that grows in the field of silence is not attained and experienced in any other field. Those who have seen the light of silence are without any attachment to the world, which is an infatuating snare that rises from the “I am the doer” idea, the feeling that there is a person who is performing the actions that the body engages in.

The feeling of remaining young forever is attained in nothing else other than silence, the blossoming of Truth. Since it is thought that creates a sense of deficiency, only thought-free silence is fullness. In order to attain the Supreme state of silence, that which is worthy of attainment by seekers of Truth is the loss of individuality. You should know that the Supreme state of liberation exists only in a mind who has attained the state of silence and nowhere else. The concept-free experience of the vast emptiness of silence will rise, putting an end to the delusion of the ego, the deceiving fixation.

The direct experience of the Self, silence, is the axis of everything. This is the summit, the highest good. Those who have sunk deeply into the ocean of silence and drowned will live on the summit of the Supreme mountain, the expanse of consciousness. From silence came thought, from thought, the ego, and from ego, speech. So if speech is effective, how much more so must be its source?

The pure state [turiya] exists and shines as unceasing pure being in the Heart after the other thoughts that rise from oneself and the Self-forgetfulness that is the basis for their rising are fully destroyed. Clinging to that pure state, which remains without any attachments, is clinging to divine grace. This alone is one’s own state of silence wherein naught else exists. To know and to merge in this state of silence through practice of Self-enquiry, and to remain always as That, is true mental worship. This you should know.

Take either God or Guru as your Lord. Until you attain liberation, keep in your Heart the conviction that you are his subject. Remain without desires and live according to his command. Oh foolish mind, why do you forget this and get deluded? Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the Self.

Enthroning the Lord upon the seat of the Heart and fixing the whole mind at his feet, worship him as your own Self, without a sense of difference, because He is your own true nature. You should know that true worship, performed naturally and without a break, is the fair nature of divine silence. The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego. Subjugation of the mind is meditation; deep meditation is Eternal speech. Silence is ever-speaking; it’s the perennial flow of ‘language’. It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute ‘language’. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence. It is the best language.

Which is the better, to preach loudly without effect or to sit silently sending out inner force? Know that Self, which is to be enquired into and attained in the Heart as the state of happiness through the requisite tapas or Self-attention, is only the state of silence, which is experienced by removing the delusive and worthless knowledge of differences along with its root, the ignorance or wrong knowledge “I am this body”.

The state of the experience of the one non-dual silence, which is attained as the experience of the unlimited true knowledge, is only the shining of oneself as the empty space devoid of the false imagination which is the rising of the wicked ego-mind. Since the silence of Self, which shines through the pure mind [the pure existence-consciousness which is devoid of all thoughts], alone turns out to be the gateway to liberation, even though they proceed along any path which is agreeable to them, that gate alone is the final refuge.

Attending unceasingly and with a fully concentrated mind to Self, which is the non-dual perfect Reality, alone is the pure Supreme silence; on the other hand, the mere unthinking laziness of the dull mind is nothing but a defective delusion. Know thus. Know that the inner silence – the undecreasing strength of unceasingly praising and worshipping, without worshipping, the Feet of Lord Shiva by the beautiful Supreme word [paravak], which is the pure unrising speech [that is, worshipping by Self-attention, the non-rising of the ego] – alone is the true and natural worship of the Reality.

Source: http://www.inner-quest.org/Ramana_Silence.htm

Silence is my language

Ramana Maharshi is the silent one, teaching the pure non-dual essence through perfect silence. What exists in Truth is the Self alone. The Self is that where there is absolutely no ‘I’-thought. That is called silence [mauna]. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is ‘I'; the Self itself is God.

The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego. Solitude is in the mind of humanity. Silence is ever speaking; it is the perennial flow of ‘language’. It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute language. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. There is consciousness along with quietness in the mind; this is exactly the state to be aimed at.

