The world is a fable to the contemplative.
As St. Thomas Aquinas has said: “The life of action should be something added to the life of prayer, not something taken away from it.” The pragmatic contention that the end of thought is action is not a spiritual axiom. Rama Tirtha in his last days came to the conclusion that ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God’ was the wisest saying. Vivekananda has vulgarized Vedanta and repudiated the great mystic tradition. Yoga is the negation of self-will and not the pampering of it. Worldly good, worldly success is not the result of man’s doing, but of the Higher Powers.
A Yogi’s field of action is prayer, meditation, holy study, holy converse and the silent blessing of all. A great Jesuit mystic, Father Lallement, says: “When we undertake any action, we must model ourselves on God Himself, Who creates and sustains the world, without in any way modifying His essential Existence. To do this, we must learn to practise formal contemplation and a constant awareness of God’s presence … So far as beginners are concerned, even good works may distract the soul from God.”
Action undertaken by men full of egoism and self-will, bereft of spiritual insight, seldom does much good. Do not rush headlong into good works without acquiring the inner vision of the Lord or you will acquire nothing worthwhile – “little more than nothing,” says St. John of the Cross. “Hell is paved with good intentions.”
It is easier for individuals and small groups to be moral or rational in their behaviour than for large groups. We must, with great patience and yogic efforts, cultivate by the exercise of our imagination reasoned and impersonal benevolence. See the same Vishnu in all by the power of your imagination and behave accordingly. This is the best way of doing good to others.
A theocentric life, based on compassion and devotion, is a means of greater good than a life of busy benevolence or organized charity.
To influence a few lives and influence them thoroughly in Yoga, you must take them into your impersonal and yet deeply personal love with the object of bringing them to your Guru Bhagavan. This is, I assure you, real good. It is best for you and for the world at large to be one-pointedly centred in Shri Dada, giving up all desires of power over others. Thus you become the salt of a world governed by economic and political institutions which are based on power and secrecy and consequently doomed to decay, war, revolution, plague and so on.
Men are either theocentric, power-centric or pleasure-centric. Wisdom leads to God within, the Light of Lights, and expresses itself in SHANTI. Ask yourself what you want to be? So be it.
Age, disease, ingratitude and incertitude you cannot avoid under any circumstances, you can however rob them of their sting, nay, even make them stepping-stones to sainthood through the Yogic life.
A Yogic life acts as a purifying and curative element in society. In ‘As you like It’ the conversion of the Duke into a benevolent man through the influence of a Yogi when he was contemplating the downfall of his brother in the forest of Arden conveys a great spiritual Truth. Know well that there is no man without what the Mahayana calls ‘Buddha-Chit’, that is, a potentiality for Knowledge and Union with God. Arouse it in others by your one-pointed devotion to Shri Dada. Root out the soul-killing cancer of ‘doing good’ by remembering ‘the more of the creature, the less of God’; it is a true saying.
When you are suffused with sattva, you can use rajas as an instrument; otherwise it will enslave you and ruin you spiritually. Power, reputation and a following are potent temptations. Your first and most important duty in life is worship of God as your Atman for His sake and His sake only.