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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1997
by Swami Krishnananda

33. Vishva Prarthana

(Darshan given on June 15th, 1997.)

Swamiji: We should pray to the Almighty Lord that this country, this world, receive into its bosom greater and greater souls who sustain this world. The world is not sustained by money power, it is not sustained by police and army, it is not sustained by military activity; it is sustained by the great thoughts of people. The power of thought of all humanity, that sustains this world.

The greatest service that you can do to anybody is a noble thought that you can evoke in your mind in regard to either somebody, or to a group of people, or to the whole country, or to the whole world itself. Vishva-prarthana. We do every day Vishva-prarthana. It is an invocation from our deepest source, our heart, for the welfare of the whole world.

We cannot be happy by merely sitting in one room and thinking everything is okay. We should not think like that. If the atmosphere is disturbed, if the community is disturbed, where is the security for a house? If the village is disturbed, the whole district is disturbed, the entire state and country are disturbed, where is the security for one person? And if the whole earth is disturbed – there is catastrophe, cataclysm, earthquake, wind and tornado – where is the security?

The whole universe should be pleased; then you are also pleased. Your little community, your little cottage, your little house in some corner of this world can be secure only if the whole universe is secure. Otherwise, there will be a thunderstorm at the centre of the cosmos and the whole thing will shake. This is the power of Vishva-prarthana. All our prayers should be directed to the welfare of the whole universe – not my welfare, your welfare, and all that – because individual welfare is included in cosmic welfare.

These are the great saints and sages. They do not speak about themselves. They don't advertise themselves. They don't write books about themselves – no autobiography, nothing of the kind. They are happy. The world is attracted towards them.

A visitor: Shunya, nothingness, and beingness are eventually the same thing, isn't it?

Swamiji: Both mean the same thing. When you are asserting everything, you are asserting nothing. When you are asserting nothing, you are asserting everything. So the philosophy of Acharya Sankara and the Upanishads that everything is, is just like the Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna's philosophy that there is nothing. If you can think of everything at the same time, you are practically thinking nothing, and if you can think nothing, you are actually thinking everything. You may say they are like night and day because there is no such thing as night and day. There is always sunlight somewhere in the world, and there is always night somewhere. At every time it is morning, and at every time it is evening. When you say it is morning, morning where? Which place? Every minute there is a morning on the Earth. Every minute there is a sunset. Every minute it is midday, and every minute people are sleeping at midnight, so it is a very interesting thing. Anything is okay; everything is okay. You can say no or you can say yes. Existence or no existence, both mean the same thing.

In the Bhagavadgita Lord Sri Krishna says, “I am existence and non-existence combined together.” Even the idea of non-existence is existence. You cannot think non-existence unless you assert the existence of your mind. So there is no such thing as non-existence. It is existence only.

[To another visitor] Raikva was a very big man, very big. I will tell you the story about that man. There was a king. In the hot summer he was sitting on the top of the house because it was very hot. He was lying down. Two birds were flying. One bird was in front; another bird was behind. The bird that was behind told the bird in front, “Don't cross, don't cross. The fire of the power of this king is coming up to the skies. It will burn you. Don't you know? He is a great man. His tapas is a fire. He is lying on the top, and it is coming up to the skies. Don't go, don't cross. He will burn your wings.” The other bird said, “Whom are you talking about? Who is this king, as if he is equal to Raikva?” He pooh-poohed – 'pooh-pooh' means he didn't agree – that this king is a great man. The other one said the king is so powerful he will burn if anybody crosses him, but the other one said he cannot be equal to Raikva.

The king heard all this and said, “There is a man greater than I – Raikva, Raikva. Who is Raikva? I have never heard of him.” The bird was insulting this man: “Who are you, as if you are equal to Raikva?” He didn't sleep in the night. He was very much disturbed: “In my country there is somebody who is greater than myself.”

In the morning, all the attendants started bugles and music, and all that, to wake up the king and praise him: “Maharaj, great king, get up.” The king said, “Don't praise me. I am not equal to Raikva. Find out this Raikva; only then I shall be happy. Why are you praising me? I am not equal to Raikva. Find out who is this Raikva who is supposed to be greater than myself. This bird said, ‘This Raikva is so great, if anybody does any good thing in the world, the result of that good thing will go to his credit. If you do some good charity, that person will get everything.’ What is the matter? We are doing some good things, and the result goes to somebody else. How is it possible?” He couldn't understand. Something terrible! This person is a terrible man, not ordinary.

So he sent a messenger, “Go around the whole country. Find out Raikva. I want to go and meet him.” They went to all the towns and cities, everywhere. Raikva, Raikva, they could not find any Raikva. They came and said, “Your highness, there is no Raikva. We cannot find him.” “Where did you search?” “We went to all the towns.” “Hey, do you think that great people are staying in towns? He must be staying somewhere far off. Why are you going to the towns? Go to those places where great people live.”

Again they went in search. In some far-off village a man was sitting. He was scratching himself. He had some itches also. And he was having a bullock cart – no bullocks, cart only. He had to pull it himself. Physically very poor. They went. “May we know if you are Raikva?” “Hey, they call me like that,” he said. “The king wants you.” “Let the king go,” he said. “Who is the king? I have no connection with a king. Don't talk of kings,” he said.

They ran and told the king, “Here he is. He doesn't care for you. He doesn't want to see you also. He is sitting alone with a cart.” The king himself came with all retinue, gold, silver, this, that, and offered it. “Please teach me what you know.” “Hey, go!” he said. “You want to purchase me by gold? Go, go, go, go!” Oh, he was very much upset.

The king went, and again he brought something extra, and offered. “Please take.” He said, “I will give the whole village to you. You are sitting with a cart. The entire village is yours. I call it Raikva village. Take, and teach me what you know.” “Oh, let us see,” he said. He spoke. This is a story in the Upanishads, in the Chhandogya Upanishad.

What did he speak? Why is it that anybody's good action goes to him? What is the reason? If a thousand people do good things, the good result will go to that man only. It is unthinkable. I am doing good things and the result goes to that man. Very strange! How is it possible? It is something like this. Even if the mouth eats the food, the body gets the strength. If the eyes see an object, the whole body is happy. If the ears hear music, the whole body is satisfied. If the stomach gets food, the entire body is satisfied. So whatever any organ does, it satisfies this because it is the total. Likewise, these people – yourself, myself, anybody – who do good deeds, they are like little, little sense organs, but he was a big body who absorbed everything into himself.

“Teach me,” said the king. “Oh, I will tell you,” Raikva said. “Absorb,” he said. The philosophy of this great Raikva is called absorption. What are you absorbing? “I absorb the sun into myself, I absorb the moon into myself, I absorb the sky into myself, I absorb the rivers into myself, I absorb the mountains, I absorb the earth, all the elements. The whole creation I absorb. This is the meditation,” he said. The whole universe absorbs into it, so there is no wonder that if you do anything it goes to him only. He was a cosmic being looking like a poor fellow scratching the body and having a cart without even bull. A great wonder. So there was a great person called Raikva. You become Raikva. Is it possible? Can you become like that?