by C. Jinarajadasa (Published in 1930)
WHEN the doctrine of Evolution received an impetus with the work of Darwin, two great deductions were made which affected profoundly our conception of man. The first was the doctrine of the survival of the fittest. This presumed a struggle for existence in nature, and since that struggle is obvious to all, the doctrine of survival was easily accepted. The law of competition seemed absolute everywhere in nature; in plant and in animal, it is that individual who adapts himself best to his environment who survives. It appeared therefore logical that only the individual who struggles every moment of time to adapt himself to his environment survives, and so proves himself to be the fittest.
But the idea that the individual must spend all his energies in a perpetual watchfulness to crush his competitors was modified by a second deduction from the same facts regarding evolution. It was pointed out by Herbert Spencer that Nature does not spend all her energies only on a fierce competition to survive; she spends some of her energies in modes which appear to have no relation to survival. The two instincts to find food and to satisfy sexual cravings are very prominent in all animals, and certainly they are primary activities in the struggle for existence. But no less prominent is a third instinct, which is for play. When the appetites for food and for sex are satisfied, Nature still has a residuum of energy, and this she expresses in play.
There are then three instincts - for food, for sex, and for play - which characterise animals. They characterise men also, though their manifestations undergo subtle transformations. As human societies organise themselves for communal life, the brutalities of the perpetual struggle for existence become softened bit by bit; not all the hours of the day are necessary to find food, because, by a pooling of labour, energy is saved, and so there is time free for other purposes. Similarly, the violent forms of the sex instinct are curbed in civilisation, and a sense for propriety modifies the natural instincts of the brute.
It is when communities are highly organised, that is, when they use less and less energy to find food, and when they steadily refine the expressions of the sex instinct, that an increasing amount of their energy is devoted to play.
This play too undergoes transformation. Two children playing are not different from two puppies playing; the same energy of Nature manifests through them. But this energy has undergone a transformation when a spectator looks at a play. A play of his mind replaces the play of muscle and limb; but fundamentally it is the same instinct in Nature to play. So everything which is creative in civilisation, like poetry, music, sculpture, the dance, are but sublimations of the primordial instinct for play.
Sometimes this instinct for play undergoes a degeneration, as in gambling, whether with cards or dice, or with stocks and shares; it is also the play instinct which manifests in such degenerate forms as society chatter and spiteful gossip. Perhaps it is more true that it is not the play instinct which manifests as criticism or gossip, but rather the instinct to kill a rival; as Kipling remarks, there is little difference between the men of the Neolithic age and men of to-day ; they killed with the spear, we try to stab with the tongue or the pen.
I have taken you into the field of Biology in order to draw attention to three fundamental modes of the natural energies which operate in man?to satisfy the craving for food, the craving for sex expression and the craving for play. But there is a fourth mode of expression of which evolutionary science has so far taken no account, though that mode is basic in the understanding of man both in Hinduism and Buddhism. This is the craving in man to understand. It is that fundamental instinct in men, to understand what they are and what is their environment, which is implied in the term Moksha. You are well aware that Moksha is the third in the triplicity of Artha, Râga, and Moksha. Artha is the desire for possessions, and he who possesses wealth need never starve; Râga is desire in every form, from that fiercely sexual to that of mere personal vanity. Moksha means Liberation, and an innate desire in man for Liberation is postulated both in Hinduism and Buddhism, as residing at the root of human nature.
Such a conception, that man is not merely the brute, whose savageries are slowly being refined by social organisation, but also the angel, a Divine Spark, imbedded and imprisoned in matter, but ever seeking his release, is utterly foreign to the Darwinian theories of evolution. Nevertheless, that conception is absolutely necessary, as I hope to show, if we are to profess a theory of life which is not only in accord with Nature's facts, but is also full of inspiration for our daily lives.
It is obvious that all men are not bothering their heads about understanding what life is; the vast majority take life as it comes, and it is only a small number who ask questions. Yet the fact that the desire to understand is deeply rooted in us all is evinced by the existence of religions. Even the savage has a religion. Today we can prove that his religion is based on an ignorance of Nature's facts and laws. But this does not annul the fact that the savage with his religion tries to understand, and therewith to state a solution. Certainly, when we look around us, the many do not feel that they are surrounded by puzzles and mysteries; the few of us here present today are indeed only a few. But why are we only a few ?
