The Mother Divine
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By Swami Chinmayananda

Why is it that we are not able to find a solution to all the problems in the world? What is it we do not have? Never before in world history have organizations like the United Nations joined together for the purpose of bringing peace to the world.

Technology has brought about global communication. Knowledge and science have developed tremendously. We are not in the caveman's state of utter ignorance and underdevelopment. We have conquered the world and outer space, yet in spite of all these achievements, people are suffering and are unhappy. There are problems after problems. Never before has the world been in this condition.

Take the map of the world, close your eyes and put your finger anywhere you like. Is not that area disturbed, struck with domestic violence and famine? If food reaches there, they do not want to distribute it. Think of it. Then the army comes. But is the army the answer? Is providing food for the hungry the solution? Think, what is the solution? For years you have been struggling in this great institution. But what is the sum total of your results? You have tried politics, changed the constitutions and changed laws. What is it that you have not done? Diplomacy? It is alright to say that we have progressed. What is this progress? Progressed to what? Progress in the arrangement of the outer world? Expecting from this a great individual satisfaction and fulfillment? This is what we expected. Did we get it? When we look back in history, was not the caveman much happier?

We have everything. Better housing, better clothing and food. Yet with the luxurious plenty of the outer world, you and I sit on cushions and weep. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, powerful or powerless. No community or race is happy. In fact, no part of the world seems to be happy. Why? Why? We never ask this question! All we do is find out what the problem is. Then they find out how to mitigate it and cure it for the time being. But we do not inquire into the fundamental source of all these disturbances.

It is something like a doctor who does cannot diagnose the ailment and starts treating the various complications which he has seen and observed. If it is a fever, he gives the patient medicine for a fever. If the patient has a sore throat, the doctor treats him for that. But what is the source from which all these diseases are coming? He is not able to understand that. Therefore, he starts treating according to what he knows. Are we not doing that? Millions have been doing it. Due to technological knowledge and development, we have started new methods of mitigating the sufferings of the world. Yet have we brought about any peace and tranquillity? By the time you have solved one problem in one part of the world, ten different ones have erupted in another part of the world.

How long are you going to treat the world with this same technique? We tried economics, revolutions, political changes, art and literature. We tried different religions, churches, mosques and temples. They themselves have become sources of mutual animosity. I am trying to make you realize what a sad condition we are in. Are you satisfied with the world condition? It is all right in journals and newspapers to congratulate you and me. But are we happy?

When you start thinking, you must think deeper. -What is the source of these eruptions? Think! This is what Vedanta does. It is a subjective science. It is not an objective science. We do not recommend a solution for problem after problem, individual, communal, national or international. Vedanta goes into the depths and tries to find out the source of all these troubles.


As a result of this, the subjective scientists, called rishis, saints and sages, from the Vedic period onward, with one voice, they are all crying out that it is time to move on to a new realm and a new level of consciousness. I am saying it in one word, but I will try to explain.

This is the pain of a new birth. No new birth is possible when the mother is smiling and the child is laughing and giggling. No! When both cries, it is a new birth. Is not the world in pangs of pain and agony? We refuse to move forward in a new direction. We are not able to recognize what has to be done because it is easier to follow what has been done in the past. There are periods in history when the world progresses and we must learn to adapt to the new conditions around us. If we are not able to adapt, nature's laws have no compassion. It will wipe us clean.

Many birds, plants and animals have become extinct in nature because they were not able to adapt themselves to the surrounding environment. The same will be the fate if man is not smart enough, conscious or intelligent enough to understand the nature of the situation around and try to change himself and adapt himself to the new environment. Change yourself means adapt yourself to the new environment. How sad it is that nature's laws work to help things become extinct?

Has not the Roman Empire died and disappeared? Mesopotamia is gone. All were great cultures and great people. The greatest literature and heroes lived at that time. What happened? Where did they go? Why were they wiped out? They were not able to adapt themselves. A new system was arising at that time.

