1. The Essence of Spirituality
(Darshan given on January 14th, 1997.)
A visitor: ...two hour chanting and cleaning of the Siva lingam, and I think pouring milk on the Siva lingam, and then dressing it in flowers and crowning it, and it made me...
At first I did not understand the whole ceremony, but then it reminded me of what I read in the Bible about a king has been born, about Jesus and how... And it felt like first you clean the lingam, which is a purification. You cleaned it, and then when it was totally pure, you anointed it with milk, and then you dressed it up. And in the end, you were crowning it to king, and it felt like a big celebration.
Swamiji: You are treating it like a king. Yes. God is a king.
Visitor: Because this is not just important as something outside. It felt very much it had to do with me in my spiritual longing and in my journey, and it became... The last week I understood something which I never understood before, and it's about an old mythology, it's about the phoenix rising out of the ashes, and I had the feeling that this is very much the same thing...
Swamiji: It rises out of its own ashes.
Visitor: Yes, from nothing. From nothing, something new comes, something new rises, something that the world has never seen before.
Swamiji: We have all come from our own ashes, we ourselves. We are also the same thing. We were nothing once, and now we have become something, and therefore this something also is a nothing because its origin was nothing only. A very important point.
Okay, now what are you driving at finally?
Visitor: The driving at was not when I was born, but it feels like the spiritual transformation is actually this phoenix on account of that realisation.
Swamiji: Right, right.
Visitor: What to do with this?
Swamiji: Nothing. You have understood the whole thing, only you have to adore it and be happy.
There are one thousand ways of treating God as an adorable Being. You have to treat God as an adorable Being, and there are a hundred-thousand ways of adoring. You can adore a person in many ways: by good words, by giving a seat, by giving an offering, by dressing, by feeding, by making him rest. So many varieties are there by which you can satisfy a person. That is the technique they adopt for God also because God is considered as a Great Person, most adorable. He is the President of the universe. He is the Emperor of the universe. He is Himself the universe.
And if you can behold such a Being, what will happen to you? Suppose by chance you behold such a Being in front of you with millions of eyes everywhere looking at you, all-powerful, absorbing the whole universe into Itself, and immortal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. It is looking at you, what do you feel? That feeling is called devotion. It is impossible to imagine what you will feel at that time. You will simply start melting down. Your personality will melt down by the awe that you feel in front of that Majesty, which will be beautiful on one hand, majestic on another hand, and fearful on another side. You do not know how to encounter God. Is It a fearful, terrible force which you must be afraid of, or is It a most beautiful thing which you must go on looking at, or is It a very compassionate mother or father for you Whom you must hug? You do not know what to do with that God.
That multifaceted, indescribable feeling which arises at the time of beholding, or at least conceptualising that mighty Being, is the essence of spiritual life. Your heart simply gets churned completely, and you get transformed into a great purity which manifests itself. Even when I'm talking to you now and when you are listening to this, it is actually a purifying process going on. It is not simply chatting; it is not talking. It is a highly important thing I am telling, and something is happening to you now in your mind. You feel happy, wonderful: I am better now. Every minute you will feel, “I am better. I am purified. I am in the presence of the mighty sun which is blazing forth in front of me. I have no problem. It is looking at me. Only I have to love it, and it will love me. If such a thing loves me, I have no problem.”
This is the essence of spirituality finally, and you can manifest that spirituality by rituals, any kind of ritual: pouring ghee, milk, and whatever you said just now. Or they may not be necessary at all. You can do this in mind only. You can pour milk in mind, you can adore Him in mind, you can clothe Him in mind, you can talk to Him in mind. You must be in the state of ecstasy. That ecstasy you feel in that condition is the essence of spirituality. Everything else is unnecessary. This one thing that you feel in the conceptualisation of that Almighty, that answers all your questions, and you will not talk afterwards. Your mouth will be shut because of the happiness. The more you are spiritual, the less you will speak. You will be so much happy that you cannot speak afterwards, like a person who is going on drinking nectar and cannot speak afterwards. He is drowned in it.
You don't require to do anything; you have only to be something in the presence of That because when that Mighty Being is there, what can you do in front of It? You are flabbergasted at that time. You are simply paralysed. So you don't have to do any ritual for That. It does not want anything from you; It wants you only. It will say, “I want nothing from you. I want you.” The whole thing will go, the whole thing, and you enter into it. That is the supreme blessedness.
This is meditation, this is spirituality, whatever you call it. So even this discussion is a blessed thing. I am also happy, you are also happy. Because I speak it, it is good. You are hearing it, it is also good.