Daily Readings

Spiritual Diary - December

compiled by Yogeshwari Muhl - Cape Province - SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

December 1


My mind says: "When everything is God, then dirt, hate, lies, cruelty, untruthfulness and illness must be God, but my heart and feeling says this cannot be so. What is the answer?"
Dirt, hate, cruelty - these are words, symbols, but what is the reality, the substance that they indicate?
The reality is the response of one's personality to a certain situation; water flows down from one level to another making a lot of noise, "disturbance", as it flows.
If you can see this you will see evil is incidental to the flow of energy.
This in itself is not evil though we regard it as evil.
Remember, unless you regard it as evil in the first place, the enquiry itself would not take place.
The entire universe is energy in motion.
When the stomach is empty, there is a vacuum, and it demands food.
Hunger is natural.
When there is non-understanding, love evaporates and dislike sets in.
When you learn to look within in the right manner, you see the causal factor in each case.
When that is removed, there is no vacuum and the "evil" reaction does not occur.
The sage therefore sees in others only the movement of energy and not evil.

December 2

All in All

Krishna says, "I pervade everything in this universe."
He says very clearly, "All beings are in me, I am not in them," not denying thereby His immanence, but knocking out the false concept, the defective expression, "God is in me".
God is not in all, but he is "All in All".
This is what is meant by that simple word "Omnipresent".
God is not confined within me; God is not limited to you or me, nor are there spaces where God is not.
The simple conclusion of the word "omnipresent" is that there is nothing but God.
This is the greatest secret. Why?
Because you and I still do not understand what God's Omnipresence means.
We think: "Oh, of course, I know God", but of course we do not know. God is a code word; God is hidden "in our own heart".
It seems that God, having created all beings in the universe, suddenly finds himself homeless.
It seems that God said, "I have created man. He is my own child, so I must not be too far away from him, but he must not grab me - unless his heart is pure. So, what must I do? Where must I dwell?"
"I will dwell in his heart, very close to him, and yet he will never look into his own heart - unless it is pure."
The key to the knowledge of God is in the heart, which must be pure - only then will we find him.

December 3


If you scratch my back, I purr, and if you squeeze my tail, I jump on you.
It doesn't seem to make any sense at all.
One who is intent on discovering his identity does not react, and the problem does not arise in his heart: "Must I conform or must I non-conform?"
This, I feel, is urgently needed, not only on the part of the young people now, but even on the part of the older generation.
Why must I feel that it is too late to change now?
Why must I be shy - ashamed of confessing that I have been wrong, that I have messed up my own and other people's lives?
If that is true, let us face it.
I must drop this business of doing.
Whatever be my chronological age, if I have not started on the quest of self-discovery, I am an unborn baby.
If I don't know what I am, how do I know I exist?
It is when we commence this quest of self-knowledge that we are really and truly born, otherwise we exist just as this table exists, but slightly worse, because the table doesn't need food three times a day.
It is in this discovery of one's own identity that I feel yoga can help us tremendously.
There are no dogmas in yoga.
Write the word "dogma" and reverse it - "am God".
Eventually yoga leads us to the discovery of this truth: "am God".
Not "I am God".
There is no "I" there.

December 4


In religious life, as it is popularly understood, religion is one part of life.
Prayer in the morning and evening, regularly visiting the temple, observance of fasts and festivals, and so on.
In divine life however the whole of life is divinised.
This does not mean that a divine life is opposed to a religious or good life.
On the contrary, it is the fulfillment of an ethical or religious life.
Spiritual life is definitely opposed to worldly or materialistic life.
It should awaken in us the consciousness that we are in truth the immortal spirit.
It should result in our expressing our essential, divine, spiritual nature, in all our thoughts, words and deeds.
This demands keen discrimination, intelligent dispassion and firm determination.
This demands an ability to make sacrifices, a daring spirit of adventure, and a willingness to make the necessary psycho-spiritual experiments, which might cost us not only the pleasures of this worldly life, but our life itself.
All this is possible more easily when our spirit (not only our body) is young, rather than when the senility of pessimism and infirmity has overtaken us, and we cling to the false security of riches and relations.

