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Your Questions Answered
by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 49: The Higher Reality and the Eternal Impulses

Dr. Goel: The mundane things also go in the Higher Self?

Swamiji: By accepting that the Higher Self includes all these mundane things, so that you need not have to ask for mundane things separately, it includes whatever you want, even your train fare is included in that, so, why are you worrying about these little things, when it is already there? The idea of avoiding something is painful, but I am not telling you to avoid anything. Just realise that what is here, is also there, in a better way.

Dr. Goel: What is here, is also there.

Swamiji: So, why should you go here, when it is already there? And it is in a larger dimension that you will get it there; it is only a fraction you will get here. That is the original; this is a reflection. So, why do you want a reflection, when the original is ready there?

Dr. Goel: So, that is why I always want to go in the Higher Self.

Swamiji: If you want it, it will come. There is no qualification necessary, except wanting it. That is the only qualification. If it is not wanted, it will not come. It comes when it is wanted – but wanted wholly, not a little.

If I like you only for some time what kind of statement is it? Is there any sense or meaning in it? Like that, you tell God, also: "For some time I like you, because I want some help from you; otherwise, I can manage myself." What kind of person are you?

Dr. Goel: Too much selfishness is there.

Swamiji: "When I want something from you, I like you. When I have nothing to do with you, well, you mind your business." This kind of thing you tell to God, also.

Dr. Goel: Yes. Selfishness is there.

Swamiji: Yes, we sell a lot of fish. How much fish will you sell?

Dr. Goel: I want all my thoughts always to be in the Infinite, in tune with the Almighty.

Swamiji: When you can find everything there, why should you have problems? The problem is that you cannot believe that everything can be found there. "The heart has a reason which reason does not know," is an old saying. So, whatever you may say, the heart will say, "Do not be too optimistic. Be cautious." Like that, it will tell from inside. "After all, you are going to some unknown place. Be cautious." So, there is a hesitancy in going there.

If you say everything is there, yes, I understand; but, still the heart has a reason which reason does not know. It will whisper something: "Don't be too optimistic; don't be foolish; go slow." All this, it will tell. So, what to do? Whose voice are you going to listen to?

And the world will tell you, "I have taken care of you for so many years, and now what is your idea of kicking me out, and going like that? Are you ungrateful? What kind of person are you? So many people have protected you and taken care of you, and made you what you are, and you will simply throw them out, and go somewhere? Is this a gentlemanly attitude?" This it will tell from within.

A hundred questions will come from inside. One by one, they will come. They do not come always together; sometimes, finally, one questions comes: "It is a hopeless thing, a hopeless affair; nothing has come, and nothing may come, also." This trouble also may arise from inside.

There are some intelligent lawyers in the court. Before any question is raised by the other party, they can visualise what questions will arise. All the questions they themselves will raise, as can be put by the opposite party, so that the other one has nothing to say, and they will furnish the answer also subsequently. If he is a very able lawyer, he can already assume what questions can arise, contravening his position, and answer them then and there. The other party will then have the mouth shut.

Sankaracharya's commentaries are highly polemical. "If you say like that, this is the answer to you. But you may counteract and say this is wrong; for that, I rebut like this."

It has to be clear what questions will arise. They are only two or three questions the mind has generally, and these manifest as hundreds, as light becomes manifold by passing through a prism. Questions are only two or three, basically. All of humanity has only two or three questions, but it appears to be manifold because of this prism of the ego which converts the issues into a manifold form, and then tantalises, and troubles you.

Place one image, and then keep two glasses on both sides. Then you will see millions of images reflected on both sides. Only one is there, but it looks like millions; likewise, only one desire is there, finally. But it looks like a hundredfold, because it passes through the ego, which is the peculiar medium that deflects a centrality of aspiration, and makes it appear as manifold.

Dr. Goel: You have said that nothing exists outside; everything is in you. How can we convince ourselves that nothing exists?

Swamiji: Who are the "ourselves"? Where are they? You have again defeated your own self by saying, "Nothing exists outside, but I am existing." You have already asserted that you are existing outside, and then you say, at the same time, that nothing exists outside. Thus, your statement is self-contradictory. If nothing is outside, you also do not exist; then, why are you wanting to convince yourself? That means that you are still existing as an outside object.

You are, somehow, by the back door, coming to the same point. By the front side, you say it is not there; by the back side, I am here. So, what is the purpose? It is back-door entry. You close the door from the front, and behind you open it. This is what you are doing.

