The Background of the Foundation of Spiritual Life

gift of giving eraoflightdotcomA life of spiritual discipline is one of constant vigilance over the small details, not only of one’s thoughts and states of consciousness but also of one’s daily conduct and reaction. Spiritual seekers are likely to be carried away by grand ideals in their spiritual quest while forgetting, in a state of untutored ignorance, that the details, the small units of practice, are going to make up the large achievement of the spiritual goal.

Among the majority of cases a failure to achieve success in spiritual life can be attributed to a sheer overenthusiasm in respect of the large and the distant, while being completely oblivious of what is under one’s own nose because the object of our quest in the spiritual field is something unique and not capable of being equated with the objects which we are generally accustomed to see with our eyes or perceive with our senses. It is next to impossible for an uninitiated mind to comprehend the extent and magnitude of the details of spiritual practice.

The goal, which is the realisation of the spirit, is intimately related to the processes that are involved in the practice. As it is usually said, the end that we are going to achieve is nothing but the culmination of the evolution of the means that we are adopting in the practice. The fruit that we enjoy from a tree is the finality of a long process of evolution of what we call the tree, which has arisen from the seed, arisen from an incipient stage of invisibility and comparative unimportance. We know how large, strong and spacious the tree is and how delicious is the fruit that it yields, but all this has come from a relatively insignificant factor that we call a small seed, which we are likely to cast away without giving it much value or meaning. But unfortunately, the small seed has been the mother which has been nurturing this spacious tree and embodying within its bosom the luscious fruit which delights the senses of man. It is, therefore, no use merely gazing at the possibility of having a large tree and delicious fruit without paying any attention to the factor of the seed involved in it because without the seed there is no tree, and without the tree there is no fruit, notwithstanding the fact that the seed seems insignificant. The timber of the tree is so costly and the small seed has no such value, yet the tree and timber have come from this seed. But for the seed, there would have been no tree.

In a similar manner, we may say that the vast achievement of spiritual realisation, the yoga siddhi, perfection in the practice of yoga, which is so attractive and so very charming, so enrapturing even to think, is constituted of very fine, subtle factors which come before us every day but which we totally ignore as not connected with the goal of our realisation. But this is a mistake. The goal is not far from us. It is not a distant ideal spatially disconnected from us so that we can cut off the means from the end. We cannot sever the relationship between the end and the means, and in this particular context, this relationship is more intimate than the connection that we usually see between temporal means and temporal ends.

We work hard and earn a good salary. Earning a good salary is the end, and the working hard for it is the means. Now, there is some sort of connection between working hard and acquiring a good salary, but this connection is not vital, not a living relation; it is a made-up connection in a social pattern of understanding and arrangement of things. The connection between work and the fruit of the work in the form of salary or wages is not an organic tie between the two but an accepted connection due to a social rule that we have made to prevail under certain principles adopted in common. But the relation between the spiritual means and the spiritual goal is not merely a contrived relation in a social sense or a mechanical relationship, but a living, growing, vital process of inseparable links in a chain of living forces. The connection between the body of a child and the body of the same child grown into an adult is organic. It is not a mechanical relationship. The same thing has come up into this present condition of growth, expanded in various aspects but containing within this expanded form the vitality of the original condition which preceded this stage years back.

The practice of spirituality is constituted of organic units all related to one another in an inseparable bond of spirituality. The relationship of the units also is spiritual, and the more we advance in the path of the spirit, the more we will be able to realise that things are essentially spiritual and not material, physical or externally related. The lower we are in the strata of evolution, the more physical and more external do things appear to us, and the more distant is the relation between the means and the end. We try to cheat people, are dishonest, and are one thing inside and another thing outside because we are under the notion that the end and the means are not connected with each other, and so if we are dishonest, a bad result may not follow from it. This is our belief. We think we can deceive without being deceived.

This notion is the cause of malpractices in personal life as well as in social life, but this is a grave error of thought. There is a connection between the means and the end, so we cannot be one thing inside and another thing outside. This will not work because what we are inside is the means, and what we are outside cannot be completely unconnected with it, though we try to be different. The rule of nature, the law of the cosmos is so constituted that the seed must grow into the structure that is already inherent in it. It cannot grow into something else. We cannot expect an elephant to come out of a mango seed. It is impossible. It is only a tendril of a mango plant that will come out of it. But ignorant that man is, in spite of his so-called qualifications, he is bankrupt of understanding of the natural laws that prevail in the world and work throughout the layers of the cosmos.

