Your Questions Answered
by Swami Krishnananda

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Chapter 1: On Free Will

SWAMIJI: It has been well said that every particle of our body—call them cells, or whatever they are—are concretisations, manifestations, solid forms of the cumulative force exerted upon a particular center called the human individuality by the total action of the planets and the sun. So, you are a child of the solar system. You are not born to any father or mother and all that; these are all social interpretations of your position, but you have a larger stellar relation. You are a citizen of the solar system.

We should not be under the impression that the sun is so far away, the planets are invisible to the eyes, and stars are still further. It is nothing of the kind. There is no distance in this electromagnetic field of the stellar region, the solar atmosphere. "Electromagnetic field" is the description we can give of the manner in which the entire atmosphere works. It is not visible to the physical eye. So forceful, so powerful is this influence that it concretizes itself in certain forms which are called individualities. They may be the forms of the plant kingdom or animal kingdom, or human kingdom.

But, there is something more about it. The entire structure of space-time is the parent of how the stellar system operates. Space-time is a complex existence which far surpasses, in extent and range, the whole world that you call the solar system or the stellar region. It is the influence exerted by the very operation of this endless space-time complex that congealed itself in the form of the solar system, the Milky Way, etc., and further down to the bodies like ours, so that we are little, tiny drops in the sea of electromagnetic force generated by what you call space-time continuum. So, you are not sitting in Rishikesh, nor in Delhi, nor in any other place. There is no such thing as earth. It is only a name that we give to a concentrated form of cosmic energy, of which we are a part.

We are born into this body by the cumulative action of various forces. One of them is the food that we eat. The mother's diet has a great influence upon the formation of the child in the womb. Whatever diet you may conceive in your mind is a form of earth principle, water principle, fire principle, air principle, and space-time principle. These put together act upon a personality, and we cannot say whose children we are, to which country we belong, what our nationality is. Our father is somewhere else, of whom we have no knowledge, and about whom we do not think one minute, as if He is redundant.

Every atom of space has eyes. There is cosmic intelligence pervading everywhere. This cosmic intelligence which is ensouling the entire physical cosmos can be interpreted as something cosmically in relation to the intelligence pervading your personality. Dr. Rao or Krishnamurty—they are not what is visible to the eyes before a photographic camera. "Dr. Rao has come." It does not mean that a six-foot physical body has come. It does not mean that. It is a significance; it is a meaning, isn't it? Or is it a fleshy, bony individual walking—because there are many such individuals in the world. The significance is what you call "yourself." There is a meaning in you; that meaning is what you are. This meaning is the creative force behind our existence, so that we exist not because of our individual initiative which appears to be there. The so-called initiative of ours, the effort that we put forth, is an impulsion that comes from the center of the cosmos. If that center does not operate, we cannot lift a finger; it will collapse. The finger does not lift, and the legs do not walk, merely because of the food that we eat or the medicines that we take. It is because of the permission that has come from the center. If the whole body is sick, every limb of the body also is sick.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Swamiji, is this permission only to act, or to act in a particular manner?

SWAMIJI: To exist itself.

Dr. P. C. Rao: To exist, and to act in a particular manner, too?

SWAMIJI: That also. Now, why should it permit you to act in a particular manner? That also is another question. It can permit you to act in some other way also than the way in which you are working. That is conditioned by your previous incarnations. Why do mirrors reflect different kinds of light?

Dr. P. C. Rao: I want to ask a few questions. I do intellectually comprehend the message that you have given me, because I am also capable of thinking abstract thoughts. Now, the books that I have helped me at least in arriving at a hypothesis—what I think is a hypothesis. And this is the very thought every day I go through. If this is meditation, I am going through that meditation. But, before I come to the next step, if you say that I am here because of the force given to me by an external force. . .

SWAMIJI: Yes, yes, yes. It has formed you and conditioned you and made you what you are, including the circumstances in which you are born and even the length of your life, and the mode of your existence, and the manner of your action. Everything is conditioned by that.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If everything is conditioned by that, I become an agent.

