When we have passed beyond knowings,
then we shall have Knowledge.
Reason was the helper; Reason
is the bar.
When we have passed beyond willings, then we shall have
Power. Effort was the helper; Effort is the bar.
When we have passed beyond enjoyings, then we shall have
Bliss. Desire was the helper; Desire is the bar.
When we have passed beyond individualising, then we shall
be real Persons.
Ego was the helper; Ego is the bar.
When we have passed beyond humanity, then we shall be the
Man. The Animal was the helper; the Animal is the bar.
Transform reason into ordered intuition; let all thyself be
light. This is thy goal.
Transform effort into an easy and sovereign overflowing of
the soul-strength; let all thyself be conscious force. This is
Transform enjoying into an even and objectless ecstasy; let
all thyself be bliss. This is thy goal.
Transform the divided individual into the
world-personality; let all thyself be the divine. This is thy
Transform the Animal into the Driver of the herds; let all
thyself be Krishna.
This is thy goal.
What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do
hereafter. The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all
possibilities. Because this temporal universe was a paradox
and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of
Impossibility is only a sum of greater unrealised
possibles. It veils an advanced stage and a yet unaccomplished
If thou wouldst have humanity advance, buffet all
preconceived ideas. Thought thus smitten awakes and becomes
creative. Otherwise it rests in a mechanical repetition and
mistakes that for its right activity.
To rotate on its own axis is not the one movement for the
human soul. There is also its wheeling round the Sun of an
Be conscious first of thyself within, then think and act.
All living thought is a world in preparation; all real act is
a thought manifested. The material world exists because an
Idea began to play in divine self-consciousness.
Thought is not essential to existence nor its cause, but it
is an instrument for becoming; I become what I see in myself.
All that thought suggests to me, I can do; all that thought
reveals in me, I can become. This should be man's unshakable
faith in himself, because God dwells in him.
Not to go on for ever repeating what man has already done
is our work, but to arrive at new realisations and
undreamed-of masteries. Time and soul and world are given us
for our field, vision and hope and creative imagination stand
for our prompters, will and thought and labour are our
What is there new that we have yet to accomplish ? Love,
for as yet we have only accomplished hatred and self-pleasing;
Knowledge, for as yet we have only accomplished error and
perception and conceiving; Bliss, for as yet we have only
accomplished pleasure and pain and indifference; Power, for as
yet we have only accomplished weakness and effort and a
defeated victory; Life, for as yet we have only accomplished
birth and growth and dying; Unity, for as yet we have only
accomplished war and association.
In a word, godhead; to remake ourselves in the divine
The Delight of Being
If Brahman were only an impersonal abstraction eternally
contradicting the apparent fact of our concrete existence,
cessation would be the right end of the matter; but love and
delight and self-awareness have also to be reckoned.
The universe is not merely a mathematical formula for
working out the relation of certain mental abstractions called
numbers and principles to arrive in the end at a zero or a
void unit, neither is it merely a physical operation embodying
certain equations of forces. It is the delight of a
Self-lover, the play of a Child, the endless
self-multiplication of a Poet intoxicated with the rapture of
His own power of endless creation.
We may speak of the Supreme as if He were a mathematician
working out a cosmic sum in numbers or a thinker resolving by
experiment a problem in relations of principles and the
balance of forces: but also we should speak of Him as if He
were a lover, a musician of universal and particular
harmonies, a child, a poet. The side of thought is not enough;
the side of delight too must be entirely grasped: Ideas,
Forces, Existences, Principles are hollow moulds unless they
are filled with the breath of God's delight.
These things are images, but all is an image. Abstractions
give us the pure conception of God's truths; images give us
their living reality.
If Idea embracing Force begot the worlds, Delight of Being
begot the Idea. Because the Infinite conceived an innumerable
delight in itself, therefore worlds and universes came into
Consciousness of being and Delight of being are the first
parents. Also, they are the last transcendences.
Unconsciousness is only an intermediate swoon of the conscious
or its obscure sleep; pain and self-extinction are only
delight of being running away from itself in order to find
itself elsewhere or otherwise.
