Philosophical investigation can be compared, in a way, to medical diagnosis and investigation. It is a subtle and in-depth understanding of the basic components of experience, similar to the investigation of various methods of medical application.The beginning of philosophy is the struggle of the mind to rise above the mere human perspective. One can become a professor of philosophy, but not easily a philosopher. A philosopher is one who has an insight into the substantiality of things, and not the appearances they put on in their mutual relationship.
Philosophical insight is an awakening of a new light from within, with whose aid one can illumine the dark corners of the earth, and endeavour to see things in their true colours, rather than be carried away by their chameleon-like shapes and presentations. No point of view can be called absolutely correct. It is therefore futile and foolish to stick to one's own opinion wholly and unconditionally, without giving any credit to the opinions or feelings of others. All points or view are expressions of aspects of the manifestation of truth.
Because we have some characteristics of God in us, we are aspiring for Him. If we had been totally cut off from divinity in every way, then there would have been no longing for liberation. Something of the eternal speaks even in the mortal frame of our personality.
The relativity of things in the world is a pointer to the possibility of the existence of something that is not relative. The idea of relativity cannot arise unless there is something that makes us feel that things are relative.
At a particular stage in our spiritual pursuits, we find ourselves in a dark night of the soul, as the mystics call this condition. This plight does not befall us in the earlier stages of spiritual life, when everything seems bright as daylight. But when we go halfway, we see darkness ahead of us.
Wisdom consists in understanding the process of connecting one's activity with the Whole to which it belongs. Any kind of selfishness or emphasis of one's own particularity or finitude in the process of engaging oneself in an action would not be a Yoga, but a passage to one's bondage.
The fruit or the consequence of an action is decided by factors beyond the comprehension of the human individual, and therefore to expect a particular fruit would be the height of ignorance. We are not supposed to pass judgements on action because success and failure are not to be regarded as the criterion of the correctness of an action, because they are valuations from our standpoint and not necessarily from the total standpoint of the purpose of the universe.
All shall be for the best for that person who has ceased to be a person any more. That person has become an "im-person" and therefore everything is welcome, everything would be all right.
When we ask for a cup of tea, what we are asking for is not that little drink but a freedom from the agony of finitude, the sorrow in which we are sunk by the limitations of our personality.
I do not exist for myself, and you do not exist for yourself. Nothing exists for itself. Everything exists for everything else.
Everything has to be done with great caution, leisure, and composure inwardly, and we will not be losers if we take time in this, because it is wiser to take time to understand each step, than to rush up and lose everything that was gained.
Love is only the recognition of the presence of the Self in that which we love; if the Self is not there, love is unthinkable. All love is Self-love in various connotations of the meaning of 'self.'
If we forget the presence of the mighty Absolute even for a moment, action becomes our action, and it rebounds upon us, and we shall be responsible for its consequences. We are, therefore, to perpetually maintain the consciousness of our inseparability from the Supreme Creator. Even when we perform a charitable deed, it should not be done as if it is a prerogative of our effort. Our good deeds are not supposed to be "our" deeds, they do not belong to "us," for no action can belong to us, really.
When knowledge dawns, there is a spontaneous dropping out of all relationship. The highest form of detachment is not sundering oneself from anything existent, but the raising of oneself to a consciousness of the pervasive character of the Reality that exists equally in the subject and object. We cannot yet understand any aspect of reality that is not in space, which is not in time and which is not causally related.
Thinking is not some isolated activity taking place within our heads. When we think, we do not privately think inside our skulls; it is a vibration that we create in us. The vibration of a person is not merely of the physical body-it emanates like an aura to a certain distance from the body of the person.
Everything is all things, and anything is everywhere. There is no such thing as a particular individual or a particular body.
What we call death is the departing of life from a particular body. So death is not the death of the life principle itself. Life itself does not die. The vitality is transferred from one location to another.
What is inside the seed of a plant? It is a great wonder. You may say that you cannot see anything there; it is practically invisible and non-existent. This apparently non-existent something, the very little, subtle essence there inside that little seed, has become this vast tree in front of you.
For all practical, outward purposes, the liberated man and the bound man look alike. They both speak in the same way, eat in the same way, live in the same way. The distinction is within. It is that the liberated one knows what he is, whereas in the other case he does not know what he really is.
One is free to the extent of one's knowledge. So, knowledge is power. Wherever there is real knowledge, there is also power to the extent of the operation of that knowledge. Complete control of a particular thing is exercised only to the extent of the absorption of that particular thing into one's own Self. Anything that is one with us is controlled by us, and of that we are master. We are not masters of anything that is outside us. So, in the realm of the mind, we should be masters.
All those who have died since ages, millions and millions of years ago, and all those who have not yet come into being at all, but are to manifest themselves now or in the ages to come-all these forms are capable of being perceived in one's own heart.
We know very well how much slavery there is in bodily individuality. The conditions of the body, which are the outcome of the way in which the physical laws of nature work, are limiting us. Thus, there is no freedom except in a state of universality. There is no freedom as long as there is a body. Yet, the consciousness of the existence of the body is not necessarily an evil, provided it is experienced in the proper perspective. The mere presence of the body will not be a bondage if it is known in its reality.
We are told that the great Ramatirtha had a peculiar technique of his own for self-control. He used to make a list of all his desires. It was no joke. It was an honest investigation into his own mind. To some extent we can know what our desires are.
The discipline of brahmacharya, of which the Upanishad speaks, is the discipline of dealing with the desires. What are you going to do with your desires? Are you going to just swallow them, or oppose them and crush them, or fulfil them? A very dexterous method has to be employed-neither subjugating, nor crushing, nor fulfilling, in the literal sense, but tackling them in the manner they should be tackled, under the circumstances in which you are placed.
There is no such thing as an unspiritual life finally. The idea of "I-ness" and "my-ness" is the cause of this peculiar notion in the mind, of there being a distinction between the ordinary life and spiritual life.
Put a question to yourself: 'What kind of person am I?' Go to your room, shut the door, put down the telephone, close your eyes and think for yourself. A revelation will emanate from yourself, which is contrary to what you thought. There is really no such thing as renunciation of anything, because nothing in the world really belongs to you. Who attains salvation, finally? Neither you nor anybody else attains, taken in our individualistic sense, because the Atman Itself attains salvation.
You have to keep good company. But, if you are compelled to live in the midst of incompatible people, you have two choices. You can exert your power over the atmosphere of dissident individuals and bring a kind of transformation among them, and turn them round into a good way of living. If that is not possible, ignore their existence, and be concerned with them only as a practical means of doing day-to-day work.
I am looking at you, and when I look at you I am seeing your eyes; they are outside me. But that is not the proper way of looking at you. You have to look through my eyes and I have to look through your eyes, so that instead of myself and yourself being face to face, we stand in parallel collaboration. One enters the other. Total disconnection from every kind of work is a sort of unhealthy complaint. Without some activity one cannot exist even for a moment. If God does not speak, the devil will start speaking. An idle brain is the devil's workshop. Do not imagine that when you are doing nothing, divinity is working through you. The other thing also may be at work, equally.