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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1995
by Swami Krishnananda

25. Harmony Among People

(Darshan given on October 10th, 1995.)

A Christian visitor: I give talks on harmony among people.

Swamiji: You will not get this harmony so easily because of basic offensive traits in a human being which will prevent any good being done, or even contemplated. There are certain very strange traits in a human being which will refuse to yield to the demand of another person. “I am, that's all. I cannot be you.” This is the attitude of every person. Can you become me? Is it possible? If not, harmony fails in one second. If you cannot become me, and I am me and you are you, where is the harmony between two persons? Some concession must be there. I have to concede something, and you have to concede something, but if you are not prepared to concede anything, and I stick to my guns and you stick to your guns, where is the harmony? What is the use of seminars? What is the purpose?

Can a Christian think like a Muslim? Is it possible? No. The whole problem is this only: A Christian cannot think like a Muslim because there is such a difference between one religion and another, which you do not want to consider at all. Even your concept of God is different from the concept of God of another religion. The concept of God in Islam or Hinduism is not the same as the concept of God in Christianity. There is a fundamental difference in the root itself, so how will you bring harmony among these concepts? You have got a Trinity, for instance, and there is no Trinity in Islam. Tell the protagonists of Islam that there are three. Will they accept it? How will you have a discussion with a Muslim, for instance?

Visitor: I understand in this way, there is no question of imposing my faith on another or making another person believe in what I believe. I take it as a sharing of my faith with others, and when I share…

Swamiji: The idea is very good. What you are saying is wonderful. There should be harmony, but there should be harmony in the heart of a person, not in the words that he speaks.

Another visitor: I am studying concentration on the chakras, and how feelings and emotions can come up. What is the right way to get rid of them? Will they go by themselves?

Swamiji: No, they won't go. They cannot go like that. They will persist as long as you are alive because they are part of your being itself. How will they go?

Visitor: Then we will never be free.

Swamiji: You will be free if you adopt proper yoga techniques. Otherwise, they will not go; they will carry you to the next birth. Desires never die; they go on increasing.

Visitor: What is the right way to get rid of them?

Swamiji: Your soul has to be united with God perpetually. That is the panacea and the remedy for all problems in life. Even the worst of desires will all vanish like darkness before the rising sun. If you cannot do this for any reason, you have to pay the price for the inability to do it by taking another birth to move further, onwards and onwards. Can you adopt that technique?

Visitor: Yes, Swamiji, I will try. People say they are good Christians, good Hindus, but they are still fighting and killing continuously.

Swamiji: All that will stop if you adopt my method. And if everybody adopts that method, the earth will be heaven. But nobody wants that, because of other reasons which are pressing inside very hard. If you tell a monkey to meditate on God, will it meditate? So it also depends upon the receiver, not merely the person who tells it. You tell a cow or a bull or some animal: “Unite your soul with God.” You have done your duty, of course, but it has not understood what you say. So the receiver must have some capacity according to the nature of the teaching given. Do this technique of meditation, honestly and sincerely, and you will see that miracles will take place in your life. No problem.

Another visitor: Isn't understanding of the small self, the ego, a prerequisite for the path of…

Swamiji: It is a very great prerequisite. You have to understand your small self first, in order that you may understand the big self.

Visitor: And is then the understanding of that small self also an understanding of the desire that animates it?

Swamiji: Certainly so. You are perfectly right.

Visitor: So how can one remove the limitation by the understanding of one's desire?

Swamiji: The understanding of one's desire is, at the same time, an understanding of one's limitations because every desire is a limitation, and the moment you know that there is a limitation, you also will know that there is something beyond the limitation. That which is beyond the limitation is the higher self.

Visitor: Okay, but what if you see the limitation…

Swamiji: You cannot see the limitation unless you are also aware that there is something above the limitation.

Visitor: Yes, I agree. Otherwise, there wouldn't be someone seeing the limitation. But let's say you see the limitation and you cannot do anything about the limitation.

Swamiji: No, it is not possible. When you see the horizon, you will know also what is beyond the horizon. You have a consciousness of your limitations, which means there is something above you, and you concentrate your mind on that which is above you; then the lower self will get controlled automatically.

Visitor: But if you get out of your state of concentration, then you return to the lower self with the problems that you have.

Swamiji: You will have to return again and again, many times, and also try to go above it again and again, many times. This process has to be carried on – going up and coming down, going up and coming down – until you gain so much strength that you need not have to come down at all.

Visitor: But isn't there a way of dealing with the limitations progressively…

Swamiji: It will progressively touch that, correct. But a day will come when the limitations will vanish and you will be concentrating on the higher self more and more until the limitations vanish completely. When you catch the higher self, the lower self will completely go.

