Ignorance, Liberation and Perfection (Auroville) - Audio-5, 15 Feb 2002

We were talking about the vitalist and the idealist. VIdesh is saying that he is a vitalist and his wife is an idealist. So let us try to understand these two words, because otherwise the story will not be interesting. What is a vitalist and what is an idealist? A vitalist is one who is full of vitality, full of force, a great urge to act and to fly. You might say: vitalist is a prince of air. Supposing somebody had shoes which can fly so that as soon as you put on the shoes you can fly in the air, then there will be an image of the prince of air and a vitalist is of that kind, one who can fly in the air. Therefore, he can imagine very widely and he can always expand as much as the air expands, so the vitalist can expand. The vital is therefore always bubbles with life, is always full of enthusiasm, moves forward, flies high, expands widely. This is a vitalist.

What is an idealist? Yes, an idealist is one who always considers what should be. The idealist does not take the world as it is, does not want the world to be as it is. The idealist wants the world to be quite different, as it ought to be, as it should be. If people are poor in this world, idealist says I don't want people to be poor. If people are weak in the world, idealist doesn't want people to be weak. If there is injustice in the world, the idealist says no, there shall be no injustice. If there is oppression in the world, he says no oppression. Idealist also rises high, but not like the vitalist. The vitalist rises high because of his enthusiasm, simply because of his pulse to grow, but idealist wants to grow up because he wants to catch something that is high and wants to bring down on the earth. That is an idealist. He visualises something ideal high above. An idealist looks upward and then he catches his ideal and wants to realise it here.

But then Videsh said that that is our conflict. So you may ask the question: if vitalist is like this, if idealist is like this, what is the conflict? Why should there be conflict between the two? Yes, but what is good and what is bad, that is the question. Conflict arises because you differ as to what is good and what is bad. Yes, but in this case both of them would like to study. Vitalist also say study is a good idea. Idealist also says study is good, so why should there be a conflict?

I shall tell you why. The vitalist is moved by one great power in human beings, and that is desire, and the idealist is moved by controlling desire. This is the main problem. Therefore, the one moves by desire, the idealist says you should control desire. You can never realise ideals in the world without controlling desire. You will see it everywhere in the world anybody who wants to realise an ideal has to control desire, it's impossible to allow desire to run without any control and yet to realise ideals. This is the conflict, so he said I don't believe in controlling desire. This was the main problem of Videsh. I want to grow. I want to develop, to run fast, to create all the time new forms, all the time and she all the time controls me and says no, this is not right. That is not correct. This is bad. You should control this, control here, control there. He says I am tired of it. What is this constant tension? I want to do this. She says no, no, take care. This is not correct. The ideal will be disturbed. He himself is so frank with this young man, with another. He tells out the real problem of his life and then he says this White House is a house of great quarrel. It’s a quarrel. There is a conflict, a short conversation, but he has put down the big problem of human life.

Most of the problems of human life are the problems of relationships. In fact, there is a saying by one great poet: there are connections. One good sentence: there are connections, the world is nothing but connections. Everyone has connections right from the birth you have connections, all connections are relationships, there are connections, all connections are relationships and all problems are problems of relationships. All problems, you examine any problem in the world, it is a problem of relationships. There are friendships and there are quarrels, there are pulls and there are counter-pulls. One is big, another is small, the small wants to be big and the big wants to swallow the small. This is the constant problem in life.

There is a very nice sentence in the Upanishad. This world is such that eater eats something else, but is himself being eaten by something else. The eater eats something else, but the eater himself is being eaten by somebody else. So you might say that this world is a world of relationships in which there's a constant eating. Each one tries to eat up the other one and the vitalist doesn't mind, he wants to eat and be eaten. The idealist says: no. That is not correct. There should be control of eating, controlling being eaten and only then you can establish an ideal. This is the problem.

Having told this story, Videsh now has gone, he goes away, but Anak remains greatly disturbed. He had felt that he has come to a beautiful house and he had imagined that, as in his house, there was such a great harmony, the grandfather, sister and the brother. There was no quarrel. Everything was harmonious, so pleasant, full of happiness, but here there is no harmony. There is quarrel. He therefore wanted to see this Rupa as soon as she comes. He was waiting for her to come.

And now within a few days she arrives. Now let us enter into the conversation that takes place between Anak and Rupa as soon as the young boy meets Rupa. He enters into her room. She welcomes him with a great affection, and she says the following: I have seen you earlier. Rupa has a great capacity for what is called clairvoyance.

