The Goals of
The First of Four
purification. We have to distill our essence, which is pure. In
meditation, we get rid of the mud, the pollution, and distill pure energy
of Light, of Love.
To meditate is to
purify, to distill the divinity within, the active divinity. Natural
water is not muddy, polluted, contaminated – such impurities come from the
soil of the banks, and from the factories on the shores. The unclean
water does not clearly reflect the sun, the blue sky, the green trees, the
flowers on the bank; and it may poison the fish, the frogs, and also the
people who drink it. In the same way, man’s essence can become perverted
through his exposure to the world. And then he unwittingly contributes to
the pollution and perversion.
When we start the
practice of meditation, in he first stage each is called an aspirant, in
Sanskrit, a Sadhaka, which means, “not complacent.” As aspirants, we know
we are not what we could be. For most of us, the purification that takes
place during meditation, even the experience of bliss and inspiration,
may not be too long in coming. But the purification of a life span, which
means building and rebuilding our lives according to what we discover in
our meditation, will take arduous effort.
We are here on a long
journey, to share the road to immortality with all living beings. There
are many names for the goal – immortality, the kingdom of heaven,
evolution, salvation or moksha which means liberation. In other terms the
goal may be “to get the most out of life.” But we will not get the most
out of life without discovering our divinity through meditation. And the
discovery of our divinity must lead to our finding our mission in life,
which means giving up0 the mundane, going beyond merely making profits and
acquiring possessions, beyond identification with buying and selling. We
must experience our attunement with all men, even with all living
beings, with nature, with the Cosmos. And this attunement implies not
only joy but responsibility, the responsibility which true compassion
What I have been
fortunate in experiencing and practicing, bit by bit, I shall explain to
you, so you can move in a similar direction. Many years ago, on a long
retreat on Mount Abu, in solitude and silence and meditation, I sought the
answer to the question, “What are the minimum virtues necessary for anyone
if he is to rightly think of himself as an enlightened person?” The
answer that came to me was the four virtues taught by mahavir, which I put
into words and music in what I have called “The Immortal Song.” It
begins, “May the sacred stream of amity flow forever in my heart. May the
universe prosper; such is my cherished desire.”
First, let us
concentrate on amity – and then, later, we will glide into meditation. In
concentration, there is harmony between observer and object. The subject
observes the object, but there is complete unity between subject and
In meditation you are
in a state in which you have entered the center of energy. You are one
with Reality. You have gone beyond subject and object, beyond mind.
Amity is the first
criterion of love. God is merely an image, the symbol of love.
Personified love is called God. Love energy is God in action: to realize
God, you to give love to be love. Without love, God is not present. The
presence of love is the presence of God. Without amity, goodwill, there
is no love. With any trace of fear, hate, resentment, possessiveness,
indifference, self-centeredness, love is polluted.
go deeper into the experience of amity. Each of us must realize that if
the sacred stream of amity is flowing in our hearts, we will wish the
whole universe to prosper. Know that our love is not to be confined to
ourselves, our families, our nations, but must include the whole planet.
And if we genuinely wish the planet to prosper, we must do more than
wish. If we want the planet to prosper, we must do more than wish. If we
want the planet to prosper, we must actively contribute to this planetary
prosperity, rather than to the planetary drouoght and erosion which result
from egocentric competition, or from withdrawal or indifference. In
English, the word “I” is written in capitals, but it is the word “WE”
that should be written in capitals. And the WE should be as big as the
universe. It should be a WE based on goodwill.
the word “love” so often, but we must come to know in practice the power
of love. People are starving in the world- do you love them? Year after
year, children are being bombed in wars – do you love them? Do you
genuinely search for the roots, in this technologically advance society,
of starvation and violence? Do you love your neighbors, your black
neighbor who has had less opportunity for education, and who has been in
other ways less fortunate than you? Christ defined the requirements of
amity: “Whatsoever ye would that other men should do to you, do ye even
so to them. “Has this message led you to practice amity?
visualize love incarnated as Mahavir, Jesus, Buddha. They were in the
Past. Others will be in the future. WE are in the present. Let each of
us experience, “What the prophets knew within themselves, I find within
myself. I incarnate the power of love.” This is spiritual democracy. It
is our birthright. We cannot be happy, cannot have the “kingdom of
heaven” within or without, unless we live in this under standing of our
to contribute amity in our homes, and in our relationships with our
associates. Our children need amity. Husbands and wives need amity
between them. Neighbors need amity. People on the highway and on the
subway and on the street need our amity. But with the daily frustrations,
amity is difficult to maintain. In dealing with those who oppose us, our
amity needs to be kindled so that conflicts can be resolved without
violence. Differences in ideologies call for the humblest amity, so that
they can be resolved by dialogue. Amity means peace and goodwill –for
all the citizens of this planet.
edge of the desert, a poor family whom I knew had to bring water from a
distance. Even so, they kept a supply to give half a glass to any thirsty
traveler. This small gift made them happy and also those who received
it. Amity, reverence for life, is everyone’s privilege, and the more we
cultivate it, the greater the spiritual prosperity we will enjoy and
share. This spiritual prosperity of caring and sharing will enrich us
more than any material prosperity.
single banyan tree cannot give us the oxygen we need in order to live, no
single savior or messiah can really build world brotherhood, world unity.
That will take all of us together.
can fill every cell of your body. Thus your body becomes a temple of
amity. You are transformed! If any obstacle comes in the way, if
something unworthy enters the temple, let it go. If you don’t pay
attention to it, it will have no energy. Unless you let it occupy your
thoughts and zap your energy, it will have no role. Let it pass. Let the
flow of love and beauty wash it away. Know that the stream of amity will
forever wash away dross and dirt.
can enter meditation by concentrating on the idea, “Let the creative force
of Love bring Peace and Joy to All.”
meditation, we enter the center of energy. If ego or unworthy thoughts
intrude in this temple, pay no attention, give no energy and they will
pass by like shadows.