FROM what has been written about the teaching of Mother so far in the pages of this magazine, one is apt to suppose that Mother discredits human effort in the face of divine grace which ordains everything. But loser study reveals that Mother’s teaching actually elevates human effort from the despicable, worldly thing it gene. rally is considered to be. to the level of God’s will in action through But to study her teaching carefully, a closer look at the problem of fate versus free-will will be fruitful.
This is a problem against which most philosophies crash. Religion is based primarily on the faith that God ordains everything from Creation to Dissolution. But at the same time, religious codes say ‘do this and don’t do that, as though it depends on man’s will to do or not to do. The statement in Jeremiah (The Bible, 10:23) “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps”, strikes me as an illustration of the former view point. The declaration of Jesus- Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18) seems to support the inter pretation. But the statement “Let no man deceive you (or lead you astray): he that doeth righteousness is righteous (1 John 3:7) seems to illustrate the latter of the two view points i… of the religious code of conduct. The religious codes presuppose that all do’s are in accordance with god’s will, and that all donts are the temptations of the Devil. This presupposition introduces the idea that individual will is independent of God’s Will. In fact it is this dilemma which is sought to be answered in the fourth chapter of the Bhagavadgita. The concept of free will is logically incompatible with the faith that everything is ordained by His Will. If there is a place for free-will, Prayer becomes meaningless: because the spirit of Prayer is a confession of the seeker’s incapacity to meet a situation.
The dichotomy between the two ideas of fate and free-will is fundamentally based on the distinction between ‘within’ and ‘with out’ of man. The illusion of free-will which man so lovingly cherishes pertains to the within’ which he fancies to be different from the ‘without. So long as man is in ignorance, this distinction hangs across his vision of Truth. When Ignorance is destroyed, the truth of Mother’s saying “As within, so without” is realised and it is the same as the Biblical statement that the kingdom of heaven lies within. The transcendence of the artificial barrier of within and without’ is the sign of the Truth. What is within is also with out. What is without is also within. He who sees the difference between what is within and what is without goes ever more from death to death” says the Katha Upanishad.
Once the unity of Loth is accepted, we are faced with the uestion whether God Himself impels us both to good and evil deeds. Many laymen suppose that it is not so. They conceive of a God who is not the master and creator of the Devil. The highest prayer of Hindu is expressed by the Gayatri mantra. It expresses homage to “the one who impels the minds (of all creatures)”. In the Bhagavadgita, the Lord describes himself as the originator of Illusion as of Know ledge, and even describes himself to be “the gambling of the fraudulent” (Ch X. 36), besides being the Self of all (Ch. X. 20). The opening prayer of the Koran says “Direct us in the right way, in the way of thore to whom Thou hast been gracious, not of those against whom Thou art incensed” thereby implying that He is the director of all, either to the right or the wrong way.
The destruction of the barrier between the within and the without constitutes Realisation. Ego or Ahamkara which is the root of this dual outlook must be dissolved in the Self; the Jesus in man must be crucified before the Christ in him is resurrected. Thus it is, that he is called the Son of Man. God manifesting Himself as his son Man, constitutes Creation. The mistakes arising out of this false sense of duality between the son and the Father constitute the fall of Man. The man should be crucified so that he rises as Son of Man. i.e., Father God come as son. Satan is symbolic of the ego which causes the split perception of Truth. Viewed from the vantage of Truth, it is natural that Christ could perceive that the betrayal of Judas, his denial (thrice before the cock crew) by Peter before crucifixion, to be the working out of the Will of God which spoke through the mouths of prophets centuries earlier. The imma culate conception of Jesus, lis sojourn in Egypt, his arrival at Nazareth, his entry into Jerusalem “sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Matthew 21:5), his betrayal by Judas, his cru cifixion, his resurrection, had all been prophecied centuries before. Thus neither the words and deeds of Jesus, nor those of Judas and Peter, were dictated by ‘free-will’, but are a part of God’s Will, which in their course of working out seemed to the latter two to be their own actions, while the Christ knew the truth both of himself and his apostles. Lord Krishna too makes Arjuna realize that his role in the war was pre ordained and was not a matter of his choice. The ignorant man who does not know its bound, whereas he who knows the Truth is Liberated. In the Liberated one, there is no duality between the self and Self-between himself and God.
Even if we were to take a strictly materialistic outlook, view ing even Intelligence (which characterises living things) as one of the potential properties of matter-energy, of which the whole universe is made, we arrive at the same logical conclusion. The complex nature of the body-substance of a man at birth decides everything that happens to him in his life time-either as his actions or the reaction upon him of the environment, and what we fanci fully call free-will dwindles into a complex chemical process, being neither free nor will in it’s choice of actions!
Looking at it from a purely rational point of view, we find that no incident, however small, is isolated. My writing the article now and your reading it depends upon the invention of press, paper and means of transporting the books, on the natural inclination of our minds to such a subject, and the invention of language; all these go back in their turn to the evolution of man, the origin of the earth, of the solar system and so on ad infinitum. This complex chain-reaction was what was obviously meant by the word Karma in its original use, in the field of philosophy i.e., in its widest con notation. For all the individual entities, including the First Cause (called Brahman by Hindus), which are involved in the process imagine themselves to be conscious doers of their role of actions in the scheme. When one realizes the untruth of it, one is out of the meshes of Krama, Liberated as it were, from the bondage of Ignorance or Ahamkara. Then he realizes his oneness with the real Kartha or Doer, (i.e. God) even as Christ declared himself to be one with his Father. Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman), Anal Haq’ (I am the Reality), are all utterances of the same Realisation. Such an inter pretation of Karma of Hinduism, and Dharma of Buddhism were obviously lost owing to the ignorance of the Scribes and Pharisees’ who retained the dead letter and lost the spirit of the word of God. Only such an interpretation resolves the riddle of fate versus free-will.
