Change is simply, as I told you earlier at one stage, when something which is in the cold place in the mind comes to the hot place. Yesterday the idea of God was dormant in my mind, today the idea of God becomes very prominent, so that is called the process of change. It was only peripheral yesterday, now it becomes central, this is a process of change. It is not a conversion. In a process of conversion that which was cold, that cold area is eliminated altogether, you are fully converted, the new idea assumes a tremendous place in your being when all which you are conscious of, is drenched by this new idea, it is conversion. But transformation is a much greater thing. In a psychic change you begin to become aware of the psychic being and try to bring the psychic being into the front. When it remains very much into the front, most of the time you can say that the now, psychic conversion has taken place. But when the psychic light suffuses all your being, body, life, mind, everything, you might even find difficult to make a distinction between the mind and the psychic being, between life and the psychic being, between body and psychic being, that is called psychic transformation. Everywhere wherever you look whether it is body, life and mind, you find nothing but the psychic being, psychic consciousness spread out, and nothing that is contrary to the psychic being is present; that is called psychic transformation.
Similarly when you rise up and have the experiences of Purusha, Brahman, Ishwara and bring down the light and power and joy and bliss and presence and peace of these levels into the lower levels, some kind of spiritualisation starts. When body, life and the mind become very much aware of the Purusha, or of Brahman or of Ishwara, some kind of spiritualisation starts. A point comes when you are settled into Purusha experience all the time, all the time you are in the Brahman consciousness, all the time you are in the Ishwara consciousness. A major step has been taken then. If you cut off yourself from Prakriti, from all actions, then any question of further transformation does not arise, you just cut off and you can remain in your ivory tower doing nothing at all. Then you are never wrong and everything is fine, everything is peaceful. But if you start acting, then normally action starts with our normal being, with some experience which is behind in which you are liberated. And many human beings who are doing yoga, are seated in this disequilibrium, inwardly peaceful, outwardly turbulent. In rishis like Durvasa for example who may have been in a great state of a higher level of realisation but were still capable of great anger, this kind of disequilibrium existed. That means that the nature of body, life and mind has not had the infusion of the light and power and peace of the higher being into their lower parts.
So gradually to bring down is a process of descent. It is a long process, a very difficult process which can be aided by Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Raja yoga, Hatha yoga, by the process of purification, concentration, enrichment. You make use of these processes, but the ultimate result should be that this light and power and peace should really come down into the body, life and mind. But this becomes more and more effective if you enter into not only Purusha, Brahman and Ishwara but if you also enter into the higher Maya, divine Maya, into Shakti, into Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive mind, Overmind, and if you bring down the powers of these elements into your being, into your body, life and mind. Then the transformation becomes much more powerful. Then the overmental powers suffuse themselves into the body, mind, life, and that is called the climax of spiritual transformation. Just as suffusion of the psychic sweetness and light and purity into each and every part of body, life and mind was called psychic transformation, similarly the great event of the suffusion of the light and power and peace of Purusha, Brahman, Ishwara, through the instrumentality of Overmind—not of mind but of Overmind—into mind, life and body is called the climax of spiritual transformation. It is by itself such a tremendous achievement that one may be justified in saying that now there is nothing more to be done. Yet this unconscious and the inconscient are still not covered. The body may be transformed but the inconscient is still not transformed, and this can be done only if you can rise into the Supermind and if Overmind is supramentalised, Intuitive mind is supramentalised, Illumined Mind is supramentalised, Higher Mind is supramentalised, mind is supramentalised, life is supramentalised, body is supramentalised, inconscient is supramentalised. When this process is completed, that is called the Supramental transformation. This chapter which we call triple transformation speaks of these three transformations: the Psychic transformation, Spiritual transformation and Supramental transformation.
Question: How do we silence those thoughts which we know are detrimental to our spiritual progress? The responsibilities of a family are very demanding and time consuming. For true spiritual growth there has to be single mindedness. How do I go about it?