SWAMIJI: You are not an agent. It itself is doing it. There is no such thing as Mr. Rao or anybody. It doesn't exist. You see, when the finger is moving, the finger is not moving. It is the whole body that is ordering it to get up like that. So, we are like fingers of this cosmic force, and it orders that you move in this particular way. If the finger had, by chance, a consciousness of its own, it would think it is moving independently.

Dr. P. C. Rao: This analogy may not hold good because if I were to order from a central point this finger to move, the finger does not act on its own. The finger does exactly what I indicate. It does not have an independent existence, Swamiji.

SWAMIJI: That is what I am saying. There is no independent existence for anything.

Dr. P. C. Rao: No. If that is so, then, while I go through various births and deaths, where do I evolve separately from the messages?

SWAMIJI: The whole point is that births and deaths should not take place, really speaking, if this consciousness is already there. But, somehow or other this takes place because this consciousness has not been implanted properly in the individuality. The ego functions as if it is outside.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But who has implanted it?

SWAMIJI: That, nobody can say. It is like asking who created the world.

Dr. P. C. Rao: You said that in the Canadian lawyer Larry’s questions. Exactly the same answer has been given.

SWAMIJI: Somehow or other the spark or the part has assumed an independence; that independence is called egoism.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But you say ultimately it has not. It appears to exist, but it does not.

SWAMIJI: It should not be there and it is not really there also. If this personality called the ego appreciates this position, it will surrender itself to the total whole, to which it belongs, of which it is a part—why a part? It itself is That. Then the whole force of the cosmos will enter it and you will feel an inner strength which cannot be compared with any other strength that you have in this world. So why I am telling all this is, in one minute you are in a state of meditation, provided you are able to collect your thoughts and put them in the proper context. It doesn’t require one hour. Immediately you are That—you are just that which you are contemplating on.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Therefore, I am thinking of me being That, or That being me, or whatever the whole thing is.

SWAMIJI: And also, when you say “That,” you should not imagine a distance between yourself and That. There is no distance. It is a total integration of consciousness where distance is abolished automatically.

Dr. P. C. Rao: So, you want to concentrate on the fact that there is no distance between you and That—that you are That.

SWAMIJI: Yes; there is no distance between anything. It is one Being. So this one Being is what people call God. There is no God outside.

Dr. P. C. Rao: This is where the intellectual exposition gets, in me anyhow—while I do understand the proposition that That is not divisible, I arrive at the root through different ways, but I arrive at the same proposition. I suppose this is very close to the Upanishadic principles. Now, once I come to the conclusion that It is not different from me, I am still unable, because I am still pursuing the logical path as to how I have to come to the separate feeling that I come to feel that I am separate, and that is where you say that we cannot take this enquiry beyond a particular level. In other words, it cannot be explained as to how we have come to feel that we are separate from That.

SWAMIJI: The difficulty is that we are unable to go beyond the level of the comprehension of egoistic personality. In whatever way we think, we assume that we are existing. Even the consciousness that "I am meditating"—that also must go.

Dr. P. C. Rao: That means you must dissolve yourself. Now the other thing is that somebody else does this thing and it gives the principle of life. Life itself is infused in you because of that particular thing. Independent of that, you are nothing. Then, also you are not allowing me to go logically on that principle and say, "If I am not independent of that and it is controlling me, the one who is controlling me should control anything."

SWAMIJI: He does control everything.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If He does, then why should I be thinking and get blamed for anything at all?

SWAMIJI: You will not get blamed for that, provided that you are sure that you are not doing it. But you are not sure of it. You feel that you are doing it. If that kind of total inseparable identity with the whole is felt by you, your actions cannot bind you. The Bhagavad Gita is that only.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But coming to that conclusion, I must cross these hurdles.

SWAMIJI: That is up to you. You can adopt any method. The Bhagavad Gita is this much: No action can bind you, provided that vision of the cosmos is before you.

Dr. P. C. Rao: It is my way of looking at it. While the proposition that there is a Universal Principle, and It is indivisible, is logically arguable (that far I am prepared to go), the relationship between what is called individual and the Universal I think depends upon. . .

