Essays on the Gita

Track Running Track 108

Question: The revelations can come in dreams also.

Yes, it can come in many ways, many different ways. This came to me in my waking life actually I heard. But it can come in many forms. There is another way by which also revelation can be useful.

You may be in a position, in a state, where you believe that the truth that you hold in your hand is so important for the other one that if he does not believe in it, it will be harmful to him. Secondly, you are convinced that there is not much time available for him to consider this rationally or otherwise, or arrive at his own personal experience where he can be sure of this truth; a situation is such that you don't have so much time, that person has to do something, and he has to do it now within a short time. He doesn’t have time to verify whether it is true or not. Then you are justified in that condition to tell him that “Look, this is the revelation, this is Truth as I understand it, as I believe it, as I experience it. For you it is very useful, and since you are obliged to do action right now and you don't have the time to make an experiment by which you can verify it in your experience, I simply tell you, please believe in it; act on it, simply by an act of faith.” This also is a justified way of presenting a revelation. As far as you are concerned, according to you it is Truth.

This is something what happens to very often is the experience of patients who are about to die. There is a decision to be taken whether he should take this kind of medicine or not, this treatment or not. Now, what should be the attitude of the doctor or friends in regard to a treatment in regard to which the patient has scepticism and his consent is necessary before you can undertake this treatment? What should be the attitude, how can you prescribe it? In this circumstance utmost you can do is the following, you can say, “Look you are free to decide for yourself, whether you should take this treatment or not, I do not want that you should be led by a dogma. You don't have the time now to examine whether this treatment is really good or not, but there is an experience of many doctors who find this is quite useful. There is no other alternative just now. Have therefore the faith and undertake the treatment. We believe that we are doing our best by presenting this treatment to you but even then, although I recommend that you should have trust in it, faith in it, I leave it to you now. I recommend very strongly that you should have faith in it. Don’t try now to find out whether it is true or not, you don’t have the time for it, yet you have got to do it right now, so what will you do” In this circumstance even to tell others: have faith in it.

Therefore the claim of those who believe in faith is not entirely wrong, there are circumstances in which you can give to the people and say, “On faith, you take it now, and even while you do your experiments, sometime you may have time for experimentation but even there you have to tell some people that look if you don't do experimentation at all it will be harmful to you, experimentation will take time, if you don't do experimentation at all then afterwards it will be too late when you can make an experimentation therefore just now have faith in this. And make experimentation and find out for yourself whether it is right or not.”

As far as we all are concerned we are in a situation of this kind. When the teaching of the Gita is given to us, we all have time to experiment with it; we are not like the patients who are on the death bed, we are all patients if at all, patients who have the time to make experimentation. But it may be that from a particular point of view we must accept all this as faith, experiment it on that basis, so that we may be quickly relieved. Or you may even say to the people concerned that “Look, this is a revelation, this is true, it is worthy of faith, whether you should keep faith in it or not, I do not know, it is up to you. In any case; my argument to you is that do not accept it until by experiment you are convinced that it is true, because that is the highest way of verifying and following any truth.” But there are circumstances in which you can present the highest truth either as a proposal to be followed or not, or even sometimes advising strongly to have faith in it.

So there are three attitudes towards the truth, revealed truth. One is to present a revealed truth and to say, “You listen to it and right now perhaps by listening, it might affect you. It is quite possible that your mind is so ripe that the revelation just comes in and the right word is spoken at that time and you get enlightened. It is quite possible.”

It is said of Kabir, that as a boy he was sleeping on the ghats of Benares. One great saint at night, early morning, it was still dark, and  he came to take his bath on the ghat of Ganges. And by mistake his foot fell upon this boy who was sleeping and he simply said, "Ram, Ram". And this boy heard his words and he felt as if a great light broke in him, and from that day his whole life changed. So it is quite possible a revelation of this kind merely by hearing, the seal of ignorance is broken and the whole life gets completely changed. That is possible.

So that is first is that you simply say, “Look, listen, and listen to it very quietly.” Secondly, “I don't say you should believe in it, make an experiment and only when you are completely in the state of experience of it, then you accept it.”  This is the highest ideal of presentation of any truth.

Comment: Like said Lord Krishna on ........

Yes. "Now, you decide what you have to do." Correct absolutely, very true. That is the spirit. In fact, that's what I said that fortunately in India we have a tradition that revelations are many; infinite in fact, therefore you can never claim that this is the last word.  In fact Rig Veda itself says that, “As you begin to rise higher and higher, newer and newer truths will reveal themselves”.  So even if you say Rig Veda is a revelation then that revelation itself says that my revelation is not the final one. As you will climb onwards newer and newer truths will appear before you, will reveal themselves to you. It is a fortunate thing in India, that is why in Indian tradition this kind of freedom is so great and dogmatism has not played such a great role as elsewhere.

So we have now two propositions before us. One is the psychology of revelation and where we say that revelation certainly gives you the Truth.  But secondly, that one revelation may be valid only for that time, may not be valid for another time. There are revelations which contain a lot of truth, there are other revelations which are half–revelations.

In fact, there can be a good science of revelations. People normally think that revelation is simply a matter of illumination suddenly, and that is the end of the matter. But there is a body of revelations, there is a growing body of revelations in fact. All of them are true or some of them are true, some of them have lost that validity or directness at present. There were certain which are only revelations in action. Mother has written one very important statement after writing something on a particular book, she said: “Do not make dogma of what I have said. All my words are words of ‘force of action’. My words have come out in the anvil of action, and therefore they are true only on the process of action.” So there can be revelations which are only valid today, and may be surpassed tomorrow and there may be other kinds of truths. This is the first point.

The second point is the language in which the revelation comes may be quite different in different languages. There was a belief in India that revelation must come only in Sanskrit. But that is not true. The language is simply a vehicle in which a revelation clothes itself. In one of the verses of the Rig Veda, there is a description as to how the Vedic hymns were composed, in which it is said, “The Truth comes travelling from above, selects its clothing (of words) and then finds utterance.” So words are as it were the intermediate field, the truth comes from above, not in words, words are secondary, first is the truth revelation. There is a light, what we call the real knowledge, not verbal knowledge, not something in words but knowledge, knowledge which can be known independent of words that knowledge is revealed. It travels down to the field of words and then appropriately the knowledge itself selects the right words and takes utterance. So it depends upon your atmosphere of your words. Out of your storehouse of your words, that revelation takes a clothing and is uttered. Therefore, to say that this word is a final word, an ultimate word of which an iota can't be changed, that rigidity is not right.

I think we can stop here today, we shall continue as soon as I come back from Madras ...l may be going tomorrow.

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