By silence, eloquence is meant. It is the best language. The thought-free experience of the Self is silence. There is a state when words cease and silence prevails. That state which transcends speech and thought is silence. That state in which the ‘I’-thought does not rise even in the least is silence. The experience of silence is alone the real and perfect knowledge.

Sages say that the state in which the ‘I’-thought does not rise even in the least, alone is Self which is silence. That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the individual soul. Self alone is this ancient world. All other knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge. That which is, is silence. How can silence be explained in words?

A vow of silence is but a vow. It may help in meditation to some extent, but what is the use of keeping the mouth shut and letting the mind run riot? The pure state of attention to the Self alone is one’s own state of silence, which is devoid of any other thing.

The Guru is the bestower of silence who reveal the light of Self-knowledge, which shines as the residual Reality. Spoken words are of no use whatsoever if the eyes of the Guru meet the eyes of his disciple. Silence, which shines alone as consciousness of being, possesses the glory of being the highest and most potent tapas [spiritual effort].

Silence – which is not only the means to liberation but also that which abides as the very nature of liberation itself – has a matchless magnificence. If you adhere to that path of silence, the means to liberation, there will be no suffering of any kind. The Supreme Reality that is liberation is experienced only by perfect silence. Indulging in thoughts drives it away. To attain liberation, the door to which is silence, the ego that rises as a separate ‘I’ should be completely destroyed.

Silence is the best and most potent initiation. That was practised by Dakshinamurti. Initiation by touch, look, etc. are all of a lower order. Silent initiation changes the Heart of all. Silence of a realised being is most powerful. He sends out waves of spiritual influence which draw many people towards him. Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence. He never needs to go out among the public. If necessary he can use others as his instrument.

Silence is ever-speaking. It is the perennial flow of language which is interrupted by speaking. These words which I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electrical energy. Similarly, silence is the flow of language obstructed by words.

When one remains without thinking, one understands another by means of the universal language of silence. What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known instantly through silence. Dakshinamurti is a good example of this. This is the highest and most effective language.

Source: http://www.inner-quest.org/Ramana_Silence.html

Meditation for one and all…

Meditation is the eye that sees the Truth, the heart that feels the Truth and the soul that realises the Truth.

Through meditation the soul becomes fully aware of its evolution in its eternal journey. Through meditation we see the form evolve into the Formless, the finite into the Infinite; and we see the Formless evolve into the form, the Infinite into the finite.

Meditation speaks. It speaks in silence. It reveals. It reveals to the aspirant that matter and spirit are one, quantity and quality are one, the immanent and the transcendent are one. It reveals that life can never be the mere existence of seventy or eighty years between birth and death, but is, rather, Eternity itself. Our birth is a significant incident in God’s own existence. And so is our death. In our birth, life lives in the body. In our death, life lives in the spirit.

Meditation: individual and collective. As the individual and the collective are in essence one, even so are meditation individual and collective. We are all children of God. Our body says that we are human. Our soul says that we are divine.

No matter whether we are human or divine, we are one, inevitably and eternally. We are the inseparable parts of the whole. We complete the whole.

Vast is the ocean. You see a part of it. He sees a part of it. I see a part of it. But the full expanse of the ocean is far beyond our gaze. Our vision is limited. But the portion that each of us sees is not and cannot be separated from the entire ocean.

What does an orchestra produce? It produces a symphonic unity. Different notes from different instruments form the symphony. As each instrument plays its own notes, so each individual may meditate in his own way. But ultimately all will arrive at the same goal and the basic realisation of oneness. And this realisation is nothing other than liberation — liberation from bondage, ignorance and death.

Tat twam asi “That Thou art.” This is indeed the secret that can be revealed in meditation. This “Thou” is not the outer man. This “Thou” is our soul, our divinity within. Our unlit and undivine nature tries to make us feel that the body is everything. Our illumined and divine nature makes us feel that our soul, which has no beginning and no ending, is everything. Indeed, it is the soul that is the breath of our existence both in Heaven and on earth.