What paves the way to the particular conduct of a person is also going to be the factor contributing to the manifestation of its inherent nature. More cautious than ordinary people in the world should a spiritual seeker be because the law operates more strictly in the case of a spiritual seeker than in the case of ordinary persons. The reactions set up by natural forces in respect of spiritual seekers are more immediate and more vehement than in the case of people who are thick-skinned, or buffalo-skinned, as we call them. The reason is the subtlety of thought and the greater capacity to receive the reaction from forces of nature. It does not mean that the forces of nature do not react in the cases of other persons, but the sensitivity of normal people, ordinary people, is much less than the sensitivity of spiritual seekers, and so they feel the rebuff much more quickly than others.

Hence, any palpable achievement in the field of spiritual work and spiritual sadhana can be expected only if we take care of the penny, as they say; we do not have to see that the pounds also are taken care of, because the pounds are made up of pennies.

Thus, the large fruit of God-realisation, yoga siddhi, atma sakshatkara, spiritual perfection, is nothing but the evolution into perfection of the methodology that we are adopting in our day-to-day life. We cannot say that today we can be fools and tomorrow we can be wise people. That is not possible because what we are today is going to affect what we will be tomorrow. It is a connection. It is inseparable. Therefore, the day-to-day practice and conduct of the spiritual seeker is most important, of vital consequence.

Now, what is going to be the method that the spiritual seeker is to adopt in daily life? Generally we, as beginners in the path of yoga, make a distinction between temporal life and spiritual life, which means to say that on a particular day we bifurcate our time between our spiritual sadhana and our secular activities or temporal duties of the world, under the notion – very important to underline – that our temporal activity is not connected with the hour or two that we give to our spiritual sadhana. We may be meditating for half an hour and doing japa for one and a half hours and reading scripture for half an hour in our puja room, and then we get up and enter a new world altogether of an activity unconnected with, unrelated to, the little period of sadhana in which we were engaged.

Now, we cannot help getting into this rut of erroneous thinking, which has to be carefully obviated by trained thinking. It is impossible to make such bifurcation in our life because life is a continuity. Though the work that we do at two different times may be distinct in character, in makeup, we are the same person that does the two different works. This cannot be forgotten. We may rob Peter and pay Paul. We think paying Paul is a charitable act, but robbing Peter is the opposite of it. There seems to be a feeling that there is no connection between robbing Peter and paying Paul, but there is a connection because we were the person who has done both these actions. They are connected, and we cannot simply bifurcate them as if they are actions of two different individuals.

The spiritual contemplative mood and attitude of worship which we entertain for a very meagre part of the day as our spiritual sadhana is generally mistakenly isolated from our business, commercial and temporal relations. This we do on the supposition that these two sides of our nature have internally no relationship, which is a blunder. This is a mistake in our thinking. They will mutually react between each other like acid and alkaline, and a chemical reaction will be set up so that the temporal activity, the secular duties, may receive the impact of our good thoughts entertained during the period of worship and meditation. This will happen, but there will also be the other side of it. The thoughts that we entertain during our period of worship and meditation will also reach the impact of our temporal activities. While the spiritual concept may influence our temporal duties, our commercial thoughts also can be entertained during our spiritual meditation because we are the same person, same thought, same mind, same feeling that is behind these two sides of our nature and work.

It is, therefore, essential to pave the background of spiritual practice before we actually set our foot into it. The universe is a single whole. It is not a divided house. As with a human body, we cannot have half the body of one kind and the other half of another kind. The whole body is a single, connected whole which cannot have half enjoying health and the other half full of disease. That is not possible. The body is one whole compact living organism. Such is life, such is the world, such is creation as a completeness.

Hence, the laws of nature will work as a reaction from the total, from the whole, rather than from merely a part. It is the whole of nature that reacts when any reaction is set up. It is not only a part of nature that works. Nature does not work in parts, because there is no such thing as parts of nature, just as there is no such thing as part of a living body. It is one complete whole. Any reaction from a part of the body is the whole body reacting. From this analogy we may draw the conclusion that we have to be prepared to encounter natural laws in their wholeness, and we should also remember that the very same natural laws operate in our personal life, in our family life and our social life. Nature has no within and no without. We cannot say that nature is only outside and not inside our house, within our family and inside our own body – nothing of the kind.