There are three things to be done simultaneously. First of all you spoke of the responsibilities. Each responsibility has a meaning and has a connection with your soul. So if you undertake any responsibility as a plan of the discovery of the soul, as a discovery of God's will then every activity that you do in discharge of responsibilities will give you an inner quietude. From action you go to quietude. The other is, from quietude you go to action. You must find some time every day, when you are really by yourself after the discharge of all your responsibilities, when you can really go within yourself. When you go within yourself, as you say many ideas come, many emotions come and then is the whole scenario of life before you, which becomes more visible, even more active, exactly when you are trying to withdraw yourself from it. Then you discover which is the most dominant at that given moment, out of all the scenarios that are presented. In that dominant domain you will find one of the three problems or all the three of them.
One is the need of clarity of thought with regard to some problem or the other. The second problem that you will find is a certain weakness of emotion which needs to be corrected. The third problem you will find is some kind of imperfection in the discharge of some responsibilities. These are the three deficiencies that you will discover in regard to a dominant domain that is uppermost at that given moment.
If it is a question of clarity of thought, whatever thought is present in your mind at present which is guiding you in action, you can present it to a higher light in you and allow the higher light to radiate itself without your bringing up any thought. Either the thought becomes clearer at that time or in due course of time that deficiency of thought, unclarity of thought will become clearer. This is the method of throwing light from above. If there is a deficiency of emotion, then in intensifying the inner sense of sympathy with everybody, look at the whole world with sympathetic eyes. This is one of the Vedic methods, to develop the eyes of a friend and look at the whole world with friendly eyes and when you look at the world with friendly eyes our deficiencies of emotions begin to become strengthened and we come out much more purified. If there is a deficiency in activities, then you need to have a programme of chiselling. We know that when a diamond is cut and chiseled it becomes very bright. Chiselling is often done by will, but before doing, there must be a will to do it. So when you are alone in a state of looking at yourself you take a resolution that this is the point which requires chiselling and you will do it while performing the action.
This is the threefold method: to place your obscurity of thought under a light, to look at the whole world with friendly eyes, and the resolution to chisel your activities or capacities of action. Normally these processes in regard to each one requires at least several repetitions. So one is to be patient, but you will see that as you begin to grow and develop, an inner mastery will begin to awaken. In fact these three processes are the processes of three yogas. The first is Jnana yoga, the second is Bhakti yoga and the third is Karma yoga. But these three processes are the basic processes: to put an obscurity in the searchlight of a higher luminosity, to put every emotion under the x-ray of the friendly eyes and put every deficiency of action under the hammer of chiselling action—these three processes—and you repeat them again and again and again. In fact these three processes are the best methods of entering into the process of triple transformation.
Question: What is to be done to bring about the purification of a psychic change? There are so many forces acting upon it that it does not come out so pure by the time it reaches the surface?
I think what you need to do is to take off one or two days, but exclusively. I do not know whether you have the chance of doing it or not but take off one or two days, walk in a beautiful garden, very slowly and leisurely, on and on, without any anxiety of what is to be done, what is not to be done; or if you have still anxiety, first finish whatever you are anxious about and then go for this walk so that nothing is calling you back, you are really in a state of complete leisure and then imagine that you are walking into a cave where there is nothing to be afraid about, it is a safe cave but it is a cave. Continue this until you are tired and you want to rest, sit on a bench or wherever, if you are hungry take your food if you have got it with you. If you feel like lying down, do so; when you are rested, again repeat the same exercise. After some time you will really feel extremely light, then you sit down very quietly and in that state, concentrate upon the heart, on the solar plexus and imagine that you are walking into a cave, there you were actually walking, here you are entering into a cave, and on, and on, remembering that your psychic being is not merely one inch deep but fathoms deep, it is very, very far in the depths and as you will go on moving towards these depths you will feel the touch, a vibration of sweetness or a vibration of happiness if not sweetness; or you will hear something very deep coming from within you, it may not be a sound but you will have something prompting you, sometimes it comes in the form of a command which opens up the path of the next stage of your development; or else you will feel a presence, a great presence, effortlessly without imagining and in that presence you seem to be a small little figure in the background of a huge presence, a sense of devotion, or surrender will automatically surge up in that situation; and thirdly you will feel as if the knots of the mind are loosened. Various emotions are purified. Even the body feels some thrill or is also purified. This is the condition in which the purity of the soul comes straight on the surface without obstruction. If you repeat this even over a month you will see how much exalted you will be.