SWAMIJI: You see, there is a conceptual relation, but not a real relation. And conceptual relation is not. . .

Dr. P. C. Rao: It is only after you go beyond the concept that you feel you get integrated with that principle. First you have to go through that evolution, thinking process.

SWAMIJI: That is meditation. Again and again assert that position.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Swamiji, whatever you say gets implanted in me and I don’t leave it. I keep thinking this every day, but yet I have not evolved into that.

SWAMIJI: The very fact that you are able to understand that shows that you have evolved enough to make it a part of your life.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I am not satisfied with that, Swamiji.

SWAMIJI: You are not giving sufficient time to think.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Either I am not giving sufficient time to think, or I have really come to a stage where I am unable to break through.

SWAMIJI: You are not unable to understand; you can understand it. The only thing is that you have to assert it in your consciousness. And you are not going to be a loser. You are actually going to be a gainer by that. Your dimension will be enhanced, and why should you say that you have no time to think while it is the thing that you are actually aspiring for? Don’t you want to become a larger person of a larger dimension? How can you say that you have no time?

Dr. P. C. Rao: Otherwise, this enquiry would have been given up.

SWAMIJI: Don’t you like to be promoted? You should not say, “I have no time to think of it like that.” You will certainly find time if you are going to . . .

Dr. P. C. Rao: I do find—it is not physically finding time. I have, to some extent, read all your books. . .

SWAMIJI: It is not actually the question of physically finding time. It is the quality of thought. It should just take possession of you, as when a person is drowning in water. Only one thought will be there at that time. You will be thinking nothing else.

Dr. P. C. Rao: The Canadian lawyer’s questions are very much my questions, and they will continue to be my questions. In terms of intellectual satisfaction, the Canadian lawyer’s questions, his wife’s questions, still continue to haunt me because they happen to be my own questions.

SWAMIJI: It is everybody’s question.

Dr. P. C. Rao: The answers you have given have not completely dissolved my doubts.

SWAMIJI: You have to ponder over that again and again, and the whole thought should sink into your feeling, so that you are living that thought. You are not simply thinking it, you are that.

Dr. P. C. Rao: And then the environment in which I live, as we were discussing—the Sankaracharyas and various intellectual or religious leaders, etc.—they go about their activities, but it doesn’t generate the amount of faith that one hopes these leaders do.

SWAMIJI: They are unnecessarily interfering in matters which are to nobody’s good. There is no benefit. No purpose is served by that. They come so low to the segmented social level. It is not their duty also. They are supposed to inspire you spiritually in a divine manner, not interfere in political governments. That is not their duty. What is the purpose? Why are they so much interested in it? Though political activity is worthwhile, there are other people to do that. Why are these people doing that? If everybody becomes only a politician, then who will be there to think and impart knowledge? Everybody can become a businessman. Then, what will happen?

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: But then Swamiji, how about the gunas? If no two human beings are the same, and if all of them are parts of the same whole. . .

SWAMIJI: In that condition of your deep meditation, the gunas will cease to operate. The gunas will not operate at that time. If at all there is some guna, it is sattva guna at that time. No rajas and tamas will be there at that time. Only when you assert your individual personality, the rajas and tamas will come. Rajas and tamas are characteristics of the ego consciousness, whereas sattva is of divine consciousness. And gradually they will evaporate. What is the time now? We sit for meditation and you can also sit. We sit at five o’clock, from five to six.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Reading-wise, I read practically all of your books, and I read the message directly given to me by you on each of my visits. They make a very deep impact on me. But yet, I am still a doubting Thomas you may call it—I am a person who has to be intellectually satisfied.

SWAMIJI: I think to a large extent you have been satisfied.

Dr. P. C. Rao: No, Swamiji. In other words, I am satisfied up to the stage that there is a Universal Principle, and that It is indivisible—that there is no birth and death, etc. Up to that, logically it is arguable.

SWAMIJI: But you must know the conclusion from that.

Dr. P. C. Rao: That is the stage of the Universal and the individual. You know in Christianity, Hinduism—I think each religion tried to explain this very relationship, and they have done so in their own manner, but sometimes I feel perhaps this is only intellectually explained. So, for me, you could say I am somewhat confused.