Dr. Goel: That is what happens in life.

Swamiji: No, that is no good. Back-door entry is no good. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the two friends you have. Sometimes this man speaks, and sometimes that man speaks. You don't know what to make out.

Dr. Goel: Yes, that is correct. That is the problem of life.

Swamiji: Two voices will be telling you two different things, like one man with two wives. They will quarrel, and then say different things, and the man has to hide, afterwards. He has to run away from there. So, likewise, these two friends are telling you two things. Sometimes this looks all right, and sometimes that looks all right, according to your mood and requirement and the voice heard from within.

Dr. Goel: But what is the solution? That is the problem.

Swamiji: Already you have given the solution. That which you want is everywhere; therefore, you are also there. Hence, you should not raise a question. If you raise a question, you are asserting your externality still, and then your assertion that externality does not exist gets defeated. The question defeats itself.

Andrea: Swamiji, what are those two basic questions?

Swamiji: I did not want to tell all these things, but you are a very clever person. You understood what I said. You want to know everything before you leave this place.

Andrea: Yes.

Swamiji: Do you want to know everything?

Andrea: Yes.

Swamiji: Very good. They say everything should not be told at once. There are certain things which are not supposed to be told suddenly. They touch the very core of the personality of an individual, and such things are discussed only between a Guru and a disciple; otherwise it will go over the heads of people, or will be misconstrued.

The basic desire is to exist, but that existence is conditioned by various other associations. The primary desire is to exist only: "If everything goes, may I exist." Survival is the basic desire. If survival itself is threatened, then other desires go, automatically. When a person is in water, and goes inside, will he ask for some profession, and a higher salary? Will he want a bungalow? Will he talk all that? He is inside the water. Then what happened to that desire for a bungalow, and salary, and all that? Why has it gone away at that time, when it was there previously?

That means the other desires are redundant, and auxiliary to the basic question of survival. You want to exist, and this basic instinct of existence, survival, has certain tentacles, ramifications, expressions: to possess things as much as possible. You need possessions, what you call wealth, generally. By the desire for wealth, you try to convince yourself that you are secure in this world.

People feel secure when their possessions are large. Whether they are justified in thinking like that or not is a different matter. There is always a hunger for larger and larger possessions because of the feeling attached to it that it will be a great security for the person. If the possessions are not there, security goes. But, simultaneously, there is another feeling that this body will not survive eternally.

There are two desires simultaneously working: a desire not to die, and a feeling that death will take place certainly. Who wants to die? Nobody. And who will believe that tomorrow death will come? Nobody. Nobody will believe that death will be tomorrow. Everybody will say that it cannot be tomorrow, it will be a little later on. We push it as much as possible. Simultaneously, together with this peculiar hope that death will not occur, there is a feeling that death will certainly come. Thus, there is a contradictory clash of feelings about one point.

Because of the feeling that death will not occur, we go on purchasing land, and putting investments in the bank, and then building bungalows, and having estates, and conquering kingdoms. Why do you do that, if the certainty is that tomorrow is the last day? The foolish feeling is there that tomorrow will not be the last day – "I'll survive." Who told you that you will survive? This is a jugglery of the mind.

If this foolish conviction was not there, nobody would do anything in this world. People are very busy doing all kinds of things, because they never think that tomorrow is the last day – it may be after fifty years. Simultaneously, there is a fear that death may come.

There is also a necessity felt by the ego to perpetuate itself. Self-preservation and self-reproduction – these are the two basic instincts. We want to preserve ourselves, somehow, by the accumulation of wealth, riches, and all that, as I mentioned to you. But the other feeling that one day death will come creates a fear in the ego, and so the ego wants to see that it continues; and it wants to continue in a very foolish way, through progeny.

That is why there is so much pressure of this particular urge. The desire to continue for all time is actually the pressure of eternity in you. The eternal masquerades in a wrong way in the form of a desire for progeny. That is why the sexual urge is very strong. And there is also a desire to see that you are secure; for that, another foolish desire is added to it by accumulating wealth, property, this, that, etc. So, two foolishnesses are there which catch hold of a person perennially.

The world is living an idiotic life, under the impression that the everything is fine. This is why I do not want to talk about these matters. It has got further implications, so I told you briefly something in answer to your question. It is a very deep subject.

Andrea: Thank you very much.

American Visitor: This love that just keeps spilling out and overflowing, how it can be limited in any way, and how any kind of conditions can be put on it.

