by Swami Krishnananda
Brahma Sutra, which was our real subject with which we began and with which we should conclude, is the book of salvation. You are bound by your own inadequate, segmented operations of the mental makeup. That is called individuality or jiva. Your individuality, your existence as a personality is actually the existence of an isolated mentality, falsely distinguishable from the cosmic mind. When you are entangled in this individuality forced upon you for whatever reason, you perform actions. Actions are performed for the sake of ridding oneself of the sorrows of life which are consequent upon the very concept of individuality, and no one can be free from sorrow as long as one is conscious of one's isolated individuality. Anything that is finite is a source of sorrow; and if every person is finite, then every person is a bed of sorrow only. Because of it being impossible to be always in a state of grievous, sorrow and agony, the individual manifests potentials of externality called sense organs, and then grabs things of the world by way of an activity which sets up reactions of its own nature – that reaction is called karma, or the fruit of karma. That determines the experiences in life; not only experiences in life, it also determines the length of life for which you will be permitted to live in this world. When the force of karma exhausts itself by experience through this particular body, the body is cast out, because that force of cumulative energy called karma phala does not want this body anymore as a suitable instrument. When the instrument is useless, you throw it out. If the fountain pen has a nib which is broken, you throw the fountain pen and have a new fountain pen. This is like a fountain pen used by the karma forces – it has broken completely, and it is of no use.
Then what happens? These forces of remnant karmas condense themselves, congeal into a form which is suitable for the enjoyment and suffering of remnant karmas, and takes another birth of a new kind altogether. Inasmuch as a portion of the karma that we had in our previous birth is totally different in nature from the kind of karma which has given birth to this particular body, nobody can remember the previous birth, and you cannot also know what kind of birth you will take in the future. The attachment to a particular individuality is so strong that it precludes memory of the past and any kind of idea of the future. So we live in this world as if we are in a fool's paradise, everything looks all right, but we do not know that we are totally conditioned by the pressure of the past and the anticipations of the future. We are pulled in two directions. That we are stable and existing as if we are not a moving flux of non-identical powers, that idea arises because of the tension that is equally exerted by the past and the future and we are sitting on a fence, as it were – we can fall this way or that way.
Basically speaking, individuality does not exist. It is only a floating bubble made to appear as an existent something due to the push of the past and the pull of the future. There is no such thing called the present – it is only an enigmatic concept which passes the moment you start thinking about it. Here is the philosophy of Buddha before us – nothing is, everything moves, everything flows; there is flying everywhere without anything that really flies. The individuality is a conceptual bubble – it is not a solid existence. That it appears to be existing for a moment is an illusion created by the equally forceful pressures exerted from two sides, from the past and the future. These are all difficult things to understand.
However, the point is that we take rebirth. What will happen to you when you take rebirth? Whatever you have thought in your mind in this world, whatever you have done, will gather themselves into a force which jet-like moves in the direction of that which you have to enjoy or that which you have to suffer. Nobody punishes you and nobody rewards you. You reward yourself and you punish yourself. That is because from the beginning itself there is a wrong movement of the so-called isolated individual, the ego principle, the fallen man, as you call it, in theological terms. There is a topsy-turvy thinking because of the fall. The fall from God is a topsy-turvy running down to the earth-plane; something like the thing that happens when the head is down and the legs are up, and we see everything topsy-turvy. The world that was there even before you were born looks like an object of your perception, and yourself which came much later in the process of evolution look like a very mighty person with all prerogatives. You are the perceiver, the knower of the world that is outside. You assume a role of importance as a perceiver, knower of that which was existing even before you were born. This is a topsy-turvy perception. Really the subject is the world; you are the object – you came later on. It is the world that is observing you and not you that is observing the world. This is completely contrary to what is taking place, and then, because of this contrary perception, many other sorrows come in – endlessly, endlessly, endlessly they come like that. You may go to heaven, you may go to hell or any region, or you may come back to this earth, as the case may be, according to your desires.
To some extent we can know what you will be in the next birth. You should not say, "I do not know anything, I am helpless." Do you know what you've been thinking since morning today, let alone the things that you thought right from your birth – forget all that. Right from the morning today up to this time – what were you thinking in your mind? This will tell you what kind of person you are and what you will get in your future birth. Great confusion. You will realize to your horror that there was a great confusion in your mind today itself, right from the morning onwards. You cannot remember just now what you were thinking – a muddle, a heap of chaos, that's all that was there in the mind. How would you expect pleasure and satisfaction in a new birth? Unless you are integrated today, you will not be integrated in the next birth. Unless you are strong now, you will not be strong in the next birth. Unless you are unselfish today, you cannot be unselfish in the next birth. If you have grabbed things but given nothing; you have possessed a lot but not given in charity – nothing – you can imagine what you will get in the next birth. You will get nothing. That which you gave will come back to you. That which you have enjoyed wrongfully will flee from you. The more you give, the more also you will receive. Nobody should think that this world is all-in-all and nothing will happen afterwards. Whatever you think and feel and act, that will be your future.
Don't say God will protect me; there is no God protecting you. You have done a mistake in the beginning itself, and God is a judiciary sometimes. He will give you what you deserve. There is no he or she or anything, this also is a kind of anthropomorphic conception in our mind. The law of the universe operates almost like an automatic computer system, and nobody is there to punish you and nobody is there to reward you also. You punish yourself, you reward yourself; you go to a hot and forceful magnetic field and touch it and you know what will happen – it will give you a kick. If you are far away, it will not do anything. A magnetic field is not responsible for whatever has happened to you – you have approached it wrongly, that's all. If you are a good person, if you have given something, you will say, "What can I give, I am a poor man myself?" There is no one in the world so poor as not to be able to give something to somebody else. Such poverty is unthinkable. You may not have material possessions, but you have a mind. Are you poor in mind also? Are you poor in words? You may not give anything materially to anybody because you do not possess anything, but your mind will go for things, and you will utter kind words, soothing words. Charity is a disposition of the mind rather than a material act of parting with objects which are sensible in nature.