SWAMIJI: When the intellect asserts itself in deep contemplation, it becomes feeling, and if the intellect and the feeling go together, they can create a flash of what is called intuition. Intuition is nothing but the blending together of intellect and feeling. They are generally acting separately. What we understand, we don't feel; and what we feel, we don't understand. It should not be like that. They must act together parallelly, so that it may be one action of understanding and feeling. Feeling is nearer to you than understanding. Feeling is what you are, actually speaking. Into that the understanding has to sink. This is what they call the process of sravana, manana and nididhyasana. Whatever we are discussing now is sravana, hearing. I hear what you say, and you hear what I say. Then you cogitate over this matter and sink these thoughts into yourself. Finally, you be that thought itself; that is called nididhyasana. This practice has to be carried on throughout the day, not merely for a few minutes in some puja room or anything. Even when you are working in an office, what prevents you from stopping for one minute and putting the pen down? For one minute think this, and it will inspire you. Then start the work. It requires one minute. You put the pen down.

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: I found that in my experience in the Tribunal.

Dr. P. C. Rao: When you get that feeling, your actions differ essentially from what you do now because informed as you are by that feeling, it should reflect in your actions. If I feel I am separate, everything is separate, the feeling generates different activity in me. The way I look at things, the way I react to things, whatever I think, is going to be paramountly different from when I realize that everything is That, and I am That, you are That, and I am no different from That. Is it not, Swamiji? In other words, it is the thought which regulates your activity, which gives character to your activity. Now, if the feeling of divisibility, that you are different from me, obtains in my mind, is the part which controls my activity, my actions would be selfish.

SWAMIJI: Certainly they would be selfish if things are different.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But when the controlling thought is that the entire universe is operating through me and I am that. . .

SWAMIJI: Then your actions will be impartial.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Altogether impartial. Therefore, from the types of activities we engage in, you can determine the thought that is propelling you to do these things. Is it not?

SWAMIJI: Yes.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But in terms of the activities I undertake, though it gives me great relief on several occasions, or it makes me resist attempts to influence my thinking, and this I trace to the concept "Look here, I should not do this"—I have not yet stopped doing things which I would intellectually consider to be undesirable. Therefore, the controlling thought, while it intellectually appreciates, it has not really started controlling my. . .

SWAMIJI: Yes, yes. I understand. You will have no problem like that if you actually enter into it. You start doing it. The problems also get dissolved automatically.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I know—provided I go through that stage.

SWAMIJI: You start it. You decide, "I have started it."

Dr. P. C. Rao: It is as though I am at the doorstep but yet not opening the door.

SWAMIJI: No, it will open; it will open. Truth always triumphs: Satyam eva jayate. And if these thoughts are the truth, they will succeed, and nothing else can succeed. Only, you have to have some little faith that it will work. It will certainly work. The whole atmosphere will change. All shall be well.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I am still in search of that thing, and I am hopeful that light will dawn on me.

SWAMIJI: You should not have any doubt whether it will work or not. It will work.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I am greatly reassured, Swamiji.

SWAMIJI: If you want something, you must assert that it has already come: "It is already with me." This is one of the psychological techniques people generally suggest; and it will immediately come. If you intensely want a thing, it will come.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Whatever activity I do, I never abandon it. That is why I am able to do certain things which I think ought to be done. So, I am still hopeful that this sort of pursuit will lead me to some destination which is what I am looking for.

SWAMIJI: Actually, this is the thought that has to be in your mind always. Whether you are in the motor car, or the office, or taking lunch or dinner—it is the vital thing that sustains you. You cannot keep it segregated.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I don't. It would not be correct to say that I disengage myself from this thought at any given point of time. It may be that temporarily at that particular point I am thinking of some problem. . .

SWAMIJI: No. . . Due to problems, the intensity of the thought may diminish at some time; but, nevertheless, it will be there.

Dr. P. C. Rao: It is there, Swamiji. In every day of my activity, it is there. But something is shrouded in mystery still. Some dark area is still not resolved. Some doubt is still there. I have to put a spotlight on that and see what it is.

