A law governing life is unfoldment. What is called evolution really is a process of unfoldment. The divine spirit is hidden within every being, every atom, and under the care of the grace of the Lord it is unfolding itself slowly but surely. What Darwin has called the transformation of the species is nothing but this law of unfoldment. The meaning of experience in the philosophical sense is the unfolding of the outer wrappings so that the spirit within may find expression. There is matter— matter tamasic, matter rajasic, matter sattvic; there is refined matter in gaseous forms or in other forms, say in mental form, in intellectual form.
These are all wrappings; but those who have the ability to probe deeper and deeper into matter, they will find the jewel of the divine spirit. When the scientist is able to uncover matter entirely, verily he will be struck with the grandeur of the Lord in the atom. Each and every study of stars, stones etc., is based on the process that we go on uncovering sheath after sheath. When the scientist has uncovered all the layers of matter from the atom, he will come to the rock-bottom reality, which will say to him TAT TWAM ASI (That Thou Art). The geologist uncovering the strata of the earth will come to the changeless and eternal reality, which will also cry to him: “I am what thou art”. Science gradually is coming to this point. It is said in the Upanishads:
“He who is shining in the stars and in the moon, He who enters the womb as a foetus and comes out as a full-bom babe, He is the essence, He is the Self (Atman) of man”.
Scientists are working with material instruments: religionists and mystics work with mental instruments. Their quest is psychological, their journey is subjective. By applying the subjective methods, the quest becomes deeper and deeper. Our body is a three-dimensional object and it functions in the realm of time and space. But within the body is the mind, and it has no dimension; it does not work in time and space.
When Shakespeare said: “There are sermons in stones and books in running brooks”, his meaning was that by the process of probing —not analysis—which the Yogis do, you will discover that in the atom, the stone and the brook is the same truth, the same sermon which Christ preached on the Mount of Olives. Christianity is written on the leaves of the trees, it is proclaimed by the thunder in the sky, the laughter of children proclaims the Gospel of Christianity, the Gita and the Koran. I want in my humble way to impress this truth upon you—go on unfolding. When you have freed your mind from all outer allegiances to creeds and dogmas—to forms—then you will be able to probe deeper and deeper and to unfold more and more till you come to the infinite beauty in you—AHAM BRAHMAN ASMI (I am Brahman).
If you want to join a society, ask them: “What is the end that you teach ?” Good of the world ? Service of humanity ? Another hallucination! A little consideration will show you that all the laws of the world which have done any good to the people have been discovered accidentally. Accidental discovery is the law of the universe. Take the law of evolution—whether Darwin, Wallace or others discovered it, who knows ?
The ignorant who want to do good to humanity are the greatest disturbers of society. Let each individual probe deeper and deeper into his heart, and go further than the heart, go to the intellect, and from there until you come to a principle which is eternal, immutable, infinite. We come to this conclusion, that the law of life is unfoldment. It is taking place in man, in the seed, in the solar system. How shall we know that we have come to the rock-bottom truth? When you have full and infinite satisfaction of the heart, a feeling of great love towards all that lives—then you can know that you have come to the rock-bottom truth.
The first thing we should look for in a man is, can he switch off his mind; or is he a slave to his passions, is he in the clutches of habits which he cannot leave? If he is, then let alone such a person. How can we effect the unfoldment in our daily life ? The unfoldment takes place by means of our thought, word and action. There are two ways of living. One is by response to outer stimuli—this is unnatural and unyogic.
Let your thoughts issue from dharma or duty, and not from any outer stimuli. Pleasure and pain are our teachers; if pleasure is passing and momentary, beware! such pleasure will leave you weak. Yogic action is that which is dictated by duty and duty alone. What duty? The supreme duty that a man has is to his Maker. Unless he does his duty to his Maker, he is false to country, family, and Teacher. The first duty that a man owes is to his own Self, the universal Self, God, or the ultimate Reality.
When we look at a tree, how wonderful it is! The visible growth of a tree is known to everybody, but who knows its invisible growth, how wide its roots are spread, and so forth? Does anybody see it? On what does the life of the tree depend? It depends on those invisible roots and rootlets which we do not see. Similarly, every man is like a tree. The top of his head is the root of the tree of man. How will prosperity of this tree come? The life of a man does not depend on his actions, does not depend on the conquest of the outer world that he makes. The life of a man depends on “here” (top of the head), and from “here” issue forth great rays, and through these rays you have to encompass the whole universe. There is a thousand-petalled lotus there. When you respond with your mind, heart, intellect and whole soul to His influence, this lotus opens, and you get enrichment from Him.
In order to receive his life forces from “here”, man has to purify his emotions, intellect and soul. When they are purified, he will embrace larger and larger areas of the divine essence, and then will flow through him peace, wisdom and love. When this happens, man will become a saint of God. Proclaim this to the world. Society exists to create saints of God, and that society which creates holy saints of God is blessed and prosperous and will live for ever. Even a thousand years hence, the name of Francis of Assisi will be remembered with greater and greater respect.
Mould your life on the line that you may become a saint of God. Do not be deceived by the slogans of the people. Strike the roots of your mind in devotion, in the study of the holy philosophy. Strike the roots of your emotions in
“He who sustains the universe, He who played the flute in the woods of Brindavan, He the Bearer of the Cross”.
Give your mind to any one or all of them. Your higher intellect, of which the psychologists of the West know nothing, reveals itself in samadhi. Strike your roots in samadhi. When you cover more and more of the God area, your compassion and love will become pure, your heart will become pure.
The divine essence will reflect in you, and you will become a holy Saint of God. Devote all your thoughts towards Self-knowledge.
Try to practise asceticism, love and devotion to God, charity, benevolence; and offer all to God.
If you can enchain the heart of one man by real spiritual kindness, you are greater than if you set free a thousand slaves.
The goal of life is jivanmukti—realisation of God while yet alive.