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                           Thoughts and Aphorisms
                           ----------------------
                                 -Sri Aurobindo

                                   JNANA
                                   =====
   1. There are two allied powers in man; knowledge & wisdom. Knowledge
   is so much of the truth seen in a distorted medium as the mind arrives
   at by groping, wisdom what the eye of divine vision sees in the
   spirit.

   2. Inspiration is a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast &
   eternal knowledge, it exceeds reason more perfectly than reason
   exceeds the knowledge of the senses.

   3. When I speak, the reason says, "This will I say"; but God takes the
   word out of my mouth and the lips say something else at which reason
   trembles.

   4. I am not a Jnani, for I have no knowledge except what God gives me
   for His work. How am I to know whether what I see be reason or folly?
   Nay, it is neither; for the thing seen is simply true & neither folly
   nor reason.

   5. If mankind could but see though in a glimpse of fleeting experience
   what infinite enjoyments, what perfect forces, what luminous reaches
   of spontaneous knowledge, what wide calms of our being lie waiting for
   us in the tracts which our animal evolution has not yet conquered,
   they would leave all & never rest till they had gained these
   treasures. But the way is narrow, the doors are hard to force, and
   fear, distrust & scepticism are there, sentinels of Nature, to forbid
   the turning away of our feet from her ordinary pastures.

   6. Late, I learned that when reason died, then Wisdom was born; before
   that liberation, I had only knowledge.

   7. What men call knowledge, is the reasoned acceptance of false
   appearances. Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees.

   8. Reason divides, fixes details & contrasts them; Wisdom unifies,
   marries contrasts in a single harmony.

   9. Either do not give the name of knowledge to your beliefs only and
   of error, ignorance or charlatanism to the beliefs of others, or do
   not rail at the dogmas of the sects and their intolerance.

   10. What the soul sees and has experienced that it knows; the rest is
   appearance, prejudice and opinion.

   11. My soul knows that it is immortal. But you take a dead body to
   pieces and cry triumphantly "Where is your soul and where is your
   immortality?"

   12. Immortality is not the survival of the mental personality after
   death, though that also is true, but the waking possession of the
   unborn & deathless self of which body is only an instrument and a
   shadow.

   13. They proved to me by convincing reasons that God did . not exist,
   and I believed them. Afterwards I saw God, for He came and embraced
   me. And now which am I to believe, the reasonings of others or my own
   experience?

   14. They told me, "These things are hallucinations". I inquired what
   was hallucination and found that it meant a subjective or a psychical
   experience which corresponds to no objective or no physical reality.
   Then I sat and Wondered at the miracles of the human reason.

   15. Hallucination is the term of Science for those irregular glimpses
   we still have of truths shut out from us by our preoccupation with
   matter; coincidence for the curious touches of artistry in the work of
   that supreme & universal Intelligence which in its conscious being as
   on a canvas has planned & executed the world.

   16. That which men term a hallucination is the reflection in the mind
   & senses of that which is beyond our ordinary mental & sensory
   perceptions. Superstition arises from the mind's wrong understanding
   of these reflections. There is no other hallucination.

   17. Do not like so many modern disputants, smother thought under
   polysyllables or charm inquiry to sleep by the spell of formulas and
   cant words. Search always; find out the reason for things which seem
   to the hasty glance to be mere chance or illusion.

   18. Someone was laying it down that God must be this or that or He
   would not be God. But it seemed to me that I can only know what God is
   and I do not see how I can tell Him what He ought to be. For what is
   the standard by which we can judge Him? These judgments are the
   follies of our egoism.

   19. Chance is not in this universe; the idea of illusion is itself an
   illusion. There was never illusion yet in the human mind that was not
   the concealing [?shape] and disfigurement of a truth.

   20. When I had the dividing reason, I shrank from many things; after l
   had lost it in sight, I hunted through the world for the ugly and the
   repellent, but I could no longer find them.

   21. God had opened my eyes; for I saw the nobility of the vulgar, the
   attractiveness of the repellent, the perfection of the maimed and the
   beauty of the hideous.

   22. Forgiveness is praised by the Christian and the Vaishnava, but for
   me, I ask, "What have I to forgive and whom?"

   23. God struck me with a human hand; shall I say then, "I pardon Thee
   thy insolence, O God"?

   24. God gave me good in a blow. Shall I say, "I forgive thee, O
   Almighty One, the harm and the cruelty, but do it not again"?

   25. When I pine at misfortune and call it evil, or am jealous and
   disappointed, then I know that there is awake in me again the eternal
   fool.

   26. When I see others suffer, I feel that I am unfortunate, but the
   wisdom that is not mine, sees the good that is coming and approves.

   27. Sir Philip Sidney said of the criminal led out to be hanged,
   "There, but for the grace of God, goes Sir Philip Sidney." Wiser, had
   he said, "There, by the grace of God, goes Sir Philip Sidney."

   28. God is a great & cruel Torturer because He loves. You do not
   understand this, because you have not seen & played with Krishna.

   29. One called Napoleon a tyrant and imperial cut-throat; but I saw
   God armed striding through Europe.

   30. I have forgotten what vice is and what virtue; I can only see God,
   His play in the world and His will in humanity.

   31. I saw a child wallowing in the dirt and the same child cleaned by
   his mother and resplendent, but each time I trembled before his utter
   purity.

   32. What I wished or thought to be the right thing, does not come
   about; therefore it is clear that there is no All Wise one who guides
   the world but only blind Chance or a brute Causality.

   33. The Atheist is God playing at hide & seek with Himself; but is the
   Theist any other? Well, perhaps; for he has seen the shadow of God and
   clutched at it.

   34. O Thou that lovest, strike! If Thou strike me not now, I shall
   know that Thou lov'st me not.

   35. O Misfortune, blessed be thou; for through thee I have seen the
   face of my Lover.

   36. Men are still in love with grief; when they see one who is too
   high for grief or joy, they curse him & cry, "O thou insensible!"
   Therefore Christ still hangs on the cross in Jerusalem.

   37. Men are in love with sin; when they see one who is too high for
   vice or virtue, they curse him & cry, "O thou breaker of bonds, thou
   wicked and immoral one!" Therefore Srikrishna does not live as yet in
   Brindavun.

   38. Some say Krishna never lived, he is a myth. They mean on earth;
   for if Brindavun existed nowhere, the Bhagwat could not have been
   written.

   39. Strange! the Germans have disproved the existence of Christ; yet
   his crucifixion remains still a greater historic fact than the death
   of Caesar.

   40. Sometimes one is led to think that only those things really matter
   which have never happened; for beside them most historic achievements
   seem almost pale and ineffective.

   41. There are four very great events in history, the siege of Troy,
   the life and crucifixion of Christ, the exile of Krishna in Brindavun
   and the colloquy with Arjuna on the field of Kurukshetra. The siege of
   Troy created Hellas, the exile in Brindavun created devotional
   religion, (for before there was only meditation and worship,) Christ
   from his cross humanised Europe, the colloquy at Kurukshetra will yet
   liberate humanity. Yet it is said that none of these four events ever
   happened.

   42. They say that the Gospels are forgeries and Krishna a creation of
   the poets. Thank God then for the forgeries and bow down before the
   creators.

   43. If God assigns to me my place in Hell, I do not know why I should
   aspire to Heaven. He knows best what is for my welfare.

   44. If God draw me towards Heaven, then, even if His other hand strive
   to keep me in Hell, yet must I struggle upward.

   45. Only those thoughts are true the opposite of which is also true in
   its own time and application; indisputable dogmas are the most
   dangerous kind of falsehoods.

   46. Logic is the worst enemy of Truth, as self-righteousness is the
   worst enemy of virtue, -- for the one cannot see its own errors nor
   the other its own imperfections.

   47. When I was asleep in the Ignorance, I came to a place of
   meditation full of holy men and I found their company wearisome and
   the place a prison; when I awoke, God took me to a prison and turned
   it into a place of meditation and His trysting-ground.

   48. When I read a wearisome book through and with pleasure, yet
   perceived all the perfection of its wearisomeness, then I knew that my
   mind was conquered.

   49. I knew my mind to be conquered when it admired the beauty of the
   hideous, yet felt perfectly why other men shrank back or hated.

   50. To feel & love the God of beauty and good in the ugly and the
   evil, and still yearn in utter love to heal it of its ugliness and its
   evil, this is real virtue and morality.

   51. To hate the sinner is the worst sin, for it is hating God; yet he
   who commits it, glories in his superior virtue.

   52. When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at man's capacity for
   self-deception.

   53. This is a miracle that men can love God, yet fail to love
   humanity. With whom are they in love then?

   54. The quarrels of religious sects are like the disputing of pots,
   which shall be alone allowed to hold the immortalising nectar. Let
   them dispute, but the thing for us is to get at the nectar in whatever
   pot and attain immortality.

   55. You say that the flavour of the pot alters the liquor. That is
   taste; but what can deprive it of its immortalising faculty?

   56. Be wide in me, O Varuna; be mighty in me, O Indra; O Sun, be very
   bright and luminous; O Moon, be full of charm and sweetness. Be fierce
   and terrible, O Rudra; be impetuous and swift, O Maruts; be strong and
   bold, O Aryama; be voluptuous and pleasurable, O Bhaga; be tender and
   kind and loving and passionate, O Mitra. Be bright and revealing, O
   Dawn; O Night, be solemn and pregnant. O Life, be full, ready &
   buoyant; O Death, lead my steps from mansion to mansion. Harmonise all
   these, O Brahmanaspati. Let me not be subject to these gods, O Kali.

   57. When, O -eager disputant, thou hast prevailed in a debate, then
   art thou greatly to be pitied; for thou hast lost a chance of widening
   knowledge.

   58. Because the tiger acts according to his nature and knows not
   anything else, therefore he is divine and there is no evil in him. If
   he questioned himself, then he would be a criminal.

   59. The animal, before he is corrupted, has not yet eaten of the tree
   of the knowledge of good and evil; the god has abandoned it for the
   tree of eternal life; man stands between the upper heaven and the
   lower nature.

   60. One of the greatest comforts of religion is that you can get hold
   of God sometimes and give him a satisfactory beating. People mock at
   the folly of savages who beat their gods when their prayers are not
   answered; but it is the mockers who are the fools and the savages.

   61. There is no mortality. It is only the Immortal who can die; the
   mortal could neither be born nor perish. There is nothing finite. It
   is only the Infinite who can make for Himself limits; the finite can
   have no beginning nor end, for the very act of conceiving its
   beginning & end declares its infinity.

   62. I heard a fool discoursing utter folly and wondered what God meant
   by it; then I considered and saw a distorted mask of truth and wisdom.

   63. God is great, says the Mahomedan. Yes, He is so great that He can
   afford to be weak, whenever that too is necessary.

   64. God often fails in His workings; it is the sign of His illimitable
   godhead.

   65. Because God is invincibly great. He can afford to be weak; because
   He is immutably pure. He can indulge with impunity in sin; He knows
   eternally all delight, therefore He tastes also the delight of pain;
   He is inalienably wise, therefore He has not debarred Himself from
   folly.

   66. Sin is that which was once in its place, persisting now it is out
   of place; there is no other sinfulness.

   67. There is no sin in man, but a great deal of disease, ignorance and
   misapplication.

   68. The sense of sin was necessary in order that man might become
   disgusted with his own imperfections. It was God's corrective for
   egoism. But man's egoism meets God's device by being very dully alive
   to its own sins and very keenly alive to the sins of others.

   69. Sin & virtue are a game of resistance we play with God in His
   efforts to draw us towards perfection. The sense of virtue helps us to
   cherish our sins in secret.

   70. Examine thyself without pity, then thou wilt be more charitable
   and pitiful to others.

   71. A thought is an arrow shot at the truth; it can hit a point, but
   not cover the whole target. But the archer is too well satisfied with
   his success to ask anything farther.

   72. The sign of dawning Knowledge is to feel that as yet I know little
   or nothing, & yet, if I could only know my knowledge, I already
   possess everything.

   73. When Wisdom comes, her first lesson is, "There is no such thing as
   knowledge; there are only aper(us of the Infinite Deity."

   74. Practical knowledge is a different thing; that is real and
   serviceable, but it is never complete. Therefore to systematise and
   codify it is necessary but fatal.

   75. Systematise we must, but even in making & holding the system, we
   should always keep firm hold on this truth that all systems are in
   their nature transitory and incomplete.

   76. Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation
   and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a
   child shall destroy her.

   77. Genius discovers a system; average talent stereotypes it till it
   is shattered by fresh genius. It is dangerous for an army to be led by
   veterans; for on the other side God may place Napoleon.

   78. When knowledge is fresh in us, then it is invincible; when it is
   old, it loses its virtue. This is because God moves always forward.

   79. God is infinite Possibility. Therefore Truth is never at rest;
   therefore, also. Error is justified of her children.