Self-knowledge and universal Knowledge are not two different things. Everything in the universe becomes ours the moment we realise our Self. And what is this universe? It is the outer expression of our inner achievements. We are our own Saviours. Within us is our salvation. It is we who have to work for our salvation. We are our own fate-makers. To blame others for the unfavourable conditions of our lives is beneath our dignity. Unfortunately, this act of blaming others is one of man’s oldest diseases. Adam blamed Eve for his temptation. Poor Eve, what could she do? She also blamed another. No, we must not do that. If action is ours, responsibility is also ours. To try to escape the consequences of our actions is simply absurd. But to be free from committing blunders is wisdom; it is the real illumination. Trials and tribulations are within us and without us. We simply have to ignore them. If this act of ignoring is not effective, we must face them. If that, too, is not enough, we have to conquer them here and now. The paramount problem is how to conquer the trials and tribulations. We can conquer them only by our constant aspiration and meditation. There is no substitute, no alternative.

From meditation, when it is deep and one-pointed, we get spiritual knowledge and pure devotion, which act not only simultaneously but also harmoniously. The path of Bhakti, devotion, and the path of Jnana, knowledge, lead us ultimately to the same goal. Devotion is not blind faith. It is not an absurd adherence to our inner feeling. It is a matchless process of spiritual unfoldment. Knowledge is not something dry. Neither is it an aggressive power. Knowledge is the food that energises our earthly and heavenly existence. Devotion is Delight. Knowledge is Peace. Our heart needs Delight and our mind needs Peace, just as God needs us to manifest Himself and we need God to fulfil ourselves.

Meditation: individual and collective. It is easy to meditate individually. The aspirant is fortunate, for no third person stands between him and God’s Grace. It is easy to meditate collectively A student naturally gets joy while he is studying with others in the class. Here also the aspirant is fortunate, for the sincere aspiration of other seekers may inspire him.

True, there are difficulties in meditating individually, for laziness can plague the aspirant. True, there are difficulties in meditating collectively, because there is every possibility that the ignorance and weaknesses of others may unconsciously attack the aspirant’s body, mind and heart.

Whether we meditate individually or collectively, there is one thing we absolutely must do: we have to meditate consciously. Making an unconscious effort is like forcing oneself to play football in spite of one’s utmost unwillingness. One plays, but gets no joy. Conscious effort is like playing football most willingly. One gets real joy. Similarly, conscious meditation gives us inner Delight from the soul.

Finally, each human being must have the spirit of a divine hero. If he is left alone in the thickest forest, he must have the inner strength to meditate without fear. If he is asked to meditate in Times Square amid crowds of people, he must have the inner strength to meditate without being disturbed in the least. Whether alone or with others, the aspirant must dwell in his meditation unshaken and unafraid.

 - Sri ChinmoyYoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul.

How far are we from realisation?

Avidyaya mrityum tirtha vidyaya amritam snute. “By ignorance we cross through death, by knowledge we achieve Immortality.” This is indeed a major realisation.

Realisation means the revelation of God in a human body. Realisation means that man himself is God.

Unfortunately, man is not alone. He has desire, and desire has tremendous power. Nevertheless, it fails to give him lasting joy and peace. Desire is finite. Desire is blind. It tries to bind man, who is boundless by birthright. God’s Grace, which acts through man for God’s full manifestation, is infinite.

Realisation springs from self-conquest. It grows in its oneness with God. It fulfils itself in embracing the finite and the Infinite.

We are seekers of the Supreme. What we need is absolute realisation. With a little realisation we can at most act like a cat. With absolute realisation we shall be able to threaten ignorance like a roaring lion.

The moment I say “my body”, I separate myself from the body. This body undergoes infancy, childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age. It is not really me. The real “I” remains changeless always. When I say that I have grown fat or thin, I am speaking of the body that has grown fat or thin, and not the inner “I”, which is eternal and immortal.