Perhaps the reason is that the vast majority of mankind are still being pushed hither and thither, as pawns in a game, by Nature's primary forces which underlie the instincts of survival and of play. It is only a few at a time who throw off the thralldom to these two instincts; then it is that the third instinct, that for Liberation, begins to affect them. Sometimes, a calamity of some kind is necessary to make us sensitive to the voice within which bids us enquire and understand; sometimes, our awareness begins only when old age begins, and the clamours of the body die down. Undoubtedly it is only the few who respond to the call, "Arise, awake, seek out the Great Ones, and get understanding";but those few are nevertheless as "the first fruits of them that slept". Some day, as evolution advances, the many too will arise and awake and get understanding, as the few do today.
When the man who desires to understand himself and his environment looks about him for explanations, he finds solutions offered to him in religion, philosophy and science. Those of religion are offered to him as revelations; they are authoritative, and each religion declares that its solution is the final. The philosophers too pronounce their solutions as final, though they do not invest them as do the religions with divine sanctions. Science offers her solutions too, but the critical scientist knows that every solution offered by science is only tentative. From among these contradictory solutions, the seeker has to find truth, and the problem is not an easy one.
Theosophy here enters on the scene to help the inquirer. There has always existed in the world, if not openly then in secret gatherings, a tradition as to truth. Distinct and apart from the orthodox revelation of religion, each religion has had, at some time or other, a secret tradition, which attempts to formulate other truths than those proclaimed to the masses. Theosophy is a compilation of these hidden truths, and the study of them gives to many a clearer understanding of life's problems, and therefore a more intimate realisation where the final solution is to be found.
When we analyse the various solutions offered, especially in religions, those solutions fall into two groups. One group asserts that the key to the whole problem is God. Man must discover the supreme fact that God exists, the Author of all things, and their final Abode. Exoteric Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Mohammedanism all proclaim the existence of a Creator; they assert that all human problems can be solved only with the recognition that man depends upon God. Until the soul discovers that he is dependent upon God, until he turns to his Maker in humility and adoration, not only can there be no peace, there is also no real understanding. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom" ,says Christianity, and in one form or another this same thought appears in all the theistic religions. In some, it is less the fear of the Lord and more the love of the Lord ; but all of them asseverate that no problem of man can be understood, unless man starts with the recognition that he is dependent upon a Godhead external to him, and whom he must worship and serve. " Seek the God without" is the message of those religions which teach the existence of a Creator.
But there is another group of solutions which equally offer to teach man the one true way to peace and understanding. These solutions are found in esoteric Hinduism, in Buddhism, and in Confucianism and Taoism. In the Upanishads, especially in the older ones, their principal doctrine of Atman proclaims the existence of God, but He is not a Personal God whose nature is in some manner different from that of man. The most vital of all truths in esoteric Hinduism is that God and man are one and not two. "THAT art thou, 0 Shvetaketu", is the ever insistent teaching of the Upanishads. It is only in the discovery of the God within that the way is found to solve all problems; this is the clear teaching of esoteric Hinduism.
When we approach Buddhism, it is once again the path to the God within which is its characteristic, though the Buddha never proclaimed the existence of God. Neither did He deny God's existence; for to the Buddhist, the problem whether God exists or not has no relation to the problem of man's suffering. The way within is the sole discovery, necessary to solve all problems, and so the Buddha's message to all men was, " Work out your salvation with diligence".
In a similar manner, Confucianism builds an ethical system which ignores God. It is only as a man strives to be perfect, to be the " superior man", by embodying in himself all that is best in the moral code of his ancestors, that man achieves his goal of perfect peace and freedom.
It is this same doctrine of the God within that we have once again proclaimed to-day by Krishnamurti. He never uses the word God, and the conception of a Personal God, an extra-cosmic God, a Deity who is in some manner different from man, is alien to his thought. He proclaims the existence of an absolute Perfection, but he terms this "the Beloved", and he ever insists that Liberation means to become one with "the Beloved". To "see the Goal", to be "one with Life", " to enter the Kingdom of Happiness" are phrases which ho uses to describe the summum bonum for all men ; and those familiar with the Upanishads realise that the ancient teaching of the Atman proclaimed of old by the Rishis to the few as a " Rahasya", as a "Secret", is now being proclaimed by Krishnamurti today to the whole world.
