Unknown year, January talk, Serial 00616

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And all of them have said what an extraordinary experience it is. You pray, you see, you go in prayer, and you just don't know where your food is coming from, you don't know where you're going to sleep, and you've got no provision whatsoever. And often you meet with quite difficult times, people don't accept you, and you don't know what's going to happen. But almost invariably, somebody comes along and offers you something. I remember one once, and nobody gave him anything, not even water, because he was getting quite exhausted. He lay down under a tree, and somebody came and offered him a fountain. And then somebody came and offered him some coffee. And then everything began to come. And another person went, and he knew some convents and places, and he went to them, and he looked very baggage, you know, sagacity, and they all sent him away. So he went and lay down in the bus stand. And a Hindu came along and asked him if he knew how to speak,


said, no, I don't know how to speak. He took him to his home, and he stayed three days in that house, and he entertained him, and he shared with him one of the most beautiful experiences of his life. So this is quite real. You have to trust people in God, and then things are provided for you. So quite evidently, Jesus wanted his life to be known that people trust this thing. And then he says, when you enter a house, stay there, and so on. If anyone will not receive you, shake off the dust. You go and you offer yourself, and if you are not accepted, then you just leave it to the rest of the world. And then he said he went out and preached that men should repent. And I think this is the essence of the message. It's interesting, but it's very simple, really, this repentance. Repentance is turning to God. And everybody is turned away from God, naturally, because so many, the problems of life are so great. An ordinary household has got to try to keep that family together,


to earn the money or the food necessary day by day, and they're overwhelmed with it. And then, of course, the disease comes, and deaths come, and one thing after another, and you're simply obsessed with all the problems of life. And you lose sight of God. And repentance is when you awake, when you discover that God is in your life. And as I said, you see, when you ever rely on God, it means that you find you are provided for, that you're always worrying about. You see, the great message is that don't be anxious for your life. Watch what you eat, watch what you drink, watch your body, watch what you put on. People are so anxious that it makes trouble for themselves. And when they learn to surrender to God, somehow things begin to change. Not that I think we all have to learn, but there is a providence in our lives. We all think we've got to manage everything ourselves. And if God is there, when we've exhausted every other resource, then perhaps one can ask God for help.


But it's a normal attitude. We do everything we can for ourselves, and then when we can't do anything more, we ask God to do something. So we put God in one corner of our lives. We manage everything ourselves, trying to get as much money as we can, and to get on in the world, and so on. And then, perhaps one day in a week or some time, we give a good time to God. And that is the normal religion. But what Jesus was preaching was this repentance, which places God at the center of one's life. It doesn't mean that you don't earn your living, or that you don't give up a family or whatever, but you go to a totally different attitude. You totally depend on God. And we have to renew that day by day. And I think for all of us, you see, that's the view that has to take place. We place God at the center of our lives, and we try to surrender everything to Him, absolutely everything, not to the most primitive or social, or where we're going to stay or what we're going to do. Let God take charge of our lives. And then, as many have experienced,


things begin to happen. Once you make that surrender, you meet people, you go to places, and things begin to work out. And on the opposite, when you're always worrying all the time, everything goes wrong, you miss the bus, you miss the plane, and everything goes wrong, whatever you do. The other thing is that they all seem to work together. So it's a tremendous secret, really, how to make that surrender, to leave one's life in God's hands and allow Him to show one what to do. We're fully active and we do everything necessary, but it doesn't come from ourselves. It comes from something else, another power within us. It's not only to repent. I think it's a great message. I'd like to reflect a little on this mystery of the Eucharist. We celebrate it every day, and it's a great mystery, and for many, I think, it's not really a mystery, but a problem. How can you eat flesh and drink blood?