Realisation says that there are no such things as the bondage and freedom which we so often refer to in our day-to-day lives. What actually exists is consciousness — consciousness on various levels, consciousness enjoying itself in its varied manifestations. So long as we think that we are living in the bondage of ignorance, we are at liberty to feel that we can dwell in freedom as well, if we want to. If bondage makes us feel that the world is a field of suffering, then freedom can undoubtedly make us feel that the world is nothing but the blissful consciousness of the Brahman. But realisation makes us feel Sarvam khalvidam Brahma. “All that is extended is Brahman.”

In order to realise what realisation is, we first have to love our inner Self. The second step is to love realisation itself. This is the love that awakens the soul. This is the love that illumines our consciousness. Love and you will be loved. Realise and you will be fulfilled.

Realisation is our inner lamp. If we keep the lamp burning, it will transmit to the world at large its radiant glow. We all, with no exceptions, have the power of self-realisation or, in other words, God-realisation. To deny this truth is to deceive ourselves mercilessly.

We realise the Truth not only when joy fills our mind, but also when sorrow clouds our heart, when death welcomes us into its tenebrous breast, when Immortality places our existence in transformation’s lap.

How far are we from Realisation? We can know the answer by the degree to which we have surrendered to God’s Will. There is no other way to know it. Also we must know that every single day dawns with a new realisation. Life is a constant realisation to him whose inner eye is open.

Why do we want to realise God? We want to realise God because we consciously have made ourselves avenues through which the fruits of God-realisation can flow. Our very body is a divine machine; hence it needs oiling. Realisation is a divine lubricant, which does its work most effectively.

Realisation can be achieved by God’s Grace, the Guru’s grace and the seeker’s aspiration. God’s Grace is the rain. The Guru’s grace is the seed. The seeker’s aspiration is the act of cultivation. Lo, the bumper crop is Realisation!

- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul.

What Is Religion?

What is religion? Religion is God. Religion is Truth. God and Truth are one. But when I say that my religion is God, there is every possibility that you may misunderstand me. But if I say that my religion is Truth, immediately you see eye to eye with me. Let me be a little clearer. If I say that my religion is Lord Krishna and you must accept him, your eyes emit fire. But if I say that my religion is Truth, you will jump up and say, “So is mine.” Now, instead of saying, “You must accept my religion”, if I say, “Let us accept the universal Truth”, you will cry out, “Already accepted, thank you, my friend!”

Religion is an act of vision that guides and leads us to the Beyond. Religion is intuition. Intuition is so near and dear to each of us, so familiar to our soul and so intimate to our heart, that it requires no definition. Even so, we may as well proclaim the truth that intuition is the consciousness of the all-pervading existence. Ask a man how he is sure of his existence. Silence captures his mouth. He knows what his existence is. He feels it. But the explanation evades him. Religion is that very intuition which defies explanation but which is a self-embodying and self-explanatory truth.

Religion is not fanaticism. Religion, in its purest form, is a feeling of the universal oneness of Truth. A fanatic never sees the truth in its totality, even in his wildest imagination. A fanatic has nothing to offer to the world precisely because he has not kept his heart’s door wide open, and because he lacks the capacity to commune with his soul.

What we need is direct illumination. Lo, differences are buried in oblivion. Through our feeling of universal oneness, we run closer and closer to the Supreme. Our life has a freedom of its own. Our narrowness in thought kills this freedom. This freedom finds no joy in lofty and grandiose pronouncements. This freedom wants to be the living expression of our inner thoughts and feelings. Freedom is union. Union is the all-energising and all-fulfilling Truth.

Religion speaks. It speaks more significantly than words. Unfortunately, its message is often subject to our ruthless distortion. Nevertheless, in the long run, it triumphantly voices forth the truth.