Are these two groups of solutions, one which proclaims the God without, and the other the God within, contradictory one of the other? It would certainly appear so. If in man, if in all men, the Perfect Godhead exists even now in His perfection, as the Upanishads teach, what has an evolutionary process of births and deaths to do with the souls liberation ? What is the use of the gathering of experience, the acquirement of virtues, the performing of duties and the aspiring after ideals, if the goal of them all, which is to become one with God, Is already accomplished ?
There is no use whatsoever in the world process, asserts boldly the Sankhya philosophy; and the same reply is given by the Advaita or Pure Vedanta. The wheel of births and deaths, the climbing from imperfection to perfection, all these are purely Maya, an illusion which envelops us. Let us but tear aside the stifling folds of the illusion which enwraps us, and we shall swiftly find ourselves once again as our true self, the Atman, the Godhead who never descended from his pure and perfect serenity and happiness into an imperfect evolutionary world. The only God who exists is in man himself, say the Upanishads ; and they go so far as to assert that the Divine Nature is all things, not merely in all things. God is not in the stone as a Divine Immanence, but is the stone itself - this is the esoteric teaching of Hinduism.
In the light of these teachings, which proclaim everything a Mâyâ, except the eternal and unchanging Spirit, there is no practical value to the soul in the process of evolution. Why the soul ever allows himself to be entangled in it is a mystery which is not explained ; what forces all souls to put on the mantle of matter is a problem to which no solution is offered in the Vedanta. It is quite clear, when one arrives at the logical conclusion from the premisses of esoteric Hinduism, that there is no such thing as evolution or progress, so far at least as the soul is concerned. The soul is always Atman, and needs only to step outside the illusion which hypnotises it to believe that it is not Atman at all. Ever the serene spirit, pure Sat, Chit and Ananda, it is the power of Mâyâ which deludes the soul to regard itself as an evolving soul who is struggling to pay his debts to Karma.
The insistence by Krishnamurti that Liberation or Perfection is possible, even now, to every individual, however ignorant or however primitive and simple-minded, almost leads one to imagine that he too, like the Upanishads and the Vedanta, ignores the bonds of helpfulness and compassion which in the minds of the humanitarian bind all men in a common destiny. In the doctrine of the pure Vedanta, man's sole duty is to himself ; he has but one work, which is to tear the veil of illusion. Such ideals as Brotherhood and Social Service are mere sentiment, compared to the supreme task before each soul of Liberation.
It is true that charity is enjoined on all, but such teachings are a compromise offered to our limited human nature. Men suffer - and so need charity - only because they insist on being bound on the wheel of birth and death; to shod tears over a soul who prefers to remain bound is sheer sentimentality. What he needs is not sympathy but to be led towards illumination so that he discovers that he is not bound.
Similarly in Buddhism, where the sole task is to escape from the "wheel", the doctrine of compassion seems illogical. It is Avidya or ignorance which drives a soul to drink deep at the well of sensation; and though intense compassion is inculcated as a virtue, no clue is given how compassion can help in the acquisition of wisdom. In the list of virtues, with which the Buddha is described in one of the most famous of Buddhist verses, compassion is not mentioned. He is called "that Blessed One, Exalted, Omniscient, Endowed with knowledge and virtue, Auspicious, Knower of worlds, a Guide incomparable for the training of individuals, Teacher of Gods and humans, Enlightened and Holy". But not a word about Him as full of pity for all mankind. Yet Buddhist tradition asserts that so great was His compassion even as long ago as in the dispensation of the Buddha Dipankara - the fourth in the list of twenty-eight Buddhas which closes with the Buddha Gautama - that He determined to tread the long and painful road to Buddhahood in order to lead men to Liberation. Buddhism however does insist that compassion is necessary, as in some way stilling the craving to live, which is at the root of misery. But both in the Vedanta and in Buddhism, the emphasis laid upon understanding, contemplation and withdrawal as requisite for Liberation has led to an overemphasis upon individual salvation, to such an extent indeed as to lead sometimes to an ignoring of the collective betterment of mankind.
