Daily Readings

Spiritual Diary - November

compiled by Yogeshwari Muhl - Cape Province - SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

November 1

Hail Light Divine

Unseen, you enable sight to see.
Shining without motive, you are the prime mover of all activities on earth and in heaven.
Unrecognized, you make recognition possible.
You shine and in your light the universe shines in all its glory.
When you shine in the heart of man, he beholds your glory.
O Light! You illumine the earth and the heavens and there is sight.
You are the inner light as insight.
You are the witness of the universe.
You are the eye of wisdom in the hearts of all.
Your presence is not seen, only the effect is seen.
Your absence is not seen either, only its effect is inferred.
Light reveals the truth to sight.
When insight is not and the reality of life is not realized, darkness or ignorance is assumed.
Mysterious Light!
When you do not shine, the reality is apparently veiled.
That which is, appears not to be.
That which is not and has no existence (darkness) appears to exist.

November 2


Darkness is a non-entity. It hides nothing, veils nothing, makes nothing disappear.
Light is the truth. It alone is the truth.
It exists at all times. It plays hide and seek with itself and even beholds darkness!
The light shines eternally.
But we turn away from, it creating darkness in our own lives, and the clouds gather, creating confusion, disorder, pain and sorrow.
In our frantic efforts to get rid of pain and sorrow, we forget that the desire to get rid of pain and the effort worsens it!
The effort to create order is disorder.
The mind that sees this truth, not as an idea but as truth, is alert.
The alert mind itself is order, virtue.
It's powerful gaze does not permit the ideas to arise.
In its light actions happen, actions spring directly from the being or the intelligence.
When the clouds disperse and your hemisphere faces the sun, there is light.
To live in that light is enlightenment.
Such a life is divine life.
He who sees the light alone as the eternal truth is undeluded.
In his heart the Lord, Who is the supreme controller of all, Paramesvar, stands revealed.
Jai Paramesvar!

November 3


When you all leave me in one hour's time, what is to be my fate?
The answer is terribly simple: it will be precisely the same as it was before you came in here.
I was alone before you came, and now I think I am with you, but it is not true.
If my heart stops now and I collapse, you will not be with me, no matter who you are.
My fate will be exactly what it was before you came into my life.
It doesn't matter if the other person is called Krishna, or your husband, or your wife, or your son or your friend.
Whatever I was before I met you, that will I be after you leave me.
The one exception is that I may be haunted by some kind of memory, just as before I was haunted by some kind of hope.
I think that the difference between memory and hope is just the spelling!
If you try to remember something that happened ten years ago, you will never be able to remember it as it was, without some imagination distorting it.
Memory is never pure; it is invariably distorted by hope.
Hope interferes with the purity of memory, and in the same way all our hopes are invariably built on memory.
Take the memory away and there are no hopes.
If I can't even remember my name, what am I hoping for?

November 4


We are all looking for something, without ever having asked this simple question: "How do I know that what I am looking for exists?"
This is a ridiculous thing about the whole of life, not just so-called "spiritual life".
I am looking for happiness - how do I know that such a thing exists?
If you ask this question seriously, only one thing exists and that is the questioner.
The hoper of the hopes exists; the rememberer of the memories exists.
That is all.
See if you can recognize that one.
If this is not done and the carrot is dangled in front of the donkey, it is inevitable that the teaching will be misunderstood.
Anyone who hopes that a teaching can ever not be misunderstood, is hoping against hope.
It is not possible.
There is an interesting but tragic quality of the mind: when a teaching is presented, whether in the form of a scripture or a lecture, the mind picks up what it wants to pick up.
I look into these scriptures merely to find confirmation for what I already know, to be able to pat myself on the back.
The mind selects what it values most, not in terms of how to better oneself, how to discover oneself, but just to give one a testimonial that he is a good person.
The self is purposely hidden; it doesn't want to look at itself.