Have you heard the word clairvoyance? Clairvoyance is a capacity to see that it is not visible. Normally, we only see that it's visible, you open your eyes and see all the things around, but clairvoyance is a power to see. If it is not visible, you can cross the borders of the walls, you can see beyond. You can see the past which is not normally known. If a clairvoyant sees you, he can say that you have such and such father, such and such mother, such as such members of your family. It happened like that few years ago, which you're not told anybody, such and such a thing is happening now, in your mind. A clairvoyant can read the mind, can see what is what you are thinking in your mind and can also sometimes see what is to happen to in the future.

This is a power which some people have in this world and Rupa had this power of clairvoyance. So she said I have seen you before, and I know you quite well, so immediately he feels greatly attracted to Rupa and sits down like a pupil and then she says you are a very nice boy. You are going to the great philosopher in the future, but right now you are totally disturbed because she understands his mind and then she explains what is the disturbance in his mind because of her capacity to understand, she says you are disturbed by three things. First, by the idea of ambition, secondly by the idea of intellectual understanding, and thirdly you are disturbed by disharmony. Three things: you have the idea of ambition, the idea of intellectual understanding and the idea of disharmony. And she said you are disturbed because these three things are opposed to your nature. In your nature, there is no ambition in your nature, your understanding is of a different kind. You have understanding, but not intellectual understanding. You have another kind of capacity of knowing. And you are disturbed by disharmony, because your being is a being of harmony.

As soon as she uttered these words, it seemed a big cloud in the mind of Anak got shattered. He began to have some great clarity. A big weight is lifted away from his mind and she asked why is ambition troubling me? So she said the idea of ambition has been planted by Videsh in your mind from outside. It’s not in you. Videsh has put that idea of ambition in your mind, and you don't understand. So he said: is ambition bad, is it wrong? So she said there is a difference between two words: ambition and aspiration, and there's a difference between the two. Aspiration is good, it is ideal. Ambition is wrong. She said you should have aspiration, but not ambition and the difference is very thin, very subtle. You must understand the difference. You are a boy full of aspiration and not of ambition. Therefore, if ambition is thrown into your mind, it works like poison and then you get disturbed.

Now what is the difference between aspiration and ambition? Can anybody tell me? ambition and exploration? Yes, I understand what you try to say, although it is not exactly what you have said, but what you try to say is correct. You say that in ambition there is an aim, in aspiration also there is an aim, but there is a difference. In ambition you have an aim to become bigger and bigger, yourselves to be greater and greater, and for yourself. In aspiration you want to be greater, not for yourself. You want to be bigger, not for yourself, and you want to be bigger by offering. In ambition you can become bigger by eating by swallowing, but in aspiration you become bigger by offering by sacrificing by self-giving, you offer yourself.

You know the stories of offering, many times your simple stories are of offering. When you can offer yourself or somebody else, you sacrifice. You have heard the story of the Tale of Two Cities? No. You ask your teacher one day, it is a beautiful story of self-giving. It is a story in which for the sake of the woman whom he loved, he went to the gallows and sacrificed himself so that she may become happy. He offered himself to be guillotined so that she, whom he loved, would be happier in her life. There was such a situation which had come in his life, where he could make her happy, and this was a good occasion and he offered himself. This is aspiration, not ambition. He aspired that she should be happy, even if it means my own annihilation, to aspire is to offer yourself to the divine. More and more you give yourself when I say, I aspire, you aspire to be servant of god, you aspire to be slave of god. You want to serve the highest idea in the world. Therefore, you suffer in spite of the fact that you have to suffer. You do it. That is aspiration. You aspire that in the world everybody should be happy, even if it means that I have to suffer it. Does not matter, but everybody else should be happy. That is aspiration.

So she explained to him that your nature is the nature of self-giving. So when the idea of ambition was put by Videsh in your mind, you got disturbed. He put into your mind, you should be great, you should be great, you should be wonderful, big, you should have a big name, it's a wrong twist given to you. It does not harmonise with your nature. That is your problem. Now you have to work in such a way that ambition is thrown away, but aspiration remains. This was the first answer she gave and he was so happy to receive this answer.

You know when your mental problem is resolved, how happy you become. Have you seen it? Have you experienced it? How happy you become when your mind problem is resolved. And then he asked the second question. Yes, what is the second point she had made to him? First, ambition is the first problem. Second, is intellectual understanding, she said is the second problem. She said you are a boy of overstanding, not understanding but overstanding.