December 5

God and Guru's Grace

People labor under the delusion that while a disciplined life is indispensable for a certain path, for another it is not.
Saints and sages glorify certain practices like japa and kirtan as easy; this is to encourage the aspirant.
Soon the aspirant is reminded that, unless he detaches the mind from the world, and attaches it to the Lord, no progress is possible.
Even so with karma yoga.
Gurudev Swami Sivananda constantly warned that without desirelessness, egolessness and (on the positive side), seeing God in all, mere activity is but labor, so much energy wasted.
Without physical, mental and moral disciplines, what is styled hatha yoga, but which is in fact just yoga asanas, will degenerate into mere physical culture, and raja yoga, or "yoga of meditation" will be impossible.
Gurudev insisted from the beginning, however, that everyone should practise japa, kirtan, meditation and study of the scriptures, asanas, pranayama, without losing sight of the imperative need to progress side-by-side in self-control.
Intelligently and sincerely practised asanas and pranayama enable us to acquire mastery over the senses and the mind. Perhaps the greatest obstacle on the path of yoga is insincerity.
Only God and Guru's Grace can enable us to detect its presence and ultimately to remove it.

December 6


"I met a beggar in the street, he asked for alms. And I, not liking promiscuous charity, passed on and then had qualms. I turned and sought him but found him not. He had passed the poorer, and I am poorer too."
So do most of us miss the opportunities of relieving the poverty and suffering of our brethren.
We think we are assuring our happiness, but exploitation nurtures bitterness in the heart of the oppressed, and leads to a social explosion, which spreads unhappiness all round.
Hoarded wealth is a curse.
Yet man accumulates wealth and strives his utmost to obtain more.
Our scriptures insist that we should produce more food and more wealth.
Yet, again, one is unable to resist the temptation to regard that "earned" (often by exploitation) wealth as our own, and to regard with suspicion anyone who asks for a share of it.
Gurudev suggested a way out: "Consider that you are only the trustee of the wealth that has been entrusted to you by God."
You are certainly not going to take it away with you when you leave this world, so why make yourself and others miserable by hoarding it?
Put yourself in the other man's position, sincerely and truly.
What would you expect? Compassion?
Be compassionate. Turn accursed wealth into a great blessing. Share with all.

December 7

The Infinite

The yogi is tremendously alert.
In the Yoga Vasistha there is even a specific instruction that a yogi should live as if he were an ordinary human being, weeping with the sorrowful, and laughing with the joyous.
But he knows that whether those experiences seem to be pleasant or unpleasant, the content of those experiences is the same pure experiencing that arises in the one undivided, indivisible intelligence.
The yogi behaves in exactly the same way as you and I do, seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, tasting etc.
But he knows that all these actions or expressions of his own senses, of the mind, of the intellect, arise in that intelligence, and the content of these expressions is nothing but that pure intelligence, which is in itself indivisible.
That is the self.
Yet the essence of the self is distorted the moment you express it.
The awareness of this indivisibility is bliss.
Don't look for any happiness in that which is fragmented, whether you call it a finite experience, or whether you call it the infinite.
I'm meditating upon what I call the form of my Guru, or the form of Krishna or the form of Buddha, and I am meditating upon what I call the infinite.
The meditator is the infinite.

December 8

The Truth

Motives are usually hidden deep within the subconscious.
It is difficult to detect them.
We should constantly endeavor to dive deep within ourselves, and plant the right outlook on life there.
This is done by meditation.
If we do not do this, service, though begun with pure love, leads either to attachment or dislike.
There is a mysterious power within us that does not allow us to love all and serve all.
It generates two currents, attraction and repulsion, attachment and hatred.
We love those we like, and it is towards those that the current of our "liking" leads us.
We serve them, become attached to them, we expect them to reciprocate.
From others the current of "dislike" pulls us apart, we hate them, are cruel to them.
Even our love for those we like does not last forever, because they fail to reciprocate our love. Love turns to hate and they turn into our worst enemies.
Nothing but meditation (coupled with selfless service) enables us to rise above these two currents of infatuation, attachment, desire; and hate, anger and aversion.
There are many methods of meditation, but the one unalterable law is that, if we are sincere in our approach to our practice, we must arrive at the truth that the God, who dwells in our hearts, dwells in all.

