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Isha Upanishad- MIRA - Significance of Fire in Yajna

Question: What part does this external light of fire play?
Answer: Nothing at all. It is ritual which can be purely mechanical but the people while doing it might remember that something internal is to be done. It might help so that one day you might hopefully ask the deeper questions, “Please tell me what is internal”? But although it has no basic meaning, it has a social meaning – to collect people together and solidarity of groups is always good. One might turn to the inner meaning by social intercourse. So there is a hope that by doing so, internal meaning will be found. That is why in Indian culture it was always told that external rituals are only imitations of the internal. One day you might really enter into the real Yoga Shastra but it was said very clearly that these will not take you to the real solutions. These are preparations, initiation perhaps, but they will not take you to the real liberation unless you do psychological operation. Yoga Shastra is the real shastra by which alone liberation will come.

The struggle of man is the struggle at this point. We are groping, we are committing errors because of our disinclination to consent for a better life, we confine ourselves to error, insist upon the error and therefore we reap the consequence of the Law of Karma. If you go on insisting, ultimately you will go into greater and greater falsehood until a point is reached when you will feel exasperated and will say, “Now I do not want any more”. You will want escape and release from it. So the Law of Karma is not the law of eternal damnation as in some religions it is said to be. The Law of Karma is certainly a kind of increase of whatever you do. Law of Karma is a law of increase; whatever you insist on it is increased. If you increase the desire for light then light will be increased. If you increase the desire for insistence upon error and falsehood then that will be increased but ultimately when it is increased to a great extent then it carries the cure within itself. The extreme insistence on it takes you to the point where you really say I want to be free from it. This is what we find in the story of Bali and of Ravana. By doing evil they go on and on until a point is reached when they want a release. It is an evolution and it depends upon in what direction you want to increase. So by conglomeration of all these points, if you can succeed in turning the will towards the Agni and Agni can be raised, the Divine Will begins to manifest more and more, which is called kripa – the grace of God. You just call the kripa of God, it is His will. Even a good fortune does not mean that you have earned it in the past. Grace is simply His will. You can also earn Grace. If you increase goodwill, if you increase the Agni, then Grace can also be brought down because Grace is not bound by anything. A robber can become Valmiki simply by Grace.

This is the real analysis at its root, its point of acuteness – whether God is responsible for all this or not is where exactly the problem lies. The answer is ‘yes’. God is responsible for all this and has designed all this. God is not at all absolved of it. This is the process which has been laid down so that the ultimate goal in which the totality can manifest in the embodied condition is achieved.