Highest Goal of Spiritual Experience
Disciple: What is the highest goal of spiritual experience for man?
D: Can a married man realise the Self?
M: Certainly. Married or unmarried, a man can realise the Self; because That is here and now. If it were not so, but attainable by some effort at some time, and if it were new and had to be acquired, it would not be worth pursuit. Because, what is not natural is not permanent either. But what I say is that the Self is here and now, and alone.
D: A salt-doll diving into the sea will not be protected by a waterproof coat. This world in which we have to toil day in and day out is like the ocean.
M: Yes, the mind is the waterproof coat.
D: So then, one may be engaged in work and, free from desire, keep up one’s solitude? But life’s duties allow little time to sit in meditation or even to pray.
M: Yes. Work performed with attachment is a shackle, whereas work performed with detachment does not affect the doer. He is, even while working, in solitude. To engage in your duty is the true namaskar1….. and abiding in God is the only true asana2.
D: Should I not renounce my home?
M: If that had been your destiny the question would not have arisen.
D: Why then did you leave your home in your youth?
M: Nothing happens except by Divine dispensation. One’s course of conduct in this life is determined by one’s prarabdha3.
D: Is it good to devote all my time to the search for the Self? If that is impossible, should I merely keep quiet?
M: If you can keep quiet, without engaging in any other pursuit, it is very good: If that cannot be done, where is the use of being quiet so far as realization is concerned? So long as a person is obliged to be active, let him not give up attempts to realise the Self.
D: Do not one’s actions affect one in after-births?
M: Are you born now? Why do you think of other births? The fact is, there is neither birth nor death. Let him who is born think of death and the palliative thereof!
D: Can you show us the dead?
M: Did you know your kinsmen before their birth that you should seek to know them after their death?
|1 namaskar: prostration, showing reverence|
2 asana: posture, sitting position for meditation
3 prarabda: pre-ordained life
Work and Renunciation