There are two worlds, the external world extended and divided by time and space, and the inner world, the world of thoughts, emotions, ideals, volition, imagination; and there is yet a third world, the world of pure light and pure peace. The third world is a world of the spirit, and the other two worlds are shadows of that world.
The individual soul has entered into the material world in order to make use of it to acquire mental tranquillity and practice of great virtue and devotion to God. In the philosophy of Shri Shankara the difference between the waking consciousness and the dreaming consciousness is this: that the waking consciousness has a pragmatic value, whereas the dreams have no pragmatic value at all.
You can convert the energy in the waking consciousness into peace, into light, into final illumination, and if we live that kind of life we live successfully, and so we make an exit from this life, having learned the supreme lesson: verily—God is all. This is the aim and object of our life.
The sense-life is not useless, but let us make the right use of it. We have to eat, we have to sleep, we have to take reasonable care of our security, but this is not for its own purpose.
The purpose of sense gratification is to create tranquillity in the mind, to light the candle of devotion to God and universal compassion, and when it is lit, then to assert the spirit, which is “I am, I am, I am,” into simply “I, I, I.” Negation of the “am” from “I am” is the way to the supreme realisation of the nature of “I”, and then that “I” disappears also.
When this “I” disappears, then follows a state which is subject-objectless consciousness. A consciousness in which there is no object and in which there is no subject, like the blue sky in autumn in Japan, when no clouds mar the serenity of it; the mind then is absorbed in consciousness.
The mind loses its mindhood, the “I” loses its “I-ness”, and what remains is beyond mind, beyond speech, beyond the thought, beyond all description. It is called by only one word and that word also is not absolute: shanti, shanti, shanti (peace, peace, peace).
This is the yogic programme. It embraces all shades of life, but the summum bonum is to realise infinity within the finite, to dispel the darkness of subjectivity and objectivity, and to kindle the light of pure consciousness, which cannot be denoted by any word.
What happens to the world in that case? Does the world disappear ? This is a very difficult subject to deal with, whether the world disappears, but the real meaning is this: that these worlds, these worldly ambitions, lose their objective validity, and they appear merely as reflections of the great Spirit, and the reflections when refracted appear as the world of duality which carries with it the clouds of thunder, of lightning, of tempest and of rain, and all the three kinds of suffering to which the individual soul is subject.
The real service, love and struggle is to know the Self. The highest activity of man is intellectual activity, because the intellectual activity, lived on the highest plane, leads to spiritual knowledge, and therefore buddhi yoga.
In the Gita at least seven times the Lord says; “O, Arjuna, I give thee the buddhi yoga, the yoga of the intellect”, that is, the union of the intellect in its tranquillised form through meditation and service with the Lord abiding within you. It is Truth, it is awareness, it is Bliss. Knowledge is the end of life.
Some people think, do good, and do good and do good. You do only half good unless you kindle the light of real wisdom in the hearts of the other people also. Therefore Jnana, knowledge, is the highest pursuit of the soul.
Goodness acquires its consummation in knowledge, and knowledge is infinite, and that infinite knowledge is illumination of the little soul into the conflagration of “I am all, I am all, I am all.”
“O, Arjuna, every being in this world is strung on Me, the main thread, like beads on a thread.”
When each and every bead realises his identity with the thread and knows that the real support is the thread and that without the thread it has no meaning and no wisdom, then the bead is wise, and therefore the Lord says in the Gita:
“O, Arjuna, I abide in the heart of each and every being, as Reality.”
Mind is not real, intellect is not real, ambitions are not real, these are tiny wavelets on the surface of the mighty consciousness which is the ocean, and that consciousness is light, and that light is available through knowledge. To disseminate knowledge is real love of mankind and is real service of mankind.
If you only give knowledge, that is to say, scientific knowledge, and not the spiritual love, not the moral values of life, what will be the result?
Dissolution, destruction, and difficulties of appalling magnitude.
Let us conquer darkness, let us conquer darkness, any limitation is a darkness. A limitation cannot be conquered by a limitation. Let us not deceive ourselves and think that by multiplying limitations we can create light. No! Ignorance is to be conquered by knowledge, and darkness is to be conquered by knowledge, death by knowledge of immortality, ignorance or duality by the non-duality of Yoga.
Death can be conquered. Death cannot be conquered in the sense that you will be able to live twenty million years. We live in wisdom, not in years. The real immortality is the consciousness of your pure “I”; “I am Brahman, I am all, I am all.”
By study of Vedanta and by reflection reduce the lower desires as much as you possibly can, reduce the lower desires. It is much better to have plain living and high thinking than to have abundance of living with no high thinking whatsoever.
Always ask, who am I? What is this world? Whence have I come? That is real knowledge. Enrich the mind in virtue, and in devotion and in peace. The mind is not enriched by physical experience of beauty and joy. Enrich the mind in virtue, enrich the mind in devotion.
Then uplift the mind by meditation.
The first thing is, the mind is to be lightened. Lightened means not to be bothered with cares and worries of this and that of the world. Then it is to be enriched by virtue, patience, compassion, solitude, cheerfulness, love of God; and then afterwards, the mind, when in this condition, is to be uplifted, is to be uplifted, just as the muddy water in a pool in summer evaporates and joins the pure atmosphere in the form of vapour.
The same water, which was muddy, laden with thousands of kinds of mortal germs, under the rays of the sun is extracted, it rises up, and joins the pure sphere and then falls as rain to benefit humanity in myriads of ways.
So let the mind, thus enriched, be evaporated by silent meditation on God.
If you find it difficult, meditate on the life of Jesus of Nazareth; meditate on His compassion, meditate on His love of God, meditate on His forgiveness, and then your mind will evaporate into the light of jnanam or spiritual wisdom, and you will be happy forever.
Uplift the mind by meditation. Transform the mind into spiritual contemplation, and life of renunciation and devotion into Godhead. There is no difference between coal and a diamond from the chemical point of view; both are pure carbon. There is no difference between mind and God. Mind can be transformed into God. Mind can be transformed into Godhead if you live the right life, the life of Yoga, and if you surrender your mind, if you are a Christian, to Jesus of Nazareth, and to all the great saints and prophets of God.
This life is called the life of Jivanmukti, liberation while yet alive. Life of agitation, pain and disappointment, it is like the ocean, the surface of which is ever restless, but the bottom is ever peaceful. Dive deep into life, dive deep, from the world of the senses into the world of reflection.
Withdraw the mind from the world of the senses into the world of reflection, and the world of reflection withdraw by meditation, by devotion, by renunciation, into spirit, and when the mind is united with the spirit, the mind becomes God. There is no difference. Our present mind is God in making. If you consummate it, then this is shanti (peace). If you take refuge in God, if you love Him with all your heart, and all your might and all the energy that you have, your mind will be turned into God.