24 April 1969 DMC, Manila
Each and every living being has got the longing for the Great. Each and every human being wants to do something noble, something lasting. But the life of each and every person is not crowned with success, because the thing that a person requires most is proper guidance.
There was a yogi-king in ancient India about thirty-five hundred years ago, and his guide was Lord Krśńa. Krśńa was a great yogi. The name of that yogi-king was Yudhisthira. Yudhi means “in war, in battle”, and śt́hira means “unaffected, unassailed” – “balanced”. One who can maintain one’s mental balance even in wartime is “Yudhisthira”.
Now, he was a yogi; “yogi” means a practical person. A yogi has got little to do with theory. A yogi is not a theoretician, a yogi is a practical person.
He was asked a question, and that question was, “What is the proper path, proper way?” And the answer of King Yudhisthira was – let me repeat it in Sanskrit –
Shrutayo vibhinnáh smrtayo vibhinnáh naekamuniryasya mataḿ na bhinnam;
Dharmasya tattvaḿ nihitaḿ guháyáḿ mahájano yena gatah sa pantháh.
[The scriptures differ, the social codes differ; each sage has a different opinion. The essence of dharma lies deep in the mind; the realized one follows the true path.]
He replied that one is to follow the practical person and not the theoretician. The theory may or may not be a success in the field of application. It may be good in books, it may be good in theory, it may be good in contemplation, but it may or may not be useful in practical life. So a yogi, a spiritual aspirant, has to follow the practical person. That is, a yogi is to follow a maháyogii [great yogi].
Shrutayo vibhinnáh. Now, there are so many scriptures in the world, but these scriptures vary from one another. Now, the supporters of those scriptures, the supporters of each and every scripture, say, “Ours is the message of God. It cannot be challenged.” By saying this, that is, that it cannot be challenged, they try to block the intellectual progress of human society. [By saying] that one should not think beyond this [they] want to do – what? They try to block, to seal, the intellectual progress of human society. They are enemies of human progress, they are enemies of human civilization. Had there been no intellectual progress, then even in this second half of the twentieth century, we would have been in the stone age. So there must be intellectual progress, and no power, no theory, should try to block this progress.
But scriptures vary from one another. And the supporters of each and every scripture say, “Ours is the message of God, it is the supreme word.” Then if all the scriptures are messages of the same Supreme Being, why do they vary from one another? The Supreme Being is one, and if all the scriptures are messages of that single Supreme Being, then there should not be any variation amongst themselves. This shows that those scriptures are not the messages of that Supreme Being.
But what is a common person to do? Whom to follow? In a particular scripture it will say that during meditation a person, a sádhaka, should be facing east. Another scripture will say no, a sádhaka should be facing west. Now how to adjust? Then if a sádhaka wants to make an adjustment, he or she either has to face north or south – an adjustment between east and west! Either north or south. A very difficult job, a knotty problem, a very knotty problem!
Now, those spiritual scriptures – not spiritual, those scriptures – vary from one another. What is a common person to do? Smrtayo vibhinnáh. In Sanskrit smrti means “social code”. “The scriptural codes vary;” the social codes also vary. In ancient times there were so many social systems, and now there are so many social systems in different portions of the world, and amongst different races of the world, and amongst different races of a particular country. In the same country there are so many social codes and social usages. Whom to follow? Which one is absolute? Which one is perfect? What is a common person to do? A very knotty problem. What to do and what not to do?
Naekamuniryasya mataḿ na bhinnam. And intellectuals, you see, “always quarrel amongst themselves.” Non-intellectual people may have love and affection amongst themselves, but intellectuals, you know, learned people, always quarrel amongst themselves. And they think if a particular intellectual supports the view of another intellectual – well, it is rather an insultation to support others! One should create a particular school of thought of one’s own – one should not support others. So intellectuals always quarrel amongst themselves.
The common person is to follow – whom? Intellectual A says Mr. B, another intellectual, knows nothing. And Mr. B says that Mr. C knows nothing. What is a common person to do, and whom to follow? Is one to follow Mr. A or Mr. B or Mr. C? A knotty problem. You see, intellectuals always vary – naekamuniryasya mataḿ na bhinnam.
Now what is a person to do? What is a common person, a practical person, a yogi, to do?
Yudhisthira, as I said, was a yogi-king. He says: “Now what is the goal of life? The supreme goal of life, the supreme physical, intellectual, mental and spiritual goal of the entire Cosmological order, is the same, the same desideratum for all.” And where lies that desideratum? Who is that supreme point? What is that supreme terminus? What is that supreme culminating point? And where doth lie that supreme point?