Whatever you want, the world is giving you, but you have also to give in return to the world whatever it has given to you. There is a cooperative activity going on between yourself and the world. There is no taking without giving. The universe maintains a balance of give and take. It is not possible to have an overwhelming majority on one side and nothing on the other side. If that happens, if there is a tendency to some such thing going on – immediately an earthquake will take place. Nature will create a cataclysm and a big bombshell; anything the world can do in order to bring the two points together.
So be harmonious with yourself, be aligned in your mind, don't have torn emotions and grievous thoughts, and be calm and quiet within yourself. Be a contented person with alignment of personality; don't be non-aligned in your psychological individuality. Then aligned also you should also be with nature, with society. There are four things with which you have to align yourself. Firstly, with your own self – this is personal alignment, psychological alignment of the layers of personality. Then you have to align yourself with the society of people and all the creation, whatever you can think of. Then you have to align yourself with natural forces. You cannot oppose nature's activities; then you will fall sick and die.
Then finally, there must be an alignment with God Himself. You have to try to think as God thinks. God created the world – all right, let it be – but before creation God alone was. You may say God is thinking of the whole universe because He created it, but what was He thinking before He created the universe? Now, take your mind to that principle. What was God conscious of before the world came into being? He was conscious of Himself as All-in-All. That is the ultimate reality. Can you think as God thinks, as All-in-All? Don't say, "I am thinking of the whole creation." There was no creation before He created the world. The Pure Being is God Almighty – God is Pure Being, not a human being, a person, or anything observable through the sense organs. The pure substance of equitable existence present in all things, a common denominator which connects everything as the Being of all beings – Pure Being, Supreme Being of which you are a part being – on that, if you can concentrate, you will be rid of all the sins of the world. To be rid of sins it takes one minute. You will say, "I have committed so many blunders." It doesn't matter. But this fire of the power of concentration on this magnificent attainable Pure Being will set fire to the mountains of straw which are like the sins that you think of. In God's kingdom there are no sins; they started afterwards when you fell down. Pure Being is sinless, it is perspicacious; it is resplendent, there is no night there, there is only day; there is no time there, it is all eternity; there is no death there, it is all life; there is no sorrow there, it is all bliss. Impossible to describe is that transcendental state.
If this aspiration is in your mind, as I mentioned last time, your soul will be taken through the rays of the sun to the orb of the sun, as the Upanishads tell us – by stages of gradual ascending you will reach the creative principle of God Himself. Whatever you want, you will get, and if your want is only of that Mighty Being who created this universe, you will be taken there. Krama Mukti they call it, a graduated system of ascending from the lower stages to the higher stages, stage by stage, from material existence to biological existence, from biological existence to psychological existence, from psychological existence to rational existence, from rational existence to spiritual existence, and beyond that something which we cannot describe in language – Being as Such. You'll be taken to that level. This is a graduated movement, systematic action, taking place automatically because of your absorption in the concept of God – true God, not the false God that you have created by the segmentation of your individuality from That. Whole being is concentrating itself on whole being of the universe. The whole of your being is immersed in the thought of that whole being of the whole cosmos. The whole is meditating on the whole, not a part meditating on something outside it, because anything that is outside the part will also be a part only. A finite thinking something else is like the finite thinking another finite, but here is something different. The whole thing is concentrating on the whole in which two wholes merge – Purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate, purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate. The whole has manifested itself as the whole universe, and the whole universe is before you as the whole which you yourself are. The individual is a whole, the universe is a whole, God is a whole – so several wholes are rolling themselves one over the other – Purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate, purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate. The whole has come from God and the whole is going back to God. Fractions are not coming from God, and fractions are not going to God, and fractions don't exist also even now. Even now, as this moment, fractions do not exist – there are only wholes rolling one over the other. If this meditation is possible, you will be sure that you will never be reborn into this world of sorrow. This is krama mukti, gradual salvation, stage by stage, arising from the lower material condition, biological, psychological, etc. until you reach utter perfection of spiritual existence.
But the scriptures, Brahma Sutras, tells us that there is also known what is sadyo mukti – immediate salvation. It means salvation is immediate; it is not by stages, slowly moving like an ant. That can take place if your being is bursting with God just now – I can only use that word. Your whole being is bursting because of the entry of God. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Deva used to give an illustration – God entering man is something like a mad elephant entering a thatched hut. It will simply break the hut into pieces, pound it and destroy it into pieces and go. If God enters an unprepared individual, you will have a shock from the core of your heart; you may fall sick and you may perish at that moment. But you need not perish if you have been a built-up, strong personality with disciplined practice right from the beginning. The whole of God enters you at one stroke – what will happen to you? That is called sadyo mukti. You are not entering God – God is entering you; that is the difference between krama mukti and sadyo mukti. When you want to reach God stage by stage, it is called graduated, gradual salvation. When God wants to enter you, it is like the ocean wanting to enter the rivers and not the rivers entering the ocean. Can you imagine God wanting you? Is it possible? If you want God you are a blessed person, but if God wants you, what is that condition? If you can imagine what it is, you are freed just now. Hari Om Tat Sat. God bless you.