The Mother Divine
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By Swami Krishnananda

Part - I

A question which is purely technical, which cannot be decided at once by the generality of mankind, arises in the mind of a serious seeker after Truth, viz., his relation to society and to its institutions. Judged dispassionately, the issue of the necessity or otherwise of such a seeker to concern himself either with society or institutions seems to arise due to a thoroughly misconceived notion of the nature of the Truth – the existence of God. The need or the absence of need for relations of any kind, much less obligations or duties, towards society and institutions crops up only if God is another-worldly being, as is the conclusion of the usual theological concepts in all religions, and his existence somehow falls outside the scope and operation of the world and society. There have been controversies and heated arguments over the extent of importance to be given either to meditation or service, for example, and several schools of thought have risen out of this dichotomy in position. This is, to put it prosaically, the controversy between the schools of Jnana and Karma – knowledge and action – a subject which has been discussed by many scholars ever since the Acharyas wrote commentaries on the cardinal scriptures on which Indian culture is based.

All this is just mentioning in different ways the same old problem of man's relation to God and to the world or society. Unfortunately, people get emotionally warmed up in themselves whenever this question is raised and it is rare that one finds time to consider the subject in a scientific spirit by objective observation as a research man in any field of learning would actually be expected to do. The factor of emotion immediately rushes in whenever there is a talk of humanity, 'other people', 'our brethren' or 'the sufferings of people', and the general mind would even regard it as heretical to raise the question of the need or otherwise of a person to concern himself with this complexity, which is almost equated with the duty of man.

But, to come to the point again, our approach has naturally to be scientific and not emotional and, really, this is one of the precise conditions of conducting any successful research. Hence, the problem has to be tackled in an unbiased manner, placing oneself in the position of a mere witness and not a party in the game. Thus analysed, it comes about that the question of man's relation to society and institutions has much to do with the nature of God's existence and, unless this is first settled, what follows from it is a consequence also cannot be properly ascertained. Now, the existence of God, to define it impersonally, taking God by himself in his own independent status, has been accepted to be free from limitations of any kind, which means to say that he covers all states of being, manifested or unmanifested, and there can really be nothing unknown to him and hence outside the purview of his existence. This would imply that there can be no reality worth its name outside the Being of God, and the world and the individuals have to be summed under his Infinite Being, so that the world and humanity fall within the scope of the Existence of God.

Here, any doubt as to whether God exists or not should be considered wholly irrelevant, since our definition of God is that it is an appellation of the nature of Being in its absolute state, whose significance cannot be set aside even by modern physical science, what to speak of the more amenable sciences of biology and psychology. The theories of electromagnetism, quantum, wave-mechanics and relativity, with many things that follow in the wake of their discoveries, border on the acceptance of the Absolute as the only reality. The more metaphysical and spiritual approaches, both in the East and in the West, have held this premise as the very rock-foundation of the edifices of philosophy.

But there have been a multitude of misconstrued ideas which apparently seem to follow from this definition of God's Being, viz., that mankind or humanity is God and, as a corollary of this position, that service of man is service of God. But it is forgotten that the concept of humanity is a concept of limitation, while it has already been agreed that God has to be free from limitations. God is neither an individual among many others nor a sum-total of individuals, which is precisely the character of humanity. Hence the identification of humanity with God is an unreasoned result of emotional enthusiasm in relation, which easily takes hold of the mass-man, by dinning into the ears of people slogans, shibboleths and stock sayings on the theme that humanity is God, its worship is the worship of God, and the like. One's upbringing in family and social conditions from one's very childhood in the circumstance of an untiring repetition of such formulae and mass-propaganda carried on in such religion, to whose steady effects no ordinary human find can be immune, is responsible for the insinuation of the concept of a socialised God into the minds of mankind. This doctrine, no doubt, carries one to some extent and even appears to succeed for many years through history, as any repeatedly propagated cult can. But propaganda is not and has never been a weapon of final victory. For, it is a uniformly adopted medium of any theory or ideal, real or unreal. The nature of reality, however, springs up spontaneously, slowly blooming like a flower, in the hearts of gifted men who begin to see an indivisible limitlessness extending through and beyond the obvious and natural limitations of humanity and the world.

This urge of reality, when it rises in one's heart, becomes irresistible, for what is real can never be resisted. It is in the light of this urge, which certain Western philosophers have called the nisus for reality present in all Nature, which rare souls visualise the existence of a transcendence of spiritual immanence in the universe and recognise at once the impossibility of any identification of the finite with the Infinite. No man can be God, not even all men put together can be God – thus God transcends humanity – because humanity is the name of a particular species of individuals whose mathematical total is regarded as a unity only in the psychological sense of one individual thinking the other, but never being the other, but God is Supreme Being. Here is the unarticulated but ostensible difference between the nature of humanity and the nature of God. But this truth can never become patent in an uninitiated mind which is accustomed to think in terms of slogan and propaganda, cults and creeds, and thinks, also, only through the emotion.

Nevertheless, the mass-mind cannot at once be educated, because its main defects are dependence on sense-objects for the assessment of any value and a rather too heavy emphasis on the economic and biological existence of man than any deeper intrinsic worth or meaning in his existence as once having a non-dependent status of its own. It may be added here that much of the cult of humanity-worship and its deification is a cumulative outcome of the urges of hunger, wealth, self-glorification and power, which constitute the triple passion in an individual. When these urges become so dominant as the be regarded as necessities of life, they begin to rule mankind as its masters and what comes out of man begins to subordinate him to the level of a mere tool or puppet that is operated by strings. Psychology and psycho-analysis in modern times have done much research in this line and the nature of the consequences of these human urges, including the gregarious instinct, has been studied and analysed into its components. That man is under an illusion of the spell cast before him by the urges of wealth, sex and power is not something unknown to well-informed minds and the present-day crisis of humanity cannot but be traced to the working of a long rope that has been given by man to these urges that are trying to destroy him from the very roots. A careful study of advanced sociology, history and psychology will prove this fact to the hilt.

The spiritual seekers, mention of whom has been made above, are, however, an exception to the general mass thinking through the gregarious urge and they keep themselves alive to the urge for God, the Almighty, within themselves, as the nisus to perfection. When the urge for God rises within the soul of the seeker, the whole universe would appear to suck him into its bosom, from every atom and part of its extensive mass of creation, and in the initial stages this divine urge would seem to be the shooting of a luminous spark from within oneself and then gradually it increases its proportion into the surge of a rushing star, then the flash of a lightning, a flaming conflagration and, finally, an inundating flood of oceanic force and grandeur. A seeker caught up in any one of these divine manifestations would be able to see inwardly a super-mathematical unit of indivisible existence whose minutest manifestation exceeds the totality of mankind and the world, for the spirit is not magnitude, measurable in terms of the space-time extension. Ushered in by this current of the divine flood, the seeker can no more see meaning in the multitude of finites, and individualities and even the whole of humanity and the world, because all these which have so much significance to the mind that sees through the senses present themselves before the seeking soul as parts melting into the whole to which they organically belong and in which God becomes their very Soul, their very existence. To those souls that seek God in his essential Being, not merely as a transcendence but also as an immanence and absoluteness, the question of their relation to society, institutions and the world does not arise; it just does not exist. Truly, this is the ideal and the goal of anything, anywhere and no man on earth can hold an ideal superior or even equal to this grand consummation of one's enthronement in Universal Being. And this does not call for any proof or demonstration of its indubitably.
Courtesy: published by Divine Life Society