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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1995
by Swami Krishnananda

35. God and Human Egoism

(Darshan given on December 13th, 1995.)

A visitor: If you think logically, there can be only one God who has created everybody.

Swamiji: Maybe there is only one God, but there are different people who think in…

Visitor: But we are fighting in the name of God. That is nonsense.

Swamiji: We are not fighting in the name of God. We are fighting in the name of our own egoism.

Visitor: Right, Swamiji.

Swamiji: So God doesn't come into the picture. We foist our egoism on God and then think we fight for God. It is human egoism that is actually at war. God does not wage war with anybody, but human egoism is so hard and indomitable that it can associate itself even with God and make it look that God is fighting. That is the ferocious and indomitable cussedness, I should say, of the human ego. The trouble doesn't arise from God. It arises from human egoism, which also goes by the name of human religion. Religion can be a part of the human ego, and it can take any shape. Ravana, the great demon, was looking like a great saint and sage when he came to Sita. Any kind of extreme ahamkara is what is called a demonical nature, and it can take the shape of any kind of religion or goodness. Everywhere the same thing is taking place. In one place it is one form, in another place it is another form. Whether two nations fight or only two people fight, it doesn't make a difference. The activity is the same. If two people fight, it is an international war, if you actually go deep into it. The quantity does not make the difference in quality.

Visitor: They should mutate our genes.

Swamiji: It is only the gene of God that is entering into them.

Visitor: We could do it in a nice way, but it is a dangerous thing to do, to mutate the genes. It is against God's will.

Swamiji: Who has seen God? And why should we talk about Him at all, and whether He has a will or not? That also is doubtful. So again we are foisting some ideas of ours on what is called God, and interpreting Him in terms of our own use. It is better we don't take His name too much because we are misusing the name.

The whole world activity, in any form whatsoever, is the human ego dancing in one way or the other. It can take any shape. In a pleasant form or in an unpleasant form it can perform its dancing, and it may look like something quite different, but it is the same thing, just as Ravana looked different, and yet he was the same person. It is not easy to get rid of it because even the one who tries to get rid of it is also ego only. So that is another difficulty you have got.

Visitor: Why has God given us an ego?

Swamiji: He has not given anything. We have manufactured it ourselves only. God cannot give an ego because He Himself has no ego, so how will He give it? It has erupted like a disease, and the cause of it is one's own irregular way of living, and it cannot be attributed to somebody else.

Visitor: Is there a secret meaning for existence?

Swamiji: Existence itself is the meaning. You cannot have quality for existence. The final meaning is existence only. Everything is striving for being, and it wants nothing else.

Visitor: Sometimes I think that God, if He exists, is a sadomasochist.

Swamiji: God doesn't exist in that sense that the human being thinks. Unless the human being also is there, he cannot attribute such qualities to somebody else. That quality which is absent in you cannot be seen in another person. So it is the transference of one's own qualities that is actually seen in another. Our mind acts like a mirror in which one sees one's own self. No object can be seen as it is in itself. It is always coloured by the process of thinking.

Visitor: We go on committing the same mistakes again and again.

Swamiji: That is because people have short memories. The whole reason is, you forget everything that has happened in the past, and so you commit new mistakes. Man is having no memory. Therefore, reading history does not bring anything, though it is supposed to bring knowledge. Yesterday's tragedy he forgets today, and he commits the same mistakes because of the thought of the future enterprise which is in his mind. He has to be educated properly. An uneducated man can learn nothing from history, or from any experience. We require a guide.

Another visitor: The human being has not so much freedom.

Swamiji: The human has some freedom, but not absolute freedom.

Visitor: I agree. We are under karma. So what is the purpose of prayer? We don't eliminate karma with prayer.

Swamiji: You cannot eliminate the karma which has already started working through your body, but prayer, meditation, and such other spiritual exercises will prevent the formation of fresh karmas which may bring another birth. They cannot negate the experiences that you are passing through in this birth because these experiences are the product of the karma that has already manifested itself through this body, but spiritual exercises, meditation, etc., are intended to see that you do not commit the same mistake once again; you shall have no coming back to this world of sorrow, and you will go higher up rather than revert to the old condition. The absence of any future binding karma automatically springs you up to the higher level where karmas do not operate. That is the benefit of prayer and meditation.

The present life's experiences cannot be destroyed. You have to pass through them.

Visitor: They cannot be destroyed, but can they be reduced a little?

Swamiji: You cannot reduce them also. The only thing is, you can develop a strength which will make you not feel the sorrow so much. The sorrow cannot go, but you will not feel it much because of the spiritual strength that you have developed.

Another visitor: What is the best way for us to have constant remembrance of God and Guru?

Swamiji: There are no two things. You should not bring two things like that. There is no 'God and', and so on. God does not permit 'and'. It is either He or somebody else, there cannot be two. God is adamant that He will not tolerate anybody else except Himself, so don't bring Guru; otherwise, don't bring God. Either one of the two you bring. There is no two. You should never use the word like that.

Visitor: They are the same.

Swamiji: They don't exist as two. They exist as one only. It is like saying the sun and his rays. Which is better? What is your question?

Visitor: What is the best way to constantly remember God?

Swamiji: The best way is to remember and keep Him in the mind. What else can I tell you?

Visitor: But it goes out because all other thoughts compete with it.

Swamiji: It goes out because you do not want Him entirely.

Visitor: I want Him entirely.

Swamiji: No, it is not true. If that were the case, you would never think of other things. You are theoretically saying “I want God entirely”, but practically it is not so. Otherwise, even when you are doing work, that memory will not leave you. It cannot leave you. That means you are not fully wanting God. You are thinking that even without Him you can get on for some days. That is what the heart is saying.

If a man is to be executed tomorrow and today he is taking lunch, will he forget that tomorrow he is going to be executed just because he is busy with taking lunch? What do you say? So it depends upon the importance that you are giving to a thing.

Visitor: I want to give supreme importance to God.

Swamiji: But you are not giving it; otherwise, this question will not arise. You are separating your activity from the thought of God. They are not two things. The thought of God includes your activity. You cannot separate them. If the activity that you are engaging yourself in is really going to be beneficial to you spiritually, then it cannot be outside the purview of your remembrance of God. It is a part of your sadhana itself, unless it is irrelevant. If you think you are doing an irrelevant thing, then it must be given up. But if you say it is relevant to you, it is necessary, it becomes part of your sadhana and it cannot cut off your memory of God. This is a passage to it. Whatever you are doing is a passage to that memory, unless what you are doing is meaningless. If it is meaningless, you will not do it. Both are the same.