December 9

Thou Shalts

Yoga does not prohibit people from enjoying life.
It does not demand that one should cut oneself completely away from all the pleasures of life.
We have a weakness for surrounding ourselves with so many prohibitions, that nobody wants to look at spiritual practices, because, before I take up spiritual practices, I think I must drop this and drop that.
When I come across somebody who tells me this, I ask, "Please tell me what I can do! Not a string of 'Thou shalt nots'."
Let us try some "Thou shalts".
Far from making the student incapable of enjoying life, yoga enables one to enjoy life more keenly.
If I resolutely make up my mind that I shall live to be happy, that I shall live in such a way that life gives me pleasure, then I am quite sure that my life will be well ordered, well disciplined.
I am quite sure that I will eat the right food, engage myself in right activity.
Before I take a cigarette in my hand, I will think, "Does it give me pleasure?"
Momentarily, maybe, but I can feel it is going to lead me into distress - so I may not want it.
Therefore, basically, the philosophy of yoga does not indulge in injunction and prohibition, but promotes awareness.
That is the key word. Awareness.

December 10

Ill Health

Anything that disturbs the inner harmony, that threatens to break that wholeness within himself, the yogi avoids, including what we call ill health.
Ill health, wrong functioning of the internal organs, is a sort of disharmony within oneself.
The cause may be physical, the cause may be mental, but the harmony must be restored.
If the cause is physical, treat it with physical means.
If the cause is internal, treat it with internal means.
If your living habits are not right, rectify those habits.
If the cause is emotional, put it right there.
These things are not to be confused.
Restoration of that inner harmony is the goal.
This demands the performance of yoga postures, which are wonderful, followed by some breathing exercises, also wonderful, followed by meditation, where you glimpse the inner harmony, followed by what we call karma yoga - dealing with people and still preserving that inner harmony.
Harmonizing our relationship with one another is also yoga.
Harmonizing our relationship with cosmic forces is also yoga, bhakti yoga.
All these together constitute yoga.

December 11


Granting that one has been the target of genuine black magic, in what manner does the suffering or the misfortune differ from other forms of suffering?
Does the black magician do anything which a simple germ or virus cannot do?
So, why should one be especially afraid of witchcraft?
Again, can any harm come to me if I do not deserve it, if it is not my Karma?
If it is my Karma, what can prevent it, except my own present exceedingly good Karma?
Ultimately, therefore, there is only one thing that can save me: faith in God who is love, God who is good.
If I am devoted to God, if I repeat his name with every breath, if I am good and do good, how can witchcraft touch me at all?
If I am devoted to God in this manner, then the harm that someone may direct towards me will only rebound on that someone.
Of course, people do have the belief that where images of God, holy scriptures, religious articles, like the rosary, are kept, no evil influence can enter.
Gurudev used to say that no evil influence dare enter the place where the Mahamantra is sung, that no evil influence will touch the man who does japa of the Lord's name.

December 12


In the Bhagavad Gita Arjuna says, "Tell me what is good for me, what is ultimately good for me, pleasant or unpleasant! I surrender myself."
This surrender is a mysterious thing.
Does anybody want to surrender at all?
Do I know what surrender is?
If there is surrender, what is surrendered, and by whom?
It is very easy to say: "Oh, I surrender myself to you."
Every girl promises the boy before they get married, "I am yours - so long as you do what I want you to do!"
Is that surrender?
If I surrender myself, is there ever a need to surrender myself again?
If I do, it means there is some doubt, doesn't it?
Surrender is an extremely difficult concept to understand, because the understander of this surrender is the ego.
It is very easy to bluff oneself.
If there is true surrender, then there is immediate illumination, because the one thing that stands between God and me is me!
When the me is removed, God alone exists - which is truth.
Krishna reveals the truth to Arjuna immediately: "You are grieving, you are worried unnecessarily.
You are worrying about those you should not worry about."
This is a fantastic verse; it has saved my life a hundred times.
Let us be clear what we are talking about.
I say I am worried, but if I try to find out who "I" is, what this "worry'' is, the problem is gone.

December 13


When you observe yourself during Japa, you are aware of the Mantra being repeated and heard within yourself.
These two, sound and hearing, are inseparable, the distinction being one of polarization.
If "you" distinguish yourself from these, another "pair" is "born": the self and the non-self.
Another polarization.
In the words of Patanjali, you discover that "desire follows the pleasure-sense" and "an experience of pain is accompanied by dislike".
If you can learn to observe these, without being caught up in their coils, you will discover that hope and anxiety, the ambition to succeed and the fear of failure, craving and frustration, security and slavery, domination and revolt, all of these come in pairs.
In fact everything you wish to have comes along with everything you wish to avoid.
You cannot possibly break up these pairs and have them singly.
Even to attempt to separate the self from the non-self can therefore lead to constant inner conflict and frustration, till in pure awareness even this distinction disappears, and all contradictions are seen to be polarization, and thus no contradiction at all.

