Teachings from ‘Vedanta Light’
(from the book of key Vedanta teachings by Hari Prasad Shastri)
The world, nay, the whole cosmos, is a partial manifestation of God. What the rays of the sun are to the sun, the world is to God. God, being consciousness absolute, His nature is not exhausted by the cosmos. This periodically comes out of Him and then goes back to Him. It is not real, but has only an appearance. The colours of a rainbow are not real, but the sun which creates them is real; so the beauties of the world, as well as the imperfections, are not real, but God behind them is real. The only purpose of our ego, the seat of the ‘I’, is to realise its identity with God. It is in this school of the world to learn this one lesson: to forget its limitations and actively to realise its oneness with all.
Love, beauty and the sense of pleasure, are meant to open our eyes to the fact that within us is God, who is the seat of all love, all beauty and all bliss, and that indulgence in the outer pleasures will not quench our thirst.
When the pleasures of the world are enjoyed, the delights which are experienced are part of the bliss of God and come out of our own inner being. Being deluded, we think the pleasure comes from our indulgence of the passions. Then illness, exhaustion, mental weakness, faithlessness of friends and the like, overpower us. Thus do we realise the hollowness of these pleasures. Blessed are those who can learn the lesson without suffering.
What should I do? Stand where you are. Think how you can discharge your daily duty in accordance with justice, truth, benevolence and dharma (universal righteousness). Detach your personal feelings from your duty and discharge this to the best of your ability, keeping your heart full of love and truth, unconcerned with the results of your efforts.
Along with the discharge of your worldly duty, devote some time to the contemplation of reality every day. Ask: ‘What am I? What is the world? What is Truth?’ It is essential that some time is devoted to meditation on such truths as: ‘All is One’, ‘I am part of the All’, ‘The good of all is my good’.
Our goal must be that serenity of mind in which fear and duality are unknown, which once realised abides for ever, which enriches life with the gifts of perfect mental poise, serenity and the knowledge that all is One, combined with desire for unselfish service. Let this be our only resolve and let all efforts go towards the realisation of it.
It is neither difficult nor painful to realise this. Spiritual help and protection will be given if your efforts are sincere and persistent. Egoism is an impediment to peace. Shift your centre of con-sciousness from the little mind to infinity. Realise that what is animating you is also giving energy and life to all. In God there is no duality. Then rest in peace, for what can disturb the whole?
Mind is a creative force and there is no limit to its powers. It can create a heaven out of a hell and evolve order out of chaos. So there can be no such thing as defeat in the mind. Defeat lives only in the imagination and is not real. As the sun is often obscured by heavy clouds and thick mists, so is the mind frequently veiled by doubts, suspicions and want of imagination; but they are all temporary conditions, and a little urge given to the mind by singing ‘OM, OM, OM’, and filling the ‘great within’ with the light of love and benevolence, banishes unnatural pessimism.
The soul of man is all power, all knowledge, all bliss, above the limitations of time and space. As there is no darkness in the sun, so there is no defeat in the soul. Like the blue sky, limitless and eternal, the soul in each of us is perfect.