Chapter 10: Meditation: The Soul of Devotion
If you feel that you have arrived then you may have arrived to something that cannot be the divine. What you can hold in your fist cannot be the beyond. That which can be contained in your fist, in your words, in the limits of your mind and which becomes your experience, cannot be divine. It can be your imagination or some mental concept. It can be a Krishna, a Christ, a Buddha or a Mahavira - a thing of your imagination. It can be your philosophy on the theories of the soul, the universal soul and brahman, but not truth.
Truth is already attained. And it never happens that you feel that you have totally known it. You can have the taste of it but the hunger never ends. And as the hunger is satisfied it grows more and more. It is as if somebody is pouring ghee, purified butter, on a fire: from one side it seems that the fire’s thirst is being quenched, but from the other side its thirst seems to be growing. That’s why a lover of the divine seems to be absolutely mad. On the one hand he says that the divine is here and now, and on the other hand he makes much effort to attain it. To a worldly man it seems illogical: if the divine is already attained, then stop all this talk about attaining it. And if it is your intrinsic nature then it can never be found. How can you find that which you are not?
To the worldly people a religious person always seems to be mad. He is trying to attain in the future that which he says he already has, or he is trying to attain what there is no way to completely attain. He is going on a journey which seems to have a beginning but no end. When you start experiencing such moments and you feel surrounded by this fragrance, then be happy that you have both feelings. Don’t choose. You can say, “You are already attained, and you also have to be sought.”
A very great American thinker, Alfred Whithead, has made some very valuable statements. I will tell you some of them. The first statement is: “Religion is a search which is never over. It appears to begin, but it never seems to end.” Religion is a hope which seems like a polar star in the faraway sky - it invites, but you are never able to reach it. Religion seems to be understandable, but whosoever understands it also feels that to understand is impossible. It is mysterious. This is why religion is called a mystery. If you try to solve it you will be solved, but you will not be able to solve it. You will become relaxed, you will become totally unburdened, you will dance in ultimate joy - but the mystery will still remain a mystery.
And if it is not too disturbing to you, then let me say that there will be more mystery on the day that you disappear and no seeker is left behind except for the mystery that you perceived when you began the journey. On that day the mystery will manifest in its totality. On that day, mystery will shower from everywhere. Science destroys mystery. What science discovers is known forever, the inquiry is finished. Yet religion is always opening new doors into what we already know. We can pass through one door and ten new doors will appear. The tree of religion, its branches and sub-branches, go on spreading infinitely. Man enters into the mystery of religion but never comes out of it.
This happening is beautiful. If you are feeling this way, take it as the grace of the divine. And the spiritual search goes on like this.