SWAMIJI: The spotlight is the affirmation of the Universal Being. That is the light, before which no darkness can stand. And, the affirmation of the Universal Being is done by the Universal Being only. It is not done by you. You have gone into It when you think like this. Actually, who is meditating? It is not Dr. Rao meditating. It is meditating because you have already entered It. You have become part and parcel of It, so you are not meditating. There is no such thing at that time.

Dr. P. C. Rao: True. But, as you said, until you realize that you are That, you will continue to believe that you are meditating.

SWAMIJI: No, that duality you should not create.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I am not creating it. But it exists because the other proposition has not yet dawned on me.

SWAMIJI: It has, to some extent, dawned in you. Only, you have to assert it vigorously by repeatedly thinking it. Once you have entertained it in clarified form in your mind, again you should not leave it afterwards, because the ego has such a power that it will immediately throw some dust over your thought and assert itself more and more than even the thought of God Himself. The ego always parades its importance and makes you feel that it is more important than anything else. We are feeling that the world is nothing to us—the world is something outside us, unconnected with us; it is taking care of itself and we mind our business. This is what we are thinking. Totally independent we are. We can walk on the road with arms thrown, and nobody can talk to us. But it is not like that. Even the earth is controlling you. You cannot walk on the road totally independent like that. The very gravitation of the earth is controlling your movements. There is no freedom like that, except in a cosmic sense. Man’s boast that he is independent of things and he can do whatever he likes is a vainglorious feeling. You cannot even walk on the road until the earth permits it. Such is the majesty of the structure of the cosmos. It is a very important thing to remember. If the earth is not to pull you adequately down by its gravitational force, you would be floating in the air. And, if the sun were not to pull you equally from above, you would be stuck to the ground; you could not lift your foot afterwards. So, they mutually collaborate and create a situation where you can move.

Dr. P. C. Rao: These are the laws of nature; they are immutable.

SWAMIJI: And still, we are thinking, “I will go for a walk.” Who is going for a walk? You tell me. Somebody else is helping you to push yourself.

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: The mysterious thing is how thoughts are generated.

SWAMIJI: Thoughts are generated by body consciousness. You think that there is a body. The consciousness of a body is called thought. Otherwise, there is no other thing except that. Affirmation of this body is called thought, mind—consciousness concentrating itself in a particular location of space and time. That is individuality; that is the mind.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Suppose you let things happen as you wish—you don’t try to control anything—you just do whatever you want, on impulse.

SWAMIJI: What is the meaning of “whatever you want”?

Dr. P. C. Rao: Whatever you want—whatever your impulse tells you.

SWAMIJI: That impulse is an egoistic impulse.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If it is egoistic, let the activity also be guided by that. What is wrong with egoistic activities?

SWAMIJI: Unless the ego has surrendered itself to the Cosmic Being, it cannot help you.

Dr. P. C. Rao: No. But why do you want to get help? Let things happen in the way they are happening.

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: Or, to put it another way, what is the meaning of the word “help”? How do you define help?

SWAMIJI: There is a difference between impulse and knowledge. They are two different things.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Let your ego control your activities. What happens?

SWAMIJI: That is what is happening in the world. Everybody is doing that work. Then he ruins himself. The person gets ruined. He will have a clash. One ego clashes with another ego. War takes place and destruction takes place.

Dr. P. C. Rao: All right. Let it.

SWAMIJI: Then rebirth takes place. It will go on endlessly. There is no end for this. A mistake that is committed once. . .

Dr. P. C. Rao: Let rebirth take place. Perhaps people would like to go on being born, and then get reborn, as they are against dissolving yourself into a higher principle.

SWAMIJI: That shows the bankruptcy of education in their mind. They are spiritually bankrupt.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I thought at one time you also said, "Don't think that you are going to reform the universe itself, whatever is happening—good, bad or indifferent. There is no such thing called bad or good."