November 5


When I am full of love and devotion for God, happiness flows towards me from all directions.
When this is not there, then I am not really devoted.
What is it that resists?
Hope, fear, craving; and naturally the attention is focused on all these.
When you focus your attention on one of these, it seems to fade away, to disappear.
But has the craving really gone?
It is possible that it has moved out of the focus of your attention temporarily.
However, if you had trained yourself to focus your attention, then you wouldn't let it slip away.
You would hold it there, because you want to know what it is.
You seek nothing.
The seeker himself was sought, and the seeker has merged himself in his own seeking, by seeking himself.
There is a state in which there is no deliberate thought.
There is a state in which there is no thinking as such - I think.
That state is total surrender, absolute devotion, complete and total love.
When you are full of that love, naturally happiness will flow to you from all directions.
It is then that devotion is properly understood and properly practiced.
Then all problems are instantly solved or resolved.

November 6


Nature is complex in her simplicity.
She loves those who try to understand her and receives them into her bosom (the grave); the rebellious conquerors of nature, too, receive from her the same treatment.
Nature remains a mystery.
Every philosophy that the understanding man has proclaimed as truth has been falsified before the ink is dry on his thesis.
Man struggles against the inevitable.
The inevitable is the reality!
This reality takes no notice of private wishes and aspirations of the puny ignorant man.
Unwilling to admit this, successive generations of men have invented "other" philosophies.
One school of philosophers has challenged another school and declared that their invention is more permanent and truly and totally universal.
All this inevitably leads to conflict, to aggression and to violence.
Conflict is born of ignorance.
Wisdom sees different forces as co-operative agents.
Wisdom is synthesis.
Wisdom recognizes that even the threatening, "pull in the opposite direction" is inevitable when the pendulum swings and this recognition acts as the moderating influence.
Conflict is avoided, coexistence is realized and co-operation made possible.
Aggression yields place to love.
Love is God.
May God be with you.

November 7


We do not know what happiness means.
We only know what sorrow means.
Happiness is, according to our limited experience, the period in between two sorrows; the time when we are not miserable.
Between two headaches there is a head - waiting for the next headache!
Life is something that happens between two deaths.
Happiness is something that happens between two sorrows.
I was unhappy yesterday, and while I say that I am happy today, there is the sneaking suspicion that this may not be so tomorrow.
The valley between two hills of sorrow is envisaged to be happiness.
The wish to enjoy the delight, the bliss - to capture and hold it - that becomes sorrow!
Whatever you are trying to hold onto is dead.
You are left with just the effort of holding on!
That effort is pain and sorrow.
Unfortunately, since we do not want to recognize this truth, we do not see it as such.
We pretend to ourselves that we know what happiness means.
The mind is not trained to live in truth.
Freedom from sorrow is a negative concept.
We want something positive, so we invent bliss.
Having invented it, we go looking for it, we want to experience it.
The periods in between the peaks of pain in life are regarded by the foolish mind as bliss, which is in fact non-existent.

November 8

Freedom from Sorrow

We expect great joy, great bliss to follow "freedom from sorrow".
There is a thing called sensual bliss, bliss of meditation, spiritual bliss, infinite bliss.
All these are castles in the air constructed in order to satisfy a craving to be happy, to enjoy what you and I regard as the opposite of sorrow.
We do not know what happiness means.
We only know what sorrow means.
Even the sage who is godly will still function as a normal human being while on earth.
Neither creating nor suffering problems, he watches moment to moment the ordinary things he says and does.
It needs the toughest "activist" to be really vigilant!
When the thorn is in one's foot, one does not resignedly say, "This is not my business; leave it to God."
One does not "accept", as accepting leads to justifying and defending.
Facing the cobra one does not stay motionless, but does everything one has to do - except one does not step on it!
Similarly with a thorn in the foot.
Aware of the thorn, of the venomous snake, one is constantly on guard, one-pointedly.
This above all - vigilance till the last breath.