‘Nature’ is a term that we apply to the way in which the total creation works, of which we are a part. So it is inside the body, inside the family, inside the temple, inside the bathroom, inside the whole cosmos, everywhere, and the same law will work inexorably, without remission of effort, in respect of every person whether high or low, at all times, without any distinction whatsoever. So it is foolish on our part to make a distinction between the spiritual and the temporal. Such a distinction does not exist in nature, and it cannot exist even for God. It is one whole law working through the body, through the vital forces, through the senses, through the mind, through the intellect, in society, in nature, in the stellar system, everywhere. This is the satya dharma. Satyadharmāya dṛṣṭaye (Isa 15) says the Isavasya Upanishad. The law of truth, the satya dharma which the Isavasya Upanishad speaks of is the law of truth which is single, universal, inexorable, incapable of division into inside and outside, into the temporal and the spiritual, into the commercial and the adhyatmic.

Thus, we have to take a total view of things in our spiritual life because truth has no distinction of spirit and matter. It is our mind that makes this distinction – matter outside, spirit within, and so on. There is no such distinction for truth. Truth as it is in itself is neither matter nor spirit as we think of them. It is something transcending both concepts, and it appears as matter from one angle of vision, and as spirit from another point of view, so there will be an action from both matter and spirit simultaneously when any action takes place. Any event is a total joint activity of spirit and matter combined. The within and the without act together. This is a secret which most people do not know, and cannot understand; therefore, people make a mistake not only in their spiritual sadhana but also even in lesser duties such as their jobs in factories, in offices, etc. Remember again, nature has no office, factory, etc. Nature has no business activity. Nature has no temples and bathrooms and so on. These do not exist for nature. They exist only for our minds, so what ultimately works is the natural law, and not what is in our heads. Though for us there is a distinction between a temple and a bathroom, for nature no such difference exists. It has no difference of any kind in any manner whatsoever, and its law operates everywhere. This is something very startling if we deeply think of it. Nature is impersonal, and is not a human being like us who has emotions of a father, mother, child, etc. Its emotions are not psychological functions; they are eternal principles which work equally in children and adults, in men and women, in the learned and the stupid. Unanimously, uniformly it will work without any partiality.

Such being the case, the difference between the spiritual and temporal is unknown to nature as such, and inasmuch as it is this law that operates finally – it is this law that works in the end – it would be wisdom on our part to abide by it. We should not violate this law, imagining that we do not understand it. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. We cannot say we do not know it. We have to know it if we are a citizen of the world. The law of the spirit is also the law of matter, the law of the within is also the law of the without, the law of our personal life is also the law of nature, the law of spirituality is also the law of business. They are not different things. What works in one place works elsewhere also.

We generally make a very glib distinction between these two levels and aspects of work for the sake of convenience, but here we are talking of serious matters, and not merely conveniences and comforts of the human mind. What may be convenient for us may not be in conformity with the justice of nature, and so this convenience can be wiped out completely when this law begins to work.

Thus, we have to take a very comprehensive view of our life, and remember that we are part of a living set of principles or laws which we have to take into consideration in our spiritual and temporal works, not making a dichotomy between the two but regarding both as two aspects of a single nature. Our attitude in our business centre, in our office or our factory cannot be totally different from the attitude we entertain in our puja room. Though the methodology of our external manipulation of work may differ, the attitude cannot differ whether we are waving an arti lamp in our puja room or tightening a screw in our factory. Though we do not wave an arti in the factory or run a dynamo in our puja room as they are different in the outer methodology or implementation of the technique, our attitude cannot be totally different, and the ultimate goal and the purpose of our work cannot be demarcated in watertight compartments. The spirit behind our work is the attitude of the work, and that is the sadhana, that is what is going to pave the way to success. A totally unspiritual attitude cannot succeed even in business because there is no such thing as unspiritual business in the world. It is connected to every other factor in the world.

As a digression I will say that black-marketeers will not succeed. We may think that it is essential in this world, but we will have to reap the consequences, which will come one day or the other like a thunderbolt. Our son may go mad, cancer may develop, our heart may fail, and we may have to pay heavy income tax by error of calculation. These things cannot be taken as jokes. They are serious matters. Those who take bribes and build bungalows and purchase land have mostly seen that their sons are ill, but they cannot connect one with the other. They think that the two things are different, but it is not so. There is no clandestine activity in nature. Everything is public. We cannot secretly work in nature.

Remember, again to pinpoint this principle, nature has no secret, and it has no public life separately isolated from its secret activity. God works through nature. What we call nature, the world, the universe, is the face of God smiling and frowning before us at different times. God speaks to us in the language of nature through the trees, the animals, the wind that blows, the river that flows, the sun that shines, and He will react through different faces, in different manners, in consonance with the total law that has to operate as the guiding principle of everyone.

