|Tue, 04 Apr 2017||#361|
|John Raica Canada 534 posts in this forum Offline||
Here are some more detailed excerpts from LEENA SARABHAI's booklet
J. KRISHHNAMURTI : LEAVES FROM A DIARY (1933-34)
In 1933, J. Krishnamurti first came to Ahmedabad and stayed at ‘The Retreat’, Shahibaug, in our home, with my parents Shri Ambalal Sarabhai and Smt. Sarladevi Sarabhai and our family of five sisters and three brothers. Extracts from my diary of 1933- 1934 have been reproduced in this book. A major part of the book consists of dialogues with J. Krishnamurti - Krishnaji as he was called by those who knew him. These were originally recorded by me in both Gujarati and English and included in the book of my pen-sketches of some eminent persons, including the poet Rabindranath Tagore, the artists Abenindranath Tagore , and Nandalal Bose, and the teacher Karunashankar Bhatt, which originally appeared in 1955, in the the Gujarati publication Vyakti Chitro.
Krishnaji came on 23.1.33. Yesterday, that is on the 26th,That afternoon, at lunch time, he started telling me his story with great earnestness and fullness of heart, without considering me young and insignificant. As always, there was a smile on his face. While we were talking, the rest of the company could only see his gestures. These created so much interest that everyone expressed a great eagerness to hear him. He then spoke to us all. I do not remember all his words, but those that I remember I have recorded. While he was speaking, we were moved to tears.
I asked Krishnaji, “ How were you brought up and educated?” Krishnaji said : “ I hardly remember anything of the incidents of my childhood or youth. Whatever I relate to you, is what I have heard from others, the way a child does. My memory is very bad. If you were to ask me what my brother looked like, I would not be able to tell you, because I do not remember. “ My father had thirteen children; just imagine ! My father was poor. What was he?” At this, he tried to think and his two companions had to remind him. “ Oh! he was a clerk. You know, some rot! Out of all us children, only two are alive. A third one is alive too but he is not right in the head.”
(Later I heard that this second brother, who is older than Krishnaji, is a doctor in Madras).
“ My mother died when I was five years old. She was extremely orthodox. I was her eighth child. Our father used to beat us. He was getting only fifty rupees as salary. We lived in utter poverty, in starvation and dirt, and were miserable in every respect. My father was a Theosophist, and sometimes we used to go to Adyar. “ There, Dr. Annie Besant saw us - me and my brother, Nitya, who was a year younger than me. At that time I was ten or eleven years old. She formed some hopes for us. She promised us nice clothes and enough good food if we would stay with her. We were children, and what else could we desire? We welcomed her suggestion and Dr. Annie Besant took us in her charge. She sent us both away abroad. At this time Dr. Besant used to teach us herself and she had also engaged a few learned tutors for us. Most of the time, she used to read to us from Dickens, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, etc. For a long time, we never read ourselves but preferred always to listen to someone else reading.
At that time and even now, I hate ( Walter) Scott. In those days, our hair was long and came down to our shoulders. An English newspaper remarked, ‘Dr. Besant has come with her two black monkeys’. “ In the meanwhile, some antagonists of Dr. Besant instigated my father against her and financed legal proceeding against us. A search was made for us; so we wandered through the whole of Europe in hiding with Jinarajadasa and Dr. Arundale. During that time, we were not able to come out openly. We read a great deal, saw a great deal. We saw paintings in museums. We enquired about who’s who. We went to Sicily. There, a golf instructor told me, ‘If you will learn golf for three months, I will get you +2.' 1 did as he told me and attained it. In England, we were living with aristocrats and came into close touch with them. We were very intimate with the family of Lady Willingdon’s sister, Lady De La Warr. Five years passed. “ My father took the case to the Privy Council, but Dr. Besant won the case and we were placed in her charge. So, for the first time we were sent to a school. Although we had been leading a rich and unsettled life, we did not find it difficult to settle down in that school in Kent; but it took us about a week to get accustomed to other boys eating meat at the same table. I used to hate algebra and geometry, but I liked Latin and French. But more than anything else, I liked to sit for hours in a comer by myself. I used to look at the sky and think. You know, I was very dreamy. My brother was clever. If he went through a book once, he could secure first class marks in it. In Latin, he secured 100% marks, which is unheard of.
We studied for four years in that school, after which it occurred to Dr.Besant all of a sudden that we should get admitted to Balliol College at Oxford. The authorities said, 'For God’s sake and for the sake of these boys, don’t send them here. We do not want Gods here. They will be ragged to death. ’ Through Lord Curzon, Dr. Annie Besant tried to influence Lord......; he tried to bring pressure to bear on the authorities concerned; but nothing could be done. “
At this period I had been proclaimed as the World Teacher. In consequence, we had to suffer very much. Those who did not accept me as their Teacher made fun of us. Those that believed in me made such a fuss that we felt shy to meet them. ‘ ‘In the beginning, I used to play with the boys in our school, but then I used to creep out of their company. I did not like their ways; spitting on one another, throwing mud. English children play such dirty tricks! They used to call us black devils, brownies and blackies, but we too bullied them. In this way we managed to get on well with each other. “ In the school, we got to learn something; but we learned more on our vacations. We used to go to Lady De La Warr’s with her. We went to her big house in London. There, amongst butlers, many servants, fine linen and silver plates, we lived lavishly. We met people in political circles and had occasion to know Labour leaders McDonald, Lansbury and others, and hear their discussions. I belonged to the Labour party. They would ask us our opinions, but we could not express them; yet when I and my brother were alone, we criticized them all thoroughly and tore them to pieces.
We started to attend Labour meetings and to canvass for their Party. We met members of the guards and the most fashionable folks. Most of them were aristocrats - people of fine breeding - good company, but no brains. “ In this way our school days eventually came to an end. We had to appear for our examination. I could repeat very well all the words that I had learnt with my master; but when I went for the examination I became vague, I was thoroughly nervous, and my paper was left blank. But my brother would go to the Lincoln’s Inn, read a book half an hour before the examination, and secure first class honours in law. In this way, I tried to pass three examinations respectively - London Matric, Senior Cambridge and Responsions, but I failed in all these. I gave up my studies. My brother was very keen to go to college; but he gave up the idea because of me and we went to Lady De La Warr’s. “ Now, we started to criticize and censure everyone openly.