November 9


That is the connection between breathing and meditation?
Just as the eyes are the windows of the soul, breathing is the measure of nervous tension and mental activity.
Breathing, mind, nerves and also winking of the eyes are all somehow related to one another.
Agitation in one is accompanied by agitation in the other.
Perhaps "breathing" was intended more to bring about relaxation of the nerves and calming the mind, than just ventilating the lungs.
If you are absorbed in deep contemplation the breath slows down, becomes finer and finer, and "breath flows within the nostrils", as Gurudev put it.
When you are absorbed in the inner silence, even a little movement of the breath is felt as a great distraction; it is then that spontaneous suspension of breath takes place.
The eyes, even if they are open, have a "far-away" look in them.
They do not blink.
Breathe in and out through alternate nostrils; watch the character of the flow.
You will know the state of your nerves and mind.
Watch. When there is tension, the eyeballs are agitated and tend to "go up".
By deliberately turning them downwards, you can check this too.
Perhaps that is the purpose of "looking at the tip of your nose".
Practise, and realize the truth.

November 10


In the Gita, Krishna gives us a comprehensive aspect of meditation.
We can only go up to a certain stage, and Krishna clearly enunciates it.
You cannot capture God.
The word self-realization seems to suggest that you are going to create the self, because to realize is to make real.
But is self-realization to make the self real? No.
The fault is in the expression itself.
We are not going to make the self real or God real, but we are going to purify ourselves.
How is this purification done?
Lust or desire arises in our mind when we meditate upon an object.
Why do we meditate upon an object?
Have we ever asked ourselves this question?
Obviously, we only think of an object associated with happiness, pleasure, enjoyment.
How does the mind know that there is enjoyment in having that object, in possessing it, in being near it, in coming into contact with it?
In this contemplation of the object of enjoyment, a link has been established.
The mind has fixed a label upon it, and then wants a repetition.
It is when the mind has a mental image of a past experience of pleasure projected onto an object, that the link is established.
The desire arises.
Otherwise there is no craving in the heart of man if this process is cut somewhere.

November 11


I look into myself and it seems that the personality is in fragments, broken into a thousand pieces.
Is my personality really broken into pieces?
Has my freedom, knowledge, enlightenment been completely obliterated?
If it has been, nothing is going to save me!
Looking within myself, I feel that that may not be true.
I am only suggesting that it may not be true.
To give you an apt illustration: you are standing on the bank of the river on a beautiful moonlit night; the moon is reflected on the water, but you don't see it as a lovely little white disc - it is broken - the surface of the water is agitated.
There lies the key.
The yogi realizes that the personality has not really been fragmented, but that the fragmentation is apparent.
It is due to the fact that the mind is not calm.
A calm mind is virtue, an uncalm mind, no matter how holy that person may look, is the source of all evil.
We all enjoy a calm mind in sleep, but since we are unaware of that calmness, it is of no use to us.
The yogi tries deliberately to reproduce, create this calmness, while he is awake.
He captures a glimpse of that wholeness, inner harmony, homogeneity.
From then on his life is a continuous search for this inner harmony.

November 12


How must I worship?
Must I kneel down, bang my head on the floor?
Must I fall flat on the ground, or offer a large donation?
Do anything you like.
What is demanded here is "with love in your heart".
Whatever you give, whether it is just a fruit or a flower or a little water, it does not matter.
What matters is love, devotion.
What is devotion?
It is being completely self-forgetful.
In some scriptures, descriptions are given of great devotees of God who, in a state of ecstasy, have tears flowing down their faces.
These are beautiful descriptions, but are only external marks of ecstasy.
How does one distinguish devotion from emotion?
Look at the words.
Emotion is externalized motion: "I love him, I love her, I love it."
When my consciousness flows outwards, it is emotion.
What is devotion?
It is motion in depth within me.
There should be no externalization.
The opposite of emotion is devotion or depth; the fountain which sees the truth, which loves the truth, which loves God deep within, not only here but everywhere, deep within.
When I reach the depth of the image, I suddenly realize that in the depth of all beings, including this being, there is God.
How shall I worship him?
In any manner I like.

November 13

Perfection is Integral

You say: "You practise jnana yoga, I practise bhakti yoga, and somebody else practises karma yoga."
Stuff and nonsense! Either you practise yoga or not at all.
Some people are after the "body beautiful", but in their head is nothing, and in their heart cruelty.
Then there are those emotionalists - they have neither wisdom, nor the intellectualism to discriminate between devotion and emotion.
Neither have they the will nor the capacity to do something about it.
They are so full of love that, if I faint, they will also faint.
This is also called love, isn't it?
I love you so much that unfortunately I can do nothing to help you!
Perfection is integral or there is no perfection.
Visualize this worldly existence, which we call samsara, as a well ten feet in diameter.
The karma yogi is able to jump six feet, the bhakti yogi six feet, the jnana yogi eight feet.
Where will they land?
All of them down the well!
Unless we achieve integral perfection, there is no perfection.

