(Spoken on Swami Sivananda's Aradhana Day in 1999)
Our revered and dear Gurudev is Worshipful Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. Actually, discarnate forms of the Masters of the Spirit form an inclusive fraternity among themselves in the higher realms of being, not capable of contact by the physical eyes of human beings. Just as in the United Nations each nation maintains its own identity and yet also establishes a relationship with other nations in the world, even as an ambassador representing a particular country but posted in some other country establishes a double relationship in his operations—namely, an intimate connection with the country where he is expected to work, and a permanent relationship with his own country which has deputed him as an ambassador—so are these Masters of the Spirit operating in a realm which is on the one hand inclusive, and on the other hand interiorised.
That they belong to a fraternity of large inclusiveness of blessed ones and that, at the same time, they also maintain a scintillating identity among themselves marks them as distinguished divinities not comparable with anything that we observe in this world. Because of the inclusiveness of their relation in the fraternity of the leaders of the Spirit, they are supposed to be conscious of every one of us. But because of the fact they are interiorised in their own self-identical nature, our faculties of understanding cannot contact them. Even if a great Master is now sitting in front of us in this very hall, he may see us, but we cannot see him.
There are two defects in the human way of thinking which are obviated in the way in which the minds of these great Masters work. One of the defects in human thinking is that every person is a self-identical physical entity, and any kind of relationship that we establish with other people in the world, to speak correctly, is artificial. An inclusive, organic relation of ourselves with other people is not possible because we are bodily conditioned, ego-ridden, and we struggle hard to maintain ourselves as we are in our body. Basically, the human being has scant respect for any other person, though this is not visible to us in our daily life because of an adjustment, an adaptation that every person makes in social life, knowing well that utter self-identical physical assertion will defeat the very purpose of that kind of assertion.
But in the case of these great Masters, it is a different thing altogether. They are interiorised not as we are introverted psychological individuals, but are interiorised in a universal sense. That means to say, the universe is an interiorised comprehensiveness; it is not an exteriorised particularity of little things. We see a variety of things in the world, yet internally they form an inclusiveness and rootedness in their base. Every star has some connection with every other star, yet every star looks different from other stars.
As distant stars shed their bright rays on the surface of the Earth and condition even our life in the world, these great Masters, perpetually operating in a realm beyond sense-perception, send a sea wave of blessing to all people. Every divinity as a god in the high heavens is internally related to us, and so are the Masters. In that realm of inclusive interiority of the Spirit, there is no such thing as 'my Guru' and 'somebody else's Guru'. Everybody is 'my Guru', 'our Guru', because this socially conditioned ethnic differentiation that we find in physically embodied Masters is cast aside there, and they are not even human, or males and females. They are centres of light.
The more they rise above in the higher realms of being, the more they become impersonalised in their existence. There are many levels of being, and in every level there are discarnate spiritual entities. The higher ones have greater capacity of conducting themselves in respect of everything in the world; the lower ones have lesser capacity.
In the highest interiority of the spiritual kingdom, light is reflected in light. Every so-called shining star of that spiritual entity gets reflected in every other star, which is also a spiritual entity. In our tradition of India we call that highest interiority of spiritual fraternity as Brahmaloka, the kingdom of the most blessed ones. There they maintain a kind of self-identity, yet they are permeating into every other such entity. Everyone is reflected in everyone else, like millions of mirrors reflecting one another when they are placed in a proper context and juxtaposition.
Thus, they are ambassadors of the Spirit, arms of God operating in the world. Their will to bless, to redeem in a most compassionate manner, is their perpetual characteristic, not arisen in themselves by effort. If we give a few coins to a poor beggar, this is a feeling of charity that we may have sometimes, but it is occasional, done with effort, and not always spontaneous. But the charity embodied by the Masters is a spontaneous manifestation of their very makeup. In their internal makeup and constitution as spirits, they touch everything, and therefore they are permanently, perpetually in contact with everything in the world. Such contact is an automatic blessing, we may say.
The grace of God is a perennial rain that inundates our Earth. It is not extracted with great difficulty. Just as the rays of the Sun touch the surface of the Earth without our summoning them—spontaneously there is a world of light brightening the surface of the Earth when the Sun is in the sky—so are the waves of blessing that emanate from this vast ocean of beneficent individuals. They have human characteristics in the sense that they can bless us. They have super-individual characteristics in the sense that they do not belong to this world.
The highest heaven touches this Earth even now. Though due to our erroneous reading of the passages of the scriptures we may think that heaven is a number of kilometres or millions of miles away from us, this is a defective way of measuring height and distance with our mind. There is no distance between heaven and Earth because heaven is the most rarefied form of Universal matter which, in the process of creation, descends into denser and denser forms of expression until it reaches the very Earth on which we are seated. Since the distance between heaven and Earth is nothing but the distance between the most rarefied form of Universal substance and its lowest, grosser form, there is a continuous invisible vital relationship of the highest with the lowest.
We are in such a blessed atmosphere—not in Rishikesh, not in Sivananda Ashram, not in any particular town or country. We are floating on the surface of the billowing ocean of Universal majesty and grace. But stupid as the human mind is, it gets extroverted so intensely towards other material objects, such as the body of one's own self, that anything that is interiorised cannot make itself felt due to the repulsive habit of the human individual affirmative character. We bring tragedy to our own selves by our tragic thinking, and we can also bless ourselves the moment we are in a mood and capacity to inwardise ourselves in communion with the great Masters.
In such a way, Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj is blessing us, and we shall trust it and be thrice blessed.