Krishnamurti's teachings, at first sight, would also appear to ignore collective salvation, because he is so insistent upon what be terms the "direct path". He insists that there is no need for any organisation of spiritual effort into such gradations as of teacher and pupil - the one to instruct, the other to learn, the science which teaches where is the "Way". Since within each man resides the power to see "the Goal", no external aid is necessary, if only the seeker will believe that he can come to the Goal unaided. Above all, his insistent declaration that "the individual problem is the world problem" is being construed as a warning to desist from activities which hide their meddlesome and wasteful nature under the guise of philanthropy and service. But though Krishnamurti calls upon us to go the direct road, and to seek no other God but the God within, it is very clear that the thought of the Liberation of the soul is not dissociated in his mind from that of the service of all men. While in one sentence he sternly challenges: "What have you, with your phrases, with your labels, with your books, achieved ?", in the sentences immediately following, he tells us what we should have done.
"How many people have you made happy, not in the passing things, but in the ways of the Eternal ?"
" Have you given the Happiness that lasts, the Happiness that is never failing, the Happiness that cannot he dimmed by a passing cloud ?"
" In what way have you created a protecting wall, so that people shall not slip into pitfalls ?"
" How far have you built a railing along that deep river into which every human being is liable to fall ?"
" How far have you helped these people who want to climb ?"
" How far has it been your ambition to lead someone to that Kingdom of Happiness, that garden where there is unchanging light, unchanging beauty ?"
" But, if you are all these things, have you saved one from sorrow ?"
"Have any of you given me happiness - ' me' the ordinary person ?"
"Have any of you given me the nourishment of heaven when I was hungry ?"
"Have any of you felt so deeply that you could throw yourself into the place of the person who is suffering ?"
"What have you produced, what have you brought forth ?"
"In what manner have you brought forth that precious jewel, so that it shall shine and guide the whole world ? "
These words of Krishnamurti show that his gospel is not a gospel of isolation. While he challenges us as to our ways of service, he insists that he who is truly intent on Liberation is equally bent on service. He tells us that when we shall enter the Kingdom of Happiness that then "you will lose the identity of your separate self; and there you will create new worlds, new kingdoms, new abodes for others". Again he insists,
And because I really love,
I want you to love ;
Because I really feel,
I want you to feel;
Because I hold every thing dear,
I want you to hold all things dear;
Because I want to protect,
You should protect.
And this is the only life worth living,
And the only happiness worth possessing.
When, in another address, he asks us to "open the gate of your hearts that you may enter into Liberation", he makes clear that the individual who liberates himself can have but one motive, which is to "become in yourselves the true redeemers of mankind, so that you will go out and show to the people that are in sorrow and pain that their salvation, their happiness, their Liberation, lies within themselves".
It is this inseparableness of Liberation and Service which has ever been the theme of Theosophy as a code of ethics. Modern Theosophy has used less the word "Liberation" and more the word "Perfection", but the thought is the same. The value of the study of Theosophy lies in that each student can construct for himself a frame work of the world's events of the past, the present and the future, into which he can set in an appropriate setting whatsoever he examines of events in the domains of religion and science, philosophy and art, philanthropy and world development. Thus it is that, with the aid of Theosophy, we can synthesise truth after truth out of the contradictions between those religions and cults which proclaim the God without, and the philosophies and sciences which proclaim the God within. And the way of that synthesis is as follows.
The first great truth which must never for one instant be obscured or forgotten is that the Divine Nature resides in man. Call that Divine Nature by any name we will - God, Atman, the Christ, Sammâsambodhi, the Perfect Wisdom - its totality resides in man. In the wickedest sinner that Godhead resides in the inmost heart of his being, with as perfect a fulness of the Godhead as in the heart of the greatest of saints. Brahmana and Pariah are equally divine; and the Brahmana who spurns the Pariah but spurns the Godhead dwelling in his own self. This is the supreme truth of Theosophy, which, as applied to daily conduct, is the soul and essence of Brotherhood. To find the God within is the sole task of life; for when that Godhead is found in stone and in plant, in sinner as in saint, all life's processes are linked into one meaning, which ever guides to happiness and peace.