Question: When we are all the time protecting ourselves from others, how do we feel goodwill towards friends, neighbours, enemies?
Goodwill is one of the most difficult things in the world, and true harmony is established when there is goodwill from your side and also goodwill from outside and while you can have goodwill from your side because you are yourself trying to do it, to get it from outside is very difficult. This is where you find the need to protect yourself because when there is not sufficient goodwill from outside and there is an attack from outside, then you need to protect yourself against the attack. So there is nothing wrong in trying to protect yourself, but in the process of protecting yourself there is a need to learn how to truly protect ourselves. We normally protect ourselves by the means with which we are familiar normally. We normally protect ourselves by three methods; one is by withdrawing and entering into our shell, so our shell becomes a protective shield. The second way by which we protect ourselves is to strengthen our capacity against the attack; and the third method by which we protect ourselves is by fighting against the attack. All the three methods are legitimate, to fight against the attack is legitimate, to strengthen yourself to be able to protect yourself is legitimate, to withdraw into your own shell and to create a shield around you is also legitimate. You can follow anyone of them, any two of them or all the three of them, depending upon circumstances, but these are ordinary methods, and we can make use of them in our process of ascent but we have to remember that these processes are provisional until we get higher methods of doing this. What are the higher methods?
The higher methods again are three. The one is to concentrate upon your basic aim of life and to meet the difficulties of the moment by remembering your basic aim of life and asking yourself whether the given problem before you is worth attending to, in the context of your aim of life, or if it is, in what way it is going to promote your aim of life; or to make that incident or whatever is to be done as a part of the discovery of the aim of life or manifestation of the aim of life. This is one method.
The second method is to understand the Divine's will in the situation in which you are placed. In every situation there is an embedded part, and in every situation God wants to convey a message to all of us, every one of us. God is a constant teacher and He constantly wants us to understand the language of the situation. And therefore we have to be very careful to understand. It is like you know, trying to listen to a whisper, how attentive you need to be. So think that God is whispering and you have to strain very hard and to be absolutely quiet to listen to the whisper of God. He wants to tell you something through the situation in which you are but be very quiet, do not imagine that this is what God wants to tell you because very often we become self-critical and we begin to feel that I must be at fault and therefore I am to be blamed. This is the normal way in which very good people try to understand or listen to the voice of God. But do not do that kind of exercise, be very quiet neither justifying nor opposing, treat yourself as a very small child and a child should not normally be rebuked, should not normally be scolded. So think that you are a very small child and you are exactly before God who is trying to whisper into you, to tell you something. Repeat this kind of state, frequently, whenever you have a problem. Even if you do not understand the whisper of God, in due course you will be able to understand the hand of God. In fact, to understand the hand of God in the events around you is one of the disciplines of yoga because in every movement God is evolving, He is moving, He is living, He is projecting Himself in His manifestation and in this movement of God, He wants you to be accompanying him. Think that you as a small child are holding the finger of God and He is taking you forward and while He is taking you forward, He is whispering into your ears and in that state, you walk. So before you even understand the whisper, walking you have got to do, so walk as you are walking, neither justifying yourself nor criticising yourself. Walk simply. A moment will come when this message will reach you, this is the second method.
The third method is that in spite of anything or everything, you spread the wings of goodwill without criticising anybody or yourself, without finding fault with anybody or with yourself. Just say that whatever is happening, from my side it is the highest goodwill, irrespective of anything that is happening. If you employ all the three methods together, each one will contribute to the right situation because each method has certain difficulties. But if you combine these three methods then over a certain time you will find yourself automatically in a state of goodwill, which is not merely a goodwill that is defensive, not a goodwill which is passive in receiving the blows, but it will be a goodwill in which there is a sweetness which cannot be extinguished and yet which gives you the real strength to fight when necessary, to love when necessary and to spread more and more, the will of God in the world. These three things will happen.
