The Vedic Bird of Illumination

Dear sisters and brothers, I shall be giving seven talks on the Vedas at
the Seven Sister colleges. Interestingly, the Rig Veda itself deals with
seven special sisters. It tells us that there is a divine chariot with only
one wheel, and that this chariot is drawn by one horse with seven names.
Seven sisters sing spiritual songs while standing before the chariot. While
singing, the seven sisters reveal the concealed message of life?s Liberation
and humanity?s Perfection.<br>
Seven is an occult number. In the spiritual world the number seven has a
most special significance. In the hoary past there were seven great Indian
sages who saw the Truth, lived the Truth and became the Truth. There are
seven important rivers in India. A river signifies movement; water signifies
consciousness. The movement of consciousness is a continuous progress toward
the farthest Beyond.<br>
There are seven notes in the musical scale. Each note has a special value
of its own. Music is the mother tongue of humanity. God is the Supreme Musician.
It is through music that we can enter into the universal harmony. It is through
music that God?s Beauty is being manifested in His all loving Creation.<br>
There are seven colours in the rainbow. These colours indicate the stages
of our spiritual journey toward the ultimate Goal. Here we all know that
a rainbow is the sign of good luck and future progress. In the spiritual
world, each colour of the rainbow is the harbinger of a new dawn.<br>
There are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. An aspiring human being
enters into one of the seven higher worlds and makes progress in the inner
life. Like a bird his aspiring consciousness flies from one world to another,
until finally he finds himself in the seventh world, Satchidananda, the world
of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. There he becomes consciously and inseparably
one with the Supreme Pilot. But when a human being deliberately and knowingly
does wrong things, heinous things, he is compelled to enter into one of the
seven lower worlds, which are the worlds of darkness, bondage and ignorance.<br>
Mother India is an aspiring tree. This aspiring tree has the Vedas as its
only root. The root is Truth, the tree is Truth, the experience of the tree
is Truth, the realisation of the tree is Truth, the revelation of the tree
is Truth, the manifestation of the tree is Truth.<br>
The Vedic seers saw the Truth with their souls, in their heavenly visions
and in their earthly actions.<br>
Satyam era jayate nanritam<br>
Truth alone triumphs, not falsehood.<br>
This Truth teaches us how to be true brothers of mankind, conscious and devoted
lovers of God and perfect masters of nature.<br>
The Vedic teachings are universal. In the Yajur Veda we clearly observe that
the teachings of the Vedas are for all?the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the
Vaishyas, the Sudras, even the Chandalas, who are the degraded and the abandoned.
Men and women alike can study the Vedas. God is for all. The Vedas are for
all. In the Vedic church no one is superior, no one is inferior; all are
equal, all are children of God. These children of God can live in the heart
of Truth and become the veritable pride of God. Each Vedic seer is a poet
and a prophet. In the case of an ordinary poet, his poems are quite often
based upon imagination. Imagination gives birth to his poetry. In the case
of the Vedic poets, it was intuition that gave birth to their poems. This
intuition is the direct knowledge of Truth. As regards the prophet, very
often we see that an ordinary prophet?s prophecy is based on a kind of unknown
mystery. But in the case of the Vedic prophets, it was not so. Their prophecies
were based on their full and conscious awareness of direct and immediate
Truth. They just brought to the fore this dynamic Truth to operate in the
cosmic manifestation.<br>
The present day world believes that the mind can offer the highest possible
experience of Realty. The Vedic seers gave due importance to the mind. But
they never considered the mind to be the source of the highest possible experience
of Reality.<br>
The Vedas have the eternal wisdom. It is for us. The Vedas are more than
willing to illumine us if we dare to hearken to their message.<br>
Shrinvantu vishwe amritasya putra<br>
Hearken, ye sons of immortality.<br>
This is their generous invitation.<br>
When we live in the mind and do not want to go outside the boundaries of
the mind, we remain bound in the trammels of the body. We remain in bondage.
It is only the Light from within and the Guidance from above that can liberate
us from the teeming ignorance which has enveloped us. When we live in the
mind we live in the fabric of form. When we live in the soul we enter into
the formless and eventually go beyond both form and formlessness. We become,
at that time, the individual soul universalised and the Universal Soul individualised.<br>
The outer world is synonymous with the mind. The inner world is synonymous
with the heart. The world of the eternal Beyond is synonymous with the soul.
The outer world has past, present and future. The inner world has the glowing
and fulfilling future. The world of the Beyond has only the eternal Now.
When we live in the outer world, the ignorant ?I? destroys us. When we live
in the inner world, the illumined ?I? satisfies us. When we live in the world
of the Beyond, the Infinite ?I? fondly embodies us, reveals us and fulfils
us. When we live in the mind, we cannot go beyond the judgement of destiny.
Our human will is at the feet of destiny. When we live in the soul we have
free will. This free will is the Will of the Supreme. It is the will of the
soul, which constantly identifies itself with the Will of the infinite Beyond.<br>
Whether others believe it or not, the lovers of the Vedas know perfectly
well that the Vedas are a significant contribution to the world of literature.
These sublime literary scriptures are not just of national interest, for
they have international inspiration and universal aspiration. Just because
they are international and universal they fascinate and illumine sincere
seekers in different countries at all times.<br>
The Vedic mantras, or incantations, help us develop willpower in boundless
measure. Even if we do not take the trouble of learning and repeating the
mantras, we cultivate some willpower just by studying the Vedas devotedly.
The paramount question is how we are going to use this willpower: to dominate
the world, or to serve God in the universe. If we live in the body for the
pleasures of the body, we shall want to dominate the world. But if we live
in the soul for the transformation and illumination of the body, then we
shall serve God, love man and fulfil both God and man.<br>
To say that the Vedas are badly infected with asceticism and otherworldliness
is to betray one?s own ignorance. The Vedas are divinely practical and their
message is of constant practical value. Needless to say, a great many Vedic
seers were householders, and most of their pupils at the end of their instruction
went home and became family men. The teachers in the seers taught their students
the secret of eternal life and not the secret of unending death, which we
learn from some of the destruction-loving teachers of science.<br>
The Vedas do not embody depression, repression, self-mortific-ation, sin-awareness
or hell-conscious-ness. The Vedas embody the divine duty of the earthly life
and the ever-increasing beauty of the heavenly life. The Vedic seers accepted
the heart of life to found the ultimate Reality upon earth. The Vedic seers
accepted the body of death to carry it into the land of Immortality. Inspiration
of the clear mind theyliked. Aspiration of the pure heart they loved. Realisation
of the sure soul they became.<br>
Wellesley College<br>
Wellesley, Mass.<br>
November 14, 1972<br>
Sri Chinmoy