We did not even spare Dr. Besant. We quarrelled with Dr. Arundale, also a lawyer. One Mr. W-----was made our guardian. He led a very loose life; but when he became our guardian, he gave up everything. He was very fond of us. He supplied us with money whenever we were in trouble. “ The war broke out and in its excitement we joined the Red Cross. We lived at Lady De La Warr’s and as we were short of servants and men, we boys and girls milked the cows and made hay. There, we came in contact with Lord Curzon’s daughter, Lady Cynthia Morley, and some persons related to Lord Lytton and Lady Emily. “ Most of our acquaintances got irritated by our views. One day Lady De La Warr said to us, ‘If you want to say such things and hold such opinions you can’t stay here. So we left the house.
Many efforts were made to bring us back but we chose to live on our own in Piccadally in great style. “ We were exceedingly fond of fine clothes. We rejected a suit after we had worn it twice during one week. Our tailors told us that we were the best dressed men in London. We were so fastidious about our shoes that to give them a particular shine we used to polish them with our own hands. We had an allowance of only £ 700 lent to us; we ran short of it. We could have got more if we had asked for it but we did not like to do so. The best way and the easiest was to reduce our diet. All our money was spent on attending opening nights at the theatres and at fashionable resorts. As we had no money for our food, we managed to get invitations for lunch or dinner with our friends. “ Due to undernourishment my brother developed T.B. and began to spit blood. We were young and inexperienced and did not understand many words, yet I used to repeat the sense of what I had heard in another way. “ My brother’s health worsened and it caused us all anxiety.
A friend said, ‘Why don’t you come over to California?’ So we left India with Rama Rau. We were not sure if we would reach California safely. At each port I had to dress up my brother and stand in a line for the medical examination. When the doctor came to us I stepped forward and attracted all the attention so that my brother’s illness should not be noticed. I had to nurse my brother, wash him and do all that was necessary for a sick man. I just did it. I never thought that it was either a burden or a pleasure thrust on me.
“ All this time I was very pulled down and my brother was like a stick. We used to look each other and only weep. We were so miserable that we could not speak. At last we reached California. There we lived in a small log hut, in Ojai, about 70 miles from Hollywood. We rarely saw anyone. There we ruminated upon all our past experiences, thought and became more mature. It was like butter which comes up and floats when whey is churned. You might wonder why we did not form any vices in this life of enjoyment. I can’t say why we had an aversion to wine, smoking and anything that was morally wrong. Some people used to rag us. They tried to pour wine in our mouths by force, but we hated it. My brother was a perfect intellectual. He gave me the intellectual side and to him I gave the emotional and thus we were together one perfect being. He did fall in love but he gave it up for my sake and once I too fell in love and I gave it up for him. The other reason was that I did not want to be tied down to anything for all my life. Nitya considered me as his Teacher. He did not look upon me as his brother; he adored me and worshipped me. Please do not misunderstand me, as you want to know all the facts I am relating them to you. “ I was at that time made an offer to join the movies as an actor on $ 2000 a week. But I had no craving for money. What would I do with all that money? So I refused the offer. It has become a regular practice with the producers now to offer that job to me whenever I go to America. “ As I was announced as the World Teacher, many people came to see me. I felt nervous to meet them. So I asked my brother to see them and he sent them away. We used to hold camps. My brother wrote for me and I repeated his words in my talks. “ From this time I was set to thinking as to what I should do.
I had not yet found the medium for my expression. I had started to write poems and articles. But these were not satisfying. Whatever I did, I wanted to do it first class. I tried painting, sculpture, music, dancing and many such things. I had started ballroom dancing but I did not like to go round and round with my arms around a lady’s waist. I even tried politics. Whatever we did we used to think, ‘By doing this what have we done? What have we achieved?’ We were discontented. It was this discontentment that lead us forward. I started to make experiments on spiritual growth. I had heard about ‘kundalini' so I tried to develop that condition and read about it in a book called The Serpent Power. I slept on the ground. I began to fast. The first day I felt hungry, the second it was unbearable but on the third day hunger died out and I felt at peace. But it made me very weak. I used to faint. 1 could prolong my fast for three weeks. Now I feel that there was no point in that. I have not developed by it. Nitya and I did all our own work, cooking, sweeping etc., as it is very expensive to have servants in America. A servant costs $100. “ While I was doing these experiments, my brother’s illness was worsening. One day, he vomited a glass full of blood. I felt very nervous and I sent for the doctor. When he came I was shivering all over and I said,‘My brother has a haemorrhage.’ He said, ‘Oh! I thought Indians never minded death.’ Then I was set thinking for the first time in my life; I said ‘ My God’ and I did some deep thinking. Many a time I felt like committing suicide.
Many people tried to console me with ideas of reincarnation; but I found no consolation. “ When I came to India, I found everything was wrong. I spoke to Mrs. Besant and clearly put before her my point of view. In the beginning she objected; but then she said, T consider you my Guru. I shall do as you wish.’ The Order of the Star was dissolved. “As a result of my experiments over the last six or seven years to awaken the kundalini, it was released from the chakra at the base of the spinal cord. I felt unbearable pain. One day in Vienna I fainted 17 times.” (Rama Rau told us afterwards that to awaken the kundalini, Krishnaji went alone in a room fitted with cushions. People outside heard him weep. In Ooty, he once had a vision of Lord Maitreya.) “Then I went to America. On my arrival, reporters surrounded me. They had interviewed many renowned people and they had a way of asking quick and abrupt questions and of making nervous the person whom they cross-examined. One reporter asked me, ‘Are you married?’ I said, ‘No’. He said, ‘What do you do then?’ Another said, ‘If you are Christ, why don’t you walk on the sea?’ In America, many women and heiresses said to me, ‘Won’t you marry me?’ Oh! I felt such a fool!
“ I was invited to Romania. On my arrival, our host gave me a huge packet of letters signed in blood. In these letters, I was threatened. I was told that if I entered their country or talked I would be shot. I was kept under police protection, and when I lectured, the police had to search the people who came to hear me. These people were excited with me because they were told that my mother was a Hindu and my father a Jew.”
(Leena's note;) This is what we heard afterwards: Krishnaji’s food was poisoned one night in the hotel. He felt very uneasy and he fell sick. For three or four weeks he was put in a sanatorium. From then on, his digestion was ruined and he had to be very particular about his food.)
