(Spoken on Vijayadasami in October 1981)
With the conclusion purnavati of the glorious worship of the Universal Mother of things, Adi Shakti, the supreme power of the Absolute—Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati—we humble followers of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj on the bank of holy Ganga at this auspicious moment seek to surrender our spirits at the altar of God the Almighty for universal welfare, for the salvation of all beings, for the solidarity of humanity, for the peace, health and fulfilment of the life of everyone in this world. May the Divine Grace be upon everyone is our humble prayer at this sacred moment.
On holy Sri Vijayadasami, a very auspicious day which is also a Thursday, the day of Sri Guru, time has come for not only people like us here in an ashram but for people in general everywhere to assess their own situations, to recognise where they actually stand in this world, and cast a retrospective outlook on their past, analyse with a probing analysis their present, and be aware of the future also at the same time. This is a part of the wisdom of man to assess the value of life, connecting it with the past, relating it to the present, and apprehending the future at the same time in a correlative synthesis.
It is now the moment when mankind has to wake from his deep slumber of complacency. All the kings and emperors were in a state of complacency, imagining that everything is milk and honey in the world. It is all a bed of roses and velvet, and they had nothing to fear. This is what Napoleon thought and all persons of that stature thought. By Napoleon I mean everyone who was self-sufficient, self-complacent, and imagined everything is self-complete.
Nothing in this world that is finite can be self-complete. There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will. So is the truth slowly descending on our heads today like a Damocles sword and not permitting us to sleep any more since we are rudely being shaken by the transitions of time and the consequent effects that are being produced by these transitions of the movement of history in the form of time's process.
That God exists is a great solace to everyone, and nothing can be a greater solace to us than that our Father exists who has the strength to take care of us. Nothing can make us more happy than the conviction that our parent is alive and He has the power to take care of us under every circumstance, in every condition, at every moment of time. This gives us satisfaction, and this must give us satisfaction. But at the same time, we must also be vigilant in the sense that we do not play a double role in our own selves in our recognition of the presence of this Almighty power immanent in the whole universe. Simultaneously with the recognition of the presence of the Almighty's greatness, magnificence and glory there is the little mischievous weakness of man crawling like an insect and disturbing this glorious heritage of man in his capacity to accept the greatness of the Almighty. Man is mischievous simultaneously with his greatness that he can invoke God's presence. The mischief is in the mind of man, and nothing can be more mischievous than that. Our devotion to God is hypocritical and therefore we must also accept that God must be aware of this state of our minds.
I always remember the very humorous, touching and most illustrative example given by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Deva. He gives an example by a very humorous story. Our devotion to God, says Sri Ramakrishna in a homely example, is like the sorrow of a woman whose husband is dead and who strikes her head down on the ground before all people as if the whole world is cracking under her feet because she has lost the most beloved object, which is her husband, but simultaneously has the conscious that the ornament in her nose is not affected by the striking of the head on the ground. She is aware of this ornament in her nose because if she strikes her head in too violent a manner the ornament may be broken. So this is the love that she has got for the husband which goes together with this nath, as they call it, an ornament which women wear in the nose.
This is not a story, this is not an anecdote, this is not something at which we laugh, but something that explains every one of us. We are all in the position of this lady. We have a great love for our husband, and we have lost our husband, we strike our head down with great devotion, but we are conscious that we have a large bank balance, we are ministers, we are chief secretaries, we are presidents, and we have very dear values in this Earthly existence. We may have even a little tape recorder, which is enough to pull us down to this Earth. Why go to big things? There are small things—a walking stick, a kamandal, a transistor, a very costly wristwatch—that can pull us down.
It requires a little bit of hard searching. Do we really want God? And as Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj used to say, it is all a question of demand and supply. God's constitution emphasises on the principle of demand and supply. When there is a demand, supply has to come. If there is no demand, how can there be a supply? Do we want the protection of God, or are we also strong? We feel that we also have a strength. We cannot deny this little bit of crochet, a kink in our heads that has crept into our hearts, and we can explain our own disadvantages and our failures in life. Man does not want God. He may be a spiritual pundit, he may be a newspaperly advertised mahatma with international yoga centres, but all these will not cut ice before the vigilant eye of God.
All this I am telling because today the Earth is shaking, as it were, with the burden of evil, and I do not know when the Earth will descend to such an extent that an Avatara like Sri Krishna has to come. Such an Avatara descends when the Earth cannot bear this burden any more and she cries before the great Lord. She bears the burden to a certain extent, like a donkey that carries the weight of bricks, but a time comes when it cannot bear this weight. It will crack. The donkey will fall down with the weight of the bricks that has been put on its back too much, beyond its capacity.
So the Earth can bear the evil of man to some extent and God can give us a long rope, but there is a limit for everything. And humankind today is attempting to demonstrate that the Earth should cry from the bottom of our heart and summon God's force. I do not know whether it is essential for man to descend to such a level to bring about such a catastrophic situation in humanity by behaving like an animal or worse than an animal, with devastating feelings in the heart, hatred gone to the core, and love totally absent in the vitals of human beings.
Are we interested in sinking our spirits to such a low level that the Earth should crack under our feet and God should descend with His wrath? I do not think that we should summon the wrath of God. When Sri Krishna comes, he comes with a double role: to establish the Kingdom of God—dharma samsthapanarthaya—but He will also perform an operation like a physician, like a surgeon, and that aspect may not be a palatable and happy thing. While God plays a positive role of establishing the righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven, He also plays the role of bringing into a subjection of transformation everything that is contrary to the enlightening effect of this Kingdom of God.
So my humble request—I do not call it a message—at this moment before all the seekers, humble servants seated here in this sacred precinct of the ashrama, is that each one of us has to collect our spirits into a focus of concentration which has to work a miracle in its own manner. No one can work a miracle so instantaneously as God Himself, and everyone who is sincerely, honestly, from the bottom of one's heart united with God can also work this miracle. So while on one hand it appears as if we are in a terrible condition today in every field of existence, there is no need for despair because the strength of God is unthinkable, unimaginable, beyond space, beyond time, and instantaneous in action. No ICBM can stand before Him. On the one hand, we have to be very vigilant about our own weaknesses and pitiable condition of existence; on the other hand, we must also be happy that some element of memory still remains in some people in this world, that dharma is not completely dead, and with this little memory of the glorious capacities and potentialities in man, we can invoke God's presence. Thus is my humble prayer. May God triumph—satyameva jayate—and peace be to His creation.
[Swamiji chants holy mantras]