In the biological kingdom man alone is a consciously creative being. He makes plans and executes them. As soon as a child is able to look for itself at the things of the world and has developed a sense of harmony and order, he starts creating things, first for his own pleasure, then to amuse those who love him, like his parents or associates. If he has opportunities and makes use of them, he learns to create, mainly to amuse himself and secondarily to have the approbation of those who appreciate his creations. This is the foundation of art.
The value of a human being is to be judged by what he creates. The wife of Talleyrand enjoyed, though only for some time, the great friendship of the Bishop and the Prince, but as she was not rightly creative, she could not hold the interest of the genius and had to live in a state of vegetation. When Talleyrand visited Madame Dubarry when she lived in retirement, he was not particularly impressed or interested in her. The reason was that she had ceased to be creative.
Man creates not only on the physical and tangible plane but also on the higher plane of thought and imagination. Creations on these planes are more real, more vital and more useful than those on the other planes. Schweitzer was trying to create health, harmony and happiness for the people of Lambarene but it is an error to think that this is the only plane of creation. Shakespeare’s creations are purely on the plane of imagination. They have given not only high subjective amusement to his students but have also uplifted the mind of those who have been able to appreciate them. Shri Dada used to say that the least important creation is the creation of a nationalist or of a narrow politician because its utility is limited to a very narrow range.
We should also try to create, first by devoting our energy to the creation of peace and order in our own being and by trying to establish harmony in our reason and instincts, in our intellects and our passions. In this way we are able to use our mental faculties for a higher purpose.
Some men do not know that they are creating all the time. If you are thinking in terms of narrowness, you are creating pollution in the mental atmosphere. If you hate anybody or any country, or if you make plans to wage war on an inoffensive neighbour to satisfy your power instinct, you are no less a criminal than one of Hitler’s lieutenants.
The creations which are made in the subtle atmosphere of the mind, like the creations in the three-dimensional world, affect countless people, though the creator may not be conscious of it. When Shakespeare created the thought ‘Sweet are the uses of adversity ’ or the seven stages of the life of man, he did not create anything in the tangible region, yet he made additions to the range of imagination which vibrate as peace and upliftment in the hearts of countless readers.
The poet and the artist create their forms first in the realm of imagination and then some of them are translated into the realm of action, and if they are uplifting and useful, they are adopted in many quarters, and they continue to shed peace and harmony for centuries and centuries after their creation.
When we practise the holy Yoga, we learn how to create peace and order within and how to create forms of truth in the atmosphere of our mind which affect our own good as well as the good of countless others.
The repetition of the holy Mantram has the same meaning and significance. In our study we are taught how to create forms of inner beauty, and as we dwell on them with sustained interest we make them potent enough to influence countless men and women from the high atmosphere which is above the three-dimensional world.
Some of us say “ I have an inspiration ”. Shelley often broke off his conversation with his friends, retired into solitude with paper and pencil and jotted down the ideas which came to him. This is said to be the inspiration of a poet.
Inspiration has many secrets, but one of them is that when our own individual mind is attuned to a certain form of truth and is above the thoughts and considerations of our own personality, we attract from the mental sphere into the region of our mind innumerable thoughts which are the creations of sages and savants, Rishis and Mahatmas. Then there is a struggle on the part of these thoughts to express themselves, and it is this struggle which is known as inspiration.
According to the holy sage Patanjali every man is a genius in embryo. It is quite useless for any person to think that he is useless or dull or uncreative.
It is a great sin to attribute such thoughts to one’s own mind and ego.
We know the words of the Lord in the Gita : “I abide in the inner being of all. From Me proceeds the mental creation.”
Are we conscious of the presence of the Lord in us ?
If we are not, then vain is our power, and though the world may call us great, we are smaller than ants or the buzzing mosquitoes in a summer night.
To be conscious of the presence of the Lord, we have to acquire the power of concentration. Some use His holy name ; some use the form of Jesus, Ram, Krishna or Dada. Some use the abstract philosophy of Shri Vidyaranya.
This state presupposes a strong will on our part to expand our consciousness almost into infinity.
Why is man never satisfied with material objects or with his power and fame ?
Some of the so-called great men have been found to be exceedingly vain.