“ When I was in Chicago, I was warned not to go out alone as they were afraid that I would be kidnapped by gangsters. Now I go wherever people call me. One friend gives me £ 200 every year and this is more than enough for my personal expenses. I only spend a small amount from it, and the remainder I give to charity. I have so many clothes which belonged to Nitya and me, that I have them altered and I wear them. For a long time to come I shall need no new clothes.” (Krishnaji had a large collection of clothes which belonged to him and Nitya - fine ties, handkerchiefs and shirts. He gave these away to porters in the hotels and on railway stations and his suits to his friends and poor people. Now he has only a limited wardrobe). “ If I am invited for talks, the people of that place give me my travelling and other expenses. If I am not invited, I am not worried because I am happy alone. I have been often invited to China and Japan but they do not send me any money and so I am unable to go. I am invited over and over again to Europe, America, Australia and India.
“ Recently I wanted to go to America. So I went to the American Consul for my visa. He said to me,‘You are a dangerous person, I can’t allow you to go there.’ I said ,‘I will get it from the Ambassador of America in England.’ ‘I will see to all that. If I say no, you shall not go.’ ‘If you do not, I don’t care. If a person does not want me in his house, I can’t force myself in. I shall go somewhere else.’ Then he said,‘I shall let you go.’ He gave me the visa.” Then we asked Krishnaji, “ Do you like Europe, America or India? Suppose you were told that you would be interned in one of these, which would be your choice?” He said: “ I would choose to be in India. I have nothing which belongs to me. I am poor. How would I then be able to live in America or in any other country? Do you know what poverty means in these countries? Cold, misery, disease and all that which follows it. There, money is everything. People care for riches and if you haven’t got it you are shut out and driven from everything. This is why I would like to stay in India. I don’t think I am a patriot but that India adores poverty. For a homeless, poor man like me, it would be easy to live here. In this country, a man who puts on a loin cloth, travels in third class, eats but little, and has no home, is worshipped. My elder sister Bharati said, ‘You look very young.’ “You know I am just thirty five but I look younger because I have not wasted myself on sex as most young people do.” Referring to his daily routine, he said, “ I get up early in the morning. Usually I sleep nine hours at night and one hour in the afternoon. I run for an hour. For 20 minutes I do shirshasan and Muller’s physical exercises, The rest of my time, I spend in thinking - really what I do I cannot tell. Sometimes I write down my thoughts. I do not like to read, but if I do, I like to read the works of Bernard Shaw, Galsworthy and other such authors. I am always in a state of joy. I do not have other emotions like that of anger and jealousy.” “ Neither do I recollect faces nor do I remember the names of people in general. I have no preferences in my affection. To me, my followers, or people who understand me, or the man on the street, are all the same. This feeling has not been with me from the beginning, but it has grown gradually. I have not tried to cultivate it.”
Krishnaji addressed every one as ‘Sir’. One day B addressed him as ‘Sir’. With a gesture as ifhe was dizzy, he said, ‘Oh! I shall faint’. B said, “ But you call everyone ‘Sir’!” To this he replied, “ Yes, Ido, but that is because I always forget names. The easiest way is to call people in that way. Then I haven’t to remember all those complicated things.” If Krishnaji’s attendant was referred to as a servant, he did not like it. Like a child he would plead, “ He is not my servant, he is my friend. Velu is my companion.” As far as possible he did his work with his own hands. He carried his own baggage. When a servant entered his room carrying something, he would press his hands as if to relieve him of his fatigue. Ifhe saw a piece of paper or any rubbish thrown carelessly around, he picked it up and put it away in its proper place. Krishnaji bowed to every man, irrespective of his status, before the other bowed. The day before he left Ahmedabad, a reception was given in his honour by some citizens. Some girls sang and danced before him. The programme was long, uninteresting and tedious. Sometimes, it was even ridiculous, and we could not help laughing. We were sitting behind. Krishnaji and my younger sister Geeta were sitting in the front on a gadi, a mattress. Krishnaji asked Geeta, “ Do you like it?’’ She replied: “ Not very much. It is boring” . After a little while she said, “ Do you?” ‘ ‘Yes, I enjoy it, because the performers seem to,” he replied.
We asked Krishnaji if he was the son of God. He said to us, “ What good is it to you to know that? What will you do with this knowledge? If you want to know, I shall tell you alone.” When we asked him about his supernatural powers, he seemed to hesitate. We gave up making such queries, thinking them too personal. Some people say that some years ago, while he was lecturing he fainted for some minutes and spoke something in verse (this has been recorded). The audience saw him transformed into the figure of Christ or Krishna. It is for certain that he can heal. A man with a spine broken in the last war was healed by his very touch. A blind woman in America who was operated upon several times was healed by him and she could see. My mother had fever; her temperature came down due to his healing her. I asked him, “ How do you heal? Did you learn it from someone?” He told me: “ I had this power since I was a child. I don’t know how I do it. I did not learn it from any one.” “ Could you heal yourself?” “ I don’t think so.” We asked Krishnaji why Dr. Besant had chosen him. He said, “ They say that some Masters who live in the Himalayas told Dr. Besant that I was an avatara (an incarnation). Lord Choudhan and some other Gurus direct this world through Lord Maitreya and other Masters.”
Once, while we were driving in our car, he said, “ Of course everyone has to tell conventional lies. My brother and I were very clever at it. Once we were invited, as chief guests to a party in London along with Dr. Besant. You know, she is very particular about keeping appointments in time, but we were thirty minutes late! She was there before us. ‘Why have you come late?’ she asked. We tried to look very disturbed. ‘We had a terrific accident with a motor bus’, we said. She caught hold of our hands and said, very sadly and kindly,‘My dears! are you hurt?’ You know, how sorry we felt to have told that lie?” On the way, Krishnaji recited Sanskrit shlokas (verses). He has a resonant voice and sings with great emotion. Krishnaji knew many indoor and outdoor games. One night, after dinner, he was very keen to play some games with us. We preferred to talk to him and did not wish to play. He suggested about a dozen games to us but we did not know a single one. He said jokingly, “ I see you are lacking in your education. Y ou must know games. You have missed much in your childhood.” Then he recalled what fun he had as a boy when he played hockey and other games.
Krishnaji used to relate funny anecdotes. An English boy asked Sir Edwin Lutyens, ‘Why did God make the black and white man?’ Sir Edwin said, ‘To play chess with.’ A four year old boy was told by his mother, ‘Tomorrow you shall have castor oil.’ The boy created an awful fuss and cried, but the mother was adamant. The next day the boy was not to be found. After a great search, he was found in a street nine miles away!