December 14


Often we think that the person who is able to see colors and visions is a yogi; that he who is able to read our thoughts is a yogi.
These are all our own ideas, the creations of our own mind, our own egos.
All preconceived notions of what is right and wrong, good and evil, righteous and unrighteous, all these dualities are the creation of the ego, which is the creation of Maya.
These may be approved by society - you have a sort of stupid satisfaction, because your conduct is approved by people and you are respected by them.
When you look within yourself, you must be able to see this vanity.
You must see the uselessness of this kind of life.
It is then that you arrive at the precipice - this is all you can get to, the only point you can reach.
Beyond that is Durga, the unapproachable.
See the utter worthlessness of this knowledge; knowledge of what tradition considers right, good, wisdom.
It is then you have reached the limits of your own mind, your own intelligence.

December 15


When you realize that even what we call wisdom is within the realm of Maya and is therefore, disastrous, then what happens?
You are bewildered because you have come to the end of your tether.
All that I depended upon for so long has fallen away.
I thought this was right and pursued that course and suddenly I find it is useless.
I thought that this was wisdom and knowledge and clung to it.
Suddenly I realized that this is Maya.
I have come to the end of thought, to the conclusion of logic, the mind and the intellect.
When the mind is thus baffled, it is stilled.
Only that mind can be still which has arrived at its own conclusion.
It has committed suicide as it were.
Just as the ocean can become absolutely calm, without any waves at all, and yet still be there, only its modification as waves and currents having ceased, even so intelligence will be there without the modifications known as thoughts, ideas, concepts and actions.

December 16


"The world is full of unhappiness", says Krishna in the Gita, and this does not need any commentary.
Nothing is permanent here. Everything is changing.
In this changing world, do not look for security.
The person on whom you are depending today is leaving, changing.
When I see that change is the only unchanging thing in this world, when I know that I cannot depend on anything in this world, then I am truly insecure.
As the Hassidic Masters would say, "This is divine insecurity."
When I become aware of this divine insecurity, then I am at peace with my maker.
I can no longer afford to be arrogant, to depend upon anybody, to expect anyone to do anything for me.
When I thus do not expect anyone to do anything for me, I am naturally grateful to everyone that does anything for me.
Do you see how all the virtues spring from this one thing - this divine insecurity?
Then I abandon even the quest for security, because I know that it is false, that it does not exist in this world.
When I am afraid to face this insecurity that I am surrounded by, I create the false security of relationships.
If I am able to face the truth that there is no security in this changing world, from that springs all the virtues.
I do not assume that people are the same today as they were yesterday, so I approach them humbly.

December 17

The Purpose of Life

What is the purpose of life?
Is there any purpose or do we merely exist until we die?
What is my relation with you?
What is the meaning of "pleasure and pain"?
Often these questions do not arise in man's mind until he is rudely shaken by shock, failure or calamity.
The normal man is far too busy with the struggle for existence to find time for such thoughts about life.
He is content to exist; he hardly ever lives.
Even miseries fail to waken him; he only changes his tactics, blaming his neighbors and sometimes himself, and endeavors to find happiness by other methods.
There is total darkness around him, and even the way out is completely forgotten.
At such times the Almighty Lord grants us great spiritual awakeners, who come and live with us.
Different from us, they reveal a pattern of life that has a greater meaning than merely awaiting its earthly end.
If we heed the example and precepts of the master, we can get spiritually healed and awakened.
If we ignore the master's message, God, our benign mother, will resort to other methods to remind us that we live in a world of pain and death.
Sooner or later we have to ask, "What is the purpose of life?"
Life has a great purpose to find God, who is supreme bliss.