Delight of being is not limited in Time; it is without end
or beginning. God comes out from one form of things only to
enter into another.
What is God after all ? An eternal child playing an eternal
game in an eternal garden.
Man, the Purusha
God cannot cease from leaning down towards Nature, nor man
from aspiring towards the Godhead. It is the eternal relation
of the finite to the infinite. When they seem to turn from
each other, it is to recoil for a more intimate meeting.
In man nature of the world becomes again self-conscious so
that it may take the great leap towards its Enjoyer. This is
the Enjoyer whom unknowingly it possesses, whom life and
sensation possessing deny and denying seek. Nature of the
world knows not God only because it knows not itself; when it
knows itself, it shall know unalloyed delight of being.
Possession in oneness and not loss in oneness is the
secret. God and Man, World and Beyond-world become one when
they know each other. Their division is the cause of ignorance
as ignorance is the cause of suffering.
Man seeks at first blindly and does not even know that he
is seeking his divine self; for he starts from the obscurity
of material Nature and even when he begins to see, he is long
blinded by the light that is increasing in him. God too
answers obscurely to his search; He seeks and enjoys man's
blindness like the hands of a little child that grope after
God and Nature are like a boy and girl at play and in love.
They hide and run from each other when glimpsed so that they
may be sought after and chased and captured.
Man is God hiding himself from Nature so that he may
possess her by struggle, insistence, violence and surprise.
God is universal and transcendent Man hiding himself from his
own individuality in the human being.
The animal is Man disguised in a hairy skin and upon four
legs; the worm is Man writhing and crawling towards the
evolution of his Manhood. Even crude forms of Matter are Man
in his inchoate body. All things are Man, the Purusha.
For what do we mean by Man ? An uncreated and
indestructible soul that has housed itself in a mind and body
made of its own elements.
The meeting of man and God must always mean a penetration
and entry of the divine into the human and a self-immergence
of man in the Divinity.
But that immergence is not in the nature of an
annihilation. Extinction is not the fulfilment of all this
search and passion, suffering and rapture. The game would
never have been begun if that were to be its ending.
Delight is the secret. Learn of pure delight and thou shalt
learn of God.
What then was the commencement of the whole matter ?
Existence that multiplied itself for sheer delight of being
and plunged into numberless trillions of forms so that it
might find itself innumerably.
And what is the middle ? Division that strives towards a
multiple unity, ignorance that labours towards a flood of
varied light, pain that travails towards the touch of an
unimaginable ecstasy. For all these things are dark figures
and perverse vibrations.
And what is the end of the whole matter ? As if honey could
taste itself and all its drops together and all its drops
could taste each other and each the whole honeycomb as itself,
so should the end be with God and the soul of man and the
Love is the keynote, Joy is the music, Power is the strain,
Knowledge is the performer, the infinite All is the composer
and audience. We know only the preliminary discords which are
as fierce as the harmony shall be great; but we shall arrive
surely at the fugue of the divine Beatitudes.
The whole world yearns after freedom, yet each creature is
in love with his chains; this is the first paradox and
inextricable knot of our nature.
Man is in love with the bonds of birth; therefore he is
caught in the companion bonds of death. In these chains he
aspires after freedom of his being and mastery of his
Man is in love with power; therefore he is subjected to
weakness. For the world is a sea of waves of force that meet
and continually fling themselves on each other; he who would
ride on the crest of one wave, must faint under the shock of
Man is in love with pleasure; therefore he must undergo the
yoke of grief and pain. For unmixed delight is only for the
free and passionless soul; but that which pursues after
pleasure in man is a suffering and straining energy.
Man hungers after calm, but he thirsts also for the
experiences of a restless mind and a troubled heart. Enjoyment
is to his mind a fever, calm an inertia and a monotony.
Man is in love with the limitations of his physical being,
yet he would have also the freedom of his infinite mind and
his immortal soul.
And in these contrasts something in him finds a curious
attraction; they constitute for his mental being the artistry
of life. It is not only the nectar but the poison also that
attracts his taste and his curiosity.
In all these things there is a meaning and for all these
contradictions there is a release. Nature has a method in
every madness of her combinings and for her most inextricable
knots there is a solution.
