Chapter 1: The Anguish of Contemporary Man
We have gathered here to consider a few very significant matters.
I had no idea that what I am saying to individual people would some day also need to be made public. I had never thought about it. I talk to people according to my capacity and capability, about whatever feels blissful to me and whatever it seems may help them. But slowly, slowly having the opportunity to come into contact with hundreds and hundreds of people, I came to realize, I began to see, that I have my limitations; and no matter how much I may wish to, I cannot bring my words to all the people who are in need of them. And many people have a tremendous need of them. The whole country, the whole earth is extremely thirsty and in distress.
Even if we leave the rest of the planet aside, this country itself is in a spiritual crisis. All the old values have shattered; respect and regard for all the old values has disappeared, and no new values have been given birth to. Man is simply standing with no idea where to go or what to do. In such a situation it is natural that man’s mind should become very restless, very distressed and very unhappy. Each individual is carrying so much misery within him, that if we were able to open his heart and look into it, we would be at a loss. The more people I have come in contact with, the more puzzled I have become to see that man is carrying within him exactly the opposite of what he appears to be from the outside. His smiles are false, his happiness is false and all his so-called rejoicings are false. And an enormous hell, a deep darkness, much unhappiness and misery have accumulated in him.
There are ways to destroy this anguish, this pain. It is possible to be free of them. Man’s life can become a life of heavenly peace and melody. And since I started to perceive this, I also felt that if we don’t bring that which can take man’s life towards peace, to those who are in need of it, we are in a way committing a crime. Knowingly or unknowingly we are committing sins of omission.
So I started feeling that it is necessary to take anything that can transform people’s lives to the maximum number of people. But I have my limitations, my capabilities and capacities have limitations. Alone, no matter how much I run, no matter how many people I reach, no matter how extensive it may be, seeing the vastness of life all around, and this society with its deep anguishes, there is no way to deal with it all. If we drop some color on the seashore, a small wave may become colored, but it does not make any difference to the vast ocean. And the interesting thing is that the small wave which may become colored, is in no time also going to be lost in that great ocean and the color too will disappear.