   80. To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never
   laughs; Heine was nearer the mark when he found in Him the divine
   Aristophanes.

   81. God's laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears;
   He is not satisfied with being Moliere, He must needs also be
   Aristophanes and Rabelais.

   82. If men took life less seriously, they could very soon make it more
   perfect. God never takes His works seriously; therefore one looks out
   on this wonderful Universe.

   83. Shame has admirable results and both in aesthetics and in morality
   we could ill spare it; but for all that it is a badge of weakness and
   the proof of ignorance.

   84. The supernatural is that the nature of which we have not attained
   or do not yet know, or the means of which we have not yet conquered.
   The common taste for miracles is the sign that man's ascent is not yet
   finished.

   85. It is rationality and prudence to distrust the supernatural; but
   to believe in it, is also a sort of wisdom.

   86. Great saints have performed miracles; greater saints have railed
   at them; the greatest have both railed at them and performed them.

   87. Open thy eyes and see what the world really is and what God; have
   done with vain and pleasant imaginations.

   88. This world was built by Death that he might live. Wilt thou
   abolish death? Then life too will perish. Thou canst not abolish
   death, but thou mayst transform it into a greater living.

   89. This world was built by Cruelty that she might love. Wilt thou
   abolish cruelty? Then love too will perish. Thou canst not abolish
   cruelty, but thou mayst transfigure it into its opposite, into a
   fierce Love & Delightfulness.

   90. This world was built by Ignorance & Error that they might know.
   Wilt thou abolish ignorance and error? Then knowledge too will perish.
   Thou canst not abolish ignorance & error, but thou mayst transmute
   them into the utter & effulgent exceeding of reason.

   91. If Life alone were & not death, there could be no immortality; if
   love were alone & not cruelty, joy would be only a tepid & ephemeral
   rapture; if reason were alone & not ignorance, our highest attainment
   would not exceed a limited rationality & worldly wisdom.

   92. Death transformed becomes Life that is Immortality; Cruelty
   transfigured becomes Love that is intolerable ecstasy; Ignorance
   transmuted becomes Light that leaps beyond wisdom and knowledge.

   93. Pain is the touch of our Mother teaching us how to bear and grow
   in rapture. She has three stages of her schooling, endurance first,
   next equality of soul, last ecstasy.

   94. All renunciation is for a greater joy yet ungrasped. Some renounce
   for the joy of duty done, some for the joy of peace, some for the joy
   of God and some for the joy of self-torture, but renounce rather as a
   passage to the freedom and untroubled rapture beyond.

   95. Only by perfect renunciation of desire or by perfect satisfaction
   of desire can the utter embrace of God be experienced; for in both
   ways the essential precondition is effected, -- desire perishes.

   96. Experience in thy soul the truth of the Scripture; afterwards, if
   thou wilt, reason & state thy experience intellectually & even then
   distrust thy statement; but distrust never thy experience.

   97. When thou affirmest thy soul-experience & deniest the different
   soul-experience of another, know that God is making a fool of thee.
   Dost thou not hear His self-delighted laughter behind thy soul's
   curtains?

   98. Revelation is the direct sight, the direct hearing or the inspired
   memory of Truth, drishti, sruti, smriti; it is the highest experience
   and always accessible to renewed experience. Not because God spoke it,
   but because the soul saw it, is the word of the Scriptures our supreme
   authority.

   99. The word of Scripture is infallible; it is in the interpretation
   the heart and reason put upon the Scripture that error has her
   portion.

   100. Shun all lowness, narrowness & shallowness in religious thought &
   experience. Be wider than the widest horizons, be loftier than highest
   Kanchenjunga, be profounder than the deepest oceans.

   101. In God's sight there is no near or distant, no present, past or
   future. These things are only a convenient perspective for His
   world-picture.

   102. To the senses it is always true that the sun moves round the
   earth; this is false to the reason. To the reason it is always true
   that the earth moves round the sun; this is false to the supreme
   vision. Neither earth moves nor sun; there is only a change in the
   relation of sun-conisciousness & earth-consciousness.

   103. Vivekananda, exalting Sannyasa, has said that in all Indian
   history there is only one Janaka. Not so, for Janaka is not the name
   of a single individual, but a dynasty of self-ruling kings and the
   triumph-cry of an ideal.

   104. In all the lakhs of ochre-clad Sannyasins, how many are perfect?
   It is the few attainments and the many approximations that justify an
   ideal.

   105. There have been hundreds of perfect Sannyasins, because Sannyasa
   had been widely preached and numerously practised; let it be the same
   with the ideal freedom and we shall have hundreds of Janakas.

   106. Sannyasa has a formal garb and outer tokens; therefore men think
   they can easily recognise it; but the freedom of a Janaka does not
   proclaim itself and it wears the garb of the world; to its presence
   even Narada was blinded.

   107. Hard is it to be in the world, free, yet living the life of
   ordinary men; but because it is hard, therefore it must be attempted
   and accomplished.

   108. When he watched the actions of Janaka, even Narada the divine
   sage thought him a luxurious worldling and libertine. Unless thou
   canst see the soul, how shall thou say that a man is free or bound?

   109. All things seem hard to man that are above his attained level, &
   they are hard to his unaided effort; but they become at once easy &
   simple when God in man takes up the contract.

   110. To see the composition of the sun or the lines of Mars is
   doubtless a great achievement; but when thou hast the instrument that
   can show thee a man's soul as thou seest a picture, then thou wilt
   smile at the wonders of physical Science as the playthings of babies.

   111. Knowledge is a child with its achievements; for when it has found
   out something, it runs about the streets whooping and shouting; Wisdom
   conceals hers for a long time in a thoughtful and mighty silence.

   112. Science talks and behaves as if it had conquered all knowledge:
   Wisdom, as she walks, hears her solitary tread echoing on the margin
   of immeasurable Oceans.

   113. Hatred is the sign of a secret attraction that is eager to flee
   from itself and furious to deny its own existence. That too is God's
   play in His creature.

   114. Selfishness is the only sin, meanness the only vice, hatred the
   only criminality. All else can easily be turned into good, but these
   are obstinate resisters of deity.

   115. The world is a long recurring decimal with Brahman for its
   integer. The period seems to begin and end, but the fraction is
   eternal; it will never have an end and never had any real beginning.

   116. The beginning and end of things is a conventional term of our
   experience; in their true existence these terms have no reality, there
   is no end and no beginning.

   117. "Neither is it that I was not before nor thou nor these kings nor
   that all we shall not be hereafter." Not only Brahman, but beings &
   things in Brahman are eternal; their creation and destruction is a
   play of hide and seek with our outward consciousness.

   118. The love of solitude is a sign of the disposition towards
   knowledge; but knowledge itself is only achieved when we have a
   settled perception of solitude in the crowd, in the battle and in the
   mart.

   119. If when thou art doing great actions and moving giant results,
   thou canst perceive that thou art doing nothing, then know that God
   has removed His seal from thy eyelids.

   120. If when thou sittest alone, still & voiceless on the
   mountain-top, thou canst perceive the revolutions thou art conducting,
   then hast thou the divine vision and art freed from appearances.

   121. The love of inaction is folly and the scorn of inaction is folly;
   there is no inaction. The stone lying inert upon the sands which is
   kicked away in an idle moment, has been producing its effect upon the
   hemispheres.

   122. If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion, first see wherein thy
   thought is true, then study wherein its opposite and contradiction is
   true; last, discover the cause of these differences and the key of
   God's harmony.

   123. An opinion is neither true nor false, but only serviceable for
   life or unserviceable; for it is a creation of Time and with time it
   loses its effect and value. Rise thou above opinion and seek wisdom
   everlasting.

   124. Use opinion for life, but let her not bind thy soul in her
   fetters.

   125. Every law, however embracing or tyrannous, meets somewhere a
   contrary law by which its operation can be checked, modified, annulled
   or eluded.

   126. The most binding Law of Nature is only a fixed process which the
   Lord of Nature has framed and uses constantly; the Spirit made it and
   the Spirit can exceed it, but we-must first open the doors of our
   prison-house and learn to live less in Nature than in the Spirit.

   127. Law is a process or a formula; but the soul is the user of
   processes and exceeds formulas.

   128. Live according to Nature, runs the maxim of the West; but
   according to what nature, the nature of the body or the nature which
   exceeds the body? This first we ought to determine.

   129. O son of Immortality, live not thou according to Nature, but
   according to God; and compel her also to live according to the deity
   within thee.

   130. Fate is God's foreknowledge outside Space & Time of all that in
   Space & Time shall yet happen; what He has foreseen. Power & Necessity
   work out by the conflict of forces.

   131. Because God has willed and foreseen everything, thou shouldst not
   therefore sit inactive and wait upon His providence, for thy action is
   one of His chief effective forces. Up then and be doing, not with
   egoism, but as the circumstance, instrument and apparent cause of the
   event that He has predetermined.

   132. When I knew nothing, then I abhorred the criminal, sinful and
   impure, being myself full of crime, sin and impurity; but when I was
   cleansed and my eyes unsealed, then I bowed down in my spirit before
   the thief and the murderer and adored the feet of the harlot; for I
   saw that these souls had accepted the terrible burden of evil and
   drained for all of us the greater portion of the churned poison of the
   world-ocean.

   133. The Titans are stronger than the gods because they have agreed
   with God to front and bear the burden of His wrath and enmity; the
   gods were able to accept only the pleasant burden of His love and
   kindlier rapture.

   134. When thou art able to see how necessary is suffering to final
   delight, failure to utter effectiveness and retardation to the last
   rapidity, then thou mayst begin to understand something, however
   faintly and dimly, of God's workings.

   135. All disease is a means towards some new joy of health, all evil &
   pain a tuning of Nature for some more intense bliss & good, all death
   an opening on widest immortality. Why and how this should be so, is
   God's secret which only the soul purified of egoism can penetrate.

   136. Why is thy mind or thy body in pain? Because thy soul behind the
   veil wishes for the pain or takes delight in it; but if thou wilt --
   and perseverest in thy will -- thou canst impose the spirit's law of
   unmixed delight on thy lower members.

   137. There is no iron or ineffugable law that a given contact shall
   create pain or pleasure; it is the way the soul meets the rush or
   pressure of Brahman upon the members from outside them that-determines
   either reaction.

   138. The force of soul in thee meeting the same force from outside
   cannot harmonise the measures of the contact in values of
   mind-experience & body-experience, therefore thou hast pain, grief or
   uneasiness. If thou canst learn to adjust the replies of the force in
   thyself to the questions of world-force, thou shalt find pain becoming
   pleasurable or turning into pure delightfulness. Right relation is the
   condition of blissfulness, ritam the key of ananda.

   139. Who is the superman? He who can rise above this matter-regarding
   broken mental human unit and possess himself universalised and deified
   in a divine force, a divine love & joy and a divine knowledge.

   140. If thou keepest this limited human ego & thinkest thyself the
   superman, thou art but the fool of thy own pride, the plaything of thy
   own force and the instrument of thy own illusions.

   141. Nietzsche saw the superman as the lion-soul passing out of
   camel-hood, but the true heraldic device & token of the superman is
   the lion seated upon the camel which stands upon the cow of plenty. If
   thou canst not be the slave of all mankind, thou art not fit to be its
   master and if thou canst not make thy nature as Vasishta's cow of
   plenty with all mankind to draw its wish from her udders, what avails
   thy leonine supermanhood?

   142. Be to the world as the lion in fearlessness and lordship, as the
   camel in patience and service, as the cow in quiet, forbearing &
   maternal beneficence. Raven on all the joys of God as a lion over its
   prey, but bring also all humanity into that infinite field of
   luxurious ecstasy to wallow there and to pasture.

   143. If Art's service is but to imitate Nature, then burn all the
   picture galleries and let us have instead photographic studios. It is
   because Art reveals what Nature hides, that a small picture is worth
   more than all the jewels of the millionaires and the treasures of the
   princes.

   144. If you only imitate visible Nature, you will perpetrate either a
   corpse, a dead sketch or a monstrosity; Truth lives in that which goes
   behind & beyond the visible & sensible.

   145. O Poet, O Artist, if thou but boldest up the mirror to Nature,
   thinkest thou Nature will rejoice in thy work? Rather she will turn
   away her face. For what dost thou hold up to her there? Herself? No,
   but a lifeless outline & reflection, a shadowy mimicry. It is the
   secret soul of Nature thou hast to seize, thou hast to hunt eternally
   after the truth in the external symbol, and that no mirror will hold
   for thee, nor for her whom thou seekest.

   146. I find in Shakespeare a far greater & more consistent
   universalist than the Greeks. All his creations are universal types
   from Lancelot Gobbo & his dog up to Lear & Hamlet.