Question: But fighting brings disharmony. One would rather remain passive than fight.
Fighting is not necessarily opposed to goodwill. A child is in your hand whom you want to protect. A huge bird falls upon you; it wants to take away the child from you. What do you do? You have the highest goodwill for the child; you have the highest goodwill for the bird also. You have to explain to the bird that it is wrong to attack the child. How will you explain to the bird? The bird does not understand, he understands only one language, the blow. So you give a blow to the bird, this is goodwill. You are making it understand because that is the language it understands. When Sri Krishna asked Arjuna to fight in the battle, it was very clear that the battle was for destruction, and destruction not merely of ordinary objects of the world but destruction of people who were preceptors, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, men for whom Arjuna would like to give up his life. But they were all bent on destroying the future. The future was like a small child in the hands of Arjuna and all these were like the bird who was trying to attack the child and to destroy the child. Therefore with utmost goodwill for the child, for the future, this is what Sri Krishna did in his Vishvarup Darshan, when Sri Krishna showed in the time vision how the huge flood of time was carrying all kinds of forces. When Arjuna was shown that future, then he realised the significance of the battle. So fighting is not necessarily a sign of ill will and Sri Krishna told Arjuna, "fight and kill them but without any anger, without any rancour and with a complete sense of equanimity". But fight was necessary because the people who wanted to destroy the future were not open to any other method. Therefore that method was employed and had to be employed. So fight is not necessarily a sign of ill-will. The utmost goodwill would prompt you to fight and fighting therefore is an important part of the expression of goodwill, provided we do it in the right consciousness, but by employing all the three methods that I have explained.
Question: The foundation for a good life is fame, fortune and wealth, is this contradictory to spiritual realisation? Would it impede or hinder spiritual progress?
Fundamentally life should be prosperous. Fundamentally, all life should be prosperous. The sign of poverty whether in one's inner life or outer life is an indication that what is to be manifested has yet not manifested. This world is a garden of God. This world is therefore a garden of plenty and if things are done in the right way, then all that is needed at the right moment will automatically flow. This is the ideal condition. But to reach that ideal condition you have to have the right attitude. In the right attitude, two things are to be developed. You need the capacity to bear any kind of condition of life in which you are put now. If it is poverty; you are able to bear it. Not that it should be continued. Bearing does not mean that you are sanctioning the continuance of poverty. But you should have the capacity to bear it. You should not be grudging, complaining and feeling helpless. Poverty can be suffered bravely, rightly, heroically, this is the first condition. The second condition is that you have to work very hard to remove poverty and you have to find out the right means of removing poverty. There are many wrong means also of removing poverty, but there are also right means of removing poverty. What are the right means? The first meaning is: utilisation of your present resources by circulating them. This circulation is a very important method. When resources are circulated, then there is a movement of increase. Circulation is the secret of increase of wealth. Circulation is sometimes done with greed, to receive returns in a big manner and this is a fault. Circulate your resources in such a way that the increase is normally, at the rate of 10 %. This will curb all the unnecessary greed. Your legitimate portion in any increase of wealth is 10 %, so circulate with this particular attitude.
The third thing is the expenditure. While you turn your resources and increase your resources the expenditure has to combine two principles: of generosity and of economy. These are two normally contradictory movements but both of them have truths. Economy tends to conserve, generosity tends to expand and both are good things. Be generous in everything that you do but at the same time be extremely economical. This requires right judgment. How to spend, with what attitude to spend? The criterion is that at no stage should you feel poverty of spirit. The moment you begin to feel a poverty of spirit then even if you have lakhs to give, you are poor. So you have to measure everything with this inner criterion: in my economising or in my spending, am I afflicted with a sense of poverty? The more you feel a sense of poverty the more you are in the wrong. This means that you are not able to know-how to spend; you have not learned the art of it. Somewhere you are giving too much where you should not be and somewhere you are too greedy where you ought not to be. When the two things are really reconciled then you will not have the sense of poverty. God likes every child in this world—all of us are children—to live as princes and princesses. This is God's intention and therefore we must live with that spirit. As Sri Aurobindo says: "Even in rags I am God, fallen I am Divine". This is the sense in which we must live all the time.
