Jiṋánamátmani mahati niyacchettadyacchecchánta átmani.
(Wise persons first merge their indriyas into their citta, then their citta into aham, then aham into mahat, then mahat into jiivátmá, and finally their jiivátmá into Paramátmá, Supreme Consciousness.)
I have already told you how spiritual aspirants should live their lives. I have said that a real sádhaka [spiritual aspirant] will properly discharge his or her duties in the relative world, and will at the same time attend properly to his or her duties in the spiritual world; and between the two worlds, there will be a happy blending. In the external world there should be an objective adjustment, and at the same time, there should, in the psychic world, be a subjective approach.
Furthermore, never forgetting that human life is an ideological flow, human beings should always move towards the supreme ideology. They have been moving in this direction since time immemorial and, through this process of movement, have reached the present stage of humanity. Passing through many lives as worms, insects, birds, and animals, they have undergone countless pains, miseries, tortures, and humiliations. Take for example the life of a goat. A goat spends its life eating grass until the day comes when the butcher grabs it, kills it, skins it and sells its flesh piece by piece in the market. That goat at one time had to live such a miserable life. But today it has forgotten all this. Through a process of forward movement, today it may have attained a human life.
Human life is more secure than animal life. Many animals live in the jungle where there is something to fear every minute; where the weak are the prey of the strong. To escape this atmosphere of fear and insecurity, many wild animals have sought refuge with human beings. They have been fed grass, leaves and other types of fodder until the right moment came to kill them for their flesh. Even today, this is generally what happens. Animals fully trust human beings; they trust them even up to one minute before their death. But when they see a person approaching them with a weapon in hand, they realize that those they had trusted as friends are actually their enemies. Although human beings feed their animals, the love or attachment which they have for them is purely external. There is no genuine love in them. This is how wretched animal life can be.
Every human being has had to pass through that sort of painful animal life in the past. But that does not mean we should be the cause of misery for those animals who have taken shelter with us today. On the contrary, we should have a merciful attitude towards them. A woman who has been badly treated or humiliated by her mother-in-law should be careful that she does not treat her daughter-in-law in the same way. Human beings should carry out their duties properly in the external world and should always ensure that no being suffers unnecessarily from any undue mistreatment. In the physical sphere, the rights of all should be protected. Each and every human being should be guaranteed the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, medicine, shelter and education. “I won’t exploit anyone, and I won’t allow others to exploit me.” This is the spirit of proper objective adjustment. And while this proper objective adjustment is maintained, work must continue in a progressive way. You will have to move ahead on the path of life while keeping an adjustment with the external world.
You must always remember that your existence is not only a physical one. It is animals who are primarily concerned with the physical world, who struggle merely to survive. Those animals which live in jungles are constantly confronted by the fear of tigers, lions, bears, elephants, snakes, crocodiles and a host of other ferocious creatures; while those which have surrendered to human beings, such as goats, sheep and cows, are confronted in the last moment of their lives with the fear of being slaughtered by a human. So it is quite obvious that animal life is less secure than human life.
In today’s world, human beings face difficulties maintaining an objective adjustment with the physical world. As we have not yet been able to build an ideal human society, we will have to first concentrate on providing everyone with the basic requirements of life. Once that task is accomplished, we shall be able to build an ideal society. To enable society to progress spiritually, people will be given sufficient scope and time for spiritual practices.
The subjective approach is to first withdraw the crude mind gradually from the external world and merge it in the subtle mind, and then to merge the subtle mind in unit consciousness. When unit consciousness is merged in Cosmic Consciousness, a human being is said to have attained the supreme fulfilment in life. In the present world, human beings face such tremendous difficulties maintaining their objective adjustment, that they cannot afford to give any time for their subjective approach. This is the greatest tragedy of the day. That is why I would like to advise you to build a healthy human society as early as possible, so that each and every human being gets enough scope and time for spiritual progress.
A.V. Part-07, 2 January 1979, Patna