   147. The Greeks sought universality by omitting all finer individual
   touches; Shakespeare sought it more successfully by universalising the
   rarest individual details of character. That which Nature uses for
   concealing from us the Infinite, Shakespeare used for revealing the
   Ananta-guna in man to the eye of humanity.

   148. Shakespeare, who invented the figure of holding up the mirror to
   Nature, was the one poet who never condescended to a copy, a
   photograph or a shadow. The reader who sees in Falstaff, Maebeth, Lear
   or Hamlet imitations of Nature, has either no inner eye of the soul or
   has been hypnotised by a formula.

   149. Where in material Nature wilt thou find Falstaff, Maebeth or
   Lear? Shadows & hints of them she possesses but they themselves' tower
   above her.

   150. There are two for whom there is hope, the man who has felt God's
   touch & been drawn to it and the sceptical seeker & self-convinced
   atheist; but for the formularists of all the religions & the parrots
   of free thought, they are dead souls who follow a death that they call
   living.

   151. A man came to a scientist and wished to be instructed; this
   instructor showed him the revelations of the microscope & telescope,
   but the man laughed and said, "These are obviously hallucinations
   inflicted on the eye by the glass which you use as a medium; I will
   not believe till you show these wonders to my naked seeing." Then the
   scientist proved to him by many collateral facts & experiments the
   reliability of his knowledge but the man laughed again & said, "What
   you term proofs, I term coincidences, the number of coincidences does
   not constitute proof; as for your experiments, they are obviously
   effected under abnormal conditions & constitute a sort of insanity of
   Nature." When confronted with the results of mathematics, he was angry
   & cried out, "This is obviously imposture, gibberish & superstition;
   will you try to make me believe that these absurd cabalistic figures
   have any real force & meaning?" Then the scientist drove him out as a
   hopeless imbecile; for he did not recognise his own system of denials
   and his own method of negative reasoning. If we wish to refuse an
   impartial & openminded enquiry, we can always find the most
   respectable polysyllables to cover our refusal or impose tests &
   conditions which stultify the inquiry.

   152. When our minds are involved in matter, they think matter the only
   reality; when we draw back into immaterial consciousness, then we see
   matter a mask and feel existence in consciousness alone as having the
   touch of reality. Which then of these two is the truth? Nay, God
   knoweth; but he who has had both experiences, can easily tell which
   condition is the more fertile in knowledge, the mightier & more
   blissful.

   153. I believe immaterial consciousness to be truer than material
   consciousness? Because I know in the first what in the second is
   hidden from me & also can command what the mind knows in matter.

   154. Hell & Heaven exist only in the soul's consciousness. Ay, but so
   does the earth and its lands & seas & fields & deserts & mountains &
   rivers. All world is nothing but arrangement of the Soul's seeing.

   155. There is only one soul & one existence; therefore we all see one
   objectivity only; but there are many knots of mind & ego in the one
   soul-existence, therefore we .all see the one Object in different
   lights & shadows.

   156. The idealist errs; it is not Mind which created the worlds, but
   that which created mind has created them. Mind only mis-sees, because
   it sees partially & by details, what is created.

   157. Thus said Ramakrishna and thus said Vivekananda. Yes, but let me
   know also the truths which the Avatar cast not forth into speech and
   the prophet has omitted from his teachings. There will always be more
   in God than the thought of man has ever conceived or the tongue of man
   has ever uttered.

   158. What was Ramakrishna? God manifest in a human being; but behind
   there is God in His infinite impersonality and His universal
   Personality. And what was Vivekananda? A radiant glance from the eye
   of Shiva; but behind him is the divine gaze from which he came and
   Shiva himself and Brahma and Vishnu and OM all-exceeding.

   159. He who recognises not Krishna, the God in man, knows not God
   entirely; he who knows Krishna only, knows not even Krishna. Yet is
   the opposite truth also wholly true that if thou canst see all God in
   a little pale unsightly and scentless flower, then hast thou hold of
   His supreme reality.

   160. Shun the barren snare of an empty metaphysics and the dry dust of
   an unfertile intellectuality. Only that knowledge is worth having
   which can be made use of for a living delight and put out into
   temperament, action, creation and being.

   161. Become & live the knowledge thou hast; then is thy knowledge the
   living God within thee.

   162. Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the
   reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of
   the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.

   163. The power to observe law rigidly is the basis of freedom;
   therefore in most disciplines the soul has to endure & fulfil the law
   in its lower members before it can rise to the perfect freedom of its
   divine being. Those disciplines which begin with freedom are only for
   the mighty ones who are naturally free or in former lives have founded
   their freedom.

   164. Those who are deficient in the free, full and intelligent
   observation of a self-imposed law, must be placed in subjection to the
   will of others. This is one principal cause of the subjection of
   nations. After their disturbing egoism has been trampled under the
   feet of a master, they are given or, if they have force in them,
   attain a fresh chance of deserving liberty by liberty.

   165. To observe the law we have imposed on ourselves rather than the
   law of others is what is meant by liberty in our unregenerate
   condition. Only in God & by the supremacy of the spirit can we enjoy a
   perfect freedom.

   166. The double law of sin & virtue is imposed on us because we have
   not that ideal life & knowledge within which guides the soul
   spontaneously & infallibly to its self-fulfilment. The law of sin &
   virtue ceases for us when the sun of God shines upon the soul in truth
   & love with its unveiled splendour. Moses is replaced by Christ, the
   Shastra by the Veda.

   167. God within is leading us always aright even when we are in the
   bonds of the ignorance; but then, though the goal is sure, it is
   attained by circlings & deviations.

   168. The Cross is in Yoga the symbol of the soul & nature in their
   strong & perfect union, but because of our fall into the impurities of
   ignorance it has become the symbol of suffering and purification.

   169. Christ came into the world to purify, not to fulfil. He himself
   foreknew the failure of his mission and the necessity of his return
   with the sword of God into a world that had rejected him.

   170. Mahomed's mission was necessary, else we might have ended by
   thinking, in the exaggeration of our efforts at self-purification,
   that earth was meant only for the monk and the city created as a
   vestibule for the desert.

   171. When all is said. Love & Force together can save the world
   eventually, but not Love only or Force only. Therefore Christ had to
   look forward to a second advent and Mahomed's religion, where it is
   not stagnant, looks forward through the Imams to a Mahdi.

   172. Law cannot save the world, therefore Moses' ordinances are dead
   for humanity & the Shastra of the Brahmins is corrupt & dying. Law
   released into Freedom is the liberator. Not the Pundit, but the Yogin;
   not monasticism, but the inner renunciation of desire and ignorance &
   egoism.

   173. Even Vivekananda once in the stress of emotion admitted the
   fallacy that a personal God would be too immoral to be suffered and it
   would be the duty of all good men to resist Him. But if an omnipotent
   supra-moral Will & Intelligence governs the world, it is surely
   impossible to resist Him; our resistance would only serve His ends &
   really be dictated by Him. Is it not better then, instead of
   condemning or denying, to study and understand Him?

   174. If we would understand God, we must renounce our egoistic &
   ignorant human standards or else ennoble and universalise them.

   175. Because a good man dies or fails & the evil live & triumph, is
   God therefore evil? I do not see the logic of the consequence. I must
   first be convinced that death & failure are evil; I sometimes think
   that when they come, they are our supreme momentary good. But we are
   the fools of our hearts & nerves & argue that what they do not like or
   desire, must of course be an evil!

   176. When I look back on my past life, I see that if I had not failed
   & suffered, I would have lost my life's supreme blessings; yet at the
   time of the suffering & failure, I was vexed with the sense of
   calamity. Because we cannot see anything but the one fact under our
   noses, therefore we indulge in all these snifflings and clamours. Be
   silent, ye foolish hearts! slay the ego, learn to see & feel vastly &
   universally.

   177. The perfect cosmic vision & cosmic sentiment is the cure of all
   error & suffering; but most men succeed only in enlarging the range of
   their ego.

   178. Men say & think "For my country!", "For humanity!", "For the
   world!", but they really mean "For myself seen in my country!", "For
   myself seen in humanity!", "For myself imaged to my fancy as the
   world!". That may be an enlargement, but it is not liberation. To be
   at large & to be in a large prison are not one condition of freedom.

   179. Live for God in thy neighbour, God in thyself, God in thy country
   & the country of thy foeman, God in humanity, God in tree & stone &
   animal, God in the world & outside the world, then art thou on the
   straight path to liberation.

   180. There are lesser & larger eternities, for eternity is a term of
   the soul & can exist in Time as well as exceeding it. When the
   Scriptures say "sasvatih samah," they mean for a long space &
   permanence of time or a hardly measurable aeon; only God Absolute has
   the absolute eternity. Yet when one goes within, one sees that all
   things are secretly eternal; there is no end, neither was there ever a
   beginning.

   181. When thou callest another a fool, as thou must, sometimes, yet do
   not forget that thou thyself hast been the supreme fool in humanity.

   182. God loves to play the fool in season; man does it in season & out
   of season. It is the only difference.

   183. In the Buddhists' view to have saved an ant from drowning is a
   greater work than to have founded an empire. There is a truth in the
   idea, but a truth that can easily be exaggerated.

   184. To exalt one virtue, -- compassion even, -- unduly above all
   others is to cover up with one's hand the eyes of wisdom. God moves
   always towards a harmony.

   185. Pity may be reserved, so long as thy soul makes distinctions, for
   the suffering animals; but humanity deserves from thee something
   nobler; it asks for love, for understanding, for comradeship, for the
   help of the equal & brother.

   186. The contributions of evil to the good of the world & the harm
   sometimes done by the virtuous are distressing to the soul enamoured
   of good. Nevertheless be not distressed nor confounded, but study
   rather & calmly understand God's ways with humanity.

   187. In God's providence there is no evil, but only good or its
   preparation.

   188. Virtue & vice were made for thy soul's struggle & progress; but
   for results they belong to God, who fulfils himself beyond vice &
   virtue.

   189. Live within; be not [...] shaken by outward happenings.

   190. Fling not thy alms abroad everywhere in an ostentation of
   charity; understand & love where thou helpest. Let thy soul grow
   within thee.

   191. Help the poor while the poor are with thee; but study also &
   strive that there may be no poor for thy assistance.

   192. The old Indian social ideal demanded of the priest voluntary
   simplicity of life, purity, learning and the gratuitous instruction of
   the community, of the prince, war, government, protection of the weak
   & the giving up of his life in the battle-field, of the merchant,
   trade, gain and the return of his gains to the community by free
   giving, of the serf, labour for the rest & material havings. In
   atonement for his serfhood, it spared him the tax of self-denial, the
   tax of blood & the tax of his riches.

   193. The existence of poverty is the proof of an unjust &
   ill-organised society, and our public charities are but the first
   tardy awakening in the conscience of a robber.

   194. Valmekie, our ancient epic poet, includes among the signs of a
   just & enlightened state of society not only universal education,
   morality and spirituality but this also that there shall be "none who
   is compelled to eat coarse food, none uncrowned & unanointed or who is
   restricted to a mean and petty share of luxuries."

   195. The acceptance of poverty is noble & beneficial in a class or an
   individual, but it becomes fatal and pauperises life of its richness &
   expansion if it is perverted into a general or national ideal. Athens,
   not Sparta, is the progressive type for mankind. Ancient India with
   its ideal of vast riches & vast spending was the greatest of nations;
   modern India with its trend towards national asceticism has finally
   become poor in life & sunk into weakness & degradation.

   196. Poverty is no more a necessity of organised social life than
   disease of the natural body; false habits of life & an ignorance of
   our true organisation are in both cases the peccant causes of an
   avoidable disorder.

   197. Do not dream that when thou hast got rid of material poverty, men
   will even so be happy or satisfied or society freed from ills,
   troubles & problems. This is only the first & lowest necessity. While
   the soul within remains defectively organised, there will always be
   outward unrest, disorder & revolution.

   198. Disease will always return to the body if the soul is flawed; for
   the sins of the mind are the secret cause of the sins of the body. So
   too poverty & trouble will always return on man in society, so long as
   the mind of the race is subjected to egoism.

   199. Religion & philosophy seek to rescue man from his ego; then the
   kingdom of heaven within will be spontaneously reflected in an
   external divine city.

   200. Mediaeval Christianity said to the race, "Man, thou art in thy
   earthly life an evil thing & a worm before God; renounce then egoism,
   live for a future state and submit thyself to God & His priest." The
   results were not overgood for humanity. Modern knowledge says to the
   race, "Man, thou art an ephemeral animal and no more to Nature than
   the ant & the earthworm, -- a transitory speck only in the universe.
   Live then for the State & submit thyself antlike to the trained
   administrator & the scientific expert." Will this gospel succeed any
   better than the other?

   201. Vedanta says rather, "Man, thou art of one nature & substance
   with God, one soul with thy fellow-men. Awake & progress then to thy
   utter divinity, live for God in thyself & in others." This gospel
   which was given only to the few, must now be offered to all mankind
   for its deliverance.