Visitor: You mean, when you have achieved perfect concentration.

Swamiji: Right, right.

Visitor: Yes, but until that day?

Swamiji: Until that day you have to go on practising it. It may be for ten years, a hundred years, as the case may be according to the nature of your concentration and the power of your concentration.

Visitor: But if those limitations are the nature of your little self, and it is a prerequisite that you contend with the problems – because they are basically problems of your little self – in order to advance on the spiritual path there must be something to…

Swamiji: At every stage of your consciousness of limitation, you will be aware of that which is above the limit, and on that you have to concentrate. When you get into that higher nature, you will find that this also is limited in respect of something still higher than that. Like that, there are degrees and degrees until you reach the highest unlimited being, and by concentration on this you will find the lower limitations automatically vanish. You have to struggle hard in the beginning.

Visitor: Yes, the beginning is long.

Swamiji: Let it be. You should not be impatient. You must be very patient, and go quietly and calmly. However much time it may take, you should not get disappointed. You must have a little strength and courage, and hope. You should always hope that something will come positively.

Visitor: Yes, but that hope can be an imagination.

Swamiji: You will feel more and more composed in your mind, more and more confident, more and more strength in your mind and your feelings, and more and more self-sufficient, and less dependent, as you progress further and further.

Visitor: I find that the nature of the problems of my little self – and not just me, everyone – are substantially unaffected. In their nature they are not affected.

Swamiji: They will be affected, provided your concentration on the higher self is strong enough. They cannot but be affected. They must; otherwise, the concentration will have no purpose. That is, now you are concentrating more on the lower self than on the higher by saying this.

Visitor: The lower self is my problem, not the higher self.

Swamiji: This is because your mind is working in two ways: It is conscious of the higher self, and conscious of the lower self also. Why do you concentrate too much on the lower when you are also aware, at the same time, that there is a higher? Why not concentrate on that?

Visitor: Because I consider it an act of hypocrisy to jump over the lower as if…

Swamiji: No, you are not jumping. When you have become an elderly person from your childhood have you become a hypocrite, or have you actually grown?

Visitor: I don't know. It depends how sincere you are.

Swamiji: You have to be confident and have faith in the practice. You cannot doubt your practice and then try to achieve anything out of it.

Visitor: I can't believe in my practice except to the degree I believe in myself.

Swamiji: Okay, even if you have achieved one degree, it is quite sufficient. That is a hope for you. One step if you take, and you are satisfied with that one step, it means you are moving in the right direction.

Visitor: But what if it is not simply that the little self that is so problematic…

Swamiji: Why are you worrying about that little self?

Visitor: Because it is it that has the demand.

Swamiji: Let the demand be there. Whatever is permissible you give it, and whatever is not permissible you don't give it.

Visitor: But that's me playing two people with myself.

Swamiji: No. There are things which will harm you and things which will help you, desires which can harm you and desires which will protect you. For example, the desire to eat a lunch when you are hungry is not a harmful desire. When you are tired, you want to sleep. That is also a desire. But there may be dangerous desires which must be sublimated, and you cannot fulfil them. You must make a distinction between harmful ones and normal ones.

Visitor: But if I sublimate them, I am merely altering the level at which they operate, and not eliminating them.

Swamiji: Sublimation does not mean destroying. It is not destruction, it is transformation. There is a difference between destruction and transformation.

Visitor: But if I sublimate them, I am merely making them operate on a different level. I am not eliminating them.

Swamiji: But they cease to be what they are. The iron becomes gold at that time.

Visitor: But it is gold that is mixed with…

Swamiji: No, it is not mixed with anything. It is completely transformed into gold. It is not mixed. The lower nature will not persist in the higher. It gets completely transmuted, just as all the dream perceptions get transmuted in waking and they do not persist in waking. It is a completely different consciousness now, so you cannot say dream objects are still persisting. They are not persisting. Likewise, transmutation will take place. You should not have so much doubt unnecessarily. Do it, and see. Without doing any practice you are putting questions. You do it, and it will do the miracle.

Visitor: But I am unscrupulous because if I have gotten myself into this mess I have no reason to trust myself, have I?

Swamiji: A person who does not trust oneself is not a human being. Every person knows what oneself is.

Visitor: Everyone knows what oneself is? Then why are we all here?

Swamiji: You are here because you are trying to know more about yourself, not that you don't know.

Visitor: So I don't know enough about myself, obviously.

Swamiji: Right, right. You know about yourself, but not enough. That's why you have come, and all are sitting here. Okay? You are a very intelligent sadhaka. I appreciate you. You are very honest and sincere in your feelings. You are a very good sadhaka, and I think you will be blessed by that. Your honesty will pay you. Be happy, and continue.