It sounds like a kind of cannibalism. It doesn't always help the way it is explained. Non-substantiation, for many people, makes it even more difficult. What does it mean that the substance of the bread is changed to the substance of the flesh and blood? So we need to reflect on it. And I think the first thing is to reflect on this mystery of the Resurrection, that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in the mystery of the Resurrection. And in the Resurrection, Jesus passes from the present state of a gross body, as we call it, to that of a spiritual body. In India, we speak of a gross body, a subtle body, and then there is beyond that a spiritual body. And when Jesus died on the cross, he died in a gross body like our own, and that body was laid in the tomb. But in the tomb, that gross body was transformed


into a subtle body. And the notion of a subtle body is fairly familiar today. Many of you know these stories of life after life, where people go through a clinical death, in an accident or in an operation, and they find themselves in a subtle body, floating on the ceiling or somewhere, looking down on that gross body lying there on the road or on the bed, and they experience this subtle body. And it's not at all uncommon. In India particularly, many yogis can appear in a subtle body. We call it astral travel. You appear at a distance to people. And it's the same in ghosts. A ghost is a subtle body. You also get in visions. In the vision of our lady, the lady appears in a subtle body. So all these examples of subtle body and the resurrection,


Jesus appeared in a subtle body to his disciples. The doors were shut and they were sitting together, and he would appear among them, and then he would disappear. Or two people at a mass, breaking the bread, he's talking to them, sharing with them. They broke the bread and then he disappeared. So that was a subtle body. But then Jesus didn't remain in that. That still remains part of this world, subtle body, it's a phenomenon. At the ascension, he went beyond the subtle to the spiritual body. And the spiritual body is beyond time and space. It's not easy to conceive it, but we're present, we're conditioned by time and space, the ghost body and the subtle body. But the spiritual body is beyond time and space. And perhaps it's easiest to reflect on it in terms of energy. You see, today we think of matter as energy. Matter is a form of energy. And the whole physical universe is a field of energies. And within that field there are various forms,


which take shape and then disintegrate again. They're all in this field of energies. And so the human body, the ghost body, is a form in that field of energies. The subtle body is a more subtle form. And the spiritual body is not in time and space. It's simply in that great field of energies. And so, in resurrection, Jesus goes beyond matter, time, space, into that pure spiritual field of energies, the physical body, the field of energies. And in that state, as they say, it's not only conditioned by time and space. And that is why the body of Jesus in the Eucharist can appear all over the world. It's not conditioned by time and space, so that it appears in any time and in any space, like among us now. So that's one way to see how the body of Christ


in the resurrection is beyond time and space and can appear in time and space in any condition. And then we have the problem of the bread and the wine. What is the relation between the bread and the wine and this body of Christ? And I think the idea of transubstantiation is, I think, a little misleading, because when we think of a substance, we think of a chemical substance. Bread and wine are substances and they have a certain chemical properties and you can examine them. And many people think that by transubstantiation we mean that that bread and wine change their substance, their different substance now. But it's not true, you see. If you put the bread and the wine of the Eucharist after the consecration under a microscope, we find exactly the same chemical substance. It's not the chemical substance that change or the physical substance. It's a metaphysical substance. In the Middle Ages, this substance was a metaphysical substance.


It's what underlies all the appearances of things. Beyond all that you can touch and taste and smell and see and hear, there is a hidden substance. That is what they were referring to. So the outer forms, the appearances of the bread and the wine, remain, but the metaphysical substance, the ground, I think, is no longer simply bread and wine. It is this presence of the body of Christ. And that is another aspect of how we understand the relation between outer appearances of things and their substance, their inner reality, the reality behind the appearances. And the language which is used in theology today about that is the language of a symbol. You see, a sacrament is a sign, and a symbol is a sign in which the reality is present. It's a very profound understanding. A symbol is a sign in which the reality is present. And there are many examples of it.


We say the sun is a sign of night, of heat, of warmth, and so on. But night and heat are in the sun. It's a sign in which the reality is present. Or you could say a king is a sign of authority and power. There's authority and power in a king. And so the bread and the wine of the Eucharist are symbols of Christ. They're signs in which the reality is present. So under those signs of bread and wine, the reality of the risen body of Christ is present. The risen body beyond time and space becomes present under the signs of bread and wine. And then we have to take it a stage further. This body of Christ in the Resurrection is no longer a limited body in time and space. It transcends time and space altogether. And when you transcend time and space like that, you're no longer limited. So during the Resurrection, we're not simply isolated individuals. I remember one person telling me,