He found our countryside very arid and he wondered why Gandhiji chose such a place for his ashram. He liked the monkeys very much. He said in fun, ‘‘They look like my brothers." We said, “ Surely you do not mean that.” “ Of course, I mean it. I say they look like my brothers.” Krishnaji was fond of animals. He liked movies with animal casts. Here in our home he used to play with my birds for hours together. He was often seen gazing at the swans in our pond. “ I used to chase them in Holland. Great fun! ' he used to say. In the morning he ran along the path near our garden wall. When he saw a bird or came to the aviary, he paused. Wherever he was seen, running or strolling, there was a constant smile on his face. Krishnaji was also fond of dogs. Our little Pekingese dog, Remus, went up to him. Krishnaji stretched out his hand towards him. We said, ‘‘Be careful, he bites.” But Remus was friendly with him and Krishnaji fondled him a little. ‘ ‘ It must have been teased by someone, ” he said. When we were boys, we had Poms in London. We pampered and teased them so much that they developed an awful temper.” One day we went to the river. He stood in the sand and threw pebbles to encourage our Alsatian, Belle, to run after them and bring them back to him. Belle was slow in running and did not care to bring them back. Krishnaji shouted in great excitement, “ You lazy thing! Go on! Bring it!”
Though he had a very poor memory for most things, he knew the make of every car and remembered the names of their owners and the occasions when he had motored at great speed. On the 29th, that is on the day of his departure, we went to the riverside for a drive and our car got stuck in the sand. He pushed it with boyish excitement. He sat at the wheel and tried to accelerate it. He dug the sand in which the wheels were sunk. Krishnaji cannot bear heat or dust, but he forgot all about these in the attempt to rescue the car. The place was full of thorns. We were bruised and he must have been hurt also. We suggested that we should return by some other car, but he was so excited that he would not rest till the car moved. He told us that when he was young he liked K assemble motor cars. On the same evening, before going to the railway station my father gave him a cheque of Rs. 2000. My father said, “ Please do not consider this as arrogance of the rich. I offer this to you as friendship in the same way as you have given us your books. I hope you will accept this.’’ Krishnaji said, “ What shall I do with it, Sir?” My father insisted. Krishnaji asked, “ Sir, would you like it in charity?” My father replied, “ We would be very much happy if you would utilize it for your own self.” Before he left our house he went to every servant and bowed to him with regard. Some of them were standing behind the doors. He searched for them and brought them out from every nook and comer. One servant said to my father afterwards, “ Many people have come and gone but only today did we feel that someone has gone away from our home.”
This was our first meeting. The second time after a few months we met on 26th October 1933, on the HM.S. Victoria at Genoa. We had very eagerly awaited his arrival on the boat that afternoon at half past three. When we saw him, we went up to him. He greeted us with affection and said, “ Where are your parents?” I said, “ My mother is unwell and they could not come” . “ La-la. great Scott! It will be fun. I will take care of you. Will you dine with us?” At four, our steamer sailed and we had tea on the deck.
As we were vegetarians, Krishnaji was busy ordering our menu and fixing up the table. He did not allow us to do anything. The sea was rough. My two younger brothers and sisters felt sick and they went straightaway to bed. I took my bath and sat down to meditate. My sister Geeta, who was in the adjoining cabin, was in bed. Krishnaji came in. I did not recognize his voice. He said, “ My child, you are not feeling well. You are lonely. My brother also got seasick. I used to look after him. Let me take care of you. ’ ’ He sat down and he saw me through the slit of the curtain and he said to Geeta, “ Is she meditating?” Then he said, “ You will feel better with a hot water bottle; where is it?” Geeta said, “ It is in one of my three suitcases. You won’t find it.” But Krishnaji said, “ Don’t worry, I shall look in all the three bags and tidy them afterwards.” He went to the bath and filled the bottle with hot water. I heard the sound of the running tap and I got up, but he would not let me do anything.
Then we went to my brother’s cabin and talked for an hour. He wanted to know what we had done in Europe and what plays we had seen. He was a little surprised to hear that we had had late evenings and had seen a play every night and that we had even been to Folies Bergere and Moulin Rouge, but he did not show his disapproval. He ordered our dinner and closed the port holes, and said, “ Call me if you need me at night.” We arrived in Naples the next morning and went around the place together.
The next day, after we left Naples, I said to him, ‘ ‘I want to tell you what happened to me after you left Ahmedabad. When you came to our place I heard you intently and meditated on your words thoughtfully. There was a great chaos, a struggle, a conflict, and there was a real revolution in me after a long period of stagnation.” “ What is your age?” He asked with surprise. “ I am eighteen, Krishnaji, can there be a definite age to think about certain things? I cannot help thinking about these things just now. Some people tell me I am too young and that these questions about life should be thought out at the age of fifty.” “ No, no, that is wrong. Then the mind gets old and does not function intelligently. At that age, matters get so entangled that it is impossible to be free. I asked you your age because if you think very seriously it may harm your growth. You know, you are yet but growing.” I was a little nervous when I started to relate my experiences. He said, “ You are nervous.”
After a little while, I started again, little by little: “ I saw that I was unhappy. There was a great disharmony in my life. Knowing not the true values of life, I was petty. I lived in a state of constant fear of public opinion, etc. In the name of affection, I brought misery to myself and others. I was not self-sufficient nor self-reliant. I was wasting my energies on unimportant things and thus I had no leisure. As I thought, I went deep into the cause of all these and they vanished like a cloud, and sunshine came to me. My manners, my speech, my life, everything in me was changed. People saw this remarkable change and thought that I had disciplined myself, but all this had come so spontaneously and so naturally that I myself do not know how the change has come about. “ And as I sat thinking, I felt something stirring in me. Something that made me weep and smile and thrill with joy. When I was a child, I used to worship dead images and offer flowers and lamps to them. As I grew up, I questioned worship and even the very existence of God. No one could give me the right answer to my questions. I could not worship as before without understanding what I was doing. I could not believe in a God high above us in heaven, who mercilessly punished and rewarded. So I came to a stand-still. This was the most miserable time for me. I was lost.