But there is a second truth which is less easy to understand ; it is, that the Divine Nature is as if imprisoned in man, and not utterly free to manifest in freedom all its perfections. That Divine Nature abides equally in the sinner as in the saint. Yet there is a difference as the Divine Nature energises or operates in the encasement which holds it. When the Hindu Sâdhu intent on God saw the British soldier coming to bayonet him, and said, " Even thou art He!", he truly saw the Divine Nature in all things, even in his assassin. But yet surely there was a difference as that Divine Nature energised in the heart of the Sâdhu and in the heart of the soldier ? We can, if we will, say with the Upanishad, "If slayer thinks he slays, if slain thinks he is slain, both these know naught; THIS slays not, nor is slain"; but we are also forced by our moral conscience to say that the Sadhu did good and the soldier did evil. But since both Sâdhu and soldier are, in their inmost natures, God, how can the one indivisible Divine Nature be at one and the same time good and evil ?
Unless we adopt the solution of a Mâyâ, which makes the Divine Nature appear other than it truly is, there is only one other line of solution, so far as I know. That solution is what Theosophy offers - that the world process, even if it enshrines a Mâyâ, is of use to the Divine Nature, in enabling it to release Itself from Its imprisonment.
Strangely enough, this conception, that the world process is a releasing of perfection from an imprisonment, is suggested by modern Biology. As the Mendelian theory of heredity came to the front, one of its leaders, Bateson, said at the meeting of British Association in 1914 that Shakespeare lived in a pinhead of protoplasm. All that we know as the genius of Shakespeare existed in the first speck of protoplasm; but it existed there as if imprisoned. Now, without a particular arrangement of Mendelian "factors" in the first cell which was the embryo of Shakespeare, his creative ability could not manifest; therefore rearrangement after rearrangement had taken place of the "factors" in every one of the myriads of cells which were the successive progenitors of that one zygote or embryo cell which finally became Shakespeare.
An evolutionary process stretching over millions of years was necessary for this continuous rearrangement of " factors", which was needed to bring about just that one grouping of factors which alone could produce Shakespeare. Yet, all the time, in the first speck of protoplasm, which somehow arose by a chance juxtaposition of certain colloidal substances, Shakespeare was sleeping, waiting to be awakened. The God within, Shakespeare, was there in the protoplasm; but the God without, that is, all Nature's processes which we term evolution, was also necessary in order to make Shakespeare dynamic and creative.
It is this conception which Theosophy gives - that there is a God without, a process of evolution in a foreordained Divine Plan, calling to a God within, the Divine Nature of the soul which enables us to harmonise all the contradictory theories of the religions among themselves, and of modern science which stands opposed to all religions. From the moment we accept that the Divine Nature in man, the God within, is imprisoned at the beginning of time, our next problem is to understand what is the process of his release. The answer can be summed up in one word - Life. It is Life, in all its forms, in all its kingdoms visible and invisible, Life manifesting from eternity to eternity; it is this Life which ever strives to create, and to destroy in order to create again, that is the instrument of release of the imprisoned Godhead.
The long process of the release of Divinity by Life is the theme of all Theosophical study. That study describes the details of the process, using special technical terms - a "jargon" if you like - such as Life and Form, Karma, Reincarnation, Root and Sub-races, Principles, Planes, Rays, Discipleship, Initiation, Adeptship, and others. But all such terms are like the terms of any other study like Chemistry or Botany. They serve to arrange into categories those facts which must be examined in order to come to a broad grasp of the subject.
True, Life's activities can be watched with the eye of the poet or artist, and not with the eye of the analytical observer like the Theosophist. Then no "jargon" of technical terms is required; then it is that we have such a description of Life as Krishnamurti gives in his poems.[The Search, pp. 9 -12. ]
I have been a wanderer long
In this world of transient things.
I have known the passing pleasures thereof.
As the rainbow is beautiful,
But soon vanishes into nothingness,
So have I known,
From the very foundation of the world,
The passing away of all things
Beautiful, joyous and pleasurable.