Death is the question Nature puts continually to Life and
her reminder to it that it has not yet found itself. If there
were no siege of death, the creature would be bound for ever
in the form of an imperfect living. Pursued by death he awakes
to the idea of perfect life and seeks out its means and its
Weakness puts the same test and question to the strengths
and energies and greatnesses in which we glory. Power is the
play of life, shows its degree, finds the value of its
expression; weakness is the play of death pursuing life in its
movement and stressing the limit of its acquired energy.
Pain and grief are Nature's reminder to the soul that the
pleasure it enjoys is only a feeble hint of the real delight
of existence. In each pain and torture of our being is the
secret of a flame of rapture compared with which our greatest
pleasures are only as dim flickerings. It is this secret which
forms the attraction for the soul of the great ordeals,
sufferings and fierce experiences of life which the nervous
mind in us shuns and abhors.
The restlessness and early exhaustion of our active being
and its instruments are Nature's sign that calm is our true
foundation and excitement a disease of the soul; the sterility
and monotony of mere calm is her hint that play of the
activities on that firm foundation is what she requires of us.
God plays for ever and is not troubled.
The limitations of the body are a mould; soul and mind have
to pour themselves into them, break them and constantly
remould them in wider limits till the formula of agreement is
found between this finite and their own infinity.
Freedom is the law of being in its illimitable unity,
secret master of all Nature: servitude is the law of love in
the being voluntarily giving itself to serve the play of its
other selves in the multiplicity.
It is when freedom works in chains and servitude becomes a
law of Force, not of Love, that the true nature of things is
distorted and a falsehood governs the soul's dealings with
Nature starts with this distortion and plays with all the
combinations to which it can lead before she will allow it to
be righted. Afterwards she gathers up all the essence of these
combinations into a new and rich harmony of love and
Freedom comes by a unity without limits; for that is our
real being. We may gain the essence of this unity in
ourselves; we may realise the play of it in oneness with all
others. The double experience is the complete intention of the
soul in Nature.
Having realised infinite unity in ourselves, then to give
ourselves to the world is utter freedom and absolute
Infinite, we are free from death; for life then becomes a
play of our immortal existence. We are free from weakness; for
we are the whole sea enjoying the myriad shock of its waves.
We are free from grief and pain; for we learn how to harmonise
our being with all that touches it and to find in all things
action and reaction of the delight of existence. We are free
from limitation; for the body becomes a plaything of the
infinite mind and learns to obey the will of the immortal
soul. We are free from the fever of the nervous mind and the
heart, yet are not bound to immobility.
Immortality, unity and freedom are in ourselves and await
there our discovery; but for the joy of love God in us will
still remain the Many.
Some think it presumption to believe in a special
Providence or to look upon oneself as an instrument in the
hands of God, but I find that every man has a special
Providence and I see that God uses the mattock of the labourer
and babbles in the mouth of a little child.
Providence is not only that which saves me from the
shipwreck in which everybody else has foundered. Providence is
also that which while all others are saved snatches away my
last plank of safety and drowns me in the solitary ocean.
The delight of victory is sometimes less than the
attraction of struggle and suffering; nevertheless the laurel
and not the cross should be the aim of the conquering human
Souls that do not aspire are God's failures; but Nature is
pleased and loves to multiply them because they assure her of
stability and prolong her empire.
Those who are poor, ignorant, ill-born or ill-bred are not
the common herd; the common herd are all who are satisfied
with pettiness and an average humanity.
Help men, but do not pauperise them of their energy; lead
and instruct men, but see that their initiative and
originality remain intact; take others into thyself, but give
them in return the full godhead of their nature. He who can do
this is the leader and the guru.
God has made the world a field of battle and filled it with
the trampling of combatants and the cries of a great wrestle
and struggle. Would you filch His peace without paying the
price He has fixed for it ?
Distrust a perfect-seeming success, but when having
succeeded thou findest still much to do, rejoice and go
forward; for the labour is long before the real
There is no more benumbing error than to mistake a stage
for the goal or to linger too long in a resting-place.