At this time, you came. I think I have a glimpse of that something which is eternal behind the transient; infinite behind the finite, the true self and the essence of everything. I have been exceedingly happy and sometimes I am almost in a state of ecstasy. The glimpse of that is only possible when my mind and heart are in complete harmony. The harmony only exists when thefe is perfection. By the perfection of the mind, I mean a mind that is balanced in all circumstances at all times. By the perfection of the body I mean a body that is healthy and beautiful. “ My constant desire has been to find that something which I have felt but not seen. It is like a hidden flower whose scent I have known, but know not what it is like. I have a great longing for it. That thirst can only be quenched when I am perfect. I have tried to lead my foot steps on that path to perfection which leads to the realization of my true self.’’ It was lunch time, and a fellow-passenger interrupted. We were too often interrupted, so the next day we went to the cabin and I asked, “
When you were in Ahmedabad you said, “ I have realized.’’ What is it that you have realized? What was the process and what were the stages of your realization?’’ He replied, “ I have realized. If you were to ask what it is that I have realized, I cannot describe it as I would describe any solid object. Can I give you any idea of the beauty of the sunset or the sweetness of sugar if you have not experienced what beauty is, what sweetness is?” “ Is it then something which is your own self or something which exists apart from you?” I asked. “ It is and it is not. I am sorry to answer you like this. But I cannot say anything else,” Krishnaji said. In reply to the second half of my question, he said, “ I have not followed any process. Since I was a very young boy, I was tremendously dissatisfied with everything. I used to criticize everything. I criticized Dr. Besant and all my friends. You know what this criticism means? It is devoid of all personal prejudices. It is not merely an intellectual game but it is for true understanding. It is where intellect and emotion are linked. When I criticized others, I criticized myself; and acted accordingly. “ I experienced everything actually or experienced it intellectually. I tried everything and saw the futility of it. In this way, I went on - 1 went on giving up things that did not satisfy me. At last, I came to that realization of Immortality- God-Nirvana, whatever you may call it.”
“ Didn’t Dr. Besant and others try to teach you spiritual practices and force certain ideas on you?”
“ Thank God! They did not. If they did I took no notice of them.”
“ But you did say that you tried certain practices for the kundalini, that you fasted, and read books on these things. You did go through a stem life of an ascetic.”
“ Yes, someone said, ‘Try this’ I tried it for sometime and left it. Just as some women came along in my path, they fell in love with me, but I stepped aside. They got angry with me and they left me. I do not think those spiritual practices helped me in any way. If they did, I do not know. My process was of negation. This can be the only way.” I said, “ It is true that you knew the futility of those things and you abandoned them. But what about those of us who have no such knowledge? Is it then wrong to practise these things?” “ No one can stop you from doing what you wish. But I sa\ that to grow out of childhood into youth, it is not necessary to have measles, chickenpox or smallpox, to gain knowledge. It is n necessary to go through the process of Yoga, dogma or any sue practices. I had no goal. I had no definite ideas of the Ultimate by following a certain prescribed path, dogma, theory or religioi belief, you narrow your vision of truth. How then can you realise the Whole?” It was time for dinner and so our conversation ceased.
Krishnaji’s last sentence was like a heavy blow. What had I done? I was in darkness before and a lamp had been lit; I saw my path in its light. Then I had started to build walls around me and the light was obscured. I was lost, and fool that I was, I did not know it. I had come out of one bondage, to be tied in another. I had seen the light but blindness had come upon me. I had thought for a short while, and then started to read and branded my power of thinking. I had read Vivekananda, the great thinker and interpreter of the Vedanta in the last century, and jumped at the idea of Non-Duality. I did not even have the glimpse of truth, and I had made myself believe that Non-Duality was the truth, because all such beliefs give one a sense of comfort and cosiness. I had been building great edifices on these false premises and a mild breath brought my whole structure to the ground. I was again lost. I was miserable and uneasy. I felt that I could do nothing with my limited outlook. There was no need to go into the controversy of Duality and Non-Duality. If realization had to come, it would come on its own. I had to know life - I had to know the present.
Next morning, Krishnaji said to me, “ What was the effect of my talk?” “ l am extremely miserable. I am again lost. I feel very small. ’ ’ Then I told him all that had passed since yesterday. “ I have to begin again. I am very dissatified with myself and everything about me.”
From that day onwards, I could not do the mala (the beads), nor could I name the omkar, nor meditate on any particular idea. I saw that when I turned a few beads of my mala my mind could no longer attach itself to it. Only the hand was functioning mechanically. I was reciting the Gayatri Mantra but the mind was wandering far away, as if I wanted to have it all over, as if everything in me was eager to finish with it. By forcing one’s mind and emotions to such forms, they are destroyed. It is true that there are moments when in joy one feels like reciting the Gayatri, but one should not do anything with obstinacy. Every morning I see the sun rise and and I feel such joy that I want to say the Gayatri. In that, there is life. There is no motive in it. I will do nothing out of convention or rigidity. I shall not do it with desire. I shall not force myself to meditate on Soham, or Satchidananda.
This is what is natural to me: (1) To sit relaxed and feast my eyes on the beauty of my surroundings. (2) To watch the movements of my mind and allow them to work themselves out. (3) There are moments when I feel submerged in something inexplicable. These moments should be allowed to come but not be pursued. This is how one could observe the moments in one’s self, but not kill or control. This is how one regains one's well-being. By the vow of silence, I find peace of mind. In that case. I shall keep to it. It is good to live on fruits for one day in a fortnight. I shall continue to do so. My experience has been that reading too many books on religion and on schools of philosphy obscures one’s capacity to think. It makes one’s mind narrow and dogmatic. One starts to judge things with preconceived ideas and with false values. Having realized this, I have no mind to read such books for some time.
The next day I said to Krishnaji, “ You said there is only one way, then what about other people who have realized or at least claim to have done so? Are they hypocrites?” “ If you give me some concrete examples I shall tell you what I think about them.”
“ I mean the thousands of sanyasins who practise a certain Yoga and become enlightened.”
‘ I call them lunatics. A lunatic means a person who is always thinking about the same idea. These sanyasins catch hold of one idea, go on thinking of it all the time, and mesmerize and kill their minds completely. They imagine a thing for such a long time that it becomes a reality to their destroyed minds - this they call self-realization.”
“ Do you know then, anyone whom you would call enlightened?”
“ There must be, I do not know.”
On another occasion, he said with great anguish, “ Everyone is seeking personal immortality and self-preservation. That is what is wrong with this world.” I said to him, “ I know no one who seeks anything else but these two objectives.” I asked, “ If someone were to hit you, would you not hit him in return?” “ I do not think so,” he replied.
One day I said, “ You travel so much and feel worn out. You must rest.”
