by Swami Krishnananda
SWAMIJI: You are perfectly right in saying that you would like to know yourself. Scientists, philosophers, ecologists, politicians, sociologists, whoever they are, make the fundamental mistake of thinking that they are outside the universe, that they can handle it, and harness it as if it is a bull, or a horse, or an elephant – not knowing that they are included in that which they seek.
You cannot know the environment, unless you know yourself first. Why should people have such problems, but for the fact that they have misconstrued the whole structure of the environment, which includes themselves, as if the environment is outside? We always think that the environment is sticking to us, like a shawl or a blanket, but, it is not so. The environment is not a blanket with which we are covering ourselves, so that you can throw it away also, if you want. It is rather alike skin; you cannot remove the skin. The environment is your skin itself, so when you handle it, you are handling yourself. Yet, no politician will understand this point because he is selfish, and is concerned with a little temporary gain, and not thinking of the future in a spirit of a statesman.
The environment is sticking to you like a skin. How will you handle it, unless you handle yourself first? What do you say? Do you agree with me? Very slowly, reluctantly, you are agreeing.
Know thyself and be free. You have to find out how it is possible for a person to be free by knowing oneself. What is the connection between knowing myself and freedom? This question also is a big thing. The relationship between freedom and one's own self also is not clear. The whole thing is a mess. We require a new type of education altogether. It looks like that.
If you are in a hurry, nothing substantial will take place. Nothing happens by mere human effort, finally. There is a cosmic order which takes care of itself. The only thing is that you should not obstruct its movement by your egoism and adamant behavior, and all such things. If you are open to it, it will take you in a boat. But, if you obstruct it by your affirmations, then that is a bolt that you put on the door, so that it will not open. Be not afraid.
Indian Visitor: No, I am not afraid.
SWAMIJI: It will come. One day or other, it must come, and everybody must get it. Nobody is barred from it. It has to come.
Visitor: It has to come, but I have to make that point clear to me.
SWAMIJI: Yes. Now it is clear that you will get it. That is all you want, to know whether you will get it or not, and you are going to get it. It is certain. So, you can smile nicely and be happy. Don't cry and weep. Be happy. It will come.
Visitor: Can you contemplate anything without conceiving it?
SWAMIJI: What are you going to conceive? You can conceive anything you like. What is it that you want to conceive?
Visitor: How the universe was created.
SWAMIJI: Yes, I understand. How will you conceive it? What is your method? What method are you going to adopt? What conception have you got at present?
Visitor: It was created by God for His enjoyment.
SWAMIJI: All right. So what is the matter now? You contemplate like that?
Visitor: No, that is OK, but some desire has to be there.
SWAMIJI: Yes, yes. Correct.
Visitor: But how can a liberated soul indulge in desires?
SWAMIJI: There is no liberated soul who indulges in desires. There is no such person.
Visitor: Then how did this come?
SWAMIJI: There is no such person. There is no liberated soul who has desires.
Visitor:So God is not liberated?
SWAMIJI: God is not a liberated soul. He is not a soul at all. He is something different. He is not a human being, so why do you call Him a liberated soul? You don't know what God is; therefore, some wrong ideas you have. He is not Mr. Bannerjee sitting there. The Creator of the universe is not a liberated soul. They are two different things. The eternal Absolute has no desires, and It is not a human being, and It is not a liberated soul.
Visitor: So, the aim is just to realise that you are part of Him but never become Him?
SWAMIJI: You become united with Him and cannot feel separate afterwards. Just as the soul and body are one, the individual will merge into the Absolute. You will feel unitedness and universal comprehension; omniscience will enter into your consciousness. For that you have to do this meditation, deep meditation every day, for as long as possible. Conduct meditation on desireless Universal Existence.
You can do prayer and japa. Japa and prayer are the initial stages of spiritual practice. Then meditation will come of its own accord. Chanting the name of God, and prayer are the initial steps; and you should not have unnecessary desires, distractions, worries, emotions, tensions. All these must be absent. If they are there, you cannot meditate. These weaknesses are emotional, and they must be eradicated gradually by effort.
Visitor:What will we feel toward other people at the time of liberation?
SWAMIJI: There are no other people at that time. They do not exist. You will merge into That. You will not see them also, at that time. They will not be visible to your eyes because just as you don't see dream objects in waking, this also will vanish there. The whole world will disappear.
Visitor:For a person who has attained it...
SWAMIJI: Attained what?
SWAMIJI: Then he will not see the world at that time. The world will not be visible at all, just as you cannot see the dream objects when you are in waking.
Visitor:So, the moment you are liberated...
SWAMIJI: It is finished. You will behold only Universal Existence. You will not see people at that time, just as you do not see dream people. In dream you saw some people. Where are they, just now? You do not bother about them. They don't exist at all. This will happen to this world also, at that time. It will vanish like dream objects. They will merge into the Universal Mind. The question itself will not arise.