Let me write down this word: understanding and overstanding. Supposing this chalk piece is here lying here, now you can see it from two sides. You can see from that side. You can also see where I can see from above. You can see from below, and you can see from above. Which is a better way of seeing? Yes, good, but normally we always try to see from below. You are not able to rise up and see from above. You see we are seeing this ground, it is seen from below, but if you are able to go in a helicopter and see from above, how will the whole ground look? Quite different. So when you see things from above, it is overstanding. When you see things from below, it is understanding.

So she said your mind basically is a mind of overstanding, but you have been trapped now into the net of understanding. All your problems today are problems of understanding and you have your normal natural tendency to overstand is gone. You have the capacity of overstanding until you came here until you met Videsh. The moment you met him there was this problem, your overstanding disappeared, your understanding started and your whole mind has been troubled since then, and we have seen these last few days how this young boy was troubled in his mind. So she said now you have to make another effort by which understanding becomes full, so full that you fly into overstanding. You have as if you are followed from overstanding into understanding. Now you have to rise again and go on to overstanding.

The third problem is that of disharmony. Now what was the problem? For the first time he learned that this house, which is a beautiful house, White House, is a house of quarrel. One is a vitalist, another is an idealist and the two are not in harmony. There’s a conflict between the two, so she said you are not able to bear it because by nature you want harmony everywhere. Your very nature is a nature of harmony, but now that you see this harmony in this house, you are troubled.

These are the few words that were exchanged between her and him, and he returned to his room and his mind was so happy so happy after such a long time but happy with some understanding, a new light had entered his mind, and now he was eager to meet her as soon as possible again, many questions had come up in his mind, but it was not easy to meet her because she had a huge number of people who used to call upon her, because she was clairvoyant and she could see many many things. She could see diseases in the body where somebody has pain in one part of the body or the other. She could see the past and the present and the future. So many people used to come to her to consult her. So there's a huge number of people coming to her every day. It was very difficult to enter.

At last after one week of waiting. He had one more chance of meeting and now this time in one week, this young boy had grown so much inside. There are moments in life when you grow up very quickly. There are moments when you grow very slowly. Have you seen this experience when you grow very fast and when you grow very slowly, there are moments when you feel within one week's time you are quite different. You see something for the first time and immediately you are transported into something new and you grow very fast. Normally we all go on plodding little by little, our daily life moves gradually. There is lot of lethargy, a lot of slowness, things that are to be done, will be done in due course. There is no hurry. But then there are moments when you begin to grow so fast and every day you are moving forward.

So within one week this boy had grown so vast that when he met her now after one week, he was able to ask some very important questions. And three questions were prominent in his mind. The first question was you remember his grandfather when he left him had told him a story. You remember the story? His grandfather had told him a story. Nobody remembers now. Yes, there is a story from the Upanishad. You remember that story. Yes, what was the story? It was a story of Narad and Sanat Kumar. Right? Good. I am very pleased you remember the story. What is the story of Narad and Sanat Kumar? Yes to teach him more, and why does he want to learn more? Yes, because he had sorrow in his heart. Excellent, very good. You have not forgotten at all. Because he had sorrow in his heart. Good excellent. This was exactly the question. So long as your sorrow is there, there is ignorance, you can remove sorrow only with knowledge.

So now he asks the question: what is knowledge and what is ignorance? What is knowledge? What is ignorance and you remember, there were three words which were given earlier, three very important words: information, ideas and knowledge. Right. You remember three words, so he asked this question: what is ignorance and what is knowledge, and she says as long as your information, you may have all the information, you may know that Himalayas is 29000 feet high, it is information, it's not knowledge, you may have hundreds of ideas in your mind, she said ideas are not knowledge.

What is information? Can anybody say what is information? Anybody, yes, something that you know which is not knowledge, you're right, information is not ideas. Idea is different from information. You have news that something is happening, but you don't have the knowledge of it. I’ll give you a word to describe information: disclosure of a fact. This is information. You know the meaning of disclosure? The word close to shut, disclose is to open. So when the mind is opened to a fact, it is information. Suppose, for example, somebody tells you tomorrow evening there going to be a big meeting in Auroville, up till now you did not know until I told you just now, but now it's a disclosure of a fact. We are now being told. So whatever as he said is news, anything that comes now is called information. Any disclosure of a fact is called information. This is a good definition of information: disclosure of a fact.