   202. The human race always progresses most when most it asserts its
   importance to Nature, its freedom & its universality.

   203. Animal man is the obscure starting-point, the present natural man
   the varied & tangled mid-road but supernatural man the luminous &
   transcendent goal of our human journey.

   204. Life and action culminate and are eternally crowned for thee when
   thou hast attained the power of symbolising & manifesting in every
   thought & act, in wealth getting, wealth having or wealth spending, in
   home & government & society, in art, literature and life, the One
   Immortal in this lower mortal being.

                                   KARMA
                                   =====
   205. God leads man while man is misleading himself, the higher nature
   watches over the stumblings of his lower mortality; this is the tangle
   & contradiction out of which we have to escape into the [?self-unity]
   to which alone is possible a clear knowledge & a faultless action.

   206. That thou shouldst have pity on creatures, is well, but not well,
   if thou art a slave to thy pity. Be a slave to nothing except to God,
   not even to His most luminous angels.

   207. Beatitude is God's aim for humanity; get this supreme good for
   thyself first that thou mayst distribute it entirely to thy
   fellow-beings.

   208. He who acquires for himself alone, acquires ill though he may
   call it heaven and virtue.

   209. In my ignorance I thought anger could be noble and vengeance
   grandiose; but now when I watch Achilles in his epic fury, I see a
   very fine baby in a very fine rage and I am pleased and amused.

   210. Power is noble, when it overtops anger; destruction is grandiose,
   but it loses caste when it proceeds from vengeance. Leave these
   things, for they belong to a lower humanity.

   211. Poets make much of death and external afflictions; but the only
   tragedies are the soul's failures and the only epic man's triumphant
   ascent towards godhead.

   212. The tragedies of the heart & the body are the weeping of children
   over their little griefs & their broken toys. Smile within thyself,
   but comfort the children; join also, if thou canst, in their play.

   213. "There is always something abnormal and eccentric about men of
   genius." And why not? For genius itself is an abnormal birth and out
   of man's ordinary centre.

   214. Genius is Nature's first attempt to liberate the imprisoned god
   out of her human mould; the mould has to suffer in the process. It is
   astonishing that the cracks are so few and unimportant.

   215. Nature sometimes gets into a fury with her own resistance, then
   she damages the brain in order to free the inspiration; for in this
   effort the equilibrium of the average material brain is her chief
   opponent. Pass over the madness of such and profit by their
   inspiration.

   216. Who can bear Kali rushing into the system in her fierce force and
   burning godhead? Only the man whom Krishna already possesses.

   217. Hate not the oppressor, for, if he is strong, thy hate increases
   his force of resistance; if he is weak, thy hate was needless.

   218. Hatred is a sword of power, but its edge is always double. It is
   like the Kritya of the ancient magicians which, if baulked of its
   prey, returned in fury to devour its sender.

   219. Love God in thy opponent, even while thou strikest him; so shall
   neither have hell for his portion.

   220. Men talk of enemies, but where are they? I only see wrestlers of
   one party or the other in the great arena of the universe.

   221. The saint and the angel are not the only divinities; admire also
   the Titan and the giant.

   222. The old writings call the Titans the elder gods. So they still
   are; nor is any god entirely divine unless there is hidden in him also
   a Titan.

   223. If I cannot be Rama, then I would be Ravana; for he is the dark
   side of Vishnu.

   224. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice always, but for the sake of God
   and humanity, not for the sake of sacrifice.

   225. Selfishness kills the soul; destroy it. But take care that your
   altruism does not kill the souls of others.

   226. Very usually, altruism is only the sublimest form of selfishness.

   227. He who will not slay when God bids him, works in the world an
   incalculable havoc.

   228. Respect human life as long as you can; but respect more the life
   of humanity. .

   229. Men slay out of uncontrollable anger, hatred or vengeance; they
   shall suffer the rebound now or hereafter; or they slay to serve a
   selfish end, coldly; God shall not pardon them. If thou slay, first
   let thy soul have known death for a reality & seen God in the smitten,
   the stroke & the striker.

   230. Courage and love are the only indispensable virtues; even if all
   the others are eclipsed or fall asleep, these two will save the soul
   alive.

   231. Meanness & selfishness are the only sins that I find it difficult
   to pardon; yet they alone are almost universal. Therefore these also
   must not be hated in others, but in ourselves annihilated.

   232. Nobleness and generosity are the soul's ethereal firmament;
   without them, one looks at an insect in a dungeon.

   233. Let not thy virtues be such as men praise or reward, but such as
   make for thy perfection and God in thy nature demands of thee.

   234. Altruism, duty, family, country, humanity are the prisons of the
   soul when they are not its instruments.

   235. Our country is God the Mother; speak not evil of her unless thou
   canst do it with love and tenderness.

   236. Men are false to their country for their own profit; yet they go
   on thinking they have a right to turn in horror from the matricide.

   237. Break the moulds of the past, but keep safe its gains and its
   spirit, or else thou hast no future.

   238. Revolutions hew the past to pieces and cast it into a cauldron,
   but what has emerged is the old Aeson with a new visage.

   239. The world has had only half a dozen successful revolutions and
   most even of these were very like failures; yet it is by great & noble
   failures that humanity advances.

   240. Atheism is a necessary protest against the wickedness of the
   Churches and the narrowness of creeds. God uses it as a stone to smash
   these soiled card-houses.

   241. How much hatred & stupidity men succeed in packing up decorously
   and labelling "Religion"!

   242. God guides best when He tempts worst, loves entirely when He
   punishes cruelly, helps perfectly when violently He opposes.

   243. If God did not take upon Himself the burden of tempting men, the
   world would very soon go to perdition.

   244. Suffer yourself to be tempted within so that you may exhaust in
   the struggle your downward propensities.

   245. If you leave it to God to purify, He will exhaust the evil in you
   subjectively; but if you insist on guiding yourself, you will fall
   into much outward sin and suffering.

   246. Call not everything evil which men call evil, but only that
   reject which God has rejected; call not everything good which men call
   good, but accept only what God has accepted.

   247. Men in the world have two lights, duty and principle; but he who
   has passed over to God, has done with both and replaced them by God's
   will. If men abuse thee for this, care not, O divine instrument, but
   go on thy way like the wind or the sun fostering and destroying.

   248. Not to cull the praises of men has God made thee His own, but to
   do fearlessly His bidding.

   249. Accept the world as God's theatre; be thou the mask of the Actor
   and let Him act through thee. If men praise or hiss thee, know that
   they too are masks & take God within for thy only critic and audience.

   250. If Krishna be alone on one side and the armed & organised world
   with its hosts and its shrapnel and its Maxims on the other, yet
   prefer thy divine solitude. Care not if the world passes over thy body
   and its shrapnel tear thee to pieces and its cavalry trample thy limbs
   into shapeless mire by the wayside; for the mind was always a
   simulacrum and the body a carcass. The spirit liberated from its
   casings ranges and triumphs.

   251. If thou think defeat is the end of thee, then go not forth to
   fight, even though thou be the stronger. For Fate is not purchased by
   any man nor is Power bound over to her possessors. But defeat is not
   the end, it is only a gate or a beginning.

   252. I have failed, thou sayest. Say rather that God is circling about
   towards His object.

   253. Foiled by the world, thou turnest to seize upon God. If the world
   is stronger than thou, thinkest thou God is weaker? Turn to Him rather
   for His bidding and for strength to fulfil it.

   254. So long as a cause has on its side one soul that is intangible in
   faith, it cannot perish.

   255. Reason gives me no basis for this faith, thou murmurest. Fool! if
   it did, faith would not be needed or demanded of thee.

   256. Faith in the heart is the obscure & often distorted reflection of
   a hidden knowledge. The believer is often more plagued by doubt than
   the most inveterate sceptic. He persists because there is something
   subconscient in him which knows. That tolerates both his blind faith &
   twilit doubts and drives towards the revelation of that which it
   knows.

   257. The world thinks that it moves by the light of reason but it is
   really impelled by its faiths and instincts.

   258. Reason adapts itself to the faith or argues out a justification
   of the instincts, but it receives the impulse subconsciously;
   therefore men think that they act rationally.

   259. The only business of reason is to arrange and criticise the
   perceptions. It has neither in itself any means of positive conclusion
   nor any command to action. When it pretends to originate or impel, it
   is masking other agencies.

   260. Until Wisdom comes to thee, use the reason for its God-given
   purposes and faith and instinct for theirs. Why shouldst thou set thy
   members to war upon each other?

   261. Perceive always and act in the light of thy increasing
   perceptions, but not those of the reasoning brain only. God speaks to
   the heart when the brain cannot understand him.

   262. If thy heart tell thee. Thus & by such means and at such a time
   it will happen, believe it not. But if it gives thee the purity and
   wideness of God's command, hearken to it.

   263. When thou hast the command, care only to fulfil it. The rest is
   God's will and arrangement which men call chance and luck and fortune.

   264. If thy aim be great and thy means small, still act; for by action
   alone these can increase to thee.

   265. Care not for time and success. Act out thy part, whether it be to
   fail or to prosper.

   266. There are three forms in which the command may come, the will and
   faith in thy nature, thy ideal on which heart and brain are agreed and
   the voice of Himself or His angels.

   267. There are times when action is unwise or impossible; then go into
   tapasya in some physical solitude or in the retreats of thy soul and
   await whatever divine word or manifestation.

   268. Leap not too quickly at all voices, for there are lying spirits
   ready to deceive thee; but let thy heart be pure and afterwards
   listen.

   269. There are times when God seems to be sternly on the side of the
   past; then what has been and is, sits firm as on a throne and clothes
   itself with an irrevocable "I shall be". Then persevere, though thou
   seem to be fighting the Master of all; for this is His sharpest trial.

   270. All is not settled when a cause is humanly lost and hopeless; all
   is settled, only when the soul renounces its effort.

   271. He who would win high spiritual degrees, must pass endless tests
   and examinations. But most are anxious only to bribe the examiner.

   272. Fight, while thy hands are free, with thy hands and thy voice and
   thy brain and all manner of weapons. Art thou chained in the enemy's
   dungeons and have his gags silenced thee? Fight with thy silent
   all-besieging soul and thy wide-ranging will-power and when thou art
   dead, fight still with the world-encompassing force that went out from
   God within thee.

   273. Thou thinkest the ascetic in his cave or on his mountain-top a
   stone and a do-nothing? What dost thou know? He may be filling the
   world with the mighty currents of his will & changing it by the
   pressure of his soul-state.

   274. That which the liberated sees in his soul on its mountain-tops,
   heroes and prophets spring up in the material world to proclaim and
   accomplish.

   275. The Theosophists are wrong in their circumstances but right in
   the essential. If the French Revolution took place, it was because a
   soul on the Indian snows dreamed of God as freedom, brotherhood and
   equality.

   276. All speech and action comes prepared out of the eternal Silence.

   277. There is no disturbance in the depths of the Ocean, but above
   there is the joyous thunder of its shouting and its racing shoreward;
   so is it with the liberated soul in the midst of violent action. The
   soul does not act; it only breathes out from itself overwhelming
   action.

   278. O soldier and hero of God, where for thee is sorrow or shame or
   suffering? For thy life is a glory, thy deeds a consecration, victory
   thy apotheosis, defeat thy triumph.

   279. Do thy lower members still suffer the shock of sin and sorrow?
   But above, seen of thee or unseen, thy soul sits royal, calm, free and
   triumphant. Believe that the Mother will ere the end have done her
   work and made the very earth of thy being a joy and a purity.

   280. If thy heart is troubled within thee, if for long seasons thou
   makest no progress, if thy strength faint and repine, remember always
   the eternal word of our Lover and Master, "I will free thee from all
   sin and evil; do not grieve."

   281. Purity is in thy soul; but for actions, where is their purity or
   impurity?

   282. O Death, our masked friend and maker of opportunities, when thou
   wouldst open the gate, hesitate not to tell us beforehand; for we are
   not of those who are shaken by its iron jarring.

   283. Death is sometimes a rude valet; but when he changes this robe of
   earth for that brighter raiment, his horseplay and impertinences can
   be pardoned.

   284. Who shall slay thee, O soul immortal? Who shall torture thee, O
   God ever-joyous?

   285. Think this when thy members would fain make love with depression
   and weakness, "I am Bacchus and Ares and Apollo; I am Agni pure and
   invincible; I am Surya ever burning mightily."

   286. Shrink not from the Dionysian cry & rapture within thee, but see
   that thou be not a straw upon those billows.

   287. Thou hast to learn to bear all the gods within thee and never
   stagger with their inrush or break under their burden.

   288. Mankind have wearied of strength and joy and called sorrow and
   weakness virtue, wearied of knowledge and called ignorance holiness,
   wearied of love and called heartlessness enlightenment and wisdom.