SWAMIJI: But it can work through your individuality also, if you are in a state of unison with that. You can be an instrument in the hands of that power, when you are in unison with that in your deep feeling. They will propel you to act. These are the incarnations and the prophets, as they are called. They are individuals but they are working under the command of a universal force. The whole universal power is concentrated in one individual; that is an incarnation—like the entire power of the sun getting concentrated through a lens and acting at a particular spot. They are called super-human beings. The individuality is there for all purposes of perception, but they are treading in the heavens, actually speaking, because they have consciousness of earth as well as heaven at the same time. That is a peculiar state of jivanmukti, as they call it—you are liberated, and yet you are conscious of the whole of creation. It is an intermediary stage between ordinary human consciousness and Absolute consciousness. That is what is called incarnation consciousness, jivanmukti consciousness. It is an intermediary stage where you can become a cosmic worker, a world savior, as they call it. All the saviors of the world, the incarnations—Krishna, Christ, Buddha, whoever they are—they were intermediaries in the cosmic force, which operated through this physical individuality of theirs, as visible to the eyes. They were not thinking through the body. They were thinking through a larger area, and so we call them incarnations. That is, "incarnation" means the concentration of universal force in a particular body. And, you can also become that. You may become a world savior, a prophet, an incarnation, if the thoughts of yours are cosmic thoughts. And, you will not think in any other manner except that way.

Dr. P. C. Rao: By your own endeavors you can improve the quality of your perception.

SWAMIJI: You may say, yes.

Dr. P. C. Rao: This is the proposition. Is there a role for individual efforts?

SWAMIJI: When That operates through you, you should not call it an individual effort.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But if I want to lay down the proposition like this—because you are all the time telling us that you should improve constantly, improve and move towards that principle, ultimately realize that you are not different from That, and you are That, and there is no subject-object relationship. You are evolving from something baser to something higher. If this is the correct understanding of what you have laid down—therefore, there is a role for me in this, a role for me to evolve.

SWAMIJI: There is a role for you as a representative of that force—like an ambassador of the Cosmic Being.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Yes, but then, still it is my role. If I don't make this, the cosmic force is not going to help me. So, therefore, I have to create this. . .

SWAMIJI: No, "my role" means that it is not your individual role. You are not having your own personal will. You are only an instrument in the operation of it.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If I am an instrument, then let that divine force guide me. I don't make any individual effort.

SWAMIJI: When you think, you will know that It is thinking through you. You will know it. Sometimes you say, "he is possessed by divine forces." You get possessed by that, and you can know that it is working through you, somebody else is speaking through you.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Why don’t I invite the divine force to enter and say, “Now let us move forward.”

SWAMIJI: It will do that. It can do whatever is necessary for the evolution of the total universe. It is not doing it for the welfare of any particular individual. There are no particular individuals.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Then, why should I meditate, Swamiji?

SWAMIJI: So that you may know that it is the truth. You are always thinking you are somewhere, in some place. You have to remove that idea. There is a peculiar habit of the mind asserting itself as located in some place, in a particular form, in a particular condition, etc. This must be removed.

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: What Dr. Rao says is if I am That, why not let That guide me in the proper line?

SWAMIJI: It will certainly guide you.

Sri C. G. Krishnamurty: If that is so, then why should I meditate?

SWAMIJI: It will guide you only after you become one with It. For that, you have to meditate. The government protects and guides the ambassador, but for that he has to become the ambassador first.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But, the ambassador is different from the government. He only carries out the instructions of the government. He is not the government himself. Government is a larger entity.

SWAMIJI: That is true. So, he is acting as a representative of the government itself.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Therefore, I asked at the very beginning, “Am I the agent?”

SWAMIJI: In one stage, you are the agent. There are three stages.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If I am the agent, I carry out these instructions. I can’t be held accountable at all. I am not answerable to anybody.

SWAMIJI: Certainly you are not accountable, provided you are having that consciousness.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Then it is conditional; you have introduced a proviso.

SWAMIJI: Otherwise, if in the middle you start thinking you are Mr. Rao talking, then it won’t work.

Dr. P. C. Rao: No, if I am the ambassador, I know that if the government gives me instructions, it is as the ambassador of that country; I go and give it. And if these instructions don’t fructify, if nothing comes out of it, or bad comes of it, I can’t be held responsible because I merely carried out the instructions given to me by my superior.