Why do we suffer the blows of despair and disappointment ? Confucius, Mencius, Simon Bolivar, Shivaji and others in the latter part of their lives lived in great despair and disappointment. The reason is that nature gives them a chance to test their power of patience and endurance, the power to convert adversity into inner peace and the power to sustain their traits of holiness, high thinking and universal benevolence even in seeming adversity.
The highest form of creation is in the subtle region of the mind. The Rishis who have created the Mantras, that is the texts for higher meditation, are called seers of truth. It is not by the exercise of their intellect that they come into contact with the higher, life-giving, courage-inspiring and illuminating thoughts, but it is the inner calmness, the spirit of love of Guru and Govind and more than anything else the spirit of renunciation of the local and limited in favour of the infinite and the universal, which makes them targets of the high thoughts of Ishvara, generated at the beginning of each creation by His power of sankalpa. The
Veda is called eternal, though the world is not eternal, because those great spiritual thoughts which can revolutionise the mind of man and make even an intellectual dullard think like a Shankara or a Plato, are generated by the mind of Hiranyagarbha and are left in the universe, vitalised by His power of sankalpa, to be utilised by those who merge their mind, purified and restful, in the contemplation of Brahman, the cause of the universe.
Much of the thought of Aristotle has been superseded by the discoveries of modern science, but his ideal of contemplation of the highest in solitude is as good as it was at that time. It is this which he mainly learned from his Guru Socrates who was a contemplative of such a high order that sometimes he was found under a tree day and night merged in his thoughts.
A true Adhyatma Yogi believes in the infinitude of the capacity of his individual mind. It is true that all cannot have the brilliance of Plato or Kant, but then this brilliance is only a mode of expression and not the real thing. The real thing is inspiration, that is the ability to contact the spiritual, elevating thoughts of Hiranyagarbha and to express them in a certain tangible form.
If you consider the case of the great discoveries and inventions in the realms of mechanics, physics, biology and other sciences, you will know that they were not the result of the conscious pursuit of their founders or discoverers ; to speak vulgarly, the latter stumbled on them. The meaning is that when your mind touches the fringe of infinity by rising above your own egoity, you come into contact with the realm of inspiration.
A study of the life of Madame Curie, Charles Darwin or Richard Wallace or any other great benefactor of humanity will prove this point. Not all of us want to be great scientists, but we can all be benefactors of mankind and can help our fellowmen in some realm or other.
The requisites are forgetfulness of the ego, transcendence of our little power of thinking and feeling and a plunge into the ocean of the spiritual light “ Verily all is Brahman ”, by applying consciously the yogic methods.
What is the meaning of taking refuge in the Lord ? In the great literature of mysticism this method is admired and advocated with greater intensity than any other method.
The Gita ends up on the note of : “ Take refuge in Me ”.
As long as you think, “ I will do this, I will do that ” you are like a man who is carrying bits of garlic while walking in a rose garden.
If Homer can describe so beautifully the grief of Hector’s father, who cannot acquire the same poetic heights, if he knows how to take refuge in the Lord ?
The secret of the science of success in the spiritual region is to obliterate the sense of I-ness “ I am doing and I will do.”
There are many hints of this in Newton’s Principia.
In yogic terms this attitude is called “ taking refuge in the Lord.” Why is love uncritically declared to be good ?
Because a man who loves and really loves another person, whether a young lady or a respected sage, jumps out of the thorny fenced-in compound of his self-interest and is on the way to infinity.
Such a man must take a plunge into the ocean of divine love which is open to each and everyone : not much preparation is required except a deep desire to rub oneself out under the stones of renunciation and impersonality.
If a disciple said to Shri Dada : “ Dadaji, I am just a beginner. Your other disciples are so good in philosophy ”,
the holy Saint Universal used to reply : “ My child, such thoughts are quite useless. Anybody can go out into the sun and enjoy the light and fresh air any time. You cannot say when you are staying in the sun : ‘ Oh dear, I am just a beginner, Dadaji ’.”
This is the resume of the message of the Saint Shri Dada which he had learnt from his own Guru, Swami Krishnananda (an incarnation of Shri Shankaracharya), and a corroboration of which is found in the Bhagavad Gita.