by Swami Krishnananda
The vast stellar system above, which also forms part and parcel of the conditioning factors of our existence, is a matter that is to be considered. Why do we consult people who know the stars? Why do we worry about the stars? The stars are inside our bodies, through their operations which are non-spatial. Space is extended, as it were, and is causing a dimension of distance, all which makes us believe that the stars are far, far away from us. It is not so. It is like saying that the head is far away from the toe. In one sense, it is true; there is a distance of five and a half feet or six feet from the toe to the head. This distance does not matter. We do not feel that distance. Do you feel that your head is far away from your toe?
That integrating power, which is the 'I-ness' in us, abolishes the apparent distance measurable geometrically from the toe to the head. That is not taken into consideration, because of an awareness that brings the distance into a non-entity, a nullity. It is, therefore, a cosmic cohesive force which may be called the Cosmic Mind, or the divinities operating everywhere, which is actually the reason why we are existing as we are existing. We live in this world, in this body, only so long as our assertive nature of our false independence continues. When that is lifted up, we will not exist at all.
I made reference to this particular principle in us, and designated these principles as desires – an intense longing to be in one place only, a desire to be for some time only, and a desire to be connected to certain things only and not to all things. This is the limitation that is part and parcel of the I-consciousness, or the affirming individuality of ours.
We require liberation. People say, "We want moksha, salvation, for which purpose we are practising sadhana." What is the kind of moksha that we are aspiring for? It is liberation from the thralldom of this assumed individuality of a physical existence conditioned by sensory organs. It is actually the longing – mumukshutva means the desire – to melt down this falsely manufactured individuality in the menstruum, the oceanic expanse of universal nature. When you become all nature yourself, your moksha is granted. Moksha is the freedom from the shackle of individuality, from the limitations of particularised existence and the sorrow that is gnawing into our vitals on account of this false identification.
If you are in one place only, if you are the son or daughter of some person only, and if you are speaking some language only, then that is your business. The world is not concerned with it, and you can expect no benefit from the world of nature, because you are one person's son, one person's daughter, one language you speak, and you are existing in one place only. If this kind of egoistic affirmation continues, the world will kick you out and will benefit you in no way whatsoever. Even God cannot help a person who refuses to accept the fact of God's existence. If you do not accept it, it will not accept you, also. If you do not want to accept that there is a thing that is outside you, it also will not accept your existence. There will be a war between outer nature and individual personality.
Moksha, liberation, is just a simple thing. It is an enlargement of the consciousness into the dimension of the widest possible extent, until it reaches a point where it overcomes even the idea of space and time. This is to think in a totally different way altogether.
The greatest education is the art of the chastening of the mind. There is no use studying textbooks and going into the tomes of science, philosophy, and scripture. Our friend is our mind; the books cannot help us. Whatever we have learned from outside sources will leave us, because they are outside us. Our mind is our friend; our mind is our treasure.
The mind is not merely a thought, it is also a thing by itself. Thoughts are also things. This is something new that we have to hear. The thought, the process of the function of the mind, can concretise itself into a form and assume a substantiality of its own, as it appears in dream, for instance. You can see hard rocks and mountains and rivers in the dream world. You can hit your head against a rock and your forehead can bleed even in dream, because the stuff of the mind, which has projected the solidity of the object of perception, can cause a similar experience.
What is happening to us in the waking state is similar to what is happening in the dream world. Objects do not exist independently of the thought process. The relationship between the individual mind and the all-pervading Cosmic Mind is actually the relationship between man and God, the individual and the Absolute.
What we require, therefore, is an intense training of our own mind, enabling the mind to think in terms of its vast potentiality. The all-pervading mind is the source of the individual droplets of minds apparently working within the brain and skull of different individuals, as the ocean operates through all the drops of water in the little, little mini-globules of eruptions on its surface. These little globules of drops are the ocean only. So is the case with our minds, which are droplets of the Cosmic Mind. If a particular drop in the ocean is to assume individuality by itself, and assert that it is totally unconnected with the ocean, it is free to think like that, and it becomes an isolated, bifurcated, unwanted individuality.
To attain moksha, so much time is necessary as it is necessary for a drop in the ocean to sink into the ocean. How much time does it require? It has only to realise that it is inseparable from the ocean.
