Chapter 9: The Absolute
SWAMIJI: What will you sacrifice?
Visitor: All, if I can.
SWAMIJI: No. The Absolute wants you. It does not want anything else from you, it wants you only. You cannot give anything to the Absolute, because nothing actually belongs to you. You are alone in the world. There is no such thing as property; it is an illusion. Nobody can own anything. Each thing is independent, so you cannot give anything to God; you can give only yourself. That is the final thing, the sacrifice.
Visitor: Is meditation the only way, or are there other ways to reach It?
SWAMIJI: There are other ways also, but they all finally lead to meditation only. The final thing is meditation.
Visitor: What kind of initial way can we take to have good meditation?
SWAMIJI: Where is the Absolute at present?
Visitor: I feel that It is everywhere.
SWAMIJI: If so, is there anything outside the Absolute, or does only the Absolute exist? What about all these people sitting here? Are they inside the Absolute?
Visitor: Yes, surely, they are all inside the Absolute.
SWAMIJI: Then what is your attitude towards all things in the world? When you see a thing, what do you feel at that time?
Visitor: I respect everyone.
SWAMIJI: There is no "everyone." You said there is only one Absolute, so why do you say "everyone"? Everyone has gone into the Absolute.
Visitor: Yes, I see the Absolute in everyone and everything.
SWAMIJI: If this thought can continue always, that is the highest meditation on the Absolute. But, sometimes if you start feeling that there are many things other than the Absolute, then the meditation will not be complete. The eyes which see things always say that there are many things outside the Absolute, so you cannot trust the perception. If you can convince your deep feeling that whatever you see is inside that Supreme (including yourself and everybody), that is the meditation. Then you can reach the Absolute.
Visitor: Is the Absolute like the infinite – that is, the more you approach the Absolute, the more It seems to go away?
SWAMIJI: No. You will go more and more near to It. It is not the infinite of arithmetic. It is the Infinite that is yourself, Itself. It is not like the horizon which, the more you go near it, the further it recedes. Here, the Infinite does not mean an endless thing, but an inclusive thing. It is not mathematical, it is spiritual. The Absolute is Pure Being.
Visitor: There are many doctrines. How can they put a limit on the Infinite, saying that It is only one way?
SWAMIJI: You cannot put a limitation on the Absolute. It includes all the doctrines. All the doctrines go inside It. Every doctrine can be accommodated into It. It cannot be limited to any particular doctrine. It is not an empirical concept. Pure Being is impossible to think in the mind, because It cannot be thought. You are thinking that you are outside the Absolute. If you are inside the Absolute, how will you raise a question?
Visitor: Is it true that only one truth exists, or several truths exist?
SWAMIJI: Only one truth is there, not several truths. There are several degrees of truth, but finally it is one only. It is now daytime. It is a truth, but it is not daytime everywhere in the world. So one truth can be here, and in another place it is not truth, also. It is true that you are a human being, but that is one degree of truth. Actually, you are a little pressure point in the cosmic sea; that is a higher truth. That is an example of degrees of truth. Finally, there is only one truth.
Visitor: We are always trying to find truth.
SWAMIJI: You have no other duty except to find truth. That is the highest duty.
Visitor: Some people don't believe that truth is here in our universe; it's in heaven.
SWAMIJI: Are they saying that this world is not true?
Visitor: We all have our own truth; it will lead to sects, or different religions which don't agree with each other.
SWAMIJI: That is a mistake of the human being. It is not the mistake of the world. The world has no religion. It is only human beings who have religions.
Visitor: Is it possible not to try to find truth, but only to live here, and only try to integrate oneself with the cosmos – to just feel a point in the cosmos?
SWAMIJI: That is a very great thing. If you can do that, there is no need to do anything else. That is the highest. Then there is no problem afterwards.
Visitor: How can we reach truth while we are involved in the materialistic society?
SWAMIJI: When your mind is saying that you must transcend this social involvement, you have already taken one step above society by the very idea that you have to go above it. And by deeper meditations, the consciousness will withdraw itself from social involvements, and you will go to the meditation state. Even in this world, you can do this meditation. In spite of human society and modern materialism, you must find at least one hour every day to keep yourself alone and think like this. An hour's correct thinking will set right all the other troubles of the other hours of the day.
Visitor: While trying to find truth, I feel that there is only one thing to do, which is to love.
SWAMIJI: Love whom?
Visitor: All of creation.
SWAMIJI: That is the same as truth. Loving the whole creation is loving God Himself.
Visitor: Is it true that all actions in the world originate from the will of God?
SWAMIJI: It is true and not true, both, because as long as you feel that it is not true, it is not true. Even if it is true, you are not going to be benefited by that because your heart is not accepting it. If God does everything, you would not speak to me at all. You would keep quiet. Everything would be fine.
Visitor: I kept quiet for two days, sir, and today I am leaving.
SWAMIJI: The third day it has become false. You tell God, "For two days I waited for You, and the third day I don't agree with You." Everything is done by the will of God in a perfect manner. The whole cosmos is the Body of God. Just as this body is a manifestation of your soul, the entire universe is a manifestation of the Almighty Absolute consciousness; therefore, nothing can move without the central will operating. You cannot lift your finger, a hair cannot grow on your body, you cannot say anything, your breathing will stop, your heart cannot function, unless that will is there.
But (and the but is the important thing), no individual in the world may feel that this is so. You are saying that you have come from Delhi: you didn't say that God has come. The consciousness of your being a human being immediately creates other associations like being a man or woman, this action, that action, etc. How can these ideas arise in the mind of a person when no such action is really taking place, and the universe is acting simultaneously? It is incomplete knowledge of the total comprehension of the cosmos that makes us feel that "we" are doing the action. If your mind is able to switch itself on to the cosmic setup, you will have no problem any more.
Visitor: If every action is the will of God directly or indirectly and, therefore, manifests itself, then that doesn't leave any room for free will of man.
SWAMIJI: Ultimately, what you call free will is nothing but the will of God operating.
Visitor: So, how can you blame someone for his past samskaras?
SWAMIJI: He feels that he has done it. If you ask him, he will say that it is his cow, land, property. Is there anybody who will say that this building belongs to God? We are bound and we are free in accordance with the feeling that we have in our hearts. If you say that you have done it, then you bear the consequences. But who will say that he has not done it? Every person who has body consciousness will feel that he has done it.
Your actions and your very existence are included in the cosmic action. So, whatever you do is part of that. But don't make the mistake of bringing your consciousness separately, as if you are doing it.
Visitor: But it affects me.
SWAMIJI: It affects you because your practical life is different from what you are saying or thinking in your mind.
Visitor: I can't help it.
SWAMIJI: Then there is no use of discussion. You should not talk on this subject, because practically it doesn't affect you. God cannot help you unless you believe in God entirely.
You have to go slowly, step by step, by detachment, unselfishness, charitableness, non-interference, by goodness of feeling in your heart and an ideal behaviour. That is the beginning of good conduct and the first step towards God. Then, afterwards, you do a little prayer, contemplation on these things that we have been discussing. Later on, actual meditation will start. God will take care of you.
Visitor: If the aim of man is to realise himself and finally be liberated, how does he explain this whole exercise, the cycle of predestination of man?
SWAMIJI: The whole thing that you have mentioned is included in the cosmic scheme, as all the waves and all the bubbles and ripples in the ocean are included in the ocean. You will find everything, at once, in that, and you will not raise a question thereafter.