When we think of religion, our attitude should be sympathetic and appreciative rather than critical and competitive. Criticism and competition create disharmony, which is a destructive force. Sympathy and appreciation create harmony, which is a creative force. Harmony, moreover, is the life of existence.

All religions are indispensable to their adherents. All religions, too, are surcharged with inspiration. This inspiration is the conviction of the adherents’ collective soul. Peace must be their watchword, just as Truth is their sole aim.

Momentous are the words of Tagore, who said of religion: “Religion, like poetry, is not a mere idea; it is expression. The self-expression of God is in the endless variedness of creation; and our attitude towards the infinite Being must also in its expression have a variedness of individuality, ceaseless and unending.”

Religion is a living challenge to the highest in human beings to face the stormy problems of life. True, there are countless problems. But there is also an Omnipotent Power. Strangely enough, this power utilises the problems as true instruments for the future blessing of humanity.

Religion expands. It expands our feelings. Religion lives. It lives in the inmost recesses of our heart. Religion conquers. It conquers in our self-giving.

The divine aim of religion is to release the pent-up reservoir of human energy. Life itself is religion — intimate, continuous and fulfilling. Let us live openly and freely. Let us have that religion which includes all human beings who have ever lived on earth, those who are now on the world stage and those who shall dwell here during untold ages to come. Ours is the religion, that will perfect the order of the world. Ours is the religion that will ply between the shores of Eternity and Infinity.

- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul

Our peace is within…

No price is too great to pay for inner peace. Peace is the harmonious control of life. It is vibrant with life-energy. It is a power that easily transcends all our worldly knowledge. Yet it is not separate from our earthly existence. If we open the right avenues within, this peace can be felt here and now.

Peace is eternal. It is never too late to have peace. Time is always ripe for that. We can make our life truly fruitful if we are not cut off from our Source, which is the Peace of Eternity. The greatest misfortune that can come to a human being is to lose his inner peace. No outer force can rob him of it. It is his own thoughts, his own actions, that rob him of it.

Our greatest protection lies not in our material achievements and resources. All the treasure of the world is emptiness to our divine soul. Our greatest protection lies in our soul’s communion with the all-nourishing and all-fulfilling Peace. Our soul lives in Peace and lives for Peace. If we live a life of peace, we are ever enriched and never impoverished. Unhorizoned is our inner peace; like the boundless sky, it encompasses all.

Long have we struggled, much have we suffered, far have we travelled. But the face of peace is still hidden from us. We can discover it if ever the train of our desires loses itself in the Will of the Lord Supreme.

Peace is life. Peace is Bliss eternal. Worries — mental, vital and physical — do exist. But it is up to us whether to accept them or reject them. To be sure, they are not inevitable facts of life. Since our Almighty Father is All-Peace, our common heritage is Peace. It is a Himalayan blunder to widen the broad way of future repentance by misusing and neglecting the golden opportunities that are presented to us. We must resolve here and now, amidst all our daily activities, to throw ourselves, heart and soul, into the Sea of Peace. He is mistaken who thinks that peace will, on its own, enter into him near the end of his life’s journey. To hope to achieve peace without spirituality or meditation is to expect water in the desert.

For peace of mind, prayer is essential. To pray to God for peace with full concentration and singleness of devotion even for five minutes is more important than to spend long hours in carefree and easy-going meditation. Now, how to pray? With tears in our hearts. Where to pray? In a lonely place. When to pray? The moment our inner being wants us to pray. Why to pray? This is the question of questions. We have to pray if we want our aspirations to be fulfilled by God. What can we expect from God beyond this? We can expect Him to make us understand everything: everything in nothing and nothing in everything, the Full in the Void and the Void in the Full.

We must always discriminate. We have to feel that the outer world which attracts our attention is ephemeral. To have something everlasting, to attain to a rocklike foundation in life, we have to turn toward God. There is no alternative. And there is no better moment to take that turn than when we feel most helpless. To feel oneself helpless is good. Better to cultivate the spirit of self-surrender.Best to be the conscious instrument of God.

