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The Universe

The universe is a complete organism, comparable to the human organism, so to say. A complete organism is a total Selfhood in its nature. Its Selfhood can be compared to one's own selfhood, because it is inseparable from one, and one is inseparable from it.

Man's strength depends upon the energy of the Cosmos. He derives his strength from the universe. So, if he is not harmoniously related to the totality of the atmosphere, which is the universe, but disharmoniously concentrates his love, or affection, or hatred towards a particular object, he is dissociating himself from the other parts of the universe.

There is an impersonal urge that is present behind every particular impulse in the universe, keeping everything restless at every moment of time, never allowing it to be quiet, pulling everything higher and higher, urging it onward. If anything exists as a reality in the individual, it has to be a part of the universe. There cannot be individuality outside the universe. The assertion of the individuality of a person, or even the notion of the presence of something isolated, is repugnant to the constitution of the universe. Man is not permitted to affirm himself in the way he is doing everyday, for it is contrary to the law of things. His existence as an isolated individual is against the operating law. Thus it is that Nature kicks him back, and this repercussion is the inexorable operating of the law of Karma. The transitory nature of the world, and the restlessness characteristic of all things, should be an indication that the goal of life is transcendent to things in the world.

There is no such thing as a local event taking place in a corner of the world. Every event is a universal event. Likewise, every experience is a universal conditioning event, of which we have no knowledge because of our mind being tethered to a bodily locality and the mind's mistaking this body for the entire reality. Births and deaths are nothing but processes of experience and training in this institution of the universe so that by repeated births and deaths you gain experience and move towards what is real, turning away, gradually, from what is an appearance. You will not learn a lesson better than through the experience of the transitory nature of things. When you have lost all your belongings, when your life itself is at stake, you learn a lesson better than you learn in universities. The transitory nature of things points to the existence of an eternal value in life.

The world will treat you in the same way as you treat it. If you regard it as external to you, it will treat you as external to it. Births and deaths are the consequence of estrangement of personality from natural forces. When you control your senses, what will happen to you? The world will receive you as its friend and well-wisher. You will not lack anything in this world afterwards. All things will flow to you like rivers entering the ocean. The nature of reality becomes a difficulty for the human understanding because of there being no defining characteristics of reality. The test of reality, the nature of Truth, is non-contradiction. Truth is that which can never be contradicted by any other definition, experience or realisation, which means to say that eternity is the character of Truth. All of law is a terror when we do not want to obey it. But law is a protector when we participate in its requirements. The world is the law of God. Law protects. It does not always punish. It protects when we abide by it, and it punishes when we disregard and disobey it. Our sufferings in life are therefore to be attributed to a disobedience of the law that operates in this world.

There is a law that integrates the apparently conflicting powers in the same way as there is a law inside us that integrates the cells of our physical body into a wholeness of personality. There is an integration of the psychic structure as well as the physical body. This is the dharma, the law that organises things.

If we do not know how the law of the universe operates in relation to ourselves and other things, if we are ignorant of the law of our own country, how can we abide by the law? We are ignorant of the law and likely to blunder. The punishment for our transgression comes upon us as grief, sorrow, unhappiness, and insecurity--a feeling that something is wrong.

The spiritual seeker should be confident that all that he needs will be provided to him by the very laws of existence. It is law that supplies you with strength, not the objects of sense. Obedience to law is at once an acquisition of power, because law protects. The whole of the universe is death manifest, says Buddha, the great seer of our own historical times. Death becomes the teacher when we get awakened to the fact of this procession of the transience of everything.

The turning back of the effect into the cause, or the realisation of God as God, the return of consciousness to its own Self, which is the ultimate naturalness of things, is the purpose of the universe. We may say that this physical structure around us is one plane among others of a particular density. It does not, however, mean that there are many universes, but only many levels or degrees of density through which the universe reveals itself to experience. The universe is a vibration, and not a bundle of things, persons and objects. In the ultimate analysis, the universe does not exist at all as it appears to our eyes, because finally in the samadhi state it vanishes like a dream.

The whole universe is an integrated completeness. Everything is connected with everything else. A little sand particle on the banks of the Ganges is connected with the stars in the heavens and the solar system itself. The process of death is one of transition and is not a destruction of anything. The process of growth in a person is imperceptible; we never recognize that we are changing. This is because there is something in us that does not change. An apparently little event is a cosmic event; it may be a very insignificant, meaningless something, like a sneeze for instance. But it is not so meaningless as it appears on the surface. The whole universe is awake at the birth of every event. That is why we are told that there is no such thing as a secret in this world. There is a universe that is not exhausted by human society, yet this world of nature and its rivers, mountains and the solar system is not unimportant. You are expected to cooperate and collaborate with the world of Nature in as efficient a manner as you perform the duty in respect to yourself and human society. The fact that the essence of everything is immortal, there is no need of entertaining the fear of such a thing as death. We are not punished by death-we are only educated by it.

The whole universe is working without any sense of individuality within itself. It is doubtful if the universe is aware that we exist at all as isolated pieces. The so-called individual efforts are part and parcel of the effort of the cosmos towards the realisation of its great purpose. However, the intensity of the ego-sense is the obstacle. Desire, anger, greed, etc. are various modus operandi of the ego of the individual. The Infinite is summoning the Infinite in every act of desire, in every process of sense-perception and what we ask for even in the least of our actions and desires is the universal Self, and nothing short of it. The sensory and rational powers urge themselves outwardly towards the objects of perception and indulgence, but the universal power of Self-integration drives the soul towards the Absolute. In every bit of the relative or the particular, the universal is immanent, and the recognition of this universality in every particularity is the wisdom of life. The point that the Upanishad would make out is that no event or no experience can be isolated from other experiences. The whole universe feels the presence and the birth of a single child anywhere. So what produces a child is not the father or the mother. It is the whole cosmos that produces the child. There is no such thing as a private act in this world.

There is a total activity, in a subtle form, taking place prior to the apparently individual expression of it in the form of experience and perception. Because of the reversal that has taken place in our separation from the Supreme, what is inside appears as being outside. The universe and the world are not outside us; it is impossible that the nature of things can be external to consciousness. The reality is that the world is not outside us. Everything is interconnected, interlinked in an organic manner, so that everything becomes as important as the other. While the incapacity of probing into the subjectivity of the external universe prevents us from knowing everything in the universe, there is a possibility of diving into our own Self and knowing all things at one stroke.

The blessedness of people who know what this Atman is, is grand indeed. Those who depart from this world having realised what the Atman is, their jurisdiction is infinite. Births and deaths are nothing but processes of experience and training in this institution of the universe so that by repeated births and deaths you gain experience and move towards what is real, turning away, gradually, from what is an appearance.

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