Now what is an idea? Let us see what is the meaning of an idea? Can anybody say what is an idea? Yes, thought is an idea. Yes, something you want to do, it is actually an idea of a plan when you want to do something. Yes, let us now try to define just a disclosure of a fact she explained to him. What is an idea? An idea is a concept. An idea is a concept in which universals and particulars are related. I’ll write down this. It’s a difficult statement, a concept in which universals and particulars are related. When you get all these universals and particulars related, it becomes an idea. An idea in which there are only particulars is only an empty idea, one in which the only universals is also an empty idea. Universals and particular should be related.

Now this is a very difficult answer that he got from Rupa and could not grasp immediately, and she said you won't understand this very quickly. When you will become a philosopher, as you are going to be one day, you will understand it properly, but she said neither of them is knowledge. Then what is knowledge? That was his second question. Third question: what is knowledge? Now anybody can give me an idea as to what should be knowledge? Yes, when you don't have sorrow, then it is knowledge, excellent. I am very happy to hear this. Yes, knowledge is when you know perfectly, if you know partially it is not knowledge. All the three important ideas have come up now. Very good. Knowledge must be experienced is first. Secondly, it should be an experience of the perfect. And thirdly, when you have the experience of the perfect, you have no sorrow. All the three are answers for a complete definition. So write down. Knowledge is the experience of the perfect, having which there is no sorrow.

And then she said when you have the knowledge of the perfect, she gave a book of Upanishad in which there is a beautiful sentence, and she pointed out that sentence. This is the mark of knowledge she says: when finds oneself in all and when one finds all in oneself and when one finds that one has become all, then you have knowledge and then there is no sorrow. It’s a great statement of knowledge. Now you will remember this statement. When one becomes, when one finds oneself in all and when one finds all in oneself and when one has become all, then you have the knowledge.

He reflected. He went to his room and reflected all the time on this statement. He reflected and he tried to become to experience himself in all, all in himself and he is himself becoming all. You made this exercise anytime? You try when you find yourself in all, you try some time when you try yourself when one becomes all when one finds in all, you are no more this one, what you call yourself is no more yourself, one finds oneself in all, all in oneself.

The whole day he spent in doing this, and fortunately the next day he was able to meet her once again and then he asked: I want to become all. I have no ambition, but I want I aspire for becoming all, I want to give myself so that I may become all, I want to include all in myself so that nobody separates from me. I am he, and he is myself, everyone I feel one with them and he asked how to do it. So she said this is a long process by which knowledge is obtained. One becomes liberated and one becomes perfect. Do not think that by living in this White House, you will have the experience that you want. This is the message she gives. Do not think in this White House by living where there is conflict between vitalism and idealism and the narrow life in which we are all circumscribed. Do not think you will have this experience. You must meet somebody, you must meet somebody who lives in all all the time, and she says I too do not live in all, I still, although she had power of clairvoyance, she had good knowledge of many things, but she said even I do not have that knowledge, you have to find somebody who is really living in all, who vibrates with all, who feels all. She gave the word: one who lives in cosmic consciousness. This is another word you must learn: one who lives in cosmic consciousness.

There is a consciousness which is cosmic, we all live in a small consciousness, limited. I know only a little bit of myself, what I want, what I think, my small connections, my relationships, my small friendships, small battles of life, but nothing more than that. She said there has to be a big expansion of your being cosmic consciousness, so you must meet somebody who lives in cosmic consciousness, and even that is not enough. There is still a higher consciousness, which is called transcendental consciousness. I should use this word transcendental consciousness, which transcends. The meaning of transcending, you heard this word transcending? To cross the borders, to go beyond, so even beyond the cosmos you go, you expand into the whole cosmos and still go beyond. She said when you do this, you find somebody who has lived in cosmic consciousness, who has lived in transcendental consciousness. Without meeting, this you cannot have this knowledge, by reading books. you cannot have it, by wandering in the world you cannot have it. You must find somebody who lives in that consciousness.

He went back to his room and next day when Leela came to her room, she found a note in his room: I am leaving in search of one who lives in cosmic consciousness and transcendent consciousness. Please do not worry, I’ll take care of myself. He had left White House and gone in search of this. He was in search of that by which ignorance can be removed, one can be liberated and one can become perfect.

All right, that's the story!