“ I like my work very much. Two more years and then I would like to live in seclusion for some years - maybe in the Himalayas. Before that, if I die, I die; it can’t be helped.” Krishnaji, as before, had pain in the head. For this reason, he stayed all by himself in Holland for a month. I said to him, “ Since you have such pain, why don’t you consult some doctors?” He said, “ It is not pain. It is an inexplicable joy. ’ ’ Often, he exclaimed, “ What a world! Oh, what a world! ' ’ So one day I said to him, ‘ ‘Krishnaji, don’t you feel sorry to see the inequality in this world between man and man? Quite often I feel that we have millions to waste upon ourselves, whilst there are many who have not even the barest necessities of life. Sometimes, one feels like giving up all one’s possessions.” “ Yes,” he said, “ one feels pain to see this inequality. One man’s attempt to give up his possessions will not improve the world. On the contrary there will be one more pauper on this earth.”
“ Does it then mean that the individual must make no eltort as long as the world has not changed? How can the world change, if the individual does not change?” I asked.
“ If you pity a poor man and give up your wealth, that is not going to help him. I suppose you know the story of the American millionaire. Some communists went to him and said, ‘Thousand of poor people are starving. Your money is wasted, give it to us’. The millionaire said,‘Rightly so. How many dollars do you think I have?’ ‘$ 100,000,000’ ‘ And how many people do you think there are in this country? ’
‘Well then, take all that I have and give each one a dollar’.’’ “ Then,’’ I asked, I suppose you do not approve of Gandhiji’s vow of poverty and travelling in third class?’’ “ If he does so to improve the condition of the poor it will not be to any avail. He has been travelling third class for so many years but has this improved the condition of the poor people?” “ Before, people were ashamed to be poor and travel third class, but Gandhiji gave them dignity. If everyone were to follow suit and were to become poor and travel by third class, there should be no rich, and there would be no class distinction.” “ It is impossible that such a thing should happen. If it does it is because they feel Gandhiji does this thing and so we shall also. There is no change of heart. The attitude has not changed. One may change his outward behaviour but the differentiation in the mind still remains. Attitude is very important. You may travel first class or third class, you may be rich or poor, that is of little consequence” .
‘Then why don’t you have property?”
After this conversation, we went up to the dining room and saw many rich Maharajas and business magnats. I said, “ Something must be done. What a contrast between the rich and the poor.” Krishnaji replied, “ The rich must be heavily taxed by the Government.” Once again he said to me, ‘ ‘A beggar’s life is the best.” I said, “ How can everyone become a beggar? Who would feed them?” He put his hand on his forehead. “ To become a beggar you must have real intelligence.” I said, “ Looking to the past history of the world and the present, man seems not to have changed at all. It is true that he has changed his mode of living and his manners and customs, but his emotions and instincts and his concepts have not changed fundamentally. Man is the same brute as he was.”
“ It is true,” he said, “ but he must change or I do not know what ruin will come upon this world.”
“ Do you think that everyone would accept the life you talk about, and that the world would become ideal?”
“ I know everyone would not like to be as I say, but if some people were to become the image of perfection, they will form the nucleus of that ideal world.” On another occasion I said, ‘ ‘People say that no human being can be perfect because to them perfection means a condition where nothing remains to be achieved. They believe that man is weak and sinful and has all the limitations of the body, and so he cannot be perfect.” “ In technique, there is always something to achieve. Science can always go on developing new things; but the mind is different. Let me ask you, what is perfection?”
“ I have no clear idea. Perhaps perfection of mind shows perfect balance in all conditions at all times.”
“ No, I will answer you. To me, perfection consists in a really critical, intelligent and alert mind. Imagine a goat or a donkey tied to a rope which is fixed to a point. The goat runs only up to a certain point, goes round about and inside the circumference. Its freedom is limited. But consider a goat that is not tied to a point. Then its flight is unlimited and free. Such is perfection. Perfection is a plane without a radius and without a fixed centre.” I said to him, “ Suppose I do something and I know harms me, but still I do not know it so well. I desire it and I cannot abandon it. It takes me some time to realize fully what harm it does to me. In that circumstance, should I control myself and resist my desire till I fully understand and give it up through know ledge?” ‘ ‘That is exactly what ought to be. To know the falsehood well is to get rid of it at once and spontaneously. That requires true intelligence. If you do not possess it, you must control yourself.
I was glad that he corrected me, and I said to him, ” wnenever we make any mistakes or appear funny in our manners, speech or behaviour you must correct us.” He said, ‘‘You should use simple and unostentatious words in English, like jewels for ornaments. Indians are in the habit of using long and pompous words which are quite out of use. Do not use the word ‘costly’, instead ‘expensive’ and ‘dear’ sound better.”
Often in fun he said, ‘‘I wish I could be your tutor.” On the back of a menu-card, Mr. Patwardhan, a barrister, wrote down the terms of a contract in which was stated that Krishnaji promised to be our tutor in English for sixty years on a salary of £10,000. Krishnaji, Patwardhan and I signed it, and it became a real legal document! We asked him to teach us correct eating habits and table manners. He said, ‘‘Keep your plate neat. Drink water half an hour before and after the meal but not in between. ’ ’ He showed us three or four amusing ways in which people eat. Some of us were eating that way. We were very amused to see how ridiculous we looked.
For instance, long before the morsel reached our mouths, as if in eagerness to swallow it, we sat gaping at it.
Krishnaji’s secretaries Raj Gopal and Patwardhan were with him on this trip. Raj Gopal asked us one day, ‘‘What would you think if Krishnaji marries?”
“ Nothing, but people would talk about it.”
Then we asked Krishnaji, “ Why don’t you marry?”
Krishnaji replied, “ I feel no need for it. When one is not self-sufficent, one needs someone to complement one’s physical, economical and other needs. I feel no such insufficiency in myself and so the question of marriage does not arise at all.” Many passengers on the boat thought that we were Krishnaji’s children, or at least that my ten-year-old younger sister Gira was his son, since she always wore boy’s clothes. Krishnaji used to call her ‘‘my adopted mother” . Sometimes at the dinner table he would say to us in fun, ‘‘I wish I could marry you ladies.” We retorted, “ That shows you have a special liking for us.” “ Then let me correct myself. I wish I could marry you all.” Then we said, “ You are even greater that Lord Krishna.” Then often we teased him, reminding him of the past lives of ‘Alcyone’ (a book published by the Theosophical Society on the past lives of Krishnaji), and he felt very bashful.