Don't you think we have arrived at a point where the old methods can no longer be a remedy for the sufferings of mankind? Think! Why? Because the source is something different. It is not physical, emotional or intellectual. Yet, at these levels the objective scientists are trying to find out all the remedies. Sit back and think, “Why do we have the problems of AIDS?” Why do we have various sorrows of the world, economic upsets, poverty, disease and mutual killing?


No two countries can look at each other without anger. Why? When you thus analyse the cause of things, hunting for cause of effects, this is called an intellectual method of analysing and understanding the world around us. Causation hunting is the preoccupation of the human intellect. This is how all sciences develop. By inquiring into the cause of things. Why is it we are suffering in spite of our continuous efforts? Our goal is clear. We put forth all our effort, more than we have ever done in the history of mankind. Yet by the time we have solved one problem, ten other different problems arise. Why is this? What is the spring from which all these problems and sorrows arise? When we analyse it, a wondrous new truth comes up which the ordinary materialist and scientist may not accept immediately. The outside world is an echo and a reflection of our minds. Think!

One Swami is talking. You are all intelligent people listening. Can I say that all of you are understanding in the same way? It cannot be. You receive the idea and interpret it according to your own mind. He understands it with his mind. So, your world outside is ordered by, governed by, controlled by your mental attitude. Haven't you heard people say that this world is a Hell? Haven't you heard people say this world is Heaven? Successful people say that this world is wonderful. Unsuccessful people say, “I want to die.” Why? It is the same situation, the same sun, moon and stars. The same atmosphere and the same elements. Yet one feels it is wonderful and the other feels it is miserable. When mommy and daddy are home, the elder son thinks it is heaven. The younger son thinks, “I am waiting to become 18 years old so that I can get away from these wretched people.” His parents are loving him fully and completely, yet his interpretation is that he is in hell. These undisciplined mental disturbances prompt us to live on instincts and impulses of the mind. They are utterly selfish, heartlessly desiring everything in the exterior world, wanting to acquire, possess, embrace, indulge and enjoy. They are like any cattle and we live only at the mental level at this moment.

All of us have intelligence to analyse and realize that what I am doing is wrong, but you do not have the strength to live up to it. There is no one who does not know that he is immoral, drinking is bad, smoking is ruinous. And yet we ask them, “Why are you drinking?” It is not that I don't know it. I know it, but I can't give it up. Everyone! Cheating, telling a lie, becoming angry, cruel and criminal in nature. It is not that you do not know it is wrong. But you say, “I am sorry, I cannot be away from it. I am compelled to do things.” Think!

Now friends, each individual is a unit in this universe. All individuals put together is called a community, nation or world. Apart from the individuals, there is no world. Without distinction, all your minds put together is the world outside. If the majority of the minds are egocentric, utterly selfish, arrogant, vulgar, without character, that society, that community will be of the same character. That nation is no nation, it is only a country where a population lives. There is no integrity between themselves and no understanding internationally. Through individual perfection alone can world perfection be aspired.

In all world scriptures, this is the conclusion of our great thinkers of the past. I am not talking about Vedanta or Indian textbooks. Is not the Bible saying the same? Is not the Koran saying the same? The Dhammapada of the Buddhists saying the same. Every great Master who has given thought to it has understood that the cause for the sorrows of the world, is the imperfection and disturbances of your own mind.


Ecology has been a new science for the past fourteen years. Suddenly they have realized that the world is Divine. You have to look after it and not reject it disrespectfully. Your greed should not destroy the world. Your plundering in the world outside must stop. You must reverence and respect nature. Oh, in only fourteen years?!

In the Vedic period, Purushasookta, the Great Chant expresses that the whole universe of things and beings is One Divine Person, One Divine living organism. Not a dead carcass. It is pulsating and living, revere it and love it. There is no limit. The sky is the limit that nature can supply to you. Environmental peace and quietude is the right field for us to strive, achieve and aspire to. But this environment is all broken down. Think!

Recently the government of India decided to clean the Ganges. A lot of money was spent cleaning the river. Do you know that every river is clean at all times. You and I sitting on the banks of the river are dirtying it. The dirtying is not stopped, but we are purifying the river. Stop dirtying and poisoning it and the river will purify itself. Why? Fresh waters are coming in. It pushes out all the poisonous matter and the river becomes pure. We are the ones who made it poisonous and dirty. Whether it is environmental or political disturbances, or economic meltdown, all these arise from endless greed and negative tendencies of the human mind, therefore life is miserable.

