Life is the Supreme Guru
We two came from far off countries; one of us is British, the other
American. The world
which we were born is falling apart and, being young, we are
concerned. The old people hope
will die their own death, but the young have no such hope. Some of us
may refuse to kill, but
can refuse to be killed. Can we hope to set the world right within our
What makes you think that the world is going to perish?
The instruments of destruction have become unbelievably potent. Also,
our very productivity
become destructive of nature and of our cultural and social values.
You are talking of the present times. It has been so everywhere and
always. But the distressing
may be temporary and local. Once over, it will be forgotten.
The scale of the impending catastrophe is unbelievably big. We live in
the midst of an explosion.
Each man suffers alone and dies alone. Numbers are irrelevant. There
is as much death when
million die as when one perishes.
Nature kills by the millions, but this does not frighten me. There may
be tragedy or mystery in it,
no cruelty. What horrifies me is man-made suffering, destruction and
desolation. Nature is
in its doings and undoings. But there is meanness and madness in the
acts of man.
Right. So, it is not suffering and death that are your problem, but
the meanness and madness at
root. Is not meanness also a form of madness? And is not madness the
misuse of the mind?
problem lies in this misuse of the mind only. All the treasures of
nature and spirit are
to man who will use his mind rightly.
What is the right use of the mind?
Fear and greed cause the misuse of the mind. The right use of mind is
in the service of love, of
of truth, of beauty.
Easier said than done. Love of truth, of man, goodwill -- what luxury!
We need plenty of it to set
world right, but who will provide?
You can spend an eternity looking elsewhere for truth and love,
intelligence and goodwill,
God and man -- all in vain. You must begin in yourself, with yourself
-- this is the
law. You cannot change the image without changing the face. First
realise that your
is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the
reflection. Attend to yourself, set
right -- mentally and emotionally. The physical will follow
automatically. You talk so much of
economic, social, political. Leave alone the reforms and mind the
reformer. What kind of
can a man create who is stupid, greedy, heartless?
If we have to wait for a change of heart, we shall have to wait
indefinitely. Yours is a counsel of
which is also a counsel of despair. When all are perfect, the world
will be perfect. What
I did not say it. I only said: You cannot change the world before
changing yourself. I did not say
before changing everybody. It is neither necessary, nor possible to
change others. But if you can
yourself you will find that no other change is needed. To change the
picture you merely
the film, you do not attack the cinema screen!
How can you be so sure of yourself? How do you know that what you say
It is not of myself that I am sure, I am sure of you. All you need is
to stop searching outside what
be found only within. Set your vision right before you operate. You
are suffering from acute
Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life -- this is
the quickest way to
change of your world.
So many saints and mystics lived and died. They did not change my
How could they? Your world is not theirs, nor is their yours.
Surely there is a factual world common to all.
The world of things, of energy and matter? Even if there were such a
common world of things
forces, it is not the world in which we live. Ours is a world of
feelings and ideas, of attractions
repulsions, of scales of values, of motives and incentives, a mental
we need very little, our problems are of a different order. Problems
created by desires
fears and wrong ideas can be solved only on the level of the mind. You
must conquer your own
and for this you must go beyond it.
What does it mean to go beyond the mind.
You have gone beyond the body, haven't you? You do not closely follow
or elimination. These have become automatic. In the same way the mind
without calling for attention. This will not happen unless the mind
are, most of our time mind and body-conscious, because they constantly
call for help. Pain and
are only the body and the mind screaming for attention. To go beyond
the body you must
healthy: To go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect
order. You cannot leave a
behind and go beyond. The mess will bog you up. 'Pick up your rubbish'
seems to be the
law. And a just law too.
Am I permitted to ask you how did you go beyond the mind?
By the grace of my Guru.
What shape his grace took?
He told me what is true.
What did he tell you?
He told me I am the Supreme Reality.
What did you do about it?
I trusted him and remembered it.
Is that all?
Yes, I remembered him; I remembered what he said.
You mean to say that this was enough?
What more needs be done? It was quite a lot to remember the Guru and
his words. My advice
you is even less difficult than this -- just remember yourself. 'I
am', is enough to heal your mind
take you beyond. Just have some trust. I don't mislead you. Why should
l? Do I want anything
you. I wish you well -- such is my nature. Why should I mislead you?
too will tell you that to fulfil a desire you must keep your mind on
it. If you want to
your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until
the secret of your being
Why should self-remembrance bring one to self-realisation?
Because they are but two aspects of the same state. Self-remembrance
is in the mind, self-
is beyond the mind. The image in the mirror is of the face beyond the
Fair enough. But what is the purpose?
To help others, one must be beyond the need of help.
All I want is to be happy.
Be happy to make happy.
Let others take care of themselves.
Sir, you are not separate. The happiness you cannot share is spurious.
Only the shareable is
Right. But do I need a Guru? What you tell me is simple and
convincing. I shall remember it.
does not make you my Guru.
it is not the worship of a person that is crucial, but the steadiness
and depth of your devotion to
task. Life itself is the Supreme Guru; be attentive to its lessons and
obedient to its commands.
you personalise their source, you have an outer Guru; when you take
them from life directly,
Guru is within. Remember, wonder, ponder, live with it, love it, grow
into it, grow with it, make it
own -- the word of your Guru, inner or outer. Put in all and you will
get all. I was doing it. All my
I was giving to my Guru and to what he told me.
I am a writer by profession. Can you give me some advice, for me
Writing is both a talent and a skill. Grow in talent and develop in
skill. Desire what is worth
and desire it well. Just like you pick your way in a crowd, passing
between people, so you
your way between events, without missing your general direction. It is
easy, if you are earnest.
So many times you mention the need of being earnest. But we are not
men of single will. We
congeries of desires and needs, instincts and promptings. They crawl
over each other,
one, sometimes another dominating, but never for long.
There are no needs, desires only.
To eat, to drink, to shelter one's body; to live?
The desire to live is the one fundamental desire. All else depends on
We live, because we must.
We live, because we crave sensory existence.
A thing so universal cannot be wrong.
Not wrong, of course. In its own place and time nothing is wrong. But
when you are concerned
truth, with reality, you must question every thing, your very life. By
asserting the necessity of
and intellectual experience you narrow down your enquiry to search for
I seek happiness, not comfort.
Beyond comfort of mind and body what happiness do you know?
Is there any other?
Find out for yourself. Question every urge, hold no desire legitimate.
Empty of possession,
and mental, free of all self-concern, be open for discovery.
It is a part of Indian spiritual tradition that mere living in the
proximity of a saint or sage is
to liberation and no other means are needed. Why don't you organise an
Ashram so that
could live near you?
The moment I create an institution I become its prisoner. As a matter
of fact I am available to all.
roof and food will not make people more welcome. 'Living near' does
not mean breathing
same air. It means trusting and obeying, not letting the good
intentions of the teacher go to
Have your Guru always in your heart and remember his instructions --
this is real abidance
the true. Physical proximity is least important. Make your entire life
an expression of your faith
love for your teacher -- this is real dwelling with the Guru.