Everything depends on the mind, consciously or unconsciously, including the search for peace. The function of the mind is to remove the cloud of doubt. The function of purity in the mind is to destroy the teeming clouds of worldliness and the ties of ignorance. If there is no purity of the mind, there can be no sustained success in the spiritual life.

We own peace only after we have totally stopped finding fault with others. We have to feel the whole world as our very own. When we observe others’ mistakes, we enter into their imperfections. This does not help us in the least. Strangely enough, the deeper we plunge, the clearer it becomes to us that the imperfections of others are our own imperfections, but in different bodies and minds. Whereas if we think of God, His Compassion and His Divinity enlarge our inner vision of Truth. We must come in the fulness of our spiritual realisation to accept humanity as one family.

We must not allow our past to torment and destroy the peace of our heart. Our present good and divine actions can easily counteract our bad and undivine actions of the past. If sin has the power to make us weep, meditation has undoubtedly the power to give us joy, to endow us with the divine Wisdom.

Our peace is within, and this peace is the basis of our life. So from today let us resolve to fill our minds and hearts with the tears of devotion, the foundation of peace. If our foundation is solid, then no matter how high we raise the superstructure, danger can never threaten us. For peace is below, peace is above, peace is within, peace is without.

- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life

Great Secret of Heart – Part 2

Quote

The teacher tells that inside the heart is all the mystery of things. Every object of one’s desire is inside one’s heart. It is not outside. Whatever one longs for is contained within oneself. This heart that the Upanishad is speaking of does not get old when the body gets old. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. It is the eternal abode of the eternal objective of eternal aspiration. The objects of one’s desire or aspiration are contained here and they shall be available for experience, the moment they are invoked in the proper manner. This little thing that we call the heart is nothing that is mortal or physical. It is the Atman (Soul or Self). What we call the Atman is the same as what we refer to here as the heart. It is free from every kind of affliction or sorrow or limitation. It is unaging, for it has no age. It is the timeless Being and, therefore, it has no destruction. It sees no death. It sees no sorrow. It is self-existent by its own pristine magnificence. It has no hunger and It has no thirst. It asks for nothing, for It is self-sufficient in Its own Self. Whatever It wills is capable of being materialised at one stroke. This is the will that is pure in character, uncontaminated by any kind of falsehood which is of the nature of externality. The nearer we go to this ‘heart’, the more is the strength of our will and the more is our capacity to manifest it and materialise it in our practical life.

The sanctuary

The more the limited will of the individual human being is drawn out from this centre of the heart, the more does it get diluted by contamination with the evil of externality. The more it gets contaminated by association with the externals, the more is the impossibility of achieving success in this world, and the greater is the difficulty of contacting the objects of one’s desires. But the more we go deeper and inward into our own Self, the greater is strength of our will and the greater the possibility of achieving success in obtaining anything that we want. This is the meaning of satyakama, satya samkalpa. When our consciousness, will and thought-functions are rooted in Truth, they should materialise themselves at once in the forms they are expected.

The case of such persons whose will is not so rooted in truth is like the case of those who are subject to domination by other rulers. They are like subjects in this world who are ruled by kings and administrative chiefs. The subjects are completely under the control of the chiefs or rulers, because the country or kingdom belongs to them. Whatever people wish to have, they have to obtain from these rulers, not otherwise. This means that the sustenance of these people who are subject to domination by others is dependent on factors external to themselves. The actions such people perform in this world for the purpose of living a happy life are conditioned by the existence of external factors. They are not unconditioned. Therefore, there is a limit for the achievements of these people. Whenever a need is felt for being subjected to others’ rule, the actions one performs naturally will be subjected to the conditions laid down by those external rulers. So, they are not really independent. Their will also cannot exceed the limit of the ordinances of these rulers. This is the case with every person in this world in every respect. This analogy given here is only to explain the predicament of people in general. The rulers or the administrators or the chiefs mentioned here are factors other than one’s own Self. They may be natural forces, or they may be gods in the heavens, or they may be any blessed thing in the whole creation compelling you to act according to a particular law or rule. This fate befalls one on account of one’s will and action being restricted by the operation of laws which are outside.