December 18


Do we have to have a personal savior or God to pick us up? No.
You will not know when you are eligible for self-realization.
You have to surrender.
When you have really surrendered, you will not know whether the surrender is total.
If you do know, then you have not surrendered.
If I am able to say, "I am asleep", I am not asleep.
Unless the ego is totally lost, God will not be experienced.
The finite cannot experience the infinite.
My finite mind is trying to experience the omnipresence of God.
If we try to reach out to the infinite with finite instruments, we have trouble, mess, confusion, sin and headaches.
It is here that we are caught.
Krishna says, "Look, go on striving, keep at it, and when the time comes, I will liberate you."
"You cannot see me with your own eyes. Your eyes are limited. Don' t bluff yourself."
This refers not only to the physical eyes, but it refers to our mental eyes.
The ego cannot perceive God.
What the ego perceives is its own image.
So Krishna said, "I will give you the divine eye."
The divine eye is the eye that sees the divine, which is completely rid of any materiality.
I cannot open that divine eye myself.
That is the goal of buddhi yoga.

December 19


The word is the scripture, the truth, the highest wisdom, the consciousness that is God himself.
But until the truth is discovered and realized, the word remains a sealed book, a hidden treasure.
Food outside the body decays, but the same food eaten, digested and assimilated, becomes body, becomes "me", becomes living substance.
Scripture outside one's self is a dead weight, because it causes the illusion of knowledge, and thus blocks discovery or realization.
When the same scripture (word) is discovered, uncovered and is seen in the light, then it is assimilated.
There is sameness between the truth and the discoverer, the seeker and the sought.
The word becomes flesh, spiritual being; it is not a foreign body suspended in the stomach, it is not even a "part" of one's being, it is one's being itself.
That is religion. That is Holy Communion. That is yoga.
This light is within every one of us, and has to be diligently sought there in meditation.
Meditation in itself may look like a technique to begin with, but with persistent practice it becomes life itself.
Then daily life becomes divine life.

December 20

The Battle

We think that discussions on self-realization should be held in a lovely spiritual atmosphere, in a forest or a cave, where nobody irritates us, where nothing is born, nothing dies.
The problem is here and now.
The battle is here, the problem is here.
What must I do about the noise, about this nagging wife, this drunken husband?
The need for the Bhagavad Gita is here.
It must be practised here.
Occasionally you can get away, but do not take your transistor radio with you.
Sit and meditate; that will at least prevent you from going mad.
The need for self-realization is in the battle of life.
I am the creator of this battle.
I am the battle.
If I run away from this battle, I must return to it.
To solve this problem once and for all, I must be here.
I must attain self-realization.
This body is supposed to be "you", but actually it is potatoes, vegetables.
If I understand this, then I know what to do.

December 21


Teaching and learning are not always what we take them to be.
There are levels of communication, completely different from verbal communication.
This the yogi accepts - that one has to learn yoga from a teacher, but that that learning is not what we commonly consider learning to be.
It is communication, and that communication can take place on unknown levels.
A story is told of St. Francis.
He was a simple, loving, humble saint, teaching people how to be loving, gentle, and particularly how to lead a life of poverty - not this business of ugly poverty, but to be poor in spirit.
It seems, one day he was walking through a small town and people began to follow him.
Even then he was quite simple and humble; probably he was looking down at the earth and treading very carefully, gently and slowly, not even treading ants under his feet.
Someone stopped him and said: "Hey, are you the teacher we have been waiting for?"
"You have been waiting for me?", He said.
"Yes, someone has been saying that a great teacher is coming, to enlighten us. Aren't you going to teach us?"
Saint Francis looked at this man and said, "If you have not learned so far, I cannot teach you any more. If you have not had the power of observation, then saying a few words is not going to be of any use to you."

December 22


The yogi is not an unusual, super-natural, super-normal being.
Everyone has knowingly or unknowingly experienced the state of yoga some time or other.
In the case of most of us this state of yoga happens and we do not taste it, we do not enjoy it, and therefore we are not established in it.
The yogi consciously and deliberately moves towards it.
One must be very careful here.
You cannot consciously and deliberately bring on the state of yoga, it has to happen; but you can consciously and deliberately move towards it, so that you have an indirect experience of it, in the penultimate state, and in the state afterwards, when you return to what is called normal consciousness.
In other words, when you want to fall asleep, you arrange the pillows properly, you switch off the lights, you lie down and you observe yourself falling asleep.
As long as you are observing, you are not going to sleep.
When you have fallen asleep, you stop observing; a couple of minutes before you are destined to sleep, the observation is switched off.
But having deliberately moved towards that sleep, you remember, "This is what I wanted."
And when you wake up in the morning, you say, "Oh, that was beautiful."
So, if you have learned to enjoy that state of sleep, to enjoy that state of yoga, then you cherish it, you value it, and then it is possible for you to be established in it.