November 14

All the Same

What prevents integral perfection?
The "me", that is all.
The entire universe is pervaded by God, by the divine, though you may call it God, Isvara, Christ, Brahma, Atma, Allah.
Somehow I am caught up in this diversity - I, you, he and this is the obstacle.
This "I" was originally the infinite.
Probably the letter "I" actually stood for the whole word 'infinite', but we use the word "I" to refer to the finite, to the absurdly little thing, a dot, a point.
This littleness must go.
This "me" must go, must disappear.
How? By practicing self-denial, self-sacrifice.
That is called karma yoga.
You can practise self-surrender.
That is called Bhakti yoga.
You may have self-realization.
That is called jnana yoga.
But do we or do we not see that eventually all these have the same significance, all these mean the same thing?
Whether the self is denied, whether the self is surrendered, whether the self is sacrificed, whether the self is realized, it is all the same.
The self, this little self, this "me" is the problem.

November 15


A man is known by his companions, for they do influence us, they awaken latent tendencies in us - good or bad, desirable or undesirable.
A saint kindles saintliness and a criminal provokes sinfulness in us.
But for them these qualities would have "died" within us.
My Guru, Swami Sivananda, used to say that even inert objects like dress and furniture can alter our behavior.
A man wearing simple sandals walks gently; the same man wearing fashionable shoes has a different gait.
When we talk of civilization, we imply a greater accumulation of, or intimate association with the machine.
Yet does the machine civilize us, evoke civilized behavior in us?
Perhaps not.
Civilization and progress are not evils in themselves, but the abuse of machines that progress and civilization symbolize can lead to evil consequences.
Man should turn to nature, to simplicity, humility, humanity.
Man should turn to God, the indweller, the inner ruler of humanity.
Then will he become a peace lover, radiating and promoting peace.

November 16


"Greater than the man of knowledge, austerity and action is the yogi; therefore become a yogi," said Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
"Is there not a nobler mission than eating, drinking and sleeping? It is difficult to get a human birth, therefore try to realize (God) in this birth," admonished My Gurudev, Swami Sivananda.
Mahatma Gandhi never allowed us to forget for a single moment that even his unprecendented and epoch-making political activity was part of his adventure in the realm of God or truth.
Yoga is integration of our own personality, which prevents countless physical and mental maladies; of our individuality within society, which ensures social welfare, harmony and national prosperity; of the soul with God, which is enlightenment or salvation.
It is not a religion or a cult.
Rightly understood: it is the core of all religions.
Religious conversion loses all meaning; yoga strengthens and vitalizes one's faith in one's own religion.
It promotes true understanding in each practitioner who is eager to concede to others the same religious freedom that he wishes to enjoy.
Step by step yoga leads us to the pinnacle of perfection, total freedom from every type of limitation and bondage.

November 17


We spiritual aspirants, what do we want?
The prize we covet is self-realization, which is synonymous with "the peace that passeth all understanding", "eternal bliss", "infinite life".
To earn his daily bread which appeases his hunger for a few hours, man toils for not less than six hours a day.
To earn self-realization that will fulfill all our desires and lead us to permanent satisfaction, what should we do?
Is it enough to spend a few minutes a day on our yoga practices? No.
Yoga must become our very life-breath.
If you spend one hour in the morning for yoga asanas and pranayama, the other twenty-three hours will be filled with health, and if you spend another hour in meditation, those twenty-three hours will be filled with divinity.
Yoga is life - the whole of our life must be transformed into divine; that is divine life.
To live in tune with the infinite, to let divinity radiate through every one of our thoughts, words and deeds - that is yoga.
That is the price we should be prepared to pay, to win the priceless prize of self-realization.