Question: There are people who are illiterate. How do they progress spiritually? Is it through Bhakti or pilgrimages?
Of course there is some connection between literacy and knowledge, some connection, not an entire connection. Literacy is a great help and for higher realms of knowledge, literacy is very important. If a child refuses to learn the alphabet, you have no right to enforce upon the child; but you have a duty to explain that he is free to remain illiterate if he wants to but he should not imagine that he will become a genius, of a Supramental kind. If you really want true perfection then learning, studying, even through literacy is very important. But to believe that only through literacy you can do it or that because you become literate you will also become a Supramental genius, that also is not true. There are people who are illiterate and yet become great masters in regard to many things. Sri Ramakrishna for example without knowing much of reading and writing could become one of the greatest teachers of the world. Akbar without too much knowledge of reading or writing was one of the greatest emperors in the history of the world. And you know in India for example, millions of illiterates are closer to God than many learned people on the other hand. This also is a fact. Bhakti is not the only means by which an illiterate can approach God, Karmayoga is also open to them. Even knowledge is a means because literacy only makes you read and write but knowledge can be also heard, so even by hearing you can approach the higher realities. That was the reason why Indian sociologists encouraged a good deal of hearing. The whole shruti parampara in India has actually kept our masses illiterate but not uneducated. There are a number of them who do not know how to read or write but they are extremely educated.
Years ago I was meditating in a field in Nilokheri in Punjab. When I opened my eyes after my meditation I saw a farmer sitting near me and he smiled and said, "I was sitting near you because I have a problem". As I was in a hurry to go back to my work I said: "If you do not mind can you walk with me?" So he walked with me. And I said, "What is your problem?" He said, "I have been trying for years and years to avoid jealousy but I am still not free from it, so please tell me how to master jealousy". This was the question of this illiterate farmer and I was so touched by him. Of course, I talked a lot to him. But this is only to illustrate that an illiterate man was so educated, perhaps he was more educated than many of us who do not regard this as a problem at all. We take jealousy as a part of our human nature, we do not try to deal with it but this man said "I was trying for years and years ..." and the problem must have been so acute that he sat down there, waited for I do not know how long, and when he and I got up he simply put this question to me. These are the peasants of India, and there are many examples of this kind that one comes across in India.
Question: And what was your answer? We all need it!
I'll come to it later. But illiterates can approach by shruti, so knowledge is open to them, they can approach through Karmayoga, action, like Akbar; they can approach through Bhakti also; all the three can be combined even for the illiterates and anybody who is prepared to do these three can also be induced to be literate in due course and open the other paths of knowledge which are available, that also can happen. Our approach has to be integral, therefore all methods have to be employed.
Question: What was your answer to the farmer regarding the cure of jealousy in our being?
It is one of the most difficult things in the world because the root of jealousy is the sense of being imprisoned in a very small circle. You may have a huge palace to live in physically, but mentally we normally live in small prisons, very small prisons, so small that we feel as if we are in a big crowd in a very narrow street, something like Bhuleshwar in Bombay; a small area and such a huge crowd of people and you do not know how to put one step forward. You are all the time elbowing out everybody else. This elbowing out forces you to be jealous, it is an experience that you are in a very, very narrow place and you have to move forward and for moving forward you have to elbow out other people. If you remember this, then jealousy can be loosened. First we have to remember that we are not obliged to be in this narrow street. We may find ourselves in a narrow street but first remember that you are not obliged to be in that narrow street. Secondly even if you are in the narrow street, elbowing out others is not the only method of finding your way for moving forward. As Mother once said: "The world is very vast and everyone has a place in it", and everyone has a wide space in this world, because the world is really very vast. So we have to remember that the world is really vast in which everyone has a place and this effort of elbowing out others is not necessary at all.