December 23


You cannot will yourself into the state of yoga.
But in this repeated exercising and experiencing of the state of yoga - not in itself but just before and just after - something within tastes that peace, tastes that bliss.
You value the inner peace more than anything else.
Therefore you are asked to meditate in the morning, immediately after getting up from bed, coming out of sleep.
It is so beautiful, so blissful.
You have been sleeping for six or seven hours.
The world went on without you, probably better without your meddling.
Even the body was alive, functioning.
So once again, just like the tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell, you bring yourself back into it, and try to taste that peace.
'Taste' that peace this time.
You spend half an hour or an hour in meditation, then you get up and come out, making sure every now and then that that peace is still there, that you have not dropped it anywhere.
If I do not drop that which I have in my pocket, it's bound to be there.
When in this fashion, you constantly repeat that taste, that experience of the inner peace, then you are established in it.

December 24


What can be done to salvage the spirit of Christmas?
During one's travels around the world one cannot avoid meeting the spirit of the antichrist, still professing to be Christian - but where is Jesus?
Is it not possible to "see" Jesus in the Holy Land, in the cathedrals and museums of Europe? Oh yes.
Is it not possible to "see" Jesus and Bernadette in Lourdes? Yes, it is.
If not, then one sees all these places as so many prosperous and thriving souvenir shops!
But, even when one "sees" Jesus in these places, where does Jesus abide?
Most mysteriously and most certainly in one's own heart.
If Jesus is absent there, he cannot be seen outside.
The pure heart is the Lord's throne.
His throne is not of matter, nor is his kingdom of this earth.
It is when man aspires to rule another that conflict arises, and his own personality is split into numerous fragments.
For such a person it is almost impossible to experience Holy Communion.
To be holy one has to achieve "wholeness".
To achieve wholeness means the resolution of all conflicts, all duality.
In fact, this is communion - hence communion is holy.

December 25

Divine Incarnation

The mystery of the birth of Jesus Christ is unveiled in a universal scripture known as the Bhagavad Gita - The Song of God.
"Whenever the world order is threatened by disorder, I incarnate myself in order to preserve what is good, destroy evil and re-establish world order," says the Lord.
Such is the nature and the purpose of the divine incarnation.
But it needs divine eyes to see the divinity in the incarnation.
All else is vain argumentation.
lt is a common human weakness to say "Lord, Lord," and to expect to arrive at the kingdom of heaven.
But, unless we are good and we do good (the will of the father) and thus align ourselves with the world order, such an expectation is arrogance and foolishness.
When he comes again, may he not find us on the side of evil!
Such should be our active prayer day and night, especially on this auspicious occasion, the Holy Christmas when we remember His incarnation.

December 26

What is Life?

In the young life is hopeful, daring, ambitious and restless.
The innocence of childhood is lost, but gives rise to strength of character, whether for good or ill.
Marriage, raising a family, providing a house and other necessities seem tremendously important and urgent.
They prevent us from asking the question, "What is life?"
The fruit hides the seed, and hidden in the seed is the secret of life - death.
The fruit has to be sacrificed that life may live.
Yet there is no death - death is the shedding of the shell; death is the bursting of life out of the covering shell.
That covering is hell and its destruction is liberation.
What is life?
Life is eternal.
Life is.
And that which is, is God.
In youth, in manhood, and in a state of coma, this eternal life, this immortal being, is the sole reality.
Life is not born; it does not undergo any change.
The differences we see are assumed and not real, but they give rise to different attitudes, approaches, forms of behavior and different experiences, which we call good and evil, pleasure and pain, hell and heaven.
Life is beyond all these.
Life is God, and in God there is no distinction whatsoever.
When distinctions are overcome, their effects do not arise. Rejoice. Life is.