November 18


We are living in a strange world and yet not so strange, for it has always been so.
For those who have made an honest study of the legend called history and the history called legend, it would appear that the problem has remained the same - the struggle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.
The former triumph and their triumph turns them (or their descendants) into the latter.
So the world merry-goes-round.
The triumphant erects walls of security ostensibly to preserve the light, but obviously to cover his gnawing sense of inadequacy.
And so, in effect, he imprisons himself in his glory, having imprisoned his enemies in another part of the same building.
The distinction is formal.
Is there no escape from this vicious circle?
Where is the light that makes us free?
Is there a state of being in which we shall neither turn the light on ourselves in an attempt to shine as superior persons, nor hide our face from it, reveling in the vanity of obscurity.
The light of the light hurts the latter and binds the former.
Yet, perchance someone will discover that light is not for owning but for shedding.

November 19


One who would like to tread this spiritual path must be eternally vigilant; he should not relax that vigilance even for a single moment.
As long as there is an "I" capable of being vigilant and therefore of being non-vigilant, one should be vigilant.
This eternal vigilance itself is enlightenment, liberation.
I think now it is easy to see how and why a person who is eternally vigilant must inevitably enjoy his life here and now.
That is obvious.
If I know that when I stick my finger into this power point, it might electrocute me or give me a painful shock, I will not do it at all.
That is the person of eternal vigilance.
One who realizes that a certain action is foolish and causes unhappiness will not do it.
He is vigilant.
Therefore a person who is eternally vigilant is happy now.
His own heart is heaven here and now.
In the light of eternal vigilance he is already liberated from the darkness of ignorance.

November 20


We fall down because we attempt to excel.
Why do I want to excel? Because I want to have control over you, to dominate you, to mould you.
It is here that we have gone wrong.
The rose by just being the rose attracts everybody.
We have a beehive at the ashram.
I don't even tell the bees where the roses are blossoming, they know.
That flower, by just being what it is, has such tremendous power over all those bees.
Yoga is the art of self-discovery, of being oneself.
What am I? Am I a red rose, a yellow rose or a white rose?
Are we interested in this at all; or are we merely fighting to reach a so-called goal?
If we examine this goal business very carefully, we find that it always suggests our superiority over somebody else, excelling someone else.
Otherwise I have no idea of a goal at all.
The goal is that I must be more qualified than my friend; I must have more muscles than that fellow.
It is all the time more and more.
Do we have a goal that does not involve this comparison, this competition, this "more"?
I cannot be more aware of myself than you are, it is absurd.
I can only be aware of myself.
Yoga enables us to drop, completely and totally, this whole concept of becoming something.
Yoga enables us to discover what "I am".

November 21


If you allow the life force to function without your interference, you'll enjoy perfect health.
It is only human interference that destroys health.
The less I interfere, the better the body functions.
There is no need to fear.
How far can I go? Don't ask me, ask yourself.
Can I do this? Don't ask others, do it and see.
At the same time learn to listen to the voice of your own body, that voice within yourself will tell you "thus far and no farther."
When will you defy that voice? When there is wrong motivation.
When the body is in a state of good health, the mind becomes clear.
Yoga enables you to see your own mind, to observe your own mind.
When the mind is calm and peaceful and you are able to observe it, it is clear.
That clear mind is transparent and the transparent mind reveals the inner secrets.
This is called clairvoyance.
Clairvoyance means, in French, "clear sight". That is all.
My sight is clear, it is not confused, and therefore I am able to look within, see the mind clearly.
It becomes transparent.
There one discovers what one is.

November 22


Normally we are taught that waking, dreaming and deep sleep, are three distinct and different states, one following the other.
That is, when the waking state comes to an end, dreaming starts, and when dreaming ends, sleep starts, and when sleep comes to an end, dream starts again.
But there is a commentary written on the Mandukya Upanishad where the author makes a very innocent and terribly interesting statement.
He says that these three exist all the time, at all times.
When you think you are awake, you are already dreaming and sleeping at the same time, and when you are dreaming, you are also awake in a thing called dream (only the objects seen are different, only the experiences experienced are different, but the thing is the same).
Similarly, when you are fast asleep, you are also in another world, in a third world, called the sleep world, where you are experiencing another type of experience, comparable to the dream state and to the experience of the waking.
It's a beautiful thought.
When that becomes a realization - you are free.
When that becomes a realization, that is what is called enlightenment.
All these words denote but one thing: a direct awareness of the simple and fundamental truth that there is no division between what is called waking and dream, and between these two and sleep.