Question: But of course suppose it is the other way round, somebody else wants to elbow you out, how do you protect yourself?
Same way, you feel that you are being elbowed out because you are living in a small world. If you know there is a vast world and you have a vast place in it, you will try to find your real place. Why have you been elbowed out? You are not at the right place where you are. If you are really at the right place you won't find somebody elbowing you out. So the important point is that wherever we are, even though at the time when you are being elbowed out, and you are trying to do something in self defence, if you can go to those three methods which I spoke about, but only provisionally. Gradually you must enter into the vast world. Remember that you are a member of a vast world and you have a place in that vast world and your present problems are because you have chosen to live in a narrow world. Your choice is not correct. So try to become a member of that vast world then you will not need either to be elbowed out by others or to elbow out others.
Question: Whatever we feel, right or wrong in others, is it only a reflection of our own feelings?
No, your feelings of right or wrong are provisional, both are right and both are wrong. In being elbowed out both are right and both are wrong. In elbowing others out both are right and both are wrong, because all of us are citizens of this narrow world which is itself wrong, but having been in the narrow world you are trying to find out something. As long as you have not found out the right means, people are elbowing out each other. So it is a situation of compression. People will always try to find some means of elbowing each other out and as long as they are doing it you cannot judge it as wrong or right because the situation is wrong. The only method is that while you do all that provisionally, whatever you do, at the same time, correct yourself and try to be in a vaster world. That is the real method of coming out of jealousy. Jealousy is always a result of living in a narrower world than you are legitimately entitled to. You have chosen a narrow world somehow, even without knowing, but you are entitled to a wider world.
Question: Never thought of the world as such. It really feels so nice now.
Yes! You are entitled to a wider world, so discover that wider world of which you are a member and occupy that place and then there is no need of jealousy. As Vivekananda said he was born without jealousy. He had no jealousy throughout his life at all. By birth he was free from jealousy; he was born in a wide world. So we should have that kind of life, like Vivekananda, living in a wide world all the time.
Question: We are human and very sensitive about small things and expectations arise in our mind. We know it is wrong to expect, but how do we protect ourselves from these things? We live in an environment where there is a constant give and take. How do we rise above all things?
Your question is a most difficult question because it relates to an assumption that even when you know that you want to go out, you are where you are and you want to face the problem as it is, and that is the difficulty. As long as you want to remain what you are and yet you want to solve the problem that is difficult. Expect everything from God. You have a legitimate right to expect everything from God.
Question: I hear all these things and decide to change myself. But when the situation arises, I expect and when the expectations are not met, I get irritated. Afterwards, I realize, I really did not want to do it that way.
You know, of all small things of which you are speaking, there is one very strong remedy: just kick them. This is what Sri Aurobindo wrote in one of his letters; just kick them because to justify, not to justify that itself is useless, meaningless. These small things should have no place at all, just kick them when they come or if they have occurred then just kick them, even in thought, saying that "this should not happen at all" and I am not going to justify it nor defend it nor in any way support it. It is just to be kicked away. And once you have done it twice, thrice, four times, they won't repeat. But they require a real kick, just kick them away.
Question: When you try to go within yourself, first all the problems come in the mind. Then a stage comes when you are really peaceful. Then suddenly why do you become very conscious of yourself again, fidgety etc.?
Yes, because it means there is a resistance in your system or there is a certain limit of your ability to receive. If not resistance, it is a limitation to receive. That can be overcome only by repeated exercises of this kind. But always be very charitable to yourself.
Question: This exercise of walking in a garden, imagining that you are walking in a cave. Is this a kind of an escape or by repeatedly doing it, does it become a part of you?
