Chapter 10: Each Moment Is the Goal
And this small statement has to be understood, because this is for every beginner. And as far as the ultimate is concerned one is always a beginner. One is always coming close to it, closer and closer and closer, but something always remains inviting you, calling you forth, challenging you, a higher peak. You were thinking you have arrived but still there is something left. And this pilgrimage continues.
I have started saying that there is no goal, only the pilgrimage. In other words, the pilgrimage in itself is so divine, so holy, that to be bothered and to be anxious about the end of it can only mean one thing: that you are not interested in the journey, you are interested in the end of the journey. You are not enjoying each moment of your pilgrimage. You are looking forward, ahead, for the time when you will have reached and then you will celebrate. And that is a wrong approach from the very beginning.
Each moment is the journey and each moment is the goal.
You have to live as if you have already arrived, although you will never be in a moment when you can say, “I have arrived.” You can only say, “I am coming home. I can see the home coming closer and closer.” But it is good that you never come. Once you have come, you come to a full stop, and life knows no full stops. Yes, colons, semicolons, commas, everything is allowed - but a full stop absolutely no, a hundred times no, because a full stop will mean that life has come to an end, life has come to the grave.
Life never comes to an end.
It never terminates in death.
It is an ongoing process.
Hence, Badarayana’s statement has to be understood very lovingly and very deeply. Each word of it is pure gold.
First, it has been commented upon by different commentators, giving different colors to it. You are not accustomed to it because in the West the very phenomenon of commentaries has not happened. Nobody comments on Kant, nobody comments on Hegel, nobody comments even on Socrates, nobody comments on the Bible. The very phenomenon of commentaries is absolutely Eastern. And the reason is, that the great philosophers of the West came into existence when writing had arrived, when it was not any more a question of memorizing - you could write a treatise.
And when philosophers like Kant or Hegel or Feuerbach write, they write with all possible implications, complexities, meanings. They also write keeping in mind that if somebody is going to contradict them, what their points are. They are also keeping in mind what the arguments of the opposite philosophy can be, and they are already replying to them - although nobody has opposed them, nobody has even understood what they are writing about. So their writings are very complete in a way, full and entire. They have not left anything for anybody else to add.