   289. There are many kinds of forbearance. I saw a coward hold out his
   cheek to the smiter; I saw a physical weakling struck by a strong and
   self-approving bully look quietly & intently at the aggressor; I saw
   God incarnate smile lovingly on those who stoned him. The first was
   ridiculous, the second terrible, the third divine and holy.

   290. It is noble to pardon thine own injurers, but not so noble to
   pardon wrongs done to others. Nevertheless pardon these too, but when
   needful, calmly avenge.

   291. When Asiatics massacre, it is an atrocity; when Europeans, it is
   a military exigency. Appreciate the distinction and ponder over this
   world's virtues.

   292. Watch the too indignantly righteous. Before long you will find
   them committing or condoning the very offence which they have so
   fiercely censured.

   293. "There is very little real hypocrisy among men." True, but there
   is a great deal of diplomacy and still more of self-deceit. The last
   is of three varieties, conscious, subconscious and half-conscious; but
   the third is the most dangerous.

   294. Be not deceived by men's shows of virtue, neither disgusted by
   their open or secret vices. These things are the necessary shufflings
   in a long transition-period of humanity.

   295. Be not repelled by the world's crookednesses; the world is a
   wounded and venomous snake wriggling towards a destined off-sloughing
   and perfection. Wait; for it is a divine wager, and out of this
   baseness, God will emerge brilliant and triumphant.

   296. Why dost thou recoil from a mask? Behind its odious, grotesque or
   terrible seemings Krishna laughs at thy foolish anger, thy more
   foolish scorn or loathing and thy most foolish terror.

   297. When thou findest thyself scorning another, look then at thy own
   heart and laugh at thy folly.

   298. Avoid vain disputing; but exchange views freely. If dispute thou
   must, learn from thy adversary; for even from a fool, if thou listen
   not with the ear and the reasoning mind but the soul's light, thou
   canst gather much wisdom.

   299. Turn all things to honey; this is the law of divine living.

   300. Private dispute should always be avoided; but shrink not from the
   public battle; yet even there appreciate the strength of thy
   adversary.

   301. When thou hearest an opinion that displeases thee, study and find
   out the truth in it.

   302. The mediaeval ascetics hated women and thought they were created
   by God for the temptation of monks. One may be allowed to think more
   nobly both of God and of woman.

   303. If a woman has tempted thee, is it her fault or thine? Be not a
   fool and a self-deceiver.

   304. There are two ways of avoiding the snare of woman; one is to shun
   all women and the other to love all beings.

   305. Asceticism is no doubt very healing, a cave very peaceful and the
   hill-tops wonderfully pleasant; nevertheless do thou act in the world
   as God intended thee.

   306. Three times God laughed at Shankara, first, when he returned to
   burn the corpse of his mother, again when he commented on the Isha
   Upanishad and the third time when he stormed about India preaching
   inaction.

   307. Men labour only after success and if they are fortunate enough to
   fail, it is because the wisdom and force of Nature overbear their
   intellectual cleverness. God alone knows when & how to blunder wisely
   and fail effectively.

   308. Distrust the man who has never failed and suffered; follow not
   his fortunes, fight not under his banner.

   309. There are two who are unfit for greatness and freedom, the man
   who has never been a slave to another and the nation that has never
   been under the yoke of foreigners.

   310. Fix not the time and the way in which the ideal shall be
   fulfilled. Work and leave time and way to God all-knowing.

   311. Work as if the ideal had to be fulfilled swiftly & in thy
   lifetime; persevere as if thou knewest it not to be unless purchased
   by a thousand years yet of labour. That which thou darest not expect
   till the fifth millennium, may bloom out with tomorrow's dawning and
   that which thou hopest and lustest after now, may have been fixed for
   thee in thy hundredth advent.

   312. Each man of us has a million lives yet to fulfil upon earth. Why
   then this haste and clamour and impatience?

   313. Stride swiftly for the goal is far; rest not unduly, for thy
   Master is waiting for thee at the end of thy journey.

   314. I am weary of the childish impatience which cries & blasphemes
   and denies the ideal because the Golden Mountains cannot be reached in
   our little day or in a few momentary centuries.

   315. Fix thy soul without desire upon the end and insist on it by the
   divine force within thee; then shall the end itself create its means,
   nay, it shall become its own means. For the end is Brahman and already
   accomplished; see it always as Brahman, see it always in thy soul as
   already accomplished.

   316. Plan not with the intellect, but let thy divine sight arrange thy
   plans for thee. When a means comes to thee as thing to be done, make
   that thy aim; as for the end, it is, in world, accomplishing itself
   and, in thy soul, already accomplished.

   317. Men see events as unaccomplished, to be striven for and effected.
   This is false seeing; events are not effected, they develop. The event
   is Brahman, already accomplished from of old, it is now manifesting.

   318. As the light of a star reaches the earth hundreds of years after
   the star has ceased to exist, so the event already accomplished in
   Brahman at the beginning manifests itself now in our material
   experience.

   319. Governments, societies, kings, police, judges, institutions,
   churches, laws, customs, armies are temporary necessities imposed on
   us for a few groups of centuries because God has concealed His face
   from us. When it appears to us again in its truth & beauty, then in
   that light they will vanish.

   320. The anarchic is the true divine state of man in the end as in the
   beginning; but in between it would lead us straight to the devil and
   his kingdom.

   321. The communistic principle of society is intrinsically as superior
   to the individualistic as is brotherhood to jealousy and mutual
   slaughter; but all the practical schemes of Socialism invented in
   Europe are a yoke, a tyranny and a prison.

   322. If communism ever reestablishes itself successfully upon earth,
   it must be on a foundation of soul's brotherhood and the death of
   egoism. A forced association and a mechanical comradeship would end in
   a world-wide fiasco.

   323. Vedanta realised is the only practicable basis for a communistic
   society. It is the kingdom of the saints dreamed of by Christianity,
   Islam and Puranic Hinduism.

   324. "Freedom, equality, brotherhood," cried the French
   revolutionists, but in truth freedom only has been practised with a
   dose of equality; as for brotherhood, only a brotherhood of Cain was
   founded -- and of Barabbas. Sometimes it calls itself a Trust or
   Combine and sometimes the Concert of Europe.

   325. "Since liberty has failed," cries the advanced thought of Europe,
   "let us try liberty cum equality or, since the two are a little hard
   to pair, equality instead of liberty. For brotherhood, it is
   impossible; therefore we will replace it by industrial association."
   But this time also, I think, God will not be deceived.

   326. India had three fortresses of a communal life, the village
   community, the larger joint family & the orders of the Sannyasins; all
   these are broken or breaking with the stride of egoistic conceptions
   of social life; but is not this after all only the breaking of these
   imperfect moulds on the way to a larger & diviner communism?

   327. The individual cannot be perfect until he has surrendered all he
   now calls himself to the divine Being. So also, until mankind gives
   all it has to God, never shall there be a perfected society.

   328. There is nothing small in God's eyes; let there be nothing small
   in thine. He bestows as much labour of divine energy on the formation
   of a shell as on the building of an empire. For thyself it is greater
   to be a good shoemaker than a luxurious and incompetent king.

   329. Imperfect capacity & effect in the work that is meant for thee is
   better than an artificial competency & a borrowed perfection.

   330. Not result is the purpose of action, but God's eternal delight in
   becoming, seeing and doing.

   331. God's world advances step by step fulfilling the lesser unit
   before it seriously attempts the larger. Affirm free nationality
   first, if thou wouldst ever bring the world to be one nation.

   332. A nation is not made by a common blood, a common tongue or a
   common religion; these are only important helps and powerful
   conveniences. But wherever communities of men not bound by family ties
   are united in one sentiment and aspiration to defend a common
   inheritance from their ancestors or assure a common future for their
   posterity, there a nation is already in existence.

   333. Nationality is a stride of the progressive God passing beyond the
   stage of the family; therefore the attachment to clan and tribe must
   weaken or perish before a nation can be born.

   334. Family, nationality, humanity are Vishnu's three strides from an
   isolated to a collective unity. The first has been fulfilled, we yet
   strive for the perfection of the second, towards the third we are
   reaching out our hands and the pioneer work is already attempted.

   335. With the present morality of the human race a sound and durable
   human unity is not yet possible; but there is no reason why a
   temporary approximation to it should not be the reward of strenuous
   aspiration and untiring effort. By constant approximations and by
   partial realisations and temporary successes Nature advances.

   336. Imitation is sometimes a good training-ship; but it will never
   fly the flag of the admiral.

   337. Rather hang thyself than belong to the horde of successful
   imitators.

   338. Tangled is the way of works in the world. When Rama the Avatar
   murdered Vali or Krishna, who was God himself, assassinated, to
   liberate his nation, his tyrant uncle Kansa, who shall say whether
   they did good or did evil? But this we can feel, that they acted
   divinely.

   339. Reaction perfects & hastens progress by increasing & purifying
   the force within it. This is what the multitude of the weak cannot see
   who despair of their port when the ship is fleeing helplessly before
   the storm wind, but it flees, hidden by the rain & the Ocean furrow,
   towards God's intended haven.

   340. Democracy was the protest of the human soul against the allied
   despotisms of autocrat, priest and noble; Socialism is the protest of
   the human soul against the despotism of a plutocratic democracy;
   Anarchism is likely to be the protest of the human soul against the
   tyranny of a bureaucratic Socialism. A turbulent and eager march from
   illusion to illusion and from failure to failure is the image of
   European progress.

   341. Democracy in Europe is the rule of the Cabinet minister, the
   corrupt deputy or the self-seeking capitalist masqued by the
   occasional sovereignty of a wavering populace; Socialism in Europe is
   likely to be the rule of the official and policeman masqued by the
   theoretic sovereignty of an abstract State. It is chimerical to
   enquire which is the better system; it would be difficult to decide
   which is the worse.

   342. The gain of democracy is the security of the individual's life,
   liberty and goods from the caprices of the tyrant one or the selfish
   few; its evil is the decline of greatness in humanity.

   343. This erring race of human beings dreams always of perfecting
   their environment by the machinery of government and society; but it
   is only by the perfection of the soul within that the outer
   environment can be perfected. What thou art within, that outside thee
   thou shalt enjoy; no machinery can rescue thee from the law of thy
   being.

   344. Be always vigilant against thy human proneness to persecute or
   ignore the reality even while thou art worshipping its semblance or
   token. Not human wickedness but human fallibility is the opportunity
   of Evil.

   345. Honour the garb of the ascetic, but look also at the wearer, lest
   hypocrisy occupy the holy places and inward saintliness become a
   legend.

   346. The many strive after competence or riches, the few embrace
   poverty as a bride; but, for thyself, strive after and embrace God
   only. Let Him choose for thee a king's palace or the bowl of the
   beggar.

   347. What is vice but an enslaving habit and virtue but a human
   opinion? See God and do His will; walk in whatever path He shall trace
   for thy goings.

   348. In the world's conflicts espouse not the party of the rich for
   their riches, nor of the poor for their poverty, of the king for his
   power & majesty, nor of the people for their hope and fervour, but be
   on God's side always. Unless indeed He has commanded thee to war
   against Him! then do that with thy whole heart and strength and
   rapture.

   349. How shall I know God's will with me? I have to put egoism out of
   me, hunting it from every lair & burrow, and bathe my purified and
   naked soul in His infinite workings; then He himself will reveal it to
   me.

   350. Only the soul that is naked and unashamed, can be pure and
   innocent, even as Adam was in the primal garden of humanity.

   351. Boast not thy riches, neither seek men's praise for thy poverty
   and self-denial; both these things are the coarse or the fine food of
   egoism.

   352. Altruism is good for man, but less good when it is a form of
   supreme self-indulgence & lives by pampering the selfishness of
   others.

   353. By altruism thou canst save thy soul, but see that thou save it
   not by indulging in his perdition thy brother.

   354. Self-denial is a mighty instrument for purification; it is not an
   end in itself nor a final law of living. Not to mortify thyself but to
   satisfy God in the world must be thy object.

   355. It is easy to distinguish the evil worked by sin & vice, but the
   trained eye sees also the evil done by self-righteous or
   self-regarding virtue.

   356. The Brahmin first ruled by the book & the ritual, the Kshatriya
   next by the sword and the buckler; now the Vaishya governs us by
   machinery & the dollar, & the Sudra, the liberated serf, presses in
   with his doctrine of the kingdom of associated labour. But neither
   priest, king, merchant nor labourer is the true governor of humanity;
   the despotism of the tool and the mattock will fail like all the
   preceding despotisms. Only when egoism dies & God in man governs his
   own human universality, can this earth support a happy and contented
   race of beings.

   357. Men run after pleasure and clasp feverishly that burning bride to
   their tormented bosoms; meanwhile a divine & faultless bliss stands
   behind them waiting to be seen and claimed and captured.