It is not an escape. That is why I said that whatever you want to do, please first do everything so that you are not anxious about anything. Find at least a day or so in a month when you have really done everything that you ought to have done. Organise your life in such a way that you really find that everything that is demanded of you, you have done, so you are not escaping from anything. You should not be haunted by this idea that you are escaping from something. It is to find time to be with yourself and with God which is the most important meeting in our life. All other meetings, all other activities are of lesser importance. This is the most important meeting. For that you must organise your life in such a way that you find time for it. So finish everything that you want to do, just as when you have to go for a dinner-party you finish everything so that you can really have a good party. Similarly you organise your life in such a way that you are just going to be with yourself and with God. Then there is no sense of escape and if you repeat it, then you will find the deeper experiences of this leisureliness. Actually the garden I spoke of because of all the trees, plants, flowers ... Mother said that they are constantly in a state of prayer. You may not know, they may not know. Plants are not conscious but they are constantly in a state of prayer. This is a natural grace on them. Actually you might say that the plants, flowers, and trees are constantly in a state of prayer. It is like a small child, you know if you tell a small child "Pray to God" and he takes it very seriously; more seriously than you or anybody else and he really goes on praying, similarly these plants have been told to pray and they have taken this kind of a command and they are constantly doing it and there is no respite from it. It is not as if one day they will stop, this is the only natural breathing of the plants. So if you are in company of plants and trees and flowers then you have the best company of constant prayers and sincere prayers, unartificial prayers which are constantly rising upwards to the Divine, therefore I spoke of walking in the garden.
Question: When we are in God's company, we do not want to come back to the everyday world. But I have so many responsibilities that I feel they are holding me back.
It is a very sweet situation. It is a very sweet situation because to be with God is the greatest delight. Ideally speaking when you go to responsibilities the same delight should accompany you. But at the present moment we are not in that situation, there is a bifurcation. I go quietly to God and I meet him sweetly and I enjoy his company, but then the responsibilities do not allow me the same sweetness of the company of God. During that period, return to responsibility even if you do not like to return, because that is also a part of the totality of perfection. But this is only a provisional answer, an ordinary answer.
There are intensities and intensities. There are some intensities like when Mirabai entered into the company of Sri Krishna and to tell Mirabai that she should be discharging the responsibilities of the queen of the kingdom had no relevance to her. She had reached an intensity of such a nature that this kind of attitude that I have just advocated would not be relevant. In the stage that you are in now, these two activities can be combined only in this fashion; that is break with that sweetness and come back to responsibilities and then continue like that. But if you have reached a certain state of intensity at a given time then my proposition may not hold good. There are certain intensities which need to be intensified further even at the cost of so called responsibilities. But whether it is right or wrong you will know in that state of intensity, so I will not make a rule saying that that alone is the right attitude or this alone is the right attitude. In any case one thing is very clear that in a true state of intensity, if you pray to God, "Please keep me always with you and put me always at the right place," then he will take the responsibilities, if it is necessary for you. If it is necessary He will carry out for you all your responsibilities, like the example of the saint Sakhu Bai. You know Sakhu Bai was a great saint in Maharashtra. She used to be in a state of prayer to Sri Krishna and she was a housewife. She had to do all the work of cooking, sweeping, everything and she had a very severe mother-in-law watching over her all the time and she used to go out for fetching water and there she used to fall into ecstasy, but Sri Krishna Himself used to take the form of Sakhu Bai and sweep and do everything for her so that she was not put into any trouble at all. In that state of intensity God takes the responsibilities of your life and He does everything for you. That also is a part of the truth of the totality but for that you have to reach that intensity. What I said is not true of a stage where you have reached that state of intensity. A stage is reached where you do not decide at all whether you should do this or you should not do this. He will decide for you so that no responsibility falls upon you whether you decided rightly or wrongly. You will do what He wants you to do. But until you reach that point, cutting off from one state to the other is quite healthy and salutary.
Question: That means that that state of intensity can be maintained and you do not have to go back to the lower stage of responsibilities?
It is not a lower state. It can be even better.