We have a fad and a prejudice of thinking that the individuality of ours is all in all, not knowing the fact that we cannot even exist without the contribution of support from nature outside and the vast atmosphere. Environment is this much; the environment we are speaking of, which is talked about so much these days, is not merely the trees and the waters, and the air that we breathe, but the entire atmosphere touching beyond the very point of the existence of stars. These bodies not only are made up of five elements, of the elements of the different planets, but of the stars themselves. That is why we are so concerned with the operation of the planets through our body, and we always talk of the stars into which a person is born, etc. Such a distant thing called the star and the planet seems to be exerting such an influence on us, that we are cosmically constituted. This is a fact that does not require much of an explanation.
This is a great revelation. Can you think like this, that you cannot exist like this, as you are thinking that you are existing, and that the bricks of your body can be pulled out by their source, which has contributed its own substance into yourself? The prejudice of human nature is so hard, flint-like, that it will not permit you to think even what is best for you.
The poet has beautifully said, "The egoism asserts that it is better to be a king in hell than a servant in heaven. Let it be heaven, but why should I be a servant there, sweeping the floor of the palace of the gods? Let it be hell; it does not matter, but I will be the ruler there." Such is the way in which ahamkara operates, egoism acts. Personality consciousness kills us, practically. We kill ourselves by the erroneous thinking process of the terrible, flint-like ahamkara. That is what we seem to be ourselves. We have nothing in us except our egoism. Every moment we assert it – subconsciously, consciously, or otherwise.
The individuality of yours, the egoism of yours, cannot be known by you when you are not interfered with. Let somebody scratch you; you can know what you are. The egoism will hiss like a serpent, and it will tell that person who you are. You will not tolerate any interference from externality of any kind, even from your brother, because you are what you are, and you cannot be anything else, different from what you are. "I am what I am." This is the affirmation of our isolated individuality.
Then, there is no question of liberation. Unless you want liberation, it cannot come. Mumukshutva is the longing for it. There is no other qualification necessary. There is only one qualification: you should want it. Your heart should want it. You will realise that the psychology of the mind is such that anything that you really want has to come to you, but it should be really a hundred per cent want. You should not desultorily and half-heartedly want a thing: "If it comes, let it come; if it does not come, it does not matter." Then, it will not come. You should say, "It will come"; then, it has to come, because the mind is nothing but the object that we think of. The mind is touching the object. When we say it has to come, it comes.
"Whoever thinks of me deeply, undividedly, for such a person I provide everything, and take care of what is so provided," is a great promise that we read in one of the verses of the Bhagavadgita. It is the whole world speaking to you – eternity is speaking to the temporal world. You think of the eternal, and the whole temporal world will fall at your feet. That is the meaning of this great verse: ananyascintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate tesam nityabhiyuktanam yogakshemam vahamyahmam. It is not the son of Vasudeva or Devaki, Krishna, who is speaking. Krishna is only a symbolic mouthpiece of this whole universe speaking to you: "Come unto me and I shall give you whatever you need." The whole universe is speaking to you. That is what is called the Vishvarupa, which Bhagavan Sri Krishna showed. The entire cosmos is talking to you: "Come unto me. I shall give you what you want." But you are telling it, "You go away from here. I mind my business." Then, how will you get anything?
We shall be permanently poverty-stricken, sorrowing because we do not want; that is all. If we do not want a thing, how will it come? Even wanting it is not possible. We are so poor that we cannot even want something that is blessed. The mind is so treacherous, such a trickster, that it will not allow us even to want a thing that we want. We, very desultorily and suspiciously, ask for God: "Will it come? It may be or may not be. In this birth it is not possible. He may not be existing there. This may be a concoction of the pundits. Who knows?" Like this, nothing will come.
Doubts are our traitors. If there is any dacoit in this world, it is the doubt in your mind. You doubt your own self; you doubt the capacity of your own mind. You do not trust your own self, so how will you trust anyone else? If you have full trust in yourself, if you are true to your own self, if you are honest to your own self, and if you are confident that you have got the infinite potentiality of summoning the forces of nature, they will be at your beck and call. That is what Bhagavan Sri Krishna mentioned: "I shall be with you. I shall be at your beck and call. I shall sweep your floor, I shall wash your clothes, I shall provide your rations." Who is actually speaking? The whole cosmos is telling you, "Come, my dear child. I am here to provide you with whatever you want." But, we do not want it; then, how will it come?
So, mumukshutva is the longing for the liberation from this limited thralldom of individual physical existence, and a deep wanting. You have to underline the word 'wanting'. Do you want it? You will get it. Be sure about it!