   358. Men hunt after petty successes & trivial masteries from which
   they fall back into exhaustion & weakness; meanwhile all the infinite
   force of God in the universe waits vainly to place itself at their
   disposal.

   359. Men burrow after little details of knowledge and group them into
   bounded & ephemeral thought systems; meanwhile all infinite wisdom
   laughs above their heads & shakes wide the glory of her iridescent
   pinions.

   360. Men seek laboriously to satisfy & complement the little bounded
   being made of the mental impressions they have grouped about a mean &
   grovelling ego; meanwhile the spaceless & timeless Soul is denied its
   joyous & splendid manifestation.

   361. O soul of India, hide thyself no longer with the darkened Pandits
   of the Kaliyuga in the kitchen & the chapel, veil not thy self with
   the souless rite, the obsolete law and the unblessed money of the
   dakshina; but seek in thy soul, ask of God and recover thy true
   Brahminhood & Kshatriyahood with the eternal Veda; restore the hidden
   truth of the Vedic sacrifice, return to the fulfilment of an older &
   mightier Vedanta.

   362. Limit not sacrifice to the giving up of earthly goods or the
   denial of some desires & yearnings, but let every thought and every
   work & every enjoyment be an offering to God within thee. Let thy
   steps walk in thy Lord, let thy sleep and waking be a sacrifice to
   Krishna.

   363. This is not according to my Shastra or my Science, say the men of
   rule, formalists. Fool! is God then only a book that there should be
   nothing true & good except what is written?

   364. By which standard shall I walk, the word that God speaks to me,
   saying "This is My will, O my servant," or the rules that men who are
   dead, have written? Nay, if I have to fear & obey any, I will fear &
   obey God rather & not the pages of a book or the frown of a Pundit.

   365. Thou mayst be deceived, wilt thou say, it may not be God's voice
   leading thee? Yet do I know that He abandons not those who have
   trusted Him even ignorantly, yet have I found that He leads wisely &
   lovingly even when He seems to deceive utterly, yet would I rather
   fall into the snare of the living God than be saved by trust in a dead
   formulary.

   366. Act according to the Shastra rather than thy self-will & desire;
   so shalt thou grow stronger to control the ravener in thee; but act
   according to God rather than the Shastra; so shalt thou reach to His
   highest which is far above rule & limit.

   367. The Law is for the bound & those whose eyes are sealed; if they
   walk not by it, they will stumble; but thou who art free in Krishna or
   hast seen his living light, walk holding the hand of thy Friend & by
   the lamp of eternal Veda.

   368. The Vedanta is God's lamp to lead thee out of this night of
   bondage & egoism: but when the light of Veda has dawned in thy soul,
   then even that divine lamp thou needest not, for now thou canst walk
   freely & surely in a high & eternal sunlight.

   369. What is the use of only knowing? I say to thee. Act and be, for
   therefore God sent thee into this human body.

   370. What is the use of only being? I say to thee. Become, for
   therefore wast thou established as a man in this world of matter.

   371. The path of works is in a way the most difficult side of God's
   triune causeway; yet is it not also, in this material world at least,
   the easiest, widest & most delightful? For at every moment we clash
   against God the worker & grow into His being by a thousand divine
   touches.

   372. This is the wonder of the way of works that even enmity to God
   can be made an agency of salvation. Sometimes God draws and attaches
   us most swiftly to Him by wrestling with us as our fierce, invincible
   & irreconcilable enemy.

   373. Shall I accept death or shall I turn and wrestle with him and
   conquer? That shall be as God in me chooses. For whether I live or
   die, I am always.

   374. What is this thing thou callest death? Can God die? O thou who
   fearest death, it is Life that has come to thee sporting with a
   death-head and wearing a mask of terror.

   375. There is a means to attain physical immortality and death is by
   our choice, not by Nature's compulsion. But who would care to wear one
   coat for a hundred years or be confined in one narrow & changeless
   lodging unto a long eternity?

   376. Fear and anxiety are perverse forms of will. What thou fearest &
   ponderest over, striking that note repeatedly in thy mind, thou
   helpest to bring about; for, if thy will above the surface of waking
   repels it, it is yet what thy mind underneath is all along willing, &
   the subconscious mind is mightier, wider, better equipped to fulfil
   than thy waking force & intellect. But the spirit is stronger than
   both together; from fear and hope take refuge in the grandiose calm
   and careless mastery of the spirit.

   377. God made the infinite world by Self-knowledge which in its works
   is Will-Force self-fulfilling. He used ignorance to limit His
   infinity; but fear, weariness, depression, self-distrust and assent to
   weakness are the instruments by which He destroys what He created.
   When these things are turned on what is evil or harmful &
   ill-regulated within thee, then it is well; but if they attack thy
   very sources of life & strength, then seize & expel them or thou
   diest.

   378. Mankind has used two powerful weapons to destroy its own powers
   and enjoyment, wrong indulgence and wrong abstinence.

   379. Our mistake has been and is always to flee from the ills of
   Paganism to asceticism as a remedy and from the ills of asceticism
   back to Paganism. We swing for ever between two false opposites.

   380. It is well not to be too loosely playful in one's games or too
   grimly serious in one's life and works. We seek in both a playful
   freedom and a serious order.

   381. For nearly forty years I believed them when they said I was
   weakly in constitution, suffered constantly from the smaller & the
   greater ailments & mistook this curse for a burden that Nature had
   laid upon me. When I renounced the aid of medicines, then they began
   to depart from me like disappointed parasites. Then only I understood
   what a mighty force was the natural health within me & how much
   mightier yet the Will & Faith exceeding mind which God meant to be the
   divine support of our life in this body.

   382. Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our
   incurable barbarism. If we must incase ourselves in a bewildering
   multitude of comforts and trappings, we must needs do without Art and
   its methods; for to dispense with simplicity & freedom is to dispense
   with beauty. The luxury of our ancestors was rich & even gorgeous, but
   never encumbered.

   383. I cannot give to the barbarous comfort & encumbered ostentation
   of European life the name of civilisation. Men who are not free in
   their souls & nobly rhythmical in their appointments, are not
   civilised.

   384. Art in modern times & under European influence has become an
   excrescence upon life or an unnecessary menial; it should have been
   its chief steward and indispensable arranger.

   385. Disease is needlessly prolonged & ends in death oftener than is
   inevitable, because the mind of the patient supports & dwells upon the
   disease of his body.

   386. Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind than a blessing.
   It has broken the force of epidemics and unveiled a marvellous
   surgery; but, also, it has weakened the natural health of man and
   multiplied individual diseases; it has implanted fear and dependence
   in the mind and body; it has taught our health to repose not on
   natural soundness but a rickety & distasteful crutch compact from the
   mineral and vegetable kingdoms.

   387. The doctor aims a drug at a disease; sometimes it hits, sometimes
   misses. The misses are left out of account, the hits treasured up,
   reckoned and systematised into a science.

   388. We laugh at the savage for his faith in the medicine man; but how
   are the civilised less superstitious who have faith in the doctors?
   The savage finds that when a certain incantation is repeated, he often
   recovers from a certain disease; he believes. The civilised patient
   finds that when he doses himself according to a certain prescription,
   he often recovers from a certain disease; he believes. Where is the
   difference?

   389. The north-country Indian herdsman, attacked by fever, sits in the
   chill stream of a river for an hour or more & rises up free & healthy.
   If the educated man did the same, he would perish, not because the
   same remedy in its nature kills one & cures another, but because our
   bodies have been fatally indoctrinated by the mind into false habits.

   390. It is not the medicine that cures so much as the patient's faith
   in the doctor and the medicine. Both are a clumsy substitute for the
   natural faith in one's own self-power which they have themselves
   destroyed.

   391. The healthiest ages of mankind were those in which there were the
   fewest material remedies.

   392. The most robust and healthy race left on earth were the African
   savages; but how long can they so remain after their physical
   consciousness has been contaminated by the mental aberrations of the
   civilised?

   393. We ought to use the divine health in us to cure and prevent
   diseases; but Galen and Hippocrates & their tribe have given us
   instead an armoury of drugs and a barbarous Latin hocuspocus as our
   physical gospel.

   394. Medical Science is well meaning and its practitioners often
   benevolent and not seldom self-sacrificing; but when did the
   well-meaning of the ignorant save them from harm-doing?

   395. If all remedies were really and in themselves efficacious and all
   medical theories sound, how would that console us for our lost natural
   health and vitality? The upas-tree is sound in all its parts, but it
   is still an upas-tree.

   396. The spirit within us is the only all-efficient doctor and
   submission of the body to it the one true panacea.

   397. God within is infinite and self-fulfilling Will. Unappalled by
   the fear of death, canst thou leave to Him, not as an experiment, with
   a calm & entire faith thy ailments? Thou shalt find in the end that He
   exceeds the skill of a million doctors.

   398. Health protected by twenty thousand precautions is the gospel of
   the doctor; but it is not God's evangel for the body, nor Nature's.

   399. Man was once naturally healthy and could revert to that primal
   condition if he were suffered; but Medical Science pursues our body
   with an innumerable pack of drugs and assails the imagination with
   ravening hordes of microbes.

   400. I would rather die and have done with it than spend life in
   defending myself against a phantasmal siege of microbes. If that is to
   be barbarous [and] unenlightened, I embrace gladly my Cimmerian
   darkness.

   401. Surgeons save & cure by cutting and maiming. Why not rather seek
   to discover Nature's direct all-powerful remedies?

   402. It should take long for self-cure to replace medicine, because of
   the fear, self-distrust and unnatural physical reliance on drugs which
   Medical Science has taught to our minds & bodies & made our second
   nature.

   403. Medicine is necessary for our bodies in disease only because our
   bodies have learned the art of not getting well without medicines.
   Even so, one sees often that the moment Nature chooses for recovery is
   that in which the life is abandoned as hopeless by the doctors.

   404. Distrust of the curative power within us was our physical fall
   from Paradise. Medical Science and a bad heredity are the two angels
   of God who stand at the gates to forbid our return and reentry.

   405. Medical Science to the human body is like a great Power which
   enfeebles a smaller State by its protection or like a benevolent
   robber who knocks his victim flat and riddles him with wounds in order
   that he may devote his life to healing & serving the shattered body.

   406. Drugs often cure the body when they do not merely trouble or
   poison it, but only if their physical attack on the disease is
   supported by the force of the spirit; if that force can be made to
   work freely, drugs are at once superfluous.

                                  BHAKTI
                                  ======
   407. I am not a Bhakta, for I have not renounced the world for God.
   How can I renounce what He took from me by force and gave back to me
   against my will? These things are too hard for me.

   408. I am not a Bhakta, I am not a Jnani, I am not a worker for the
   Lord. What am I then? A tool in the hands of my Master, a flute blown
   upon by the divine Herd-Boy, a leaf driven by the breath of the Lord.

   409. Devotion is not utterly fulfilled till it becomes action and
   knowledge. If thou pursuest after God and canst overtake Him, let Him
   not go till thou hast His reality. If thou hast hold of His reality,
   insist on having also His totality. The first will give thee divine
   knowledge, the second will give thee divine works and a free and
   perfect joy in the universe.

   410. Others boast of their love for God. My boast is that I did not
   love God; it was He who loved me and sought me out and forced me to
   belong to Him.

   411. After I knew that God was a woman, I learned something from
   far-off about love; but it was only when I became a woman and served
   my Master and Paramour that I knew love utterly.

   412. To commit adultery with God is the perfect experience for which
   the world was created.

   413. To fear God really is to remove oneself to a distance from Him,
   but to fear Him in play gives an edge to utter delightfulness.

   414. The Jew invented the God-fearing man; India the God-knower and
   God-lover.

   415. The servant of God was born in Judaea, but he came to maturity
   among the Arabs. India's joy is in the servant-lover.

   416. Perfect love casts out fear; but still keep thou some tender
   shadow and memory of the exile and it will make the perfection more
   perfect.

   417. Thy soul has not tasted God's entire delight, if it has never had
   the joy of being His enemy, opposing His designs and engaging with Him
   in mortal combat.

   418. If you cannot make God love you, make Him fight you. If He will
   not give you the embrace of the lover, compel Him to give you the
   embrace of the wrestler.

   419. My soul is the captive of God, taken by Him in battle; it still
   remembers the war, though so far from it, with delight and alarm and
   wonder.

   420. Most of all things on earth I hated pain till God hurt and
   tortured me; then it was revealed to me that pain is only a perverse
   and recalcitrant shape of excessive delight.

   421. There are four stages in the pain God gives to us; when it is
   only pain; when it is pain that causes pleasure; when it is pain that
   is pleasure; and when it is purely a fiercer form of delight.

   422. Even when one has climbed up into those levels of bliss where
   pain vanishes, it still survives disguised as intolerable ecstasy.

