I want to talk about a topic, which has great relevance in the life of a mystic. In modern times, surgical performance is looked upon as a marvellous feat of human ingenuity and skill.
Surgery has been defined as the manual treatment of injuries of disorders of the body. It is operative therapeutics. A surgeon is a medical man, treating injuries, deformities and diseases by manual operation.
There are also plastic surgeons who try to improve the physical images of men, women and children. They try to remove disfiguring scars. They eliminate excess tissue and wrinkles from the skin. It is a good work. People feel worried about their physical deformity, and they feel happy after the deformity is removed.
We hear, now and then, about the operations conducted in hospitals and nursing homes. An operation may be major or minor. It may be successful or unsuccessful.
The surgery about which I want to talk to you is not conducted in an operation theatre in some hospital where doctors and nurses work together. But the surgery which I have in mind is conducted elsewhere. It is performed in convent of monastery. It is done by a person whom we do not call a surgeon. But, instead, we call him a Spiritual Guide. He is a physician and a surgeon both.
For every moral and spiritual ailment, he suggests a prescription, and for every injury and deformity of soul, heart, and mind, he uses his subtle surgery with the utmost caution and skill.
According to him, diseases of the body are not so dangerous as the diseases of soul, heart and mind.
He holds that physical deformities are nothing as compared to deformities of life and living.
To remove such type of deformities is not easy. It is an uphill task. It calls for the co-operation of the surgeon and the person who wants the deformities to be removed.
The deformities cannot be removed unless there is change of heart. Change of thoughts is necessary. Change of outlook is also necessary. The view of life needs to be changed.
In other words, there should be internal change and transformation.
A spiritual guide is more like a shepherd, who looks after his flock of sheep.
He is like a physician, who treats different patients suffering from different diseases, in a different way.
He is like an umbrella, giving shade and shelter to his disciples, and protecting them from the rays of the sun and the storm and the rain.
He is like a sheltering tree, under which his disciples sit and enjoy well-earned rest and respite.
His love for his disciples is flower-like.
He hates nothing except falsehood.
He fears nothing except, fear itself. He teaches , guides and inspires his disciples.
The progress and happiness of his disciples, constitute his source of inner satisfaction and joy.
He loves and he is loved.
He, in his moments of exaltation and ecstasy, asks his followers to embark on an exciting tour. In this tour, they need not cover a long distance. It need not be a tiresome tour. But, it is undoubtedly an exciting and an interesting tour.
It is a tour of Self-Discovery. It constitutes introspection.
Its watchword is “know thyself”.
Once the tour is undertaken, some hidden things are revealed. The tour gives an insight and leads to the discovery of the imperishable treasure lying unnoticed and points to the magnificent power, lying dormant and hidden within.
As soon as an individual has embarked on the Voyage of Self-Discovery, he is amazed and surprised to find that everything is within.
Man is kingdom in himself. The body is the surface. The heart is an oasis. The mind is a garden. The legs are the vehicles. The hands are the implements and tools. The veins are the rivers. The artery is the rivulet. The blood is the ocean.
The glands are the mountains. The scars are the hills. The moles are the sandy dunes. The wrinkles are the plateau. The hair are the trees. Perspiration is the rain. We breathe. Our breath is the air. Our fast breathing is the wind. Our slow and rhythmic breathing is the gentle breeze.
So, what is there that is not in man? If only one may try to discover, he will find that there is everything in man.
One is liable to exclaim with Wordsworth:
“Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart,
That watches and receives”.
If you have that heart, which “watches and receives”, you will say the same thing which Hamlet said:
“…I have of late – but wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercise and indeed, it goes too heartily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me – no, nor woman neither.”
The voyage of Self-Discovery will reveal that our life is a combination of good and evil. As Shakespeare has said:
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together: our virtues would be proud, if our faults, whipped them not and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.”
For our misfortunes and troubles we, sometimes, blame our luck and sometimes our stars and place all the blame on external factors and circumstances, not realising that we are responsible for what we have done.
Our wrong actions result in painful reaction. Every cause has its effect.
The heart which “Watches and receives”, will, there can be no doubt, agree with what Shakespeare wrote:
“This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune-often the surfeit of our own behaviour-we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves and teachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on! An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the change of a star..”
If we go a little further in your interesting voyage of Self-Discovery, which you have undertaken, you will find that man has, within him, sentiments, emotions, feelings and the will. They are the guiding forces within. Heart is the abode of love and hatred.
Mind, the noble mind-the vivacious mind-the elegant mind manufactures thought for us-good or bad.
Man has got his own self-image. It may be of self-knowledge, self-respect, or self-reverence, self-control, or self pity. They are such powerful invisible factors, that they can make or mar the life of an individual.
It has been aptly said:
“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,These three alone lead life to sovereign power, Yet not for power (power of herself would come uncalled for), but to live by law; Acting the law we live by without fear.”
The exciting feelings, too, are quite at hand. The glamorous intuition, the sublime inspiration and the healthy imagination are ever prepared to take an individual from the multitude, and place him apart, with those who are known and respected for their contribution to human welfare and happiness.
In the life of everyone of us, some glorious moments come, which make our life happy, bright and gay.
The sun-splashed day comes and goes. The dark clouds come and pass.
Then, there are exotic days and exotic nights, having their own traditions.
People pulsate with life and vigour, burying their dead past deep, and looking eagerly forward to bright day and a moonlight, ushering in a bright future, which may bring with it a new message- a message of “Know thyself”, “Self-knowledge”, “mutual love”, “mutual respect”, “mutual understanding”, “mutual adjustment”, “live and let live”, “love” and “toleration”- in other words, of humanism.
