December 6, 1967 — Morning Talks, chapter 25
Zoroaster was once asked what is wanted to know God. He said, “Righteousness.” He was then asked, “What is Righteousness ?” He replied, “Good thoughts, good words and good deeds.” The whole thing depends upon your attention, or Surat as it is called, which is the outward expression of your soul. Wherever you keep it engaged or attached, those very thoughts will always be reverberating within you. We have to make the best use of things of course, but we are not to become attached to them. If we can only attach our soul to something higher within us, we would be all right. But if our attention is diverted through the outgoing faculties, so much so that it becomes identified with the outer things, what is the result?
You cannot withdraw your attention from them. It is a question of the attention or Surat, whether you keep it engaged to the outside things or invert and attach it to your Overself. So for that, you must see where you are driven away through the outgoing faculties of seeing, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch. These are the five outgoing faculties working through the five physical outlets. Unless these are withdrawn from outside, you will not be able to have some awareness of your own self, or be able to contact the Higher Self or God within you, which is Light and Sound Principle.
So what is Righteousness? It is not to attach yourselves to outside. You are not to leave the world of course, but you are to make the best use of the outward things. If you go to a garden, you enjoy the flowers and various plants. You may enjoy them the whole day and nobody will question you. But the very moment you cut the flowers, the gardener in charge will take you to task and report you to the police. So we are here to make the best use of all outward things, but not to be attached to them. We should make them a stepping stone to reach the Higher Self.
If you are addicted to or become identified with any enjoyments outside, so much so that you cannot even withdraw from them, then how can you invert and have that contact within you with God, which is given at the time of Initiation?
So these outer faculties should be under our control. Whenever we like, we should make the best use of them, but they should not drag us out. If you obey the Master literally, then He will make you the master of your own home. These outer faculties should serve as your servants, not as your masters. Now they drag you away, whether you wish it or not.
Whatever you do, whether for one day, two days, ten days, a month or two, naturally becomes a habit. Habit is strengthened into nature. If you want to go to one place and you are attached somewhere else, your mind will go one way while your feet will go the other way. You know now what is needed?
God is within you, but unless you withdraw from outside, how can you contact Him? If you are attached to outside things, you cannot withdraw from outside. If you leave this building, you are the same. When you leave this body, you are not changed. You are what you are now. After leaving the body you cannot become a learned man. If you are attached here while living in the world, your attention will still be in the world even after leaving the body.
Where will you go? Where you are attached.
Where should we attach ourselves? The soul is a conscious entity, it should be attached to the Overself, which is all Consciousness, even in life. Then while remaining in the world, you won’t be attached to the world. You will be in the world, and yet out of it. When you leave the body, you will go to the feet of the Lord.
So we must have control over all our outgoing faculties. We should be able to use them when we require, not be dragged outside. It is for this reason that the diaries are intended. You must know where you are attached. You are given some contact within by the grace of God. You see the Light of God within you, you hear the Sound Principle. When you turn your whole attention to the Sound Current, it will, like a touchstone, drag you up. Even those who are given a contact with the Lord within will lose it if they do not keep their self restraint. Only if you have some control over yourself, can you direct your attention wherever you like.
So the first thing is that …
Truth is above all,
but true living is still above truth.
An ethical life is a stepping stone to Spirituality. Remain where you are now. You must judge for yourself where you were before and where you are now. You will find that some initiates who have made progress but do not keep their diaries for self introspection, leave off their practices and become attached to outside things. Their progress is stopped, but in the eyes of others they are very saintly. They are not true to their own self, nor to the God within them. What is the result? A man like this will weep inside, but in the eyes of others, he is a very good man. But the God within us sees what he is.
Our life should be of self restraint and good character. We should love God, and for the sake of the love of God, love all others. If you forget the Lord, then you are attached. You will go where you are attached. Now you see how important it is to maintain self restraint. Make use of something when you want it.
Now you are dragged irresistibly to outside things. You have to live in the world quite detached. When you want to use one faculty, use it. When you want to leave it, leave it. It is not so with you now. For that purpose, you are given a contact with the Light and Sound Principle within you.
When you get more bliss there, your outward attachments will be cut off. Apparently, you may be living in the world, but you won’t be attached to the world. You will only be making the best use of it, just like a man who goes to a garden, he enjoys and returns when he wants to, at any time. Similarly, it is most important to have such a heart which is attached to God, not to the world.
If you take poison, it will create trouble within you. So you should stop eating any more poison, so that the other may be cleared. It is no use crying and still continuing to take more poison. What is the use?
This poison comes through the outgoing faculties. We receive impressions from outside through the eyes, ears, the tongue, by smelling and by touch. So we must have self restraint. Such a man only can progress from day to day, by regularity and also by self introspection. This is most important.
Your very soul, the outer expression of which is called attention or Surat, if engaged outside, makes it impossible for you to see within. At the present time, I cannot see what is going on behind me. If I were attached, to looking at the Master in front, I would not dare or even care to look behind me. Unless I turn my face from this side to look at the other side, I cannot see what is going on there. If we invert our attention within, only then can we see. He is already there waiting for us.
Those who are initiated are given some capital to start with. By regular practice, self introspection and self restraint, they have to develop it more and more, from day to day. You will get more bliss while still remaining in the world, but you will not be attached. So we should see where we stand, and where we stood before, two years ago, a year ago.
Generally, we see that we were better off before than now. Why? We should progress. So one must be true to one’s own self. God is within you. The Guru or the Master Power is within you. He is waiting for you, but you are attached outside. It does not mean that you should leave the world and go to the Himalayas.
We have to learn swimming in water, not on dry land, and not only through intellectual wrestling. It is a training in which you are given something to start on within you. It is like the needle of a compass, which always points to the North. It is to be done while you are doing your work in the world. A true Master does not advise you to leave the world, but remain in it and yet be not of it. A boat remains in the water and you may be rowing in the boat, but be careful that the water does not enter the boat, otherwise you will be drowned. If the outward impressions are overflowing within you, you will be drowned in the water of the world and will have to come back again and again.
So for that very reason, an initiate is given something to start with within him. If you will be regular in devoting time, you will be attached there. You will be in the world yet out of it. For that, you have to be true to your own self. This is the main thing to be learned. If you will go on in that way, you will progress from day to day. If not, even if you have got something, that will be taken away from you, I would say.
Our Master used to give one example of a father who gave his children something to enjoy, just to make the best use of what he had given them. He gave twenty rupees to one of the children, to another he gave ten rupees and to a third he gave five rupees. The child to whom he gave twenty rupees made forty from it, the second child to whom he gave ten rupees made twenty, while the third child to whom he gave five rupees just kept it and did not use it. So to the one who earns twenty more than what was given to him, the Master gives something extra. Those who have been given something but just keep it are left with whatever they have been given by the Master, but it is not increased.
So generally, what do we do? We get something to start with and fritter it away by being attached to outside. The father will be pleased with the child who has made the best use of what has been given to him. If he becomes an honest man to be relied on, he will be given more and more. We find people who say, “We were very well off before, but not now.” But why not now? We have made beggars out of our own selves. So we have to be careful. Self-introspection is most necessary. Those who do not keep it, their capital will be dwindled away.