   423. When I was mounting upon ever higher crests of His joy, I asked
   myself whether there was no limit to the increase of bliss and almost
   I grew afraid of God's embraces.

   424. The next greatest rapture to the love of God, is the love of God
   in men; there, too, one has the joy of multiplicity.

   425. For monogamy may be the best for the body, but the soul that
   loves God in men dwells here always as the boundless & ecstatic
   polygamist; yet all the time -- that is the secret -it is in love with
   only one being.

   426. The whole world is my seraglio and every living being and
   inanimate existence in it is the instrument of my rapture.

   427. I did not know for some time whether I loved Krishna best or
   Kali; when I loved Kali, it was loving myself, but when I loved
   Krishna, I loved another, and still it was my Self with whom I was in
   love. Therefore I came to love Krishna better even than Kali.

   428. What is the use of admiring Nature or worshipping her as a Power,
   a Presence and a goddess? What is the use, either, of appreciating her
   aesthetically or artistically? The secret is to enjoy her with the
   soul as one enjoys a woman with the body.

   429. When one has the vision in the heart, everything, Nature and
   Thought and Action, ideas and occupations and tastes and objects
   become the Beloved and are a source of ecstasy.

   430. The philosophers who reject the world as Maya, are very wise and
   austere and holy; but I cannot help thinking sometimes that they are
   also just a little stupid and allow God to cheat them too easily.

   431. For my part, I think I have a right to insist on God giving
   Himself to me in the world as well as out of it. Why did He make it at
   all, if He wanted to escape that obligation?

   432. The Mayavadin talks of my Personal God as a dream and prefers to
   dream of Impersonal Being; the Buddhist puts that aside too as a
   fiction and prefers to dream of Nirvana and the bliss of nothingness.
   Thus all the dreamers are busy reviling each other's visions and
   parading their own as the panacea. What the soul utterly rejoices in,
   is for thought the ultimate reality.

   433. Beyond Personality the Mayavadin sees indefinable Existence; I
   followed him there and found my Krishna beyond in indefinable
   Personality.

   434. When I first met Krishna, I loved Him as a friend and playmate
   till He deceived me; then I was indignant and could not forgive Him.
   Afterwards I loved Him as a lover and He still deceived me; I was
   again and much more indignant, but this time I had to pardon.

   435. After offending. He forced me to pardon Him not by reparation,
   but by committing fresh offences.

   436. So long as God tried to repair His offences against me, we went
   on periodically quarrelling; but when He found out His mistake, the
   quarrelling stopped, for I had to submit to Him entirely.

   437. When I saw others than Krishna and myself in the world, I kept
   secret God's doings with me; but since I began to see Him and myself
   everywhere, I have become shameless and garrulous.

   438. All that my Lover has, belongs to me. Why do you abuse me for
   showing off the ornaments He has given to me?

   439. My Lover took His crown and royal necklace from His head and neck
   and clothed me with them; but the disciples of the saints and the
   prophets abused me and said, "He is hunting after siddhis."

   440. I did my Lover's commands in the world & the will of my Captor;
   but they cried, "Who is this corruptor of youth, this disturber of
   morals?"

   441. If I cared even for your praise, O ye saints, if I cherished my
   reputation, O ye prophets, my Lover would never have taken me into His
   bosom and given me the freedom of His secret chambers.

   442. I was intoxicated with the rapture of my Lover and I threw the
   robe of the world from me even in the world's highways. Why should I
   care that the worldlings mock and the Pharisees turn their, faces?

   443. To thy lover, O Lord, the railing of the world is wild honey and
   the pelting of stones by the mob is summer rain on the body. For is it
   not Thou that railest and peltest, and is it not Thou in the stones
   that strikest and hurtest me?

   444. There are two things in God which men call evil, that which they
   cannot understand at all and that which they misunderstand and,
   possessing, misuse; it is only what they grope after half-vainly and
   dimly understand that they call good and holy. But to me all things in
   Him are lovable.

   445. They say, O my God, that I am mad because I see no fault in Thee;
   but if I am indeed mad with Thy love, I do not wish to recover my
   sanity.

   446. "Errors, falsehoods, stumblings!" they cry. How bright and
   beautiful are Thy errors, O Lord! Thy falsehoods save Truth alive; by
   Thy stumblings the world is perfected.

   447. Life, Life, Life, I hear the passions cry; God, God, God, is the
   soul's answer. Unless thou seest and lovest Life as God only, then is
   Life itself a sealed joy to thee.

   448. "He loves her," the senses say; but the soul says "God, God,
   God." That is the all-embracing formula of existence.

   449. If thou canst not love the vilest worm and the foulest of
   criminals, how canst thou believe that thou hast accepted God in thy
   spirit?

   450. To love God, excluding the world, is to give Him an intense but
   imperfect adoration.

   451. Is love only a daughter or handmaid of jealousy? If Krishna loves
   Chandrabali, why should I not love her also?

   452. Because thou lovest God only, thou art apt to claim that He
   should love thee rather than others; but this is a false claim
   contrary to right & the nature of things. For He is the One but thou
   art of the many. Rather become one in heart & soul with all beings,
   then there will be none in the world but thou alone for Him to love.

   453. My quarrel is with those who are foolish enough not to love my
   Lover, not with those who share His love with me.

   454. In those whom God loves, have delight; on those whom He pretends
   not to love, take pity.

   455. Dost thou hate the atheist because he does love not God? Then
   shouldst thou be disliked because thou dost not love God perfectly.

   456. There is one thing especially in which creeds and churches
   surrender themselves to the devil, and that is in their anathemas.
   When the priest chants Anathema Mara-natha, then I see a devil
   worshipper praying.

   457. No doubt, when the priest curses, he is crying to God; but it is
   the God of anger and darkness to whom he devotes himself along with
   his enemy; for as he approaches God, so shall God receive him.

   458. I was much plagued by Satan, until I found that it was God who
   was tempting me; then the anguish of him passed out of my soul for
   ever.

   459. I hated the devil and was sick with his temptations and tortures;
   and I could not tell why the voice in his departing words was so sweet
   that when he returned often and offered himself to me, it was with
   sorrow I refused him. Then I discovered it was Krishna at His tricks
   and my hate was changed into laughter.

   460. They explained the evil in the world by saying that Satan had
   prevailed against God; but I think more proudly of my Beloved. I
   believe that nothing is done but by His will in heaven or hell, on
   earth or on the waters.

   461. In our ignorance we are like children proud of our success in
   walking erect and unaided and too eager to be aware of the mother's
   steadying touch on the shoulder. When we wake, we look back and see
   that God was leading and upholding us always.

   462. At first whenever I fell back into sin, I used to weep and rage
   against myself and against God for having suffered it. Afterwards it
   was as much as I could dare to ask, "Why hast thou rolled me again in
   the mud, O my playfellow?" Then even that came to my mind to seem too
   bold and presumptuous; I could only get up in silence, look at him out
   of the corner of my eyes -- and clean myself.

   463. God has so arranged life that the world is the soul's husband;
   Krishna its divine paramour. We owe a debt of service to the world and
   are bound to it by a law, a compelling opinion, and a common
   experience of pain and pleasure, but our heart's worship and our free
   and secret joy are for our Lover.

   464. The joy of God is secret and wonderful; it is a mystery and a
   rapture at which common sense makes mouths of mockery; but the soul
   that has once tasted it, can never renounce, whatever worldly
   disrepute, torture and affliction it may bring us.

   465. God, the world Guru, is wiser than thy mind; trust Him and not
   that eternal self-seeker & arrogant sceptic.

   466. The sceptic mind doubts always because it cannot understand, but
   the faith of the God-lover persists in knowing although it cannot
   understand. Both are necessary to our darkness, but there can be no
   doubt which is the mightier. What I cannot understand now, I shall
   some day master, but if I lose faith & love, I fall utterly from the
   goal which God has set before me.

   467. I may question God, my guide & teacher, & ask Him, "Am I right or
   hast Thou in thy love & wisdom suffered my mind to deceive me?" Doubt
   thy mind, if thou wilt, but doubt not that God leads thee.

   468. Because thou wert given at first imperfect conceptions about God,
   now thou ragest and deniest Him. Man, dost thou doubt thy teacher
   because he gave not thee the whole of knowledge at the beginning?
   Study rather that imperfect truth & put it in its place, so that thou
   mayst pass on safely to the wider knowledge that is now opening before
   thee.

   469. This is how God in His love teaches the child soul & the
   weakling, taking them step by step and withholding the vision of His
   ultimate & yet unattainable mountain-tops.

   And have we not all some weakness? Are we not all in His sight but as
   little children?

   470. This I have seen that whatever God has withheld from me. He
   withheld in His love & wisdom. Had I grasped it then, I would have
   turned some great good into a great poison. Yet sometimes when we
   insist. He gives us poison to drink that we may learn to turn from it
   and taste with knowledge His ambrosia & His nectar.

   471. Even the atheist ought now to be able to see that creation
   marches towards some infinite & mighty purpose which evolution in its
   very nature supposes. But infinite purpose & fulfilment presupposes an
   infinite wisdom that prepares, guides, shapes, protects & justifies.
   Revere then that Wisdom & worship it with thoughts in thy soul if not
   with incense in a temple, and even though thou deny it the heart of
   infinite Love and the mind of infinite self-effulgence. Then though
   thou know it not it is still Krishna whom thou reverest & worshippest.

   472. The Lord of Love has said, "They who follow after the Unknowable
   & Indefinable, follow after Me and I accept them." He has justified by
   His word the Illusionist & the Agnostic. Why then, O devotee, dost
   thou rail at him whom thy Master has accepted?

   473. Calvin who justified eternal Hell, knew not God but made one
   terrible mask of Him His eternal reality. If there were an unending
   Hell, it could only be a seat of unending rapture; for God is Ananda
   and than the eternity of His bliss there is no other eternity.

   474. Dante, when he said that God's perfect love created eternal Hell,
   wrote perhaps wiselier than he knew; for from stray glimpses I have
   sometimes thought there is a Hell where our souls suffer aeons of
   intolerable ecstasy & wallow as if for ever in the utter embrace of
   Rudra, the sweet & terrible.

   475. Discipleship to God the Teacher, sonship to God the Father,
   tenderness of God the Mother, clasp of the hand of the divine Friend,
   laughter and sport with our Comrade and boy Playfellow, blissful
   servitude to God the Master, rapturous love of our divine Paramour,
   these are the seven beatitudes of life in the human body. Canst thou
   unite all these in a single supreme & rainbow-hued relation? Then hast
   thou no need of any heaven and thou exceedest the emancipation of the
   Adwaitin.

   476. When will the world change into the model of heaven? When all
   mankind becomes boys & girls together with God revealed as Krishna &
   Kali, the happiest boy & strongest girl of the crowd, playing together
   in the gardens of Paradise. The Semitic Eden was well enough, but Adam
   & Eve were too grown up and its God himself too old & stern & solemn
   for the offer of the Serpent to be resisted.

   477. The Semites have afflicted mankind with the conception of a God
   who is a stern & dignified king & solemn judge & knows not mirth. But
   we who have seen Krishna, know Him for a boy fond of play and a child
   full of mischief & happy laughter.

   478. A God who cannot smile, could not have created this humorous
   universe.

   479. God took a child to fondle him in His bosom of delight; but the
   mother wept & would not be consoled because her child no longer
   existed.

   480. When I suffer from pain or grief or mischance, I say "So, my old
   Playfellow, thou hast taken again to bullying me," and I sit down to
   possess the pleasure of the pain, the joy of the grief, the good
   fortune of the mischance; then He sees He is found out and takes His
   ghosts & bugbears away from me.

   481. The seeker after divine knowledge finds in the description of
   Krishna stealing the robes of the Gopis one of the deepest parables of
   God's ways with the soul, the devotee a perfect rendering in divine
   act of his heart's mystic experiences, the prurient & the Puritan (two
   faces of one temperament) only a lustful story. Men bring what they
   have in themselves and see it reflected in the Scripture.

   482. My lover took away my robe of sin and I let it fall, rejoicing;
   then he plucked at my robe of virtue, but I was ashamed and alarmed
   and prevented him. It was not till he wrested it from me by force that
   I saw how my soul had been hidden from me.

   483. Sin is a trick & a disguise of Krishna to conceal Himself from
   the gaze of the virtuous. Behold, O Pharisee, God in the sinner, sin
   in thy self purifying thy heart; clasp thy brother.

   484. Love of God, charity towards men is the first step towards
   perfect wisdom.

   485. He who condemns failure & imperfection, is condemning God; he
   limits his own soul and cheats his own vision. Condemn not, but
   observe Nature, help & heal thy brothers and strengthen by sympathy
   their capacities & their courage.

   486. Love of man, love of woman, love of things, love of thy
   neighbour, love of thy country, love of animals, love of humanity are
   all the love of God reflected in these living images. So love & grow
   mighty to enjoy all, to help all and to love for ever.