Yudhisthira says, Dharmasya tattvaḿ nihitaḿ guháyám. The essence of spirituality lies coverted in the “I” feeling of each and every individual. You know, when “I” is connected with some other physical object, when “I” is connected with, related to, some other physical being, then that physical being is the object. “I” is the subject and that connecting link is the verbal expression. “I”… “food”: “I eat food.” “I”… “mango”: “I eat mango.” This “eat” is the connecting link, “eat” is the verbal expression. “I”… “water”… “drinking”: “I am drinking water.” Here “am drinking” is the connecting link. Subject, object and connecting link.
Now, there is “I” in each and every living being. There is one “I” in you. “I am going.” “I am seeing Bábá.”(1) There is one “I”. Each and every individual has got one “I”. And that “I” is connected with external physicalities, external objects. Now, when “I” is connected with external objects, that “I” is the subtlest mind. That “I” is the subtlest portion of mind.
“I exist”: this “I” is the subtlest point of mind. And “exist”: while saying “exist”, we indirectly say, “I exist in the world, I exist in such-and-such place.” The object is mute here, the object is not expressed, but the object is understood. This “I” of “I exist” is the subtlest mind.(2) “I” is the subtlest mind.
Now you know, in the mind of each and every living being there is this feeling of “I exist”. There is one “I exist” in you. “I exist.” “I am.” “I exist.” Mm? This “I” is the subtlest mind. But don’t you know that there is the feeling of “I exist” in you? You know it, you know this fact, that there is the feeling of “I exist” in you. Don’t you know it? You know that there is a feeling of “I exist” in you. Then, “I know the fact that I exist. I know the fact that there is a feeling of ‘I exist’ in me.” Now here the “I” of “I exist”, the subject of the sentence “I exist”, is the subtlest mind. And the “I” of “I know” – “I know the fact that I exist” – the subject of the sentence “I know”, that “I” is the átman, is the spirit, is the soul. It is not mind. There is a feeling of “I exist” in me – “I exist”. That “I” is the subtlest mind. The feeling that “I exist” is in me, is known to me. That knowing “I” – “I know that I exist” – that knowing “I” (the “I” of “I know”) is the átman, the spirit, the soul.
Now, this “I exist” is the subtlest mind, and it is called guhá in Sanskrit. And what is the essence of spirituality? The “I” of “I know” – “I know that I exist” – that “I” of “I know” is the essence of spirituality. You know so many things, but you have to know your self. When you know your self, that stage, that stance, is the supreme stance. And for that realization, to know your own “I”, is your sádhaná, is your spiritual practice.
And when you know your own “I” – You try to know so many people, but you don’t know your self. It is just like a citizen of Manila: he wants to see Hong Kong, he wants to see Tokyo, he wants to see Rangoon, but he does not know Manila. Áre,(3) first know Manila! First know your self, first know your inner “I”.
You know, a person can easily become omniscient. How can a living creature, a living being, be omniscient? The secret is, if you want to know all, know one. And that one is your own “I”. And if you want to know everything, if you try to know everything, you will not be able to know anything. If you want to know all, know one. And that one is your own “I”.
So the yogi-king Yudhisthira says: Dharmasya tattvaḿ nihitaḿ guháyám – “The spirit of dharma, the spirit of spirituality, the spirit of yoga, lies coverted, in” – what? “In your own ‘I’ feeling, in your own ‘I exist’.” Because “I know” – the “I” of “I know” – lies coverted in the “I” of “I exist”.
Dharmasya tattvaḿ nihitaḿ guháyám. And who is your nearest person, what is your nearest object? You know, you try to know so many things, but you should know first of all your nearest object. Which one is your nearest object? Hand? Finger? Your nearest object?
Finger? No, no, no. Arm? No, no, no. Face? No, no, no. Hmm? What is the nearest point?
[Audience replies: “I”.]
“I” is your nearest entity. And the distance cannot be measured. Can you measure it? The distance cannot be measured. So it is the nearest entity.
First of all you should know, you should come in close contact with, all the wonts of your own “I”, all the characteristics of your own “I”. In your books, your laboratories, you study; you try to learn the characteristics of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen monoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and so many elements and compounds. But you do not know the characteristics of your nearest object. Try to know all the characteristics of your nearest object in your mental laboratory.
How to do it? In the laboratory, a theoretician will not be of any help, will not be able to help you in your research. A theoretician, no, no. You require a practical demonstration there in the laboratory.
So King Yudhisthira says: “In the realm of spirituality, in the realm of yoga, whom to follow? Not those scriptures – you may or may not follow those scriptures, you may or may not follow those social codes, and you may or may not follow – you may or may not ditto – those intellectuals.” What are you to do? You are to follow those practical demonstrations, that is, you have to follow the yogi. And certainly, as per that yogi’s direction, you will attain that supreme stance, you will enjoy that supreme beatitude.
(1) An affectionate name for the author, used by the author’s disciples. –Eds.
(2) An explanatory remark intended for the listening audience, not necessary for readers, omitted here. –Eds.
(3) An exclamation. –Eds.
Shrii Shrii A'nandamu'rti
Bábá's Grace [a compilation]