We humans have no omniscience; therefore, we are unable to connect one thing with another. We always think that one particular aspect of our life is unconnected with another aspect of it, and therefore it is that we are failures both in our spiritual life and our practical outward life. Spiritually we are nothing, and we do not succeed in outer life either because we have separated the two aspects of our life. Life is one flow, and we cannot say this is this and that is that. This and that are connected. Everything that we do will have an impact on what our essential nature is, whether it is done in respect of some other person or some other thing, or of our own self.

Again, I should say that nature has no ‘you’ and ‘I’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’. These things do not exist for nature. They are our concepts, our notions working within our brains. ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ are non-existent for nature; therefore, a wind will blow over everyone’s face in the same manner. Whether it is ‘I’ or ‘you’ or ‘he’ or ‘she’ or ‘it’, it makes no difference. The wind of the law of nature will blow equally on all people’s faces and extract the same levy from everyone.

Thus it becomes imperative on the part of a spiritual sadhaka to be conscious and cautious of his or her daily conduct, behaviour and attitudes to things in general. You cannot smile before one and frown at another unless you are able to connect the two together in an organic relationship. If there is a difficulty in bringing about this relation between the two aspects of our work and nature, we will be the losers, and no one else. The foundation of spiritual life should be well thought out and firmly laid before we tread the path of the spirit. It is the basic rock foundation upon which we have to build the edifice of our future, both in the form of practice and of achievement.

Therefore, the foundation of spiritual life, being so totally construed and being a whole in itself, has to be laid with due consideration of all the factors that are going to make up this practice. What are the factors that constitute your spiritual practice? Every blessed thing is a part of it – your diet, your drink, the kind of sleep that you are having, the place where you sleep, your work, the way in which you think and speak, your thoughts and emotions, the secret desires, fulfilled as well as unfulfilled, that you are hiding from others, the relationships and ideas that you have about others whether living or nonliving – all these things constitute units in the practice of sadhana. How many things are there? You would have to note down all these points in your diary and try to assemble them like a mechanic fitting a machine. Though they are a thousand in number, they are all essential.

What is your idea about other people? Answer this question to yourself. When you look around and see people, what do you think about them? What do you think about these many things that you see in front of you? This has a connection with your progress because what you think about others is only a manifestation of what you are at present, because what is not within you cannot come out. Your present state of evolution is responsible for the attitude that you are developing in respect of persons and things at a given moment of time. From this you can have a judgment of your own worth and status in life and the stage of progress that has been made.

Every little bit of our outward and inward conduct, therefore, is contributory to spiritual progress because this precisely is what is called spiritual practice. The moment we think, we have to think comprehensively through all these factors. If we put a morsel of food into our stomach, the entire organism begins to work, not only the stomach. Every part of the physiological system begins to work because of the internal relationship among the parts. Likewise, when a single act of spiritual sadhana is set into motion, all the other contributory factors also begin to take part in it, and if they are ignored, they will set up an adverse reaction. These are what we call the obstacles in spiritual sadhana: ignored factors taking up a reaction in vehemence against us. This is what we call pratibandhikas, or obstacles in meditation, etc. Otherwise, there will be no obstacle in meditation. It is very clear that an ignored person is our enemy. If we do not ignore any person and take into consideration everyone and anything, we will be a friend of everyone and everything. Reactions will not be set up.

The internal reactions and outer impacts which we sometimes experience as adversities are due to the operation or work of factors which we have forgotten or ignored in our life. Otherwise, there should be no such thing as obstacles in sadhana. If you ignore a particular aspect of dietetic discipline, you know what will happen. You may have considered many aspects, but a few of them have been forgotten. You know you should not eat a square meal at midnight, and if you follow everything else but forget that aspect, that particular ignored aspect will have a reaction. The next morning you will have a fever because you have forgotten a simple factor that you should not have a square meal at midnight. You have followed all the other rules: you have sat properly, munched properly, swallowed properly, but you have done it at a wrong time. This is only to give a visible example of our errors. A small factor ignored in spiritual sadhana can set up a vehement reaction and come upon our heads like a bolt from the blue, and we will not know what has happened to us.