Question: But can it be maintained?
It can be, your intensity of devotion to God can remain exactly the same even while doing all kinds of activities. That is the perfection that we are looking for where knowledge and action and devotion are so synthesised that there are no artificial divisions at all.
Question: You have this feeling for God or Truth or Beauty or Goodness but afterwards it goes away and then you have your ordinary activities. But then it is as if it is not constant.
Allow this kind of a thing and without feeling any disappointment about it, because the deeper states cannot last long at our stage of development. Alternating between sunshine and shadow is quite all right for our development. In any case do not artificially remain, even when that intensity has gone, in the hope that it will come again, immediately, therefore continuing, in that. Sometimes it can be done but very often do not try that way, if the intensity has gone away, allow it to pass away, do your ordinary activities. Then in your inner life you develop intensity in such a way that at will whenever you want, that intensity will come, not by pulling it, not by artificially creating it, but whenever you want a certain state of consciousness it will come by will. Allow that kind of thing to happen instead of feeling that now you are going up and going down and so on. These divisions will remain until we arrive at a great harmony.
Question: But this makes you more sensitive, more emotional and more prompt to get hurt. If you have to vacillate between ...
No. Why do you get hurt? That is the important question, I do not understand. You have become sensitive because of intensity and now you come back from that state of intensity in a situation.
Question: But you get more subtle vibrations, you are able to take them in.
Yes you have become more tender you might say as a result of your intensity and therefore anything that happens in the outside world affects you very intensely.
Question: How do you cope with that? Do you not carry the power and strength that that intensity has provided you with?
You can but if you have not, then this question does arise and we have to find a remedy for it. Do not allow tenderness to be lost. That is the first thing. It is very precious but there should be developed simultaneously, a strength without losing tenderness. Actually ideally speaking, one has to become softer than the petals of the flower and harder than steel, the two things when combined together gives you the right condition of your consciousness. There are people who work very hard, they fight a big battle for the truth, courageously; for them to come in a state of tenderness is very difficult; they are fighting a hard fight, courageous fight accepting all kinds of difficulties, surmounting difficulties and in that state to enter into intensity of sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, is very difficult. That is a deficiency from the other side. But both the things have to be developed. In fact in our process of integral yoga we have to burn the candles on both the ends, the development of intensity of emotions and to divinise it and the intensity of hardest work requiring greatest courage, and strength, hardihood, both have to be developed. If you can keep a balance between the two, very good but very often you are not able to do so, so what is predominant in you, allow it to happen; suffer the other deficiencies. Whatever deficiencies you find, endure them for the time being provisionally. Gradually by the movement of the two wheels of the chariot you will arrive at a good balance ultimately. This is the problem of transition. In the transition you cannot have a satisfactory solution, you have got to accept a kind of a provisional situation and provisional solutions are always unsatisfactory one way or the other. So accept the position that this is a provisional situation and gradually you will grow. So for the moment you suffer whatever deficiency exists.
Question: What shall be the topic of your talk from next time?
First of all I might say that I am so happy today with all the questions which are so important and the sincerity behind the questions and the purity. It's so good, I feel very happy. There is much still to be studied. If you like we can go to the next chapter: The Ascent towards Supermind. This chapter you have done quite well and even when we go to the next chapter we shall have the chance of referring back again to this chapter. But it will be good to ascend now to the next one. If you like next time we can study that chapter.
Question: Can we be greedy and ask Him to be with us all the time?
Why not? To be greedy of God is the greatest benefit. We should be very greedy of God because that is the gateway of greatest liberation. If that happens it will be wonderful, it will be very nice. Then that is the problem that she was speaking of, you feel great intensities within, she also spoke of it and how to come out of it, that is a very sweet problem. So facing sweet problems is always sweet, that is very good indeed. Then He will do it, He will find a solution for that problem. But let us come to the point where you do not really feel like coming out of that situation. That is a good sign when you really have progressed, you will really find that you do not want to come out of that stage. It is a criterion that you have made a good progress.