Swamiji: If you want to put conditions, you can put, but if you don't want to put conditions, it need not be conditioned. It depends upon your will. If you want to love only certain things, and not all things, it is conditioned love, but if you can love everything equally, that is unconditioned. It is up to you to decide.

American Visitor: I go with unconditional love.

Swamiji: Think over it properly. Can you love God and the devil equally?

American Visitor: There is no devil.

Swamiji: The very idea that you are existing is contrary to the Ultimate Reality. Who told you that you are existing separately? That itself is the beginning of the problem. You may not call it the devil, but it is something contrary to God's existence. You are not thinking that only one thing exists. You are also thinking that you are also existing. And you are making a statement about something; that creates duality. When you speak, you are not speaking about yourself, you are speaking about something else. That "something" and yourself create a duality.

We have to be cautious in the conducting of our thoughts. At different times we feel different things. At different stages of evolution, we have different types of experience. Sometimes we feel everything can be done by us, we don't require anybody's help. At other times we feel that nothing can be done by us – everything is spontaneously taking place. Both these feelings will arise in your mind at different times.

There are people who sometimes feel that everything is hopeless: You can't do anything in this world. That dejected despondency can also arise in certain conditions of mind. It is not that everybody will feel like that. There are conditions, circumstances, which may create such feelings. Those who have lost everything, all relations have died, their own life is at stake – what do they feel at that time? You ask that person. They will not even believe that there is such a thing called justice in the world. Though they may not be right in thinking so, the tragedy in which they are placed will make them feel like that. They curse God Himself. "Such a God exists that everything has gone from me, and I myself am not secure."

Does God exist? Draupadi, in the Mahabharata puts such a question. I don't know if you know Draupadi's story. It is an interesting epic of India. She cursed God Himself. "I don't know whether such a God exists Who has landed us in this tragedy," she cried. That is the condition where the mind breaks, and cannot tolerate the experiences through which it is passing. There are experiences which are intolerable, and many people pass through it as if through pangs of death.

Everybody is not born with a silver spoon in the mouth. There are different experiences which anyone can expect. Great kings have been pounded to dust, empires have become one with the earth. Potentates who ruled the earth, and thought that they were masters of all things, have gone into thin air. Why do things happen like that? Is it not a tragedy?

People cannot swallow all these things. They don't know what is happening. Then war takes place, and nobody knows what will happen as a consequence. Who goes? Who comes? Nobody knows. Now, who is doing all this?

Only a person who is involved in it will know what feeling will arise at that time. You must be in the thick of a tragic war, and then you will see what you feel at that time. When you are far away from it, your thought is a different thing.

Suppose a person is a prisoner of war and is thrown in a concentration camp. What will he feel at that time? Will he believe in God at that time? He may or may not. It shows the conditions through which the mind has to pass, and every condition it cannot swallow. Certain things it can, certain things it cannot; it breaks.

It is a great thing for a person to expect everything in the world; even the worst you have to expect, so that when it comes you are not surprised. You should not say, "Oh, this I never expected." There is nothing which you cannot expect, even the worst, hell itself – let it come. Even that, you are expecting. Because you are expecting it already, you can face it. But if it comes as a surprise, then you don't know how to handle it.

As we are not omniscient, as our personality is not connected to every event in the whole cosmos, we cannot know what will happen at what time. The reason is, we are outside the operating medium.

We many a time feel that certain things should happen; also, simultaneously, we feel that certain things should not happen. We have got dual feelings there, also. Why should we say that certain things should not happen? We have created a duality in creation itself, because those things which we do not want to happen are considered unpalatable, and even destructive to our egoistic personality, our individuality, our so-called dear body and mind. There are things which are contrary to its welfare, and they are called bad things, and those which are contributory to its pleasure, we call good things. Our idea of good and bad is connected with our personality's reception of it – how we receive it.

All people cannot happily pass through the various tests which perhaps God will inflict upon us one day or the other, as a punishment to the ego, which is asserting itself. Our ego is the demon. It is the Lucifer, if at all there is any such thing as that. The affirmation of individuality is the Lucifer, and God has thrown him upside down, with head below and legs up; that is how we are seeing things. We see the outside as inside, the inside as outside. This is what has happened to every one of us.

The world is not outside us; yet, we are seeing it as outside. This is the punishment that is meted out to us by God: "You will see everything topsy turvy, you fellows, because you have asserted yourself as independent of Me. Go! I will place a flaming sword at the gate of heaven, so that you cannot enter it." This is the story of the ego, an opposite of God.