November 23


When one is awake, when the heart is pure, one discovers that the spiritual truth is unclear, because the mind is unsteady and distracted by a number of forces.
Man tries to deal with these, one by one, but each victory defeats him; every solved problem has given birth to a dozen more.
The seeker sees that even the good work he has done on himself has only strengthened his ego.
It is only when all actions are done as worship of the Lord that this danger is averted.
When the ego is surrendered to the divine, then this unsteadiness, produced by these distractions, ceases, and the seeker sees the Lord whom he worships in his every action in and through all names and forms in the world.
The last hurdle is not for the human personality to cross, it is for the divine to descend, and redeem the seeker.
The veil cannot be lifted by man.
All aspirations, even for liberation, cease, and the seeker says in the words of Jesus: "Not my will but thy will be done."
It is idle to repeat the formula, for the divine will only descend into a pure heart, and remember that crucifixion must precede resurrection.
Resurrection is a divine act, not a human achievement.

November 24


The most important principle that we should constantly remember, and which should govern all our thoughts, words and actions, is that we ourselves are instruments in the hands of the divine power.
It is not easy, because our own little self, our ego, bursts in every little while, sometimes in a tragic way.
Tragic because, at such times, our own selfish little personality projects itself in the garb of the divine, which is terribly confusing.
Hence meditation is vital.
In meditation, while we are still, struggling to still the mind, it is essential to use a formula.
It is like self-dehypnotization; we have fooled ourselves long enough that we do it; we have fooled ourselves long enough that if we don't want to, we shall not do it.
We must dehypnotize ourselves by the counter suggestion, "Not I, but God, does".
It is when the ego is pushed out of the way, and not used as a prodder or obstruction, that the divine flows through the personality.
The divine flowing through the personality is constantly working for the welfare of all beings.

November 25

Divine Discretion

How do I know that something I do with a divine, sublime feeling, is good for all beings?
That must be left to divine discretion.
"Not I, but he is the judge."
"Lord, thy will be done, not mine."
This suggestion must sink deeper into our consciousness during meditation.
Even a spiritual giant may lose the thread of this occasionally.
Therefore all religions insist that we should sit down and pray, if possible five or fifty times a day, to re-link this broken thread, so that it is continuous and constant.
So that the consciousness of the divine functioning in and through us, motivates each cell of our being constantly.
At the end of the day, it is good to look at the activities of the little personality.
Has it behaved as it should, or has it slipped up again, as it did yesterday?
Never mind, there is still tomorrow, and today has not been ill spent, for I have endeavored to lead the divine life.
Tomorrow will be better still, and with this resolution we greet the next day with faith in God, in his almighty power.
Each day we strive harder, till we reach the supreme, till we are not even aware that we are instruments in the hands of God.
It is the spirit of the divine omnipresence that is vital to our life.
May you all lead the divine life, here and now.

November 26


Years ago an indian in a responsible position recommended me to a group of seekers as an authority on "yogism".
I have always wondered what he meant!
Yoga is fast becoming a fashion; it will soon be regarded as a status symbol, a qualification for obtaining a job or getting married.
People have always aspired to dominate others; some people with the know-how of yoga will soon "capture" the field, create a cult, put a hedge of rules of their own invention around it - and another "ism" is born!
When this "ism" is born, the simplicity and meaning of the technique of yoga are forgotten, the spirit of yoga evaporates, leaving only rituals, formalities, the organizations and headaches.
Yet one cannot do without the rituals and formalities, the organizations and, if you please, the headaches too.
For they are life's vehicles and vexations.
Wisdom lies in using the positive and, if not eliminating the negative, at least minimizing the negative aspects of these necessary evils.
Yoga is a technique for self-realization, or God-realization, redemption, communion, mystic atonement with the divine.
Words do not matter if you get the idea right.
Keep the spirit of yoga.
Use the form, but where "the letter killeth the spirit", be bold enough to revive or resurrect the spirit.