Once two brothers were living in the same home, eating from the same table and the one sister-in-law was cooking the food as is the norm in India. At 2 a.m., the younger brother woke up and vomited up the food. This happened for two or three days. His wife thought that the other sister-in-law had poisoned the food and suggested to exchange the food plates the next day. So the younger brother exchanged plates as his elder brother looked on. He smiled and said to his younger brother, “You are still childish, what is the difference?” Again, the next morning he vomited up the food. So they went to see their family doctor. This doctor suggested that he go to a dentist. After the dentist looked in his mouth, he asked him if he was still living. “Your teeth are in very bad condition with a lot of pus,” he said. He x-rayed and pulled out all his teeth. The dentist explained that the food was not poisoned but that he himself poisoned the food with his bad teeth.


Even today the world is a pure divine thing. When it passes through our mind by “My terms and my experiences”, we poison it with our own false thinking, false ideas and false values. Think, all living organisms are responding and reacting to the world around us. This is called Life. There is not a single moment when you are not responding and reacting to the world. These responses and reactions at the body level in the world are called “work” or “action”.

We are all active, dynamic people because we are alive. But our actions are totally different from another individual even when the conditions are the same. Under the same circumstances, threats or joys, the environment remains the same and each individual responds differently. Why? Responses to the world are ordered by, determined by, guided by our thoughts. It is subjective.

All actions are expressions of our minds. If we smile, that is your thought. If you growl, it is your thought. If you punch his nose flat, that is a thought. Good, bad or indifferent, all actions are expressions of our minds, our thoughts.

You say, “Swamiji, this is funny, it is God who gives thoughts to me and I am angry.” “I have no objection when I succeed in action. Is it God that succeeded or myself that succeeded? Oh! no, no, I did it!” What are you talking about? When you do something wrong and the police are after you, then you say that the Lord gave you this idea and I am now punished. Absurd! This is escapism. When you scientifically analyse it, the quality and quantity of thoughts that you entertain in your mind determine the very contours of your expression in the world, your behaviour and responses to the world.

“If that is true, Swamiji, tell me why I always have a dirty mind and thoughts? I shamelessly express it. Everyone laughs at me because I am a dirty fellow. My brother's thoughts are beautiful, his actions are perfect and everyone applauds and congratulates him. Everyone loves him. Why? My thoughts are negative and his positive. This is really a serious problem.”

Think of yourself. Why am I lustful, greedy, passionate, jealous and have all these negative thoughts? These thoughts create trouble for myself and sorrow to others. Other people are loving, tender, compassionate, ready to make sacrifices for others. Why these differences? If these are all thoughts and the quality of thoughts are the cause for it, now the question is, “Why do I constantly have negative thoughts? Why does my brother have good thoughts? Why?”

This was a serious question and those great Subjective Masters that scientifically observed, analysed and collected all the data, came to the conclusion that the quality and types of thoughts that arise in you are ordered by your own intellectual convictions.

If I am convinced from childhood that money is all I want, if I have money and am a billionaire, I am a happy man. All I want is money, money, money. I am introduced to a Swami and I shake his hand. What are his thoughts? “Can I get something from him? Has he got enough? Are there any methods to get that money?” Suppose you are constantly dreaming about women. No matter how strong in character and behaviour you are, the moment you shake a woman’s hands, you start thinking, “Not bad”. I am not joking. The quality of thoughts are determined by each individual’s intellectual convictions that this is my goal.

My purpose in life is the same, whether it is women or drinking. Do not all alcoholics advise you that drinking is the only way to live comfortably in life? Minus drinking, life is empty and miserable. You are not living, that is why you are not drinking. He is convinced that living means drinking. Then you say that you do not drink at all. Another man feels that power is the thing. He wants power by whatever means, fair or foul. Even if millions have to die, he must have power. It does not matter if it is political power, power in a company or in a board meeting, anywhere!