We had a grand time with Mr. Patwardhan. We asked many questions and he furnished us with a great many detailed and interesting facts about Krishnaji. When he was young, four or five young boys of his age promised to dedicate their lives and serve him unto death. In the beginning Nitya and Yadunandan Prasad were amongst these, and now Raj Gopal had been his constant companion. The first two died and now Krishnaji and Raj Gopal stayed together like two brothers. Every evening, we stood with Krishnaji on the game-deck and searched the sky for Venus, the evening star. Whoever spotted it first showed it to the rest. In Aden, we had great fun looking down from the deck at the Bora pedlars in small boats selling cheap, vulgar silk garments. For hours together, the passengers of our boat and the pedlars for Rs.60 to start with were brought down to the price of Rs.10! All these transactions were carried out by shouting and by means of baskets tied to ropes. The pedlars after each sentence shouted at the top of their voices: “ I say! Last price, how much I say.” Krishnaji, for a long time afterwards, recalled this scene, and we had a hearty laugh over it.
We reached Bombay and we stayed there for a week. The next day, on our arrival we went to the house of Mr. Ratansi Morarjee, who was his host. Khan Saheb Abdul Karim Khan was giving a special concert for Krishnaji. Abdul Karim’s voice was like a flute. Krishnaji was very fond of his music and so each time he was in Bombay, Khansaheb came to sing to him. Krishnaji’s favourite tunes are in the ‘Todi’, ‘Bhairavi’, ‘Jaunpuri’ and ‘Bageshree’ ragas, musical modes characteristic of Indian classical music.
Then on the third day we went to Krishnaji’s talk. He seemed to have a greater command on his language, on his thoughts, on his expression and delivery . This time I could understand him with greater ease. On the fourth day a discussion was arranged where a great many people had assembled. They interrupted Krishnaji very often. They didn’t even allow him to explain, since they simultaneously formed smaller groups and discussed points amongst themselves. Krishnaji did not seem to mind it because their behaviour reflected their understanding. He said to one with mild reproach. ‘ ‘Now J, how often, perhaps in every talk, you and others have listened to me and I am sure you have not understood a word. ’ ’ In the evening, we went to Juhu with him. There, we drank coconut water, ran and walked along the beach. The sun was setting and the sky was red. The wet sandy beach was also coloured red. The beach is crescent-shaped and beautiful with the coconut palms. Two girls were dancing on the verge of the water, with their feet lapped by the waves rolling forward and receding. Krishnaji saw them and he started to dance. He flung up his hands and ran. We thought he would fly away like a bird. Then we held competitions as to who could run the fastest and throw the coconuts farthest.
That night, with my brothers and sisters I went home to Ahmedabad. For a second time, Krishnaji came to Ahmedabad soon afterwards. Every morning I saw him for a moment and then went to study. At 10 or 10-30 a.m. I returned and then we met in the sitting room, where everyone came one by one until we formed quite a large circle. Krishnaji was in high spirits and talked with great zest. He had been to Greece recently and spoke about it with deep ecstasy. “ No one has reached the perfection of Greece, barring of course ancient India. Even today we go to them for inspiration.”
After lunch we sat talking for one or two hours. We rested in the afternoon, had tea together and then walked briskly around the garden wall, completing four or five rounds, which came to about four to five miles. Then we went for a drive, or stayed at home and talked. Some afternoons he read the Bible to us. He was particularly fond of the book of Job, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs and some of the Hymns. He said, “ Lady Emily reads the Bible everyday When we were young boys, she read some parts of it to us. I liked it so much that I made it a point to read two chapters of it everyday.” Then he added, “ I do not agree with the thought, but I think that the language is beautiful. Each time I read it I feel thrilled. I have read the Italian and French Bibles but those translations are nothing compared to the English version. If I had to teach someone English, I would start with the Bible.” He opened a chapter of the Song of Songs and said, “ It is so passionate that really I should not read it to you young people. It is really meant to illustrate the love of man and woman but was later on interpreted as the love of the Church for God.” Then he read it aloud to us. His manner of reading was very beautiful. He created such a taste for the Bible that we too wanted to read it on our own and so we noted the passages which he thought were particularly worth reading.
One evening we created a tremendous row. We collected in the music room. Each one of us had a musical instrument, drums, castanets, cymbals, tambura (the drone), violin, accordion and bells, and each played in his own fashion! Krishnaji was not less rowdy. The situation quietened after some time and Krishnaji started to sing a dhoon, a chorus sung usually with a religious motive, and we joined him -Then Krishnaji recited Sanskrit verses. He knew sti (hymns, usually from well-known religious works) by heart mantras (verses intended to evoke spiritual blessings selected deities, or to create a meditative condition) pertainii Agni (the God of Fire) and ritualistic worship. He knew pass from the GeetGovinda (A long and beautiful descriptive poem of the poet Jay adev about Krishna). He remembered Bhandarkar’s Sanskrit readers and repeated by heart ‘R, Ramo, Rama, and ‘Gama Gachcha’(noun and verb forms o go’). We ended up with jazz music and some hit songs! Krisl sang to us some songs which he had heard in the popular pla; his time, like ‘Mary Mary is my only sweetheart. ’ He said, ‘ I knew all these by heart.”
We had an early dinner. My father and Krishnaji talked about absurd things and we had a hearty laugh. After dinner, conversation was rather serious and penetrating. About nationalism he said, ‘‘Nationalism can do no got the country. Through patriotism and nationalism, we in Indi trying to resist the British. Maybe we shall have the rigt legislate and rule but we are not going to be free; because such ‘freedom’ we shall still continue to be narrow-min orthodox, bigoted, superstitious and tyrannical and still rer exploiters. At present there are white exploiters and then we'll have brown ones.”
My brother Vikram interrupted, “ It is better to have our own exploiters than have strangers to exploit us.” Krishnaji replied: “ No, not at all. It is the same to me whether a white man or a brown man were to steal my thing. After all, I have lost it. Would I feel it less, if a brown man were to snatch it away from me? This is merely an empty sentiment.’’
To this Vikram said, “ Let us assume that our people are tyrannical, bigoted and orthodox, and that when they assume power they shall be even greater exploiters than the English. But after some time they shall learn how to rule and they shall improve. We must drive out the English first. For this we must become national minded and patriotic.”
“ Only by driving out the British, it is not going to improve matters. We must change our emotions, our thoughts and our attitude. In these lies freedom. Nationalism; I hate the word. There should be a World State.” “ We have no power in India and we have no freedom, then how can we form a World State? The first step to a World State is to have a National Government,” Vikram persisted. “ If, through a National Government, one is to attain a World State then that should have been attained long ago in Europe. On the contrary we see each country with its narrowed outlook trying to make itself powerful and preparing for war. If it continues like this, Europe will be overwhelmed by wars and will be destroyed. Do we also want to cultivate this nationalism and bring destruction to this country?”