November 27

At Peace

Our mind constantly hangs on to something or other.
It jumps from one object of enjoyment to another.
It constantly feels that if only the next object is had, it will have perfect happiness.
This incidentally shows that the nature of the self - our essential nature - is perfection and bliss.
Hence, till this perfect bliss is attained, the mind cannot find rest.
No object can possibly give us permanent satisfaction, eternal bliss.
It is simply not in the object.
Even happiness that we get from the enjoyment of the object of the senses is not really derived from them, but from our own self.
After we have got the object we longed for, and after the enjoyment is over, before the next desire arises in the mind for another object, there is an interval.
The mind is tired and withdraws into itself.
That is when we feel it is perfectly satisfied.
We are peaceful and happy.
Once again we become restless when the desire for the next object arises.
This itself shows that peace and happiness are in the self, and not in the objects.
The true devotee of the Lord convinces his mind of this truth.
Naturally his mind does not long for the objects of enjoyment.

November 28

After Death

I read a delightful article in the "Reader's Digest", explaining how a germ entering the body is fought by other cells in the body.
The cells behave as though they have an independent intelligence and total free will.
One detail which caught my imagination is that white cells function even after death.
This means that one of the vital life forces functions even after I am dead.
According to hatha yoga, one of the pranas goes on functioning after life has left the body.
In other words, part of the vital life force functions even after death.
These vital defenders of our organism are manufactured in the spinal marrow.
Those of you who have studied hatha yoga, especially laya yoga or kundalini yoga, will recall that all the vital centers, the chakras, are located within the spinal cord.
There are suggestive similarities between these descriptions.
So, if we are all cells in the body of God, we should function more or less in the same way as the body's cells - beautifully, harmoniously, and lovingly.
Why is there no harmony in our life?
Why is there this perpetual craving for this and that?
We must learn to distinguish between being active and restless.
Work and worry are also two different things.
God created work, man created worry.

November 29


When the Indian sage says: "Creation is the Lord's Leela (play)," the earnest, rationalistic believer in God and his purposeful creation is disgusted.
He asks cynically: "Is all this just his play: construction (and the creative demolition which precedes it) and preservation, evolution and revolution, heart-breaking search and back-breaking toil, challenging and surviving death, disease and destruction?"
Why should he assume that play does not include all this?
Play is no idle fun or purposeless activity.
It involves the rules of the game, within which the players have scope to use their free will, must use their free will.
Success and failure are vital parts of the play; everyone cannot "win" and "losing" involves no disgrace.
One who understands the rules and plays without undue anxiety to win, wins.
In this world play the Lord is the originator of the game, the umpire, the field, the starting point and the winning post.
One inspiring religious formula has it: "The Lord does everything, with the help of his own divine energy and strength, unto himself, by himself for his own satisfaction."
The work that lies ahead of us is his worship.
He uses us as his instruments, provides the right sort of help and brings about the right conditions in order that his mission may be fulfilled.

November 30


It is not possible for me to surrender myself.
Surrender must happen just as humility must happen.
It is God who exercises the will; it is God who makes these things possible.
When I accept this truth, then surrender is possible.
As long as I have independent desire, self-willing, longing and insisting, surrender is not possible.
The question "How must I make it take place" is absurd.
I cannot surrender myself, nor can I be humble by willing it.
If I had a searchlight turned within, whatever I was doing, I would see clearly that nothing exists - nothing belongs to me.
It is all foolishness.
It is foolishness to think my house is burning and feel unhappy about the loss.
It is also foolishness to say the house that is burning belongs to somebody else and not care.
Both reactions have to be renounced, and when all this is given up, then the truth of oneness will be revealed, will be seen.
This oneness cannot be cultivated, but it can be experienced when the darkness of ignorance is removed.
We cannot create or achieve unity. but the moment the darkness in ourselves has gone, we realize that oneness is there.
When the darkness disappears, the light of the self will reveal itself.
It shines on its own account.
It does not need to be created.
It is there.

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