SWAMIJI: He is responsible only if he does something contrary to the government ordinance.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Yes. But you are also saying that I cannot even act contrary to the direction. You are incapable of doing so, because it controls.

SWAMIJI: Sometimes it is possible in the intermediary stage to slip into ego consciousness. If you are continuously maintaining a universal consciousness, you are not responsible for anything. But that consciousness is not maintained always. Sometimes in the intermediary, earlier stages, the mind slips into ego consciousness and mistakes can be committed. Even Lord Krishna said, "I cannot repeat the Gita a second time." He came down from that level. When Arjuna said, "Speak to me once again," He said, "No, no. You are a foolish man."

Dr. P. C. Rao: If you slip into it, while logically pursuing this, doggedly pursuing it, it means are you acting contrary to the instruction of. . . Even that slipping into that former direction—are you accountable?

SWAMIJI: You will not slip after a certain stage. It is a force of individuality. For ages and ages we have been living in this body, so it is having its say, even when you are meditating and insisting that "I am also there." To overcome that feeling of body consciousness. . .

Dr. P. C. Rao: One can reconcile and say that it is the divine wish that it be like this.

SWAMIJI: You are not simply saying that it is a divine wish. You know that it is a divine wish and you will never feel that you are doing anything at that time. It all depends upon what you feel in your mind. What are you feeling? You will feel that you are not doing anything independently.

Dr. P. C. Rao: I somehow feel that you have to say that you can't do independently of the divine principle. You are also saying that you can get out of this. And when you get out of it, there is a disconsonance between you and the principle and, therefore, the grief. Isn't it? That is how it is. Then the person realizes that if I am totally controlled—I am a puppet in the hands, as it were, of the higher principle—then, if I am a puppet, I can't go beyond that stage. I am always whatever I do good, I do bad, I do anything.

SWAMIJI: But, there is no good and bad at that time.

Dr. P. C. Rao: No. Until that realization comes, you will still say whether he is doing something good or something bad, it is all on account of the operation of the divine principle.

SWAMIJI: Your operations will be for the cosmic welfare. It cannot be called good and bad action.

Dr. P. C. Rao: But you should first think that you represent the higher principle.

SWAMIJI: Not merely think it—you have to be inundated with that thought and you will not think in any other manner.

Dr. P. C. Rao: So, until that state, duality is there?

SWAMIJI: Then you are responsible for what you do.

Dr. P. C. Rao: This is what you said: In other words, as long as you remain ignorant, you are the karta of your actions. You have to reap the fruits of your actions. Is it not what you said, Swamiji—notwithstanding the basic principle that you cannot do anything independently of the divine wish?

SWAMIJI: Even then, it remains an abstract acceptance, but the body asserts itself as "me."

Dr. P. C. Rao: Asserts itself from what? From the divine wish?

SWAMIJI: No, it rejects the divine wish.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Can it?

SWAMIJI: It is doing it now in a foolish manner.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Its ability to depart from the divine wish is what makes the principle somewhat difficult for us to follow.

Narayani: But it is not against the divine wish that you are appearing to depart from it.

Dr. P. C. Rao: So, therefore, everything is on account of the operation of the divine principle?

SWAMIJI: Finally, it is that only.

Dr. P. C. Rao: If that is so, what happens is that anything that is happening in this world. . .

SWAMIJI: Everything is happening due to its action.

Dr. P. C. Rao: This is what I had said in the beginning because when the Lord reveals Himself in His total existence—you see, what you consider to be good, bad, indifferent, everything as it is, the universe as it is, is seen.

SWAMIJI: No part of the universe can be called good or bad.

Dr. P. C. Rao: So, therefore, what happens is that whatever you see now, a departure from—this is Kali Yuga. It has evolved from Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga—and then, the bad is more than the good here in this age. This is nothing but that.

SWAMIJI:  It has its own plan, yes.

Dr. P. C. Rao: Very difficult, Swamiji, to evolve into the various. . .

SWAMIJI: This is the discussion of the law commission of the universe.