My father added, “ How can we even say that India is my country? Punjab, Gujarat, Madras and Bengal and all these provinces are at present in the Indian Empire and they are coloured red in the maps. Why should not Punjab be a separate country and why not Gujarat also? Why should not people of these two countries develop nationalism? Why should not they have separate kingdoms and fight each other? Even then, when we shall drive out the British we shall try to keep Gujarat and Punjab under one domain. It will be like the British Empire, just another small version of an Empire.”
Krishnaji said: ‘‘Some of our leaders seem to be mistaken in trying to imitate European politicians and economics without really knowing true Indian conditions. They don’t seem even to be up-to-date in their ideas. About fifty years ago that which was discarded as a mistaken ideology has been taken up as a political programme by us. The problems of India are different. The way to solve these is not to imitate but to co-ordinate our thoughts and emotions and become an entity for the achievement of freedom.”
“ If our fight is not on the right lines what would be the measures you would employ?
“ I would take steps to first get rid of dogma, custom, superstition and ignorance. I would bring awakening through education, books and newspapers.”
One evening, my father and Krishnaji sat discussing how they would plan India if they were dictators. They seemed to agree on many points : (1) To abolish religious beliefs as they stand just now. To maintain temples as objects of art and to use them for public utility. (2) To establish a minimum standard by which everyone shall have sufficient food, clothing a n d living accommodation. Along with these one should have ample leisure. It shall be the choice of everyone whether to spend away or hoard what is given to him. After the death of a miser, his savings will go to the State. (3) Everyone shall have the opportunity to be educated and to develop his abilities to the fullest. Books, movies and theatres should be widely used for this purpose. (4) Marriages may be permitted, but one would have to take a licence before becoming a parent. Others will resort to birth control or will be sterilized.
After that, Krishnaji went to his room. As he had a very severe cold, my mother and I went to attend on him. We treated him with simple home remedies like a foot bath, gargles and steam inhalation. Then we retired at 11 or 11-30 p.m.
This post was last updated by John Raica 2 days ago.
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|Tue, 18 Apr 2017||#362|
|Jess S Portugal 3 posts in this forum Offline||
The following is an excerpt taken from a yoga magazine written years ago because of the terrorist attacks that now have become part of our everyday life: 'Christians have a saying that the Devil can quote scripture for his own ends. Sri Ramakrishna said:«Books - I mean, the scriptures - contain a mixture of sand and sugar. The sadhu takes the sugar, leaving aside the sand. He takes only the essence.» There are two relevant ideas here. First, taking the Devil to mean our own unspiritual thoughts and feelings, individual or group, when we use scripture as a guide to action we must examine our own motives. Are we trying, as Prophet Mohammed urges us, «to be free from malice, from morning till night, from night till morning?» Second, some parts of scripture are more valuable than others. Will even the most literal-minded Christian claim that the begats are as important as the Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, or I Corinthians 13? Will even the most orthodox Hindu say that The Bhavavad Gita is no more important than any part of The Mahabharata? The American College Dictionary defines religion primarily as the quest for the values of the ideal life, involving three phases: the ideal, the practices for attaining the values of the ideal and the theology or worldview relating the quest to the environing universe. When people misuse scripture to justify acting out their hatred, resentment, or lust for power, the result is toxic - to the victim, to the perpetrator, and to the religion professed. Why has religion historically been involved in so much bloodshed and oppression? Because its outer expression through scripture and tradition has been used by the evil tendencies within us to justify even the most horrible action.'
This post was last updated by Jess S Tue, 18 Apr 2017.
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|Fri, 21 Apr 2017||#363|
|John Raica Canada 534 posts in this forum Offline||
Here are a few selected excerpts from Mr Lakshmi Prasad's interviews with K during the early 80's in India, for 'Andhra Pradha Weekly'
The first question dates from January 1986
Q: We are soon entering the 21-th century. Beyond the political & economical predictions, what is the best spiritual approach to solve the problems of this country, as well as those of the world ?
K: The problems that India is facing are enormous -poverty, over-population, etc. And our government seems incapable to solve them.
And, what should we think about the actual education system ? Why are we educating ou children ? In order to become good technicians concerned exclusively to make (a lot of ?) money ? and live a life based on pleasure ? If education does not teach us to observe life (holistically ?) and to understand it, what is its purpose ?
We were having these interviews which you publish in India every year; are there at least a few who are reading them seriously ?
Q: Certainly, the more thoughtful of them...
K : But they don't pay any ( responsible ?) attention to what I am saying. In fact, nobody wants to 'learn'...
Q: Te 'self-preservation' instinct seems to generate selfishness in all the areas of life. How could we avoid this trap ?
K: Why are we always emphasising the 'ego', on the existence of a separated consciousness ? The whole structure of society as a whole does encourage self-interest . And this was a problem throughout our whole history: how to create a society in which self-interest is not the dominating factor. The verious religions, the sects and the Gurus have also sought to solve this problem, by using all the available means. But, these Gurus, have they really gone beyond their egoticism . In fact, I think that all the forms of power -far from facing it, have only encouraged its expansion.
Q: Doubtlessly ' for the greater benefit of the many' ...
K: Yes, for the so-called 'general interest'.
Q: In fact, our approach must be almost 'scientifical', even non-personal.
This post was last updated by John Raica Fri, 21 Apr 2017.
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|Fri, 21 Apr 2017||#364|
|John Raica Canada 534 posts in this forum Offline||
I was often intrigued by the unusual meaning K was giving to the word 'reincarnation' as in: ' Reincarnating each day - a very powerful image indeed , making it sound like the ultimate spiritual achievement
Here are ( flash-posted ) a few "out-of-this -world" Q&A's that might shed some extra-light on its deeper meaning ( the answers were obtained by W. Usborn Moore around 1911 via 'automatic writing' )
Q.: Is there such a thing as re-incarnation ?
A.: Not in the Theosophy sense ; 'yes' in another.”
Q.: Is each phase of advance in spiritual life what you mean by a 're-incarnation' ?
A.: “Yes, in another world ; you may belong to the Latin race, to the Slav, to the various offshoots of Babel. Do you follow me ?”
Q.: I do not quite understand. Isn't the spiritual progression supposed to be achieved through a series of births ?
A.: That is a punishment.
Q.: How do you mean , our punishment ?
A.: Yes in that lower state to pay for any (karmic) 'criminal offence'.
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