Appendix I, part 1
“The Wheel of Life — The Law of Action and Reaction”
Life on earth, as we have it, has a tremendous bearing in building the body and the mind. We must, therefore, strive to simplify life and learn to live truly. It is true living on which everything else depends, even the search for the self and the Over-self. The importance of true living cannot be over-emphasized. It is rightly said:
“Truth is higher than everything,
But higher still is true living.”
Simple living and high thinking has ever been an ideal with the ancients and they always strove for it. We in the modem age, have seldom paid much thought to it though we profess it at times and pay lip-homage to it. Though it may appear hard to achieve the highest type of life, yet it is worth our while to see what it connotes, the ways and means that may be
conducive to attaining it and to adopting it for ourselves.
In whatever we do, we always place some objective before us, ascertain the principles involved therein, study the methods that may lead to the desired goal, and finally make a periodical survey, a thorough check-up, to find how much nearer we have come to the end in view. In this connection, one has, of course, to devote single-minded attention and make an honest endeavour from day to day before one can note an appreciable improvement in his life and conduct, both toward himself and toward others around him.
What constitutes the life of man? — one might naturally ask. The aged one with a lot of experience in life and fed up with what he has seen and experienced of the world, turns to self-analysis of life.
Does life consist only in eating, drinking, sleeping, having children; fearing, fretting, and fighting; snatching, hoarding and hating; in imprisoning and subordinating those that are inferior to us in strength, physical or mental, and in killing others and grabbing other people’s possessions?
Must we pass our days in enjoying the ill-gotten earthly gains with no other achievement in the end but to die a miserable death, with sorrow to self and to those around us, the near and dear ones who helplessly stand by and mourn?
Again, what about the worldly attractions — lands, buildings, money, pets and other countless possessions which, perforce are to be left behind much against our will?
In the face of all these hard facts of experience, should the hoarding of worldly riches then be our sole aim — the be-all and end-all of our existence — or should we strive for something higher and nobler, permanent and lasting that may abide with us here and hereafter?
The reply is simple: the one Almighty Power, the original source and fountain-head of all life, our home of happiness, peace eternal, and the means of our liberation from fearful bondage of births, deaths and Karmas should be the main objective and the only thing worth craving and achieving, for it is the summum bonum of life.
The highest goal, as enunciated above, cannot be had for the mere asking or just by wishful thinking. For attaining the highest goal, we must first search out and find someone who can help us practically to achieve it; one who has himself achieved and gained the Kingdom of God for himself and can help us to do likewise.
As light comes from light, so does life from life. He will constantly remind us of our long forgotten home, the Garden of Eden, now the lost province to us, and then show us our short-comings in our every day life, and finally, help us to lead a super-active life of real purity instead of the superficial and purposeless existence which we have at present.
This world is a house full of smoke and soot, where one cannot but get a smudge on his person here and there even if he keeps all his wits about him and despite all his endeavours to escape there from. Now these smudges and stains, deep, thick, and numberless as they are and permeating the very pattern of our life, cannot be washed off by our own unguided and unaided efforts.
Each man is compelled by the propelling force of his nature to play his part on the stage of life, and to participate in vain acts which lead nowhere unless there is the guiding hand of some Master-soul, to steer our barks clear through sandbanks and sea-shoals. Such a divine helper is a holy Saint, one may call Him a Guru (or a torch-bearer), a teacher, a Satguru (a holy divine who is one with Truth), a Murshid-i-Kamil (a perfect Master), a Hadi (or guide), a brother, a friend, an elder or by any other appellation one may like.
Further analysis would show that the life of man depends mostly on two main things: Ahar (his diet) and Vihar (his dealings with his fellow beings and others). These cover the life-program of a person. In both these spheres, one acts either on tradition or by the limited information gathered from books or from hearsay. These form the base from which he gathers his design of culture and civilization, which gets ingrained in him and occupies his mind and intellect.
There hardly exists any common-sense course to guide a man systematically in his physical, mental or spiritual life. To escape from his chaotic state, one has to thrash out and analyse the subject to its barest component parts. A thorough analysis is needed for moulding life in its three-fold aspect: physical, mental and spiritual.