   487. If there are things that absolutely refuse to be transformed or
   remedied into God's more perfect image, they may be destroyed with
   tenderness in the heart, but ruthlessness in the smiting. But make
   sure first that God has given thee thy sword and thy mission.

   488. I should love my neighbour not because he is neighbourhood, --
   for what is there in neighbourhood and distance? nor because the
   religions tell me he is my brother, -- for where is the root of that
   brotherhood? but because he is myself. Neighbourhood and distance
   affect the body, the heart goes beyond them. Brotherhood is of blood
   or country or religion or humanity, but when self-interest clamours
   what becomes of this brotherhood? It is only by living in God &
   turning mind and heart & body into the image of his universal unity
   that that deep, disinterested and unassailable love becomes possible.

   489. When I live in Krishna, then ego & self-interest vanish and only
   God himself can qualify my love bottomless & illimitable.

   490. Living in Krishna, even enmity becomes a play of love and the
   wrestling of brothers.

   491. To the soul that has hold of the highest beatitude, life cannot
   be an evil or a sorrowful illusion; rather all life becomes the
   rippling love and laughter of a divine Lover & Playfellow.

   492. Canst thou see God as the bodiless Infinite & yet love Him as a
   man loves his mistress? Then has the highest truth of the Infinite
   been revealed to thee. Canst thou also clothe the Infinite in one
   secret embraceable body and see Him seated in each & all of these
   bodies that are visible & sensible? Then has its widest & profoundest
   truth come also into thy possession.

   493. Divine Love has simultaneously a double play, an universal
   movement, deep, calm & bottomless like the nether Ocean, which broods
   upon the whole world and each thing that is in it as upon a level bed
   with an equal pressure and a personal movement, forceful, intense &
   ecstatic like the dancing surface of the same Ocean, which varies the
   height & force of its billows and chooses the objects it shall fall
   upon with the kiss of its foam & spray and the clasp of its engulfing
   waters.

   494. I used to hate and avoid pain and resent its infliction; but now
   I find that had I not so suffered, I would not now possess, trained
   and perfected, this infinitely & multitudinously sensible capacity of
   delight in my mind, heart and body. God justifies himself in the end
   even when He has masked Himself as a bully and a tyrant.

   495. I swore that I would not suffer from the world's grief and the
   world's stupidity and cruelty & injustice and I made my heart as hard
   in endurance as the nether millstone and my mind as a polished surface
   of steel. I no longer suffered, but enjoyment had passed away from me.
   Then God broke my heart and ploughed up my mind. I rose through cruel
   & incessant anguish to a blissful painlessness and through sorrow and
   indignation & revolt to an infinite knowledge and a settled peace.

   496. When I found that pain was the reverse side & the training of
   delight, I sought to heap blows on myself & multiply suffering in all
   my members; for even God's tortures seemed to me slow & slight &
   inefficient. Then my Lover had to stay my hand & cry, "Cease; for my
   stripes are enough for thee."

   497. The self-torture of the old monks & penitents was perverse &
   stupid; yet was there a secret soul of knowledge behind their
   perversities.

   498. God is our wise & perfect Friend; because he knows when to smite
   as well as when to fondle, when to slay us no less than when to save &
   to succour.

   499. The divine Friend of all creatures conceals His friendliness in
   the mask of an enemy till He has made us ready for the highest
   heavens; then, as in Kurukshetra, the terrible form of the Master of
   strife, suffering & destruction is withdrawn & the sweet face, the
   tender arm, the oft-clasped body of Krishna shine out on the shaken
   soul & purified eyes of his eternal comrade & playmate.

   500. Suffering makes us capable of the full force of the Master of
   Delight; it makes us capable also to bear the utter play of the Master
   of Power. Pain is the key that opens the gates of strength; it is the
   high-road that leads to the city of beatitude.

   501. Yet, O soul of man, seek not after pain, for that is not His
   will, seek after His joy only; as for suffering, it will come to thee
   surely in His providence as often and as much as is needed for thee.
   Then bear it that thou mayst find out at last its heart of rapture.

   502. Neither do thou inflict pain, O man, on thy fellow; God alone has
   the right to inflict pain; or those have it whom He has commissioned.
   But deem not fanatically, as did Torquemada, that thou art one of
   these.

   503. In former times there was a noble form of asseveration for souls
   compact merely of force and action, "As surely as God liveth." But for
   our modern needs another asseveration would suit better, "As surely as
   God loveth."

   504. Science is chiefly useful to the God-lover & the God-knower
   because it enables him to understand in detail and admire the curious
   wonders of His material workmanship. The one learns & cries, "Behold
   how the Spirit has manifested itself in matter"; the other, "Behold,
   the touch of my Lover & Master, the perfect Artist, the hand
   omnipotent."

   505. O Aristophanes of the universe, thou who watchest thy world and
   laughest sweetly to thyself, wilt thou not let me too see with divine
   eyes and share in thy worldwide laughters?

   506. Kalidasa says in a daring image that the snow-rocks of Kailasa
   are Shiva's loud world-laughters piled up in utter whiteness &
   pureness on the mountain-tops. It is true; and when their image falls
   on the heart, then the world's cares melt away like the clouds below
   into their real nothingness.

   507. The strangest of the soul's experiences is this, that it finds,
   when it ceases to care for the image Athreat of troubles, then the
   troubles themselves are nowhere to be found in one's neighbourhood. It
   is then that we hear from behind those unreal clouds God laughing at
   us.

   508. Has thy effort succeeded, O thou Titan? Dost thou sit, like
   Ravana and Hiranyakashipou, served by the gods and the world's master?
   But that which thy soul was really hunting after, has escaped from
   thee.

   509. Ravana's mind thought it was hungering after universal
   'sovereignty and victory over Rama; but the aim his soul kept its
   vision fixed upon all the time was to get back to its heaven as soon
   as possible & be again God's menial. Therefore, as the shortest way,
   it buried itself against God in a furious clasp of enmity.

   510. The greatest of joys is to be, like Narada, the slave of God; the
   worst of Hells, being abandoned of God, to be the world's master. That
   which seems nearest to the ignorant conception of God, is the farthest
   from him.

   511. God's servant is something; God's slave is greater.

   512. To be master of the world would indeed be supreme felicity, if
   one were universally loved; but for that one would have to be at the
   same time the slave of all humanity.

   513. After all when thou countest up thy long service to God, thou
   wilt find thy supreme work was the flawed & little good thou didst in
   love for humanity.

   514. There are two works that are perfectly pleasing to God in his
   servant; to sweep in silent adoration His temple-floors and to fight
   in the world's battlefield for His divine consummation in humanity.

   515. He who has done even a little good to human beings, though he be
   the worst of sinners, is accepted by God in the ranks of His lovers
   and servants. He shall look upon the face of the Eternal.

   516. O fool of thy weakness, cover not God's face from thyself by a
   veil of awe, approach Him not with a suppliant weakness. Look! thou
   wilt see on His face not the solemnity of the King & Judge, but the
   smile of the Lover.

   517. Until thou canst learn to grapple with God as a wrestler with his
   comrade, thy soul's strength shall always be hid from thee.

   518. Sumbha first loved Kali with his heart & body, then was furious
   with her and fought her, at last prevailed against her, seized her by
   the hair & whirled her thrice round him in the heavens; the next
   moment he was slain by her. These are the Titan's four strides to
   immortality and of them all the last is the longest and mightiest.

   519. Kali is Krishna revealed as dreadful Power & wrathful Love. She
   slays with her furious blows the self in body, life & mind in order to
   liberate it as spirit eternal.

   520. Our parents fell, in the deep Semitic apologue, because they
   tasted the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Had they taken at once
   of the tree of eternal life, they would have escaped the immediate
   consequence; but God's purpose in humanity would have been defeated.
   His wrath is our eternal advantage.

   521. If Hell were possible, it would be the shortest cut to the
   highest heaven. For verily God loveth.

   522. God drives us out [of] every Eden that we may be forced to travel
   through the desert to a diviner Paradise. If thou wonder why should
   that parched & fierce transit be necessary, then art thou befooled by
   thy mind and hast not studied thy soul behind and its dim desires and
   secret raptures.

   523. A healthy mind hates pain; for the desire of pain that men
   sometimes develop in their minds is morbid and contrary to Nature. But
   the soul cares not for the mind & its sufferings any more than the
   iron-master for the pain of the ore in the furnace; it follows its own
   necessities and its own hunger.

   524. Pity is sometimes a good substitute for love; but it is always no
   more than a substitute.

   525. Self-pity is always born of self-love; but pity for others is not
   always born of love for its object. It is sometimes a self-regarding
   shrinking from the sight of pain; sometimes the rich man's
   contemptuous dole to the pauper. Develop rather God's divine
   compassion than human pity.

   526. Not pity that bites the heart and weakens the inner members, but
   a divine masterful & untroubled compassion and helpfulness is the
   virtue that we should encourage.

   527. To find that saving a man's body or mind from suffering is not
   always for the good of either soul, mind or body, is one of the
   bitterest of experiences for the humanly compassionate.

   528. Human pity is born of ignorance & weakness; it is the slave of
   emotional impressions. Divine compassion understands, discerns &
   saves.

   529. Indiscriminate compassion is the noblest gift of temperament, not
   to do even the least hurt to one living thing is the highest of all
   human virtues; but God practises neither. Is man therefore nobler and
   better than the All-loving?

   530. Love and serve men, but beware lest thou desire their
   approbation. Obey rather God within thee.

   531. Not to have heard the voice of God and His angels is the world's
   idea of sanity.

   532. See God everywhere and be not frightened by masks. Believe that
   all falsehood is truth in the making or truth in the breaking, all
   failure an effectuality concealed, all weakness strength hiding itself
   from its own vision, all pain a secret & violent ecstasy. If thou
   believest firmly & unweariedly, in the end thou wilt see &
   experience-the All-true, Almighty & All-blissful.

   533. Human love fails by its own ecstasy, human strength is exhausted
   by its own effort, human knowledge throws a shadow that conceals half
   the globe of truth from its own sunlight; but divine knowledge
   embraces opposite truths & reconciles them, divine strength grows by
   the prodigality of its self-expenditure, divine love can squander
   itself utterly, yet never waste or diminish.

   534. The rejection of falsehood by the mind seeking after truth is one
   of the chief causes why mind cannot attain to the settled, rounded &
   perfect truth; not to escape falsehood is the effort of divine mind,
   but to seize the truth which lies masked behind even the most
   grotesque or far-wandering error.

   535. The whole truth about any object is a rounded & all-embracing
   globe which for ever circles around, but never touches the one & only
   subject & object of knowledge, God.

   536. "There are many profound truths which are like weapons dangerous
   to the unpractised wielder. Rightly handled, they are the most
   precious & potent in God's armoury.

   537. The obstinate pertinacity with which we cling to our meagre,
   fragmentary, night-besieged & grief-besieged individual existence even
   while the unbroken bliss of our universal life calls to us, is one of
   the most amazing of God's mysteries. It is only equalled by the
   infinite blindness with which we cast a shadow of our ego over the
   whole world & call that the universal being. These two darknesses are
   the very essence & potency of Maya.

   538. Atheism is the shadow or dark side of the highest perception of
   God. Every formula we frame about God, though always true as a symbol,
   becomes false when we accept it as a sufficient formula. The Atheist &
   Agnostic come to remind us of our error.

   539. God's negations are as useful to us as His affirmations. It is He
   who as the Atheist denies His own existence for the better perfecting
   of human knowledge. It is not enough to see God in Christ &
   Ramakrishna & hear His words, we must see Him and hear Him also in
   Huxley & Haeckel.

   540. Canst thou see God in thy torturer & slayer even in thy moment of
   death or thy hours of torture? Canst thou see Him in that which thou
   art slaying, see & love even while thou slayest? Thou hast thy hand on
   the supreme knowledge. How shall he attain to Krishna who has never
   worshipped Kali?

   541. I know that the opposite of what I say is true, but for the
   present what I say is still truer.

   542. I believe with you, my friends, that God, if He exists, is a
   demon and an ogre. But after all what are you going to do about it?

                           ADDITIONAL APHORISMS
                           ====================
   543. God is the supreme Jesuit Father. He is ever doing evil that good
   may come of it; ever misleads for a greater leading; ever oppresses
   our will that it may arrive at last at an infinite freedom.

   544. Our Evil is to God not evil, but ignorance and imperfection, our
   good a lesser imperfection.

   545. The religionist speaks a truth, though too violently, when he
   tells us that even our greatest and purest virtue is as vileness
   before the divine nature of God.

   546. To be beyond good and evil is not to act sin or virtue
   indifferently, but to arrive at a high and universal good.

   547. That good is not our ethical virtue which is a relative and
   erring light in the world; it is supra-ethical and divine.

		by Sri Aurobindo
  
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