This sort of action brings about a reaction. And this we call the law of karma which is binding in its nature, causing reincarnation and the resultant suffering. All this is due to the impact of laws operating outside oneself and compelling one to obey their dictates. So, the more is one’s dependence on external factors, the greater is the nemesis of action. And the greater the independence one has, the less is this nemesis or reaction produced by actions. Hence, every action performed by every individual is capable of producing only transient results. Our actions in this world cannot give us immortal happiness. We cannot have absolute freedom by anything that we perform in this world, because this world is conditioned and it works on conditioned laws. It conditions the individual who is a content of itself, causing everything to be limited from inside as well as from outside. It is something like the freedom that we give to cows or cattle in general when we tether them to a peg by a rope. They have some freedom but it is limited to the extent of the length of the rope. Likewise, there seems to be some kind of freedom, given to us on account of the adjustment that we perform between ourselves and the external atmosphere. But to that extent of the adjustment alone are we free. Beyond that we are not. Thus, we are introduced to the fact of the limitation of human nature in those who are divested of this knowledge of the Atman and who consider themselves merely biological units and not spiritual centres.

We cannot have freedom absolute, because of the absence of the knowledge of the Atman. The real nature of oneself is the nature of one’s own Atman. The point made out here is that if we cannot understand our own Self, how can we understand anybody else? We have not known the Reality that is inside us. Then how can we know what is really outside in the world? Those people who are ignorant enough not to know even their own internal nature go to worlds which produce limited results, and they have absolutely no freedom. Just as we have no freedom in this world, because there is a ruling law operating external to us, so is the case with people who go to the other worlds. There, too, they have no freedom. If some law operates here, in this world, some other law operates in the other worlds also. Just as we are subjected to rules here, we will be subjected to rules in the other worlds also. Everywhere we will be subjects and not kings or masters. Merely because we have a little bit of freedom to enjoy the objects of senses, it does not mean that we are completely free. It is like the freedom of cattle to eat grass and chew cud. It is not real freedom. This is the fate of those who do not know the truth. The reason is simple. They cannot exercise their will to the furthermost limit on account of these limitations.

But the blessedness of people who know what this Atman is, is grand indeed. Those who depart from this world having realised what the Atman is, their jurisdiction is infinite. They are not limited by laws outside. They are themselves lawmakers. Their will is the universal law. There is a unity between their will and the law that works outside. In the case of ordinary individuals, the difficulty arises on account of the conflict between external law and internal law. Why are we limited in this world? Because our will does not coincide with the will of the universe. We have got a way of thinking which is not necessarily in consonance with the law of the whole universe. The will of the individual is not the will of the Creator. That is the reason why there is bondage. But the more one goes into the depths of one’s Being, the more does one approximate the identity of one’s self with the law that is operating outside. The question of outside and inside will not appear when there is harmony of the two. We talk of inside and outside as long as we think independently through a physical body, as long as we are individual subjects thinking of external objects. But when we are knowers of the Atman, as the Upanishad puts it, we also know what the Ultimate Reality is. Then the law of the outside world becomes the law of the inside world. The law of the Atman is the law of the universe. Therefore, there is absolute freedom for those who are knowers of this great secret. Whatever they will, it expresses itself in experience at once. There is no gap of time between the manifestation of their will and its materialisation. It is not that they think something today and it materialises tomorrow. It instantaneously manifests itself. This is the case of the blessed souls who have known the Atman.

- The Chhandogya Upanishad by Swami Krishnananda