Hence, it is essential to go slowly but firmly. Do not be in haste in your practice because a well-thought-out plan, though it has taken a long time, will work better than an ill-conceived plan which has been done in haste. Do not be eager to do things quickly, but be eager to see that you have thought about things properly, considering all aspects and seeing that no reactions are set up from anything that is ignored.

Now, these factors to be considered in spiritual life are important, and we have to ponder them deeply. Generally, during the period of initiation by a Guru, the Master is supposed to explain all these difficulties and details of spiritual practice. Yet, a certain amount of philosophical thinking is essential for a spiritual seeker – philosophy not in the sense of academic research, scientific treatise or thesis, but philosophy in the sense of correct comprehensive thinking. This is indispensible for a spiritual seeker because philosophy is nothing but comprehensive thinking. Philosophy does not necessarily mean Kant, Hegel, or Schopenhauer, as these are only forms of philosophy. The principles of philosophy imply comprehensive thinking. Impartial, comprehensive thinking is called philosophy, and if you have ignored any aspect, you are not a good philosopher, and you will be unable to do the right thing at the right moment of time. You have to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right manner. For this, you require a comprehensive knowledge of the factors of your work, which is called your philosophical principles. So a spiritual seeker should be, to some extent at least, a good philosopher.

Impartial, comprehensive thinking is philosophy. You cannot avoid this, and based on this philosophy is the psychology of human nature. The spiritual seeker has to be a very good psychologist because psychology is implied in philosophy. The mental factor involved in the operation of the principles of philosophy is called psychology, and philosophy and psychology go together as inseparable brothers or sisters. Therefore, it is essential to learn the science of thinking. You should not think chaotically, unconnectedly, without regard to the pros and cons of the matter. Therefore, the first thing is to be well grounded in impartial scientific philosophical thinking, and then to understand the psychology involved in it. It is psychology that leads to practice. These are internally related organic parts of the spiritual life of a person: philosophical foundation, psychological analysis, and actual practice of methodology. This is a complete system of education for spiritual living.

Generally, we are untutored in this field. We have no knowledge, and therefore, we lack in the application of right effort. We may sweat, fret and fume, and work very hard without proper knowledge, and then we should not complain if the result does not follow. It is not merely action that is important, but right action. It is no use being too busy from morning to evening without being proper in that activity; therefore, to understand the rectitude or the justification of the action in its proper context, one has to understand the background of this action. So here again we have a completeness of structure: the scientific foundation, the psychological analysis, and the technique of practice.

If you consider all these aspects of life, of which I have given a bare outline, you will be intensely cautious before you entertain a single thought in your mind because thoughts are things, and thoughts are actions. They are not different. They will work like things. Thoughts can redound upon you like a large stone falling on your head. Thoughts have weight, dimension, and they are forces which will not go without producing an action. Once it is let out, it must find a target. It will not keep quiet. So before you entertain a thought, it is better to analyse the foundation of this thought and think slowly; think a lesser number of thoughts rather than think many things in haste, because every thought will produce an impression. It may produce a samskara and impel you to do a particular kind of activity in respect of its target or object. Once the seed is sown, you have no control over the nature of the plant that comes out of it. You have the freedom to sow the particular seed that you want; that much of freedom is with you. You can choose what kind of seed you sow, but once you have sown it, it is out of your control. You cannot command the seed to project forth some other plant, other than what is inherent in it.

So to choose a particular thought, to entertain an attitude, emotion or feeling may be said to be our freedom of choice, but once we have let out this force in the form of a thought or a feeling, it will produce its reaction, and the reaction will come upon us like a boomerang if it has been ill directed. This is what is called samsara, bandhana and bondage, the cause of rebirth: our own thoughts, feelings and emotions coming back upon us and demanding their dues from us. It is said that a small calf will find its own mother in the midst of a large herd of cattle. By wriggling through the various cows in a large group, somehow it will find its own mother wherever she is; similarly, your karma will find you wherever you are. It will not leave you. You may go to the distant heavens, but it will come and tell you, “I am here.” So we cannot escape this law, which is God’s law working universally, impartially, inexorably.

If we are honest about results in spiritual practice, we must also be honest in the correct application of the method. We cannot be rogues inside and saints outside. If we are to be a saint outside, we have naturally to be a saint inside also. How can we be a cutthroat within and a philanthropist outside? It is not possible. This kind of law, this kind of method, will not work. Therefore, it is useless to imagine that we can be spiritual in our temple or church or puja room and unspiritual in our field of work or business. If that sort of wrong thought is entertained, we will be losers. We will not gain, neither here nor there. For a spiritual seeker, life is a single continuity with no inside-outside difference. He does not make a distinction between the spiritual and the temporal. What he thinks within, he thinks without because he knows the seed and the tree are connected to each other.

