How To Lead The Divine Life by Swami Chidananda

Life is precious. Life is valuable. Do not think that life is all misery, or all frustration, or all disappointment or all disillusionment. No. Amidst all these passing phases of life the great and glorious fact ever remains—that life ever beckons us to a high destiny, to a destiny that is no less than attaining our eternal abode. Attaining the experience of Supreme Bliss in God is our birthright.

God is the only Reality. God exists and He is the One Reality. He is the very centre of our life and He is the most important concern in our life. We have no other concern as vitally important and so very absolutely indispensable for our very existence, our happiness, our peace, our ultimate well-being as God is. He is our Goal.

It is not to get stuck in this earth-plane through which we are passing on our way towards Him, but to make use of this earth-life to rise into the blessedness of blissful divine communion with Him—the indescribable experience of being one with Him, partaking of the sweetness of His essential blissful nature. That is the great task. That is the great business of life. That is the one great thing to be achieved in the midst of innumerable little things. All these little things ever keep changing, ever keep shifting and ever pass away, but this great business of life starts with the cradle and it is not completed in the grave. No. It is completed only when we attain Him, no matter how many bodies we may have to take, that is the great business, the central business amidst the passing distractions of our life here.

The present state of consciousness is a product of ignorance. Birth, death, pain, sorrow and suffering are all due to ignorance, or the lack of knowledge of one’s own essential Divine nature. This confined personal identity is ignorance or egoism. This ego-consciousness of ‘I am a human being’, ‘I am a weak being’, ‘I am full of defects and imperfections’ is the basic ignorance and the prolific root of all sorrow, of all misery. Out of this springs desire. Desire is born of ignorance. Likes and dislikes are born of ignorance. Clinging to mundane life is due to ignorance, and the non-perception of your eternal life in the Spirit, of your great destiny of perennial life in God—Bliss Infinite—forever, is also due to ignorance.

Identification with the body is the great error of man on earth. Mistaking this impure, inert and perishable body for the pure, immortal Atman or Soul, is truly the great malady of this Samsaric life. Egoism, likes and dislikes, desires, cravings and thoughts are all modifications of this prime error only. From this prime error are created all sorts of desires and their ramifications. To realise the objects of desire, the human being does Karma or actions. He likes some things, dislikes others, expect fruits of his actions which are not what he expected them to be, and is, therefore, thus bound to the wheel of birth and death.

Attain supreme divine wisdom, or the knowledge of the Great Reality, the wisdom of your own Supreme Self, and pain, sorrow and suffering will cease. You will attain Bliss immortal, everlasting Peace and Perennial Joy. You will be freed once and for all from birth and death. Discrimination, dispassion, non-attachment, serenity, self-restraint, endurance, renunciation, faith and devotion, cosmic love, courage, humility, truthfulness, compassion, concentration and meditation; and burning longing for liberation are all aids for Self-realisation, or the attainment of Brahma-Jnana (i.e. knowledge of the Supreme, knowledge of the Eternal One).

God is Self-existent. He does not depend upon others for His existence. He is what is called Svayam Prakasa, Svayam Jyoti. He is Self-luminous. He does not want any other light to reveal Him. He is the Light of Grace. God is self-proved. He does not want any proof. You do not want any proof to know that you exist. You do not require another person to come to you and establish the fact of your existence. Your existence to you is self-proven but it cannot be demonstrated outside yourself. You are, therefore you are. God does not want proof, because He is the basis for all existence. All existence is made possible because He exists. You are because He is. Because God is, it is possible for you to be. He is that principle of Pure Existence or Pure Being within you. He, Himself, is the basis for all the proof. He is Self-contained. He contains everything within Himself—the entire universe is in Him. He knows Himself by Himself.

There is a great deal of quibbling nowadays about God not being personal, or being personal, and so on. Who are we to say that He should be thus and not thus? A human being cannot dictate to God how He should be and how He must not be. We should not quibble about all those things. It is unnecessary. Personal or impersonal—what is all that to us? To us He is personal. He may be impersonal to philosophers, to metaphysical speculators. We are not in any way concerned with them. To us seekers, to each one of us, He is intensely personal. He is close to us.

We cannot even know what is going on inside of ourselves. We do not know how food is being digested. We do not know how blood courses through the minutest capillary. We do not know how a bud opens to become a blossom. And yet we would claim to know all about the nature of God and dictate to Him how He should be. Ours is to love Him. Ours is to seek to know Him. Ours is to approach Him. Ours is to live to get close to Him, experience Him and enter into His very essence. That is the great goal. That is the one thing that is worth doing.

Let us not talk about His nature. It is enough to know that He is inexpressible sweetness—He is inexpressible sweetness—He is Bliss which even the farthest reach of your imagination is powerless to comprehend or conceive of. He is Bliss—He is Peace. He is wondrous Peace. Be still and feel that Peace.

All Peace springs from Him. The highest Bliss that a human being can think of is but a faint reflection of the illimitable. He is Bliss. He is the marvellous Beauty of beauties, and the Radiant Light of lights. He is the Eternal, Infinite Light—the Unchanging One. Peace, Bliss, Radiance, Light, Eternal Being, Existence—all that He is. He is Supreme Perfection. And more than all these—more than anything else, He is our very own. He is your very own. Your relation to all things upon earth has to end.

Enough of argument. Let us have no discussion—no arguments. Let us just know God is our own and God is here and now. Time is fleeting. Life is very short. We have to cut the knot of ignorance and experience the Bliss of God. We are here for it and great Masters, like Swami Sivananda, and many other Masters of both West and East, live in order to bring you to that Fountain Source. They live in order to make the Sun of Knowledge, the Sun of Wisdom arise in the firmament of your consciousness. They live in order to lead you on to that great and glorious destiny.

So develop a heart of love. Remember the Saints. Serve all. See God in all. That Inner Being alone is real. He is Blissful. We should directly find our way to Him somehow or other through this imperfect, unsatisfactory life on earth. Discipline the senses—discipline the eye—discipline the tongue. Take little food, control your sense of taste, reduce your sleep, and fill yourself with the thought of God. Fill yourself with Love.

Overcome all your little dislikes and prejudices and disunities and make yourself a reservoir of love, oneness, unity and good-will to all. See no difference of race or religion or caste or creed, or barrier of any sort. Embrace the whole universe in the arms of your cosmic love. Remove selfishness, control anger, develop virtues. Do something substantial while life is, while breath is in the body, and somehow pray, get His Grace, and quickly finish this journey here and reach the heavens of eternal delight in Him. Then alone life is fulfilled.

May God bless you!

(pgs. 20-28, Guidlines to Illumination)


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