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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1996
by Swami Krishnananda

31. Going Beyond the Finite

(Darshan given on May 9th, 1996.)

A visitor: I am an engineer, but now I am retired. What is the utility of whatever we do?

Swamiji: You are asking what is the utility of your being an official?

Visitor: Yes.

Swamiji: Then why did you go there? You could have kept quiet.

Visitor: One wants to be something.

Swamiji: I am asking you, why did you do any work? What is the purpose?

Visitor: At that time we never thought of that question.

Swamiji: It is not like that. You understood very well. You wanted to earn salary and maintain your family, so the utility is very clear.

Visitor: At that time, yes.

Swamiji: Even now it is the same thing.

Visitor: Now I am retired.

Swamiji: Even if you are retired, you are not retired from this body, so you have to take care of it. That is also a duty. So what is your problem?

Visitor: The problem is this question of various religions…

Swamiji: Don't talk to me about religion. First solve this problem. You have not renounced anything because your body is clinging to you, and as long as this body is there, it is a big object before you. So as you have been taking care of other family members, this is also one of the members. As long as you are alive in this world, you have a duty to take care of it. So what is the utility? It is like asking what is the utility of living at all. Why do you want to live at all?

Visitor: That is exactly the question I'm asking.

Swamiji: Do you want to abolish yourself?

Visitor: If there is no purpose in living, probably yes. If I am convinced, yes. This is only an animal instinct that one wants to live at this stage. I do not know. I am asking.

Swamiji: Listen. If it is an animal instinct, it is not worth having.

Visitor: Exactly.

Swamiji: Then cancel it.

Visitor: This is what I want to know. Is there anything beyond?

Swamiji: There is nothing beyond. An animal has nothing beyond.

Visitor: I'm not talking about an animal, I'm talking about…

Swamiji: Are you an animal?

Visitor: Partly, perhaps.

Swamiji: Then partly you have a responsibility to take care of the body, and partly perhaps there is something beyond. What have you read up to this time?

Visitor: I have read a fair amount of Upanishads and Gita.

Swamiji: What have you found in them?

Visitor: They say, for example, Sat-Chit-Ananda is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

Swamiji: Now, what is the meaning you make out of it?

Visitor: I want to ask you.

Swamiji: I cannot tell you anything unless you ask me a question. You are adamantly asserting some very foolish point of view, so how can I answer?

Visitor: I want your blessings so that my foolishness will go away. That is all I am asking.

Swamiji: You have to take several births. You must be prepared for that. So now do whatever you are doing, and don't change your attitude. Whatever you are doing, continue, and there is no need of changing anything. Only when you find that whatever you are doing is meaningless, then you ask me: “I have found all life is meaningless.” But I don't think it is so. Otherwise, you would not have come here.

Visitor: I feel there is something.

Swamiji: What is this 'something' you are thinking of?

Visitor: From what I have read, I can only say that life is pure bliss.

Swamiji: Where is that bliss?

Visitor: I do not know. This is what I am searching for.

Swamiji: You should not agree to anything that somebody has said. What do you say?

Visitor: I have not had any experience of pure bliss.

Swamiji: Do you believe that you are a limited, finite individual? Are you an infinite man or a finite man?

Visitor: I am very finite.

Swamiji: How do you know that you are finite unless you have an idea of something beyond you? Unless you have an inkling of something beyond you, you cannot know that you are limited, so this inference itself is an indication to you that there is something beyond you. Okay? This is the first step you have taken. There is something beyond you; otherwise, you cannot know you are a limited person. You will feel that you are the whole universe.

You are asking me what your duty is. Your duty is to transform your individual personality, by deep meditation, in the direction of that which is called the unending Infinite, Sat-Chit-Ananda. There is no need of reading many books. There is a potential indication within your own personality that the finite is indicative of an infinite. No one can know one is finite unless there is a consciousness that there is something more. So you don't have to go into complicated things. You do meditation on the unending Reality which is summoning you and making you feel very miserable because of your limitedness.

Actually, the whole of spiritual life is nothing but meditation on the Infinite. And for that you have to be trained. Your mind has to be pure. There should not be emotional tension, and you must be satisfied with everything. You should not have problems of economic life, political life, social life and moral life. Until these problems are solved personally, the concept of the Infinite will not arise. If you tell me that you have no such problems – you are morally all right, politically all right, socially all right, financially all right, there is nothing to pinch you, and you are a comfortable man, very happy – then it is up to you to deeply contemplate beyond whatever is finite, because every person in the world is finite. Even the sun and the moon are finite. Space and time are finite. But the idea that space and time are finite arises on account of something implanted in you. That something is beyond space and time. Do you understand me?

By inferential experience, you will know that you are not a complete person. A completeness is there only when you reach a point where outside you nothing exists. Limitation, bondage, finitude imply the acceptance of the fact that there is something outside you. But infinitude has nothing outside it. You must reach a state where everything is complete to such an extent that nothing is outside it. The consciousness that is operating through your body is actually an endless operation taking place. This endlessness, beyond the concept of any kind of limitation, physical or psychological, is the object of one's meditation. You should know nothing except meditation. This will purify you completely and give you strength, because when the larger inundation of strength and power enters you, you will feel happy. This is what we call bliss.

The whole of life is intended to transmute the finite into the infinite. Once the infinite is reached, there is no birth and death because birth and death are nothing but transformation processes, change. No change can take place unless there is something external; but in the Infinite, there is nothing external. So the Infinite is not born. It is endless, which is why we call it eternal existence. That is called Sat-chit-ananda. Your duty is only this. Every other thing that you have done or are proposing to do is also part and parcel of this major duty of your dissolving your finitude in the infinite consciousness. For that, deep meditation is necessary under the guidance of a competent person who can instruct you and be a guide for you. There is nothing but meditation, finally. I am not going to tell you much, but I have awakened your mind to the fact of there being something endless and absolute, beyond the limitations of yourself. Pursue it, pray for it, meditate on it, and be sure that you are going to get it.