In search of the eternal
I lost myself in the fleeting.
All things have I tasted in search of Truth.
In bygone ages
Have I known the pleasures of the transient world -
The tender mother with her children,
The arrogant and the free,
The beggar that wanders the face of the earth,
The contentment of the wealthy,
The woman of enticements,
The beautiful and the ugly,
The man of authority, the man of power,
The man of consequence, the bestower and the guardian,
The oppressed and the oppressor,
The liberator and the tyrant,
The man of great possessions,
The man of renunciation, the sannyasi,
The man of activity and the man of dreams.
The arrogant priest in gorgeous robes and the humble worshipper,
The poet, the artist and the creator.
At all the altars of the world have I worshipped,
All religions have known me,
Many ceremonies have I performed,
In the pomp of the world have I rejoiced,
In the battles of defeat and victory have I fought,
The despiser and the despised,
The man acquainted with grief
And agonies of many sorrows,
The man of pleasure and abundance.
In the secret recesses of my heart have I danced,
Many births and deaths have I known,
In all these fleeting realms have I wandered,
In passing ecstasies, certain of their endurance,
And yet I never found that eternal Kingdom of Happiness.
But why must the soul thus wander from life to life, urged on by the God-given instinct for Liberation, and yet miss time after time the entrance to the true path ? There are indeed some philosophies, like that of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Muhammedanism, which insist that the soul does not so wander, and that within the brief period of one life the ultimate goal of Liberation or Redemption can be achieved. For this, an utter subservience to the will of God is necessary ; a perfect life so subservient to God gains the recompense of an eternal heaven. But such a solution, which denies to Life its repeated transformations by Reincarnation, brings in its train a host of problems which are difficult of solution. The doctrine of a perfection which must be achieved in one life-time promptly raises question after question, such as, why God permits evil to exist, why if He is good some souls must be condemned to perdition, why if He is omnipotent He does not arrange for all to be born in an environment favourable to the building of their character towards perfection.
I cannot myself think of any scheme of things which is just - and here I can speak for all Theosophists - unless Reincarnation is a part of that scheme. It is far easier for me to believe that God's love and compassion are real, just because Reincarnation is a fact, than to believe that there is no Reincarnation, and yet that God expects all in one life-time to understand His will and to co-operate with it.
I said a while ago, Why must the soul wander from life to life, missing the entrance to the true path ? But in reality that question of mine is not based on fact. For, the moment we realise that Life is a dual process, that of the God without knocking at the door of the God within, then every experience is an entrance on the path. It is this which Theosophy makes clear.
The intricate scheme describing the soul's evolution and unfoldment which is found in theosophical text-books can easily be swept aside by saying that in order to be good and noble, it is not necessary to have experience after experience. For goodness is innate in man, because the God within resides in man. Whence then the need to struggle in order to be good, when goodness is of the very nature of the soul ?
Here each of us must determine what line of thought he will follow; no one, least of all a Theosophist, desires to impose a particular creed as the one and only solution. I can only say, speaking for most Theosophists, that every scrap of reason disappears from the universe if evolution is considered unnecessary. On the other hand, a most inspiring sweet reasonableness is clearly seen in the world process, when we admit that evolution by experience is the way to Liberation. William James once defined experience as "becoming expert by experiment". If we accept Life as the laboratory for the soul's experiments in order to be liberated, then, the environment which surrounds the soul in its many migrations begins to have a meaning.
Like as the dull uncut diamond dug from the bowels of the earth, so is the God within before experience moulds him; but like as the cut diamond flashing all the colours of the rainbow, so is the God within when he has undergone experience after experience which the God without sends him. This is Life, deep calling unto deep. Within our inmost nature is "the Way, the Truth and the Life"; within ourselves are all the Kingdoms - the Kingdom of Happiness of Krishnamurti, the Kingdom of Heaven of the Christ, and the Kingdom of the Law of the Buddha. But it is only when a Buddha, or a Christ, or a Krishnamurti reveals the Kingdom in which Hewells, that then we are aware that we too are God, and that every possible Kingdom dwells within us also.