Wherever thou seest a great end, be sure of a great
beginning. Where a monstrous and painful destruction appals
thy mind, console it with the certainty of a large and great
creation. God is there not only in the still small voice, but
in the fire and in the whirlwind.
The greater the destruction, the freer the chances of
creation; but the destruction is often long, slow and
oppressive, the creation tardy in its coming or interrupted in
its triumph. The night returns again and again and the day
lingers or seems even to have been a false dawning. Despair
not therefore, but watch and work. Those who hope violently,
despair swiftly: neither hope nor fear, but be sure of God's
purpose and thy will to accomplish.
The hand of the divine Artist works often as if it were
unsure of its genius and its material. It seems to touch and
test and leave, to pick up and throw away and pick up again,
to labour and fail and botch and repiece together. Surprises
and disappointments are the order of his work before all
things are ready. What was selected, is cast away into the
abyss of reprobation; what was rejected, becomes the
corner-stone of a mighty edifice. But behind all this is the
sure eye of a knowledge which surpasses our reason and the
slow smile of an infinite ability.
God has all time before him and does not need to be always
in a hurry. He is sure of his aim and success and cares not if
he break his work a hundred times to bring it nearer
perfection. Patience is our first great necessary lesson, but
not the dull slowness to move of the timid, the sceptical, the
weary, the slothful, the unambitious or the weakling; a
patience full of a calm and gathering strength which watches
and prepares itself for the hour of swift great strokes, few
but enough to change destiny.
Wherefore God hammers so fiercely at his world, tramples
and kneads it like dough, casts it so often into the
blood-bath and the red hell-heat of the furnace ? Because
humanity in the mass is still a hard, crude and vile ore which
will not otherwise be smelted and shaped: as is his material,
so is his method. Let it help to transmute itself into nobler
and purer metal, his ways with it will be gentler and sweeter,
much loftier and fairer its uses.
Wherefore he selected or made such a material, when he had
all infinite possibility to choose from ? Because of his
divine Idea which saw before it not only beauty and sweetness
and purity, but also force and will and greatness.
Despise not force, nor hate it for the ugliness of some of
its faces, nor think that love only is God. All perfect
perfection must have something in it of the stuff of the hero
and even of the Titan. But the greatest force is born out of
the greatest difficulty.
All would change if man could once consent to be
spiritualised; but his nature mental and vital and physical is
rebellious to the higher law. He loves his imperfections.
The Spirit is the truth of our being; mind and life and
body in their imperfection are its masks, but in their
perfection should be its moulds. To be spiritual only is not
enough; that prepares a number of souls for heaven, but leaves
the earth very much where it was. Neither is a compromise the
way of salvation.
The world knows three kinds of revolution. The material has
strong results, the moral and intellectual are infinitely
larger in their scope and richer in their fruits, but the
spiritual are the great sowings.
If the triple change could coincide in a perfect
correspondence, a faultless work would be done; but the mind
and body of mankind cannot hold perfectly a strong spiritual
inrush: most is spilt, much of the rest is corrupted. Many
intellectual and physical upturnings of our soil are needed to
work out a little result from a large spiritual sowing.
Each religion has helped mankind. Paganism increased in man
the light of beauty, the largeness and height of his life, his
aim at a many-sided perfection; Christianity gave him some
vision of divine love and charity; Buddhism has shown him a
noble way to be wiser, gentler, purer, Judaism and Islam how
to be religiously faithful in action and zealously devoted to
God; Hinduism has opened to him the largest and profoundest
spiritual possibilities. A great thing would be done if all
these God-visions could embrace and cast themselves into each
other; but intellectual dogma and cult egoism stand in the
All religions have saved a number of souls, but none yet
has been able to spiritualise mankind. For that there is
needed not cult and creed, but a sustained and
all-comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution.
The changes we see in the world today are intellectual,
moral, physical in their ideal and intention: the spiritual
revolution waits for its hour and throws up meanwhile its
waves here and there. Until it comes the sense of the others
cannot be understood and till then all interpretation of
present happening and forecast of man's future are vain
things. For its nature, power, event are that which will
determine the next cycle of our humanity.