19. He, the All Pervasive
A typical bright winter morning. The sun shines upon a group of people, Welsh, American, German, English and Indian, about twelve in all, sitting around Rev. Krishnananda Maharaj who meets all with a sunny smile and warm welcome. This morning's dialogue starts with a query from an Indian visitor.
Visitor: Have I got all I need to know about yoga and spiritual life by having learnt the asanas? What else is there to learn, Swamiji? I want to know and learn all the aspects.
Swamiji asks a few questions by way of gauging the visitor's intentions and the nature of his query.
Swamiji: What do you want to do after knowing all aspects? I see… You want to see God? Who is God? What does He look like? Do not tell me what somebody has said. You tell me what you in your mind think about God. What do you say? There is God? All right. Then, what does He look like, in face, in form, etc? Yes…? I see. But WHERE is He?
Visitor: He is all pervasive.
Swamiji: All right, then think of Him like that. Think of Him always existing everywhere. Do japa. Read Jnaneshwar's Gita, Tulsidas's Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavatam, and then you have read enough. You need not read anything more.
Visitor: Thank you Swamiji for the guidance. I have to leave now. Please bless me.
The major part of this morning was spent in the routine and inconsequential personal conversation with a number of visitors who casually dropped in to pay their respects to and receive the blessings of Swami Krishnananda Maharaj. Some of these visitors were government officials and others army personnel. The Ashram work also took a good bit of Swanyji's time and attention with a number of messengers and papers brought in for his attention and direction.
A young British woman: (Amidst a lot of interruptions) Swamiji, how to get the conviction that I am on the right path of realising the spiritual truth? That in all the diversity there is only one Unity?
Swamiji: Meditate for one to three hours, daily. And meditate on the basic unity of things. Daily meditation on this truth of unity will ultimately bring the conviction. For, though invisible, it is unity which is at the back of your consciousness, and your very thought is the truth of this unity. As you say, the diversity is only an appearance on the surface. The presupposition of diversity is this truth of unity. From what you say, I understand that you are engaged in too many spiritual activities. Cut short activities, barring this contemplation, because the other activities are unprofitable in view of your need as they are no solace to the soul and are not satisfying. Happiness and satisfaction is immense and immanent when you are literally happy, and this happens when you are utterly alone. This is the truth, and this is true happiness. Do not be a busybody, for this brings only fatigue. This is no life. Also, be positive in your outlook and confident that you will get what you want. This hundred per cent certainty that you WILL get what you are seeking makes a tremendous contribution to the strength of the mind, and the mind gets what it seeks. Miracles will take place in the intense faith in the Reality you seek. Because of the intensity of your aspiration, God will come to you. He loves you more than you love Him.
Offerings of fruit and sweets and other things come in from the visitors and in rare cases are accepted. As is generally done, these are distributed among the devotees present.
Visitor: Swamiji, I want to learn yoga.
Swamiji: What do you mean by yoga according to your own understanding? You say you know nothing about yoga. But unless you have learnt something about it, you would not have thought about it.
Visitor: Well, I think yoga is asanas and meditation and study.
Swamiji: You may stay in the Ashram and learn these aspects of yoga. (Addressing a German visitor) Where are you staying?
Visitor: At the Laxmi Narayana temple.
Swamiji: What are you doing there?
Swamiji: Like Laxminarayana on Adishesha! Well that is yoga. So your sadhana is progressing well! (Laughs; so does everybody else.)
Another visitor: If there is a lack of conviction, as our young friend has said that there is unity in the diversity around you, how to go about to get the full conviction, of this truth?
Swamiji: It comes through understanding. The intellect needs education, for its capacity to comprehend the truth is inadequate at present. If you tell a baby that the brick has atoms and electrical charges, it is very hard for the baby to understand. But the conviction that the brick contains atoms which have electrical charges comes by his being gradually, over a period, educated in the science of 'matter'. Even so, the perception of the truth, this inner secret, comes when educated by the teacher, that is, yourself training the mind and the intellect. Start with a little conviction that you have, even though it is little, and meditation, contemplation and study will in time bring about this conviction in full. The more you meditate, contemplate and study, the teacher within you will tell you the inner secret of firm conviction. But, to start with, you need a guide. (Turning to the young British visitor) Who helps you in your pursuit of spirituality? Are you totally independent of any guide? Oh, I see, so you have a guide. You may go back to him and get further guidance. You are staying for some days in the Ashram? Good. You sit in meditation every day for one hour in the Ashram meditation hall, it will help you. In the beginning you feel it is only a physical act but slowly your involvement in it will deepen and you will begin to understand what meditation can mean. You say that you do more asanas than anything else, but some reading, along with the physical asanas, is necessary.
To another visitor: Go on with the work. Without work, worry and tension will increase. Forget the past. Engage yourself in useful reading. Even if your mind is not taking in what you are reading, continue with it. Read loudly if you are unable to concentrate on what you read. Read sacred texts like Ramayana, everything will be all right. God will bless you. Gradually your mind will be able to relax and you will be able to work normally.Oh, the luncheon bell. Go for your lunch. Thank you for your darshan.