How to harness this hidden power for constructive purposes, and how to use it best for one’s own harmonious and balanced development, as well as for the benefit of others, is the problem, which the spiritual guide and teacher solves for his disciples.
He understands the ailment of each and prescribes a prescription according to the malady.
To some, he points out the Path of Service. To others, he recommends the Path of Self-Surrender. There are others, however, for whom he thinks that, Silence is best. He would ask some of his disciples to sit in seclusion for some time.
For those suffering from the malady of egoism or self-conceit, he recommends a unique treatment. The “forgive and forget” treatment is an efficacious treatment. Such people, suffering from such disease should try to win over the hearts of the people, and get their good wishes. They should forgive their enemies for their past enmity, show them amity and let there be no disparity.
To some, he suggests Fasting.
To others, he recommends Prayer and Remembrance. Ascetic practices are also meant for a few patients, who have physical strength, stamina and vigour.
To some he points out the Path of Renunciation. He emphasizes that whatever the spiritual ailment may be, the Path of Love is sure to restore the patient to normal spiritual health.
To those suffering from lust, greed and avarice, he prescribes one world prescription- “Contentment”.
He suggests a new Code of Conduct. This Code serves as a beacon light on the path of the seeker of Truth. He suggests to his disciples that they should try to have a receptive heart, and a trained mind.
Friends and foes should be loved alike. Let the people abuse and admire. It does not matter much.
Those who prosecute and persecute should be treated as engaged in their part-time job.
Those, who ever moan and bemoan and, talk of poverty and penury, should be left alone to enjoy the futile exercise of their morbid imagination.
Those, who boast of their influence and wealth, should be left alone to worship the two unfaithful goddesses in placid peace and in their own troubled heart.
Frustration is a deep wound, which is healed gradually and slowly. Frustration implies lack of Hope , Belief and Faith. Go to and be treated by Hope, nursed by Belief, and ultimately, operated upon by Faith.
Pessimism is a compound fracture. Let there be bandage of uplifting and encouraging thoughts, inspiring ideas and noble ideals.
Depression is a simple fracture. Depression implies lack of control of thoughts. As you think so you become. Depressing thoughts make you depressed. Indigestion also leads to depression. So, it is advisable to eat less and digest more.
Fresh air, gentle walks, pursuit of hobby, literature and poetry, serve as an antidote to depression.
Fear, Craft and Avarice are the wrinkles on the face. Such wrinkles can be removed by Courage, Sincerity and Self-Satisfaction.
Greed is an ugly scar on the body. Greed leads to exploitation and manipulation. It is a negation of happiness. This scar requires the attention of an eminent surgeon, who can be no other than an inspired spiritual guide.
Egoism and Selfishness are the enlarged glands. Let them undergo and operation at the hands of Altrusim, and Benevolence.
A Gland is a major sin.
Pride and prejudice are the injuries, caused by a sharp-edged weapon They require the ointment known as “Humbleness, Meekness, and Humanism”.
Injustice, Hypocrisy, Deceit, and Duplicity are the other injuries, caused by a blunt weapon. A different ointment called, “justice, Sincerity, Fair Play and Frankness” is sure to heal such injuries.
Self Control is a sovereign remedy for many ills of omission and commission.
To have self-control means to have control of the mind and to have an iron-will and dogged determination.
It is self-control, which gives dignity to life.
Tongue should be controlled. More injuries are caused by the tongue than by the sword.
Thoughts should be controlled, and passions, emotions and sentiments, likewise, should be controlled. Desires should also be controlled.
Meditation is also useful. Those who have no concentration, those who have a grasshopper mind, those who have negative thoughts, those, who cannot control their mind, for them meditation is best.
It should be done in a secluded place and preferably in the daytime.
During meditation one should sit at ease with his eyes closed, lips closed, ears closed and tongue tight. Silence of soul, mind, heart and tongue is necessary. Time and place should be fixed.
What one should meditate on during meditation differs from person to person. The spiritual guide should be consulted before undertaking meditation.
Will should be direct rightly.
Sentiments should be regulated correctly.
Emotions should be controlled properly.
There can be no good life without good living.
Be gentle, firm and loving.
Do not creep but walk.
Run and do not feel tired.
Smile and tears are also a part of the game called life.
Be generous, but not ostentatious
The question and Answer
Some members have asked me as to how, and in what manner, they should remember me after I am dead and gone. I am furnishing them the information required:
People may boast of their pomp and power,
But, I want to live in an ivory tower;
They may sing of their wealth and treasure,
ut I am happy to enjoy my leisure;
They may enjoy a glittering goblet on green grass,
But, I find myself placed in a different class;
They may feel proud of their family and valiant deed,
But, I do not believe in colour, caste or creed;
They may tell tales of their romance and love,
but, I think I have still to wait, watch and serve;
They may talk of their influence and fame,
but, to me, they go by the same door by which they came;
They may be interested in domination and strife,
But, I want to lead a carefree, simple life;
They may extol their ambitions and show,
But, I am content with what my Great God may bestow.
I am happy and satisfied to lead my life with the Bride of poverty of exquisite beauty, guiding me to the path of simple living and high thinking.
I do not expect anyone to talk about me and tell tale, which I have told today, after I have ceased breathing.
It is enough, if you remember me as one who loved you well and loved you wisely too, giving you a sense of direction, proportion and perspective, a goal and a definite purpose.
I am neither in hurry nor in worry. I am ever in relaxed frame of mind
I am thankful to get and receive whatever my Great God of Glory and Majesty in his Infinite Grace and Abounding Generosity, may gracefully give, or bestow.
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