Deep calling unto deep, Godhead calling to Godhead, this is the solution of the mystery of misery dogging at the heels of joy, of death ever the shadow of life. But life and death, joy and misery, the friend and the enemy, are not contrasted opposites; they are the one and the same Godhead, both equally divine when we understand.
So experience, coming with the message of the God without, knocks at the doors of the soul, the God within. When the soul's dwelling place is the savage, then experience brings hatreds and battles, in order to call out from the God within his hidden attributes of courage and decision. When the soul passes to dwell as the civilised man, then experience knocks to release the virtues of industry and efficiency, of learning and judgment, of comradeship and self-sacrifice. As child, as youth, as maid, as man, as woman, as husband and father, as wife and mother, at each stage some hidden capacity within the soul is released, at the bidding of the environment and of the experiences which it brings.
So, in the long pilgrimage of the soul to discover himself as the God, each, religion comes to him in turn to teach one word of the Mantram with which the God without created the world. Science reveals the framework of that creation, Art the joy which it conceals, and Philosophy the inspiration which it brings. No fact in life, no event anywhere in the world but has a meaning for the soul; that meaning is that the God without ever calls to the God within to be one.
This is the lesson which we all have to learn. And it is difficult, because the trend of our thinking and feeling is to make a duality of what we are, contrasted with what we are not. It is far easier to divide the world into what " I like" and what "I do not like" than to be beyond both like and dislike, and to contemplate the world as it is, irrespective of its relation to oneself. It is far easier to divide life into good and evil than to see life just as it is, and place no labels whatsoever on it. It is only as we "cast out the self " and see things "as they are", and so pass on to see "the things-in-themselves", the Archetypes of Plato, that for the first time we gain a glimpse of our true self.
It is such a glimpse of the truth that reveals to man that the suffering which crushes him is only himself at work, purifying himself. The moment we enter a world of duality and say, when we suffer, that it is God who sends us suffering, suffering does not end. For then suffering, as it discharges its force, creates new force to issue later in new suffering. But when we refuse to accept any duality, and say either, "It is Life releasing Life", - or "It is I the God without releasing myself the God within", then for the first time peace enters the heart.
It is then that we shall know that Liberation is not an event at the end of time, but a continuous happening which steadily brings nearer and nearer the God without to the God within. When once these two poles of Being commence to approach each other, Liberation has begun. Thenceforth 'the time factor is within the soul, and is the soul's agent, not the soul's master. Less important is when the soul shall achieve Mukti or Nirvana, and more important the fact that the soul shall know, and never cease from rejoicing, that the twain are becoming one. This is the most direct of all paths, and none can prevent the swiftness of the union except the soul himself.
This truth is our Ariadne's thread in the maze of life. And we shall learn this truth in myriads of ways, according as we have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Thus speaks Light on the Path.
Inquire of the earth, the air and the water, of the secrets they hold for you.
Inquire of the Holy Ones of the earth of the secrets they hold for you.
Inquire of the inmost, the One, of its final secret, which it holds for you through the ages.
And as we attempt to understand the meaning of it all, none can help us or guide. When Krishnamurti says that no Guru or teacher is needed for the soul who is intent on Liberation, he is only uttering once again what other teachers have said before him. "THAT art thou" is the axiom of esoteric Hinduism, and the Upanishads which proclaim this teaching have not insisted on any need of a Guru in order to achieve the Unity. You know the immemorial tradition in India - first the student, then the householder, then the hermit, lastly the sannyasi, the " renouncer" of ceremonies and creeds, who goes out alone into the world, without a Guru, to find the Unity directly for himself. So too, during the forty-five years of service rendered by the Lord Buddha, never once did He put Himself as a Guru whose aid was necessary in order to enter on the Path. His last charge to His Sangha or Order was to emphasise the "individual uniqueness" of each who treads the Way. As He lay dying, He said: " It may be, Ananda, that some of you will think. 'The word of the Teacher is a thing of the past; we have now no Teacher.' But that, Ananda, is not the correct view. The Doctrine and Discipline, Ananda, which I have taught and enjoined upon you is to be your teacher when I am gone."And His last words were", And now, O monks, I take my leave of you ; all the constituents of being are transitory; work out your salvation with diligence".