This is the principle that I wanted to enunciate before you today: the law of continuity of life on all the planes of existence, life which has no within and without, no external, no internal, and no distinction between spirit and matter. Therefore, it is essential that we undergo a special type of training for thinking in this manner so that it may be to our benefit and advantage. What we need is a new type of education. A new tutoring is essential. We have been brought up under erroneous circumstances and given wrong education from our childhood. We have always been taught to do tit for tat. This is the law of the world. Tit will bring tit and tat will bring tat, but tit will not bring tat. That is not the law of nature. There is a continuity, and this principle we cannot forget. Manas ekam, vachas ekam, karmanyekam mahatmanam: The great soul is one continuity of flow in thought, in speech and in action. We cannot hide in nature. No hiding is allowed. Our every secret thought will be like a thunderstorm vibrating throughout the cosmos. It is as if a microphone is set up everywhere.

Thus it is that we have to be in our simple daily life what we want to be in the ultimate end of our life. If our goal is to behold God, we have to be godly in our daily life also. We cannot be devils inside and expect to see God afterwards. Divinity has to be the force that charges every cell of our body and mind. Divinity should be the power that influences our every thought, emotion and feeling. Divinity should be the foundation of any particular day if divinity is going to be the goal of our realisation because, again, the seed and the tree are connected.

Therefore, the small items of our life are thought, speech and action, to put it in a nutshell. All the items and various factors of daily life of the individual are thought, speech and action. What do you think, what do you speak, and how do you act? What is the internal connection among these three items? This has to be properly weighed every day, and a balance sheet struck before you go to bed every night. The debit and the credit side have to be seen properly. “What have I thought today, what have I spoken, and what have I done?” Strike a balance sheet and see the assets and debits. Let there be a clean balance sheet every day when you go to bed.

A great saint once said, “Never go to bed with the idea that you will get up in the morning.” It is not a joke; it is a serious matter. Who tells you that tomorrow you will get up? You may not get up. So when you go to bed today, clear the account completely. Whatever is to be paid has been paid. Do not say, “Tomorrow I will pay.” You may not be here tomorrow. Every day your account should be closed, and you must go with a credit to your side and not with a debit. If a debit is there, you will be reborn to pay the debt, and you do not want rebirth. You want moksha, salvation, so how can you live in such a miserable, constricted manner every day and expect a large realisation afterwards?

The point to be emphasised is that little things make big things. The small units of your daily activity and conduct are what are going to contribute to the large realisation of your goal later on. So be a good person, speak good words, do good deeds so that they may not produce a reaction against you. Anything that is selfish produces a reaction. All selfish thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions produce an adverse reaction upon that person who is the source of this thought, feeling, deed or action. So if we suffer, we have to blame our own selves. If we undergo any kind of pain, it is due to our own making. Nobody else is responsible. Your bondage and your liberation are in your hand. You can go to hell or heaven, as you like. It is in your control completely.

Therefore, a spiritual seeker is apramattas tadā bhavati, yogo hi prabhavāpyayau (Katha 2.3.11), says the Katha Upanishad: A yogi, a spiritual seeker, is cautious always. He will not take one step without thinking where he is moving. He will not run fast in the wrong direction. He will not take a step at all if it is not clear. Vigilant is the seeker, uniform is his thought, speech and action, and a continuity is maintained between the spiritual and temporal duties. He is conscious always that God is within his own soul, and therefore, the soul evolves into God. Something else cannot come out from within oneself.

This is the background of the foundation we have to raise in our spiritual life philosophically, psychologically, and technically in practice. This is the art of spiritual living, the science of spiritual conduct, the technique of yoga, which is the movement of our consciousness from a lesser whole to a larger whole. We move from whole to whole. It is not from part to part, or from part to whole. At every stage of our life we are in a completeness, though it may be small in its gamut or manifestation. A child is a whole personality, an adult is a whole personality, an old man is a whole personality. We cannot say a child is a part. It is a whole. Even an earthworm is a whole by itself. An elephant is a whole by itself. Everything is a whole. Life is a whole, manifesting itself as a whole in every unit of itself. This is something very interesting, very difficult to conceive, but imperative. It is the science of life in its outline, which is most important to remember, very significant for daily contemplation, and the only factor that is going to pave the way to our ultimate success in any field of our activities.


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