It is in this light that we must look at Mother’s teaching for a proper understanding of it It suggests the existence of an Omnipresent, Basis of Existence which has become all This creation by its Samkalpa or Will. This creation is of the nature of diversity and change, and never of annihilation. This same force is responsible for even the smallest stir in creation and incidentally, it is the cause of Illusion in man. Thereby, man comes to feel that he has free-will, imagines that within’ and ‘without’ are entirely different. But all his actions are impelled by that force; the moment of impelling is called Taruna or the chosen moment. Thus there is only the one force which has become all This, and has there fore manifested itself as man also, his nature and his surroundings, without loosing it’s own Supreme nature. It is only ignorance that makes man feel he has free-will. Thus it is that man very often realizes that he can’t do whatever he contemplates, and cannot avoid certain things, whoever might harangue to him about do’s and donts. Thus Mother points out that man’s actions and volitian are part of the great design, only apparently different from it. Thus the practice of virtue and shunning of vice, the pursuit of a line of Sadhana, the first impulse in a man’s life towards life spiritual, like other impulses, must be promted in him by the Universal Mother, the Force, God or Nature, whatever we call it. Sadhana can be accomplished only when it yields to man’s practice by the Divine ordination and there is nothing like attaining states of development. Her teal ings imply that when the moment for one’s realisation has approached, whatever action he is involved in, acts as his aid and hurls him into Realisation.
Those who fail to explain the genesis of man’s actions, both Food and bad, satisfy themselves by referring to the individuals, Karma in previous lives. But Mother exposes the inadequacy of this argument by asking that if the actions and feelings in every successive birth of man be the results of a previous one, whence does he get his nature in his first manifestation. in the beginning of his births ie, his first birth? From God’ can be the only answer. And the same God who endowed you with certain qualities and thereby caused you to perform certain actions and suffer their conse quences in successive births, the same God. stands responsible for what you do now. She finther explains that ideas of Karma, rebirth, te, cannot even Le regarded as intellectual divices to provide incentives for lay men to be good. For, inspite of one’s awareness of what is right and what is, wrong, and inspite of a real wish to be in the right, one is always governed by impluses from the mysterious recesses of within’ which are independent of one’s volition. Thus she says, “Actions do not rest in our hands.” It is Taruna or the moment of ordination that decides what happens, or what does not, and what one does.” Taruna is what can’t be avoided even if one wishes.” Hence she never speaks of deservedness’ to receive grace, as that would presuppose free-will that earns deserved ness. That’s why she never says “do this, don’t do that”. When people pester her to prescribe a line of Sadhana, she brushes their. questions either by saying “What is the use of mere words? Doing (what is need) is needed”; or she asks them to wake up precisely at the same minute everyday for a month and see her, the result of which is obvious. She ellucidated her replies by saying “You can never do anything. good or bad, unless you are stirred to do it by Nature at the bottom of your being. When you are so impelled, nothing, not even yourself, can stop doing it. When you are not impelled so, all your pious wishes would remain wishes.” When the visitors get desperate, she soothes them by saying “Do what you are impelled to, for is it not He that impels?”
Firstly, this gives a hint for those of us who still do not wish to be convinced by her argument, to remember. God, while doing anything, which is according to His impulse. This is the essence of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. This is Yoga of fixing the mind on the One who impels. It constitutes living the truth of Gayathri mantra. There cannot be any higher Sadhana. Secondly, it tells us again that only when we are impelled can we do something. Here we must recognise that impulse’ means the deep stir that does not resolve till something is done accordingly, as different from wish or fancy which is most often an imitation, a feigning of idealism and not an impulse. When someone asked whether he can commit murders on the strength of her teaching, she challenged him. She said that if he is violently impelled by his nature to do, neither fear of hell nor of hanging can restrain him; and that when he is not impelled, he cannot do so even inspite of much consideration of the problem of fate versus free-will, Someone said that he does what is right though he is impelled by his nature to do what is wrong. Mother replied that if he does so, it is because he is contented only by doing so. There again he is ‘impelled’. Obviously the questioner failed to notice the difference between impulse’ and ‘wishful thinking’. Both in the mind of the common citizen and the outlaw there is a conflict of unequal, opposite impulses. The stronger one is the impulse, the weaker one, a wish. Thus one is a citizen or an outlaw only because he was impelled to be so, though he might quite sincerely deceive himself and others that he is doing something inspite of the impulse. How does he do it? That is the impulse Mother spoke about. Whence it comes, none knows. None can order it or even predict it. For it is an impulse from That, of which he is an infinitesimal part: the impulse a wave, and he at the moment, a particle of it. Only he imagines that he choses what he is impelled to do, by his free-will! This is ignorance. It is this misconception that caused the fall of Adam and Eve; it is this vanity that caused the Flood; it is this vanity that caused the destruction of the Tower of Kabel. It is liberation from this vanity that made Jesus into the Christ, the saviour. All evil is born of this egoism. And that is Satan’s temptation. To be saved out of it is to recognise that All is His will and there is nothing that is his. Jalaluddin Rumi, the Sufi master thus stated that the statement ‘I am God’ is an expre. ssion of greater self-surrender to God than the statement I am Thy slave’.
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for the hear.”
“Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”
(Luke 8: 10)
“He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. “
(Isaiah 6: 10; John 12: 40)
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. “
(A prayer from the Bible.)