It is never the Guru who says "Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheshvara"; that is the phrase invented by the Sishya or pupil. No Guru has claimed to be what the pupil in his gratitude asserts of his teacher.
tvam eva mata ca pita tvam eva,
tvam eva bandhuscha sakha tvam eva;
tvam eva vidya dravinam tvam eva,
tvam eva sarvam mama deva deva.
Thou art verily my mother, Thou art the father indeed, my friend also art Thou, and companion as well. Thou indeed art my learning and possessions, Thou art my all in all, O God of Gods.
But all this is what the disciple says as to the Guru, but not what the Guru says concerning himself. What, then, does the Guru say ? We have that in what the Guru of H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott and Annie Besant once said concerning Himself, and these are His words: "I am as I was, and as I was and am, so am I likely always to be - the slave of my duty to the Lodge and mankind; not only taught, but desirous to subordinate every preference for individuals to a love for the human race"' That even a Guru himself, even when liberated, is still striving for a yet larger love for the human race is shown in the words of the same Master: "The mark of the adept is kept at [Shamballa] not at Simla, and I try to keep up to it." It is His brother, the Master K.H., who has described Him as a man as stern for himself, as severe for his shortcomings, as he is indulgent for the defects of other people, not in words but in the innermost feelings of his heart".
And I desire here to give my testimony that the Master whom I have followed this life for the last forty-one years has never been to me a "crutch" on which I could lean in any one of my weaknesses. Never once has he made my path easier for me, nor helped me to climb over stiles and obstacles; never once has he prevented me from committing mistakes due to my stupidity or selfishness. But he has ever been to me what a lighthouse is to a ship in a stormy sea - a flashing blinding beam cleaving the dark of the storm clouds to show that the harbour is not far away, and so not to despair but to take courage. If I offer Him all my love and service, it is because He is the living symbol of what I hope to become someday ; if I bend the knee before Him in gratitude and utmost reverence, it is because He is to me the glorious promise that I too shall some day love all mankind with the wondrous intensity of love with which He loves all men to-day. He is the God without rousing the God within me to be aware of my destiny, which is to strive through the ages to establish a Kingdom of Joy for all men.
I close this dissertation on the theme of the God without and the God within by reading to you two extracts from the Upanishads, one describing the God without, and the other the God within.
THE GOD WITHOUT
[Shvetâshvatara Upanishad.(Mead's translation). ]
This God, in sooth, in all the quarters is long, long ago, indeed, he had his birth, he verily is now within the germ. He has been born, he will be born; behind all who have birth he stands, with face on every side.
He hath eyes on all sides, on all sides surely hath faces, arms surely on all sides, on all sides feet. With arms, with wings, he tricks them out, creating heaven and earth, the only God.
Whose faces, heads and necks, are those of all, who lieth in the secret place of every soul, spread o'er the universe is He, the Lord. Therefore as all-pervader, He's benign.
Blue fly, green bird, and red-eyed beast, the cloud that bears the lightning in its womb, the seasons, and the seas, art thou. In omnipresent power thou hast thy home, whence all the worlds are born.
Eternal of eternals, the consciousness which every being's consciousness contains, who, one, of many the desires dispenses - knowing that cause, the God to be approached by sacred science and holy art, the mortal from all bonds is free.
I know this mighty Man, sun-like, beyond the darkness; Him and Him only knowing, one crosseth over death ; no other path at all is to go.
THE GOD WITHIN
[Kenn, Taittiriya, Mundaka and Mândûkya Upanishads]
What no word can reveal, what revealeth the word, that know as Brahman indeed, not this which I they worship below.
What none thinks with the mind, but what thinks-out the mind, that know thou as Brahman indeed, not this which thy worship below.
What none sees with the eye, whereby seeing is seen, that know thou as Brahman indeed, not this which they worship below
Who knows this thus, indeed, destroying sin, in endless highest heaven-world he stands immovable, immovable he stands.
From whom the whole world comes, to whom indeed it goes again, by whom this is supported surely too -to Him, the Self that knows, all honour be!
Truth, wisdom, endless, Brahm,
Source of all bliss, immortal, shining forth,
Peaceful, benign, and secondless!
Om! Peace, Peace, Peace! Om!
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