December 27

Karma Yoga

That power that one day decides that you should stop breathing for good, functions in us all.
He to whom this power belongs is called the cosmic person or God.
In relation to him, perhaps we are as cells in a body.
The changes and interchanges taking place in that person are called by us birth, death, reincarnation and so on.
God alone exists.
In Him there are no distinctions between the sentient and the insentient; the latter (the material universe), is similar to our hair and nails.
There is beauty in this vision, and with it we cultivate not only respect for all life, but also reverence for all things in this world.
All action that springs from this is karma yoga.
Karma yoga is the touchstone for the truth of meditation, and meditation will necessarily obliterate the distinctions that are created by the mind, that create selfishness, anger, lust, greed and so on.
Karma yoga is when meditation and life fuse into one.

December 28


What are we afraid of? Death?
The silliest thing in the world is the fear of death, because death is inevitable.
I may be afraid of you; that makes sense, because I can avoid you.
I may be afraid of catching a cold, and may prevent it by covering myself with a shawl.
But how can I avoid death?
Again, what is the sense in saying "I am afraid of losing wealth or health?"
Everything is bound to change; there is change from day to day.
Once I see the truth there is no fear.
That is what the Holy Bible says: "The truth shall make you free."
What does not free you from fear is not truth.
If you believe in some God and this puts fear into you, that is not God.
Why should I be afraid of God Who is Omnipresent?
If I am afraid of you, I can run away from you, but can I run away from an Omnipresent God?
Hence I cannot fear God.
That which does not free me from fear is not divine.
The scripture says: "By merely remembering this great truth, I am freed from fear."

December 29


Mortal life is a straw caught in a gale, and yet its immortal essence is the space unaffected by the gale.
Mortal life is bounded by life and death, but the immortal is unborn and deathless.
A glimpse of the immortal makes you fearless, and realization that all life is mortal makes you equally fearless.
Selfish man's diabolical attempts to acquire power, position and prestige lead him all the sooner to the grave, where he is trodden underfoot by those whom he exploited.
O Life! What are you?
With the ticking of the clock, the rising and setting of the sun, the changing of the calendar, where are you leading me, unborn, deathless, immortal soul?
You are unbearably exacting in your demands, yet those who have eyes can see that eating is not to appease hunger (hunger is never appeased!) but to rediscover the self, which is beyond hunger and thirst, sin and suffering.
Life is for self-realization, the antithesis of selfishness and self-aggrandizement.
Life's goal is immortality, beyond the world.
Be good, do good are the way of preparation; serve, love, meditate, realize, are the steps.
Cosmic love is the key.
This is the truth, is the self.
This will make you free, here and now.

December 30

Your Mission

As New Year's Day comes closer, each one of us is filled with great expectations for the new year.
Related to this is the question: what is the purpose of my life?
I once saw under the tabletop of a business executive a big poster with the words: "God!
Let me know thy will so that I may do it."
What an extraordinary prayer.
Who is to answer that question? Yourself!
How and when will I know what my mission is?
When I know myself, obviously.
In fact that itself is your mission - to know the Self.
If you have really and truly found the Self, then by just being the Self, you will fulfill your mission!
You will not of course behave like the silly spiritual aspirant who wrote to Gurudev: "I have attained self-realization; please tell me what to do next."
A rose is a rose, because it is a rose.
It is unique in God's creation even as you are.
A rose smells as sweet as a rose, because it does not want to become a lotus or jasmine.
You can fulfill your mission if you are yourself, and not the imitation of Mr.X or Mrs. Y.
Measuring up to someone else is a waste of time.
In the new year may you be your self.
May you, the unique and fragrant flower in the cosmic garden of the Lord, live the divine life of truth, love and purity.

December 31


What do we do to herald the New Year?
Exactly what we did at the beginning of the old year, and every year before that.
After a whole night of revelry, we take the old calendar down and put another in its place.
And the old life goes on unaffected by this insignificant change.
We take pious resolves, but they usually march out of our lives in March at the latest.
Why is this so?
Because of past habits.
And often we say, "I would love to give up this habit, but it is so difficult."
If it is possible then to look within, we shall see that in actual fact, "I love the habit and do not want to give it up."
A real and radical change will not happen in my life till I develop an inner sensibility to such an extent that the past habits really hurt, that every manifestation of selfishness or egoism hurts.
Then selfishness and its diabolical retinue lose their charm.
Vanity and its violent companions lose their value.
Love rules our heart. Wisdom rules our brain.
Enlightenment prevails in our soul.
Our daily life becomes divine life.

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