they thought, what a problem we should be in the Resurrection. All these millions and millions of people in all these ages, all crushed together. You're not in time and space, you see. And you're interpenetrating. In the Resurrection, it's an interpenetration of all time in you, and you are in me, you see. And Christ is in you, and Christ is in me. That is the mystery of the Resurrection. So in this risen body of Christ, you have the mystical body. And Father Deleubert wrote a book years ago on the mystical body, saying that the Fathers used the term of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the mystical body of Christ. It's the body of Christ beyond time and space, where he was in his members, and his members are in him. And in that body of Christ in the Eucharist, we are in him, and he is in us. That is the mystery, you see. We enter into the body of Christ, we share in that life of Christ, which is the life of God, in us. So, one can see, you see,


if we start from the Resurrection, the mystical Resurrection, we all hope for the Resurrection, and this gross body is transformed into a spiritual body, no longer conditioned by time and space, and we enter into that body of Christ in which all are in each, and each is in all. It's a conscending time and space, so that we're no longer limited. We open ourselves, each is in all, and all is in each. And Christ is that fullness, you see, of reality in which all are present. Like the saying I always quote of St. Augustine, in the end there will be one Christ loving himself, Jesus loving himself, with all his members. We are that body of Christ, we are the body of Christ, and that body of Christ is present under the signs of present life, and we are capable of that, we enter into the body of Christ, we organize our membership, our sharing in his life,


which is the life of all humanity, and the life of all creation. It's all gathered together in that one reality. So that's the genuine mystery of the Eucharist for all time, to enter into sharing, by just taking that little particle of bread and wine, we enter into the total mystery of creation and redemption and the time of rebirth. Thank you very much. I think we have to see, as we reflected on yesterday, the fundamental problem of religion, this relation between exterior and interior religion. And I think we have to realize that in the earlier stages all religion was exterior. Human beings naturally expressed themselves through external actions, rights, words, behavior. And religious instinct expressed itself in external ritual and language and worship.


And you find that in all ancient religion, and you find it in Israel, the old laws, the law in which worship is expressed in external rights, worship in the temple, sacrifices, and so on. And that is the norm of religion. And then the stage arises when reason begins to develop and people begin to distinguish between the exterior and the interior. So let's remember at the beginning there was no separation between interior and exterior. People lived in this sort of unity of consciousness. And then as reason develops, we begin to separate, distinguish ourselves from the outside world, ourselves from one another. In the early stages, people felt themselves members of a community, the individual sense, with very little at all. And this slowly develops. So out of this sort of cosmic consciousness, this unity of consciousness, you gradually separate yourself.


A child at the first stage is one with its mother, it doesn't distinguish itself at all. Then it begins to distinguish itself from its mother, from its other brothers and sisters, and so on. And so a dual world begins to emerge. You see yourself as separate from others, yourself separate from the world around. And at that stage, two things can happen. One is that you begin to separate altogether from the exterior world. You feel the mind is quite separate from matter. And in the Western world, that's what happened in the last two centuries, more and more, the mind is separated from matter. People feel themselves quite separate from their bodies, from the external world. And the danger of that is you become schizophrenic, you become split. There are two worlds, one of your mind and your ego and yourself, and there's another world outside you, other people, other things, and so on. And that is a stage which many people have reached. And one of the results,


the other result of that, if either you think you're a pure spirit and you reject the world, or you react against that and you identify yourself to the external world, you begin to think that the external world is the reality. And many people today think the visible external world is reality. Anything else is subjective and illusory and this is the real. And so you get split between the external world, which is thought to be real, and the interior world, which is thought to be subjective and illusory. Or else you get the opposite. The interior world is the real and the external is illusory. And the truth is, of course, that the two are interdependent. The exterior and the interior are interrelated and interdependent. And true religion is always discovering this interrelationship when you realize that the external symbolizes and signifies the interior. And the interior world needs that external expression.


And that is the meaning of sacraments, the sacrament of the Eucharist, expressing the interior mystery and this external ritual and worship. And that brings up this subject that we were discussing yesterday about food, purification, and the sacredness of food and vessels and so on. And the reason for that is that you're trying to realize that this external world symbolizes the sacred. You see, you make a sacred space. As I suggested, you take your food, you make a sacred space to realize food is not merely material stuff that you're taking in. The food symbolizes life, the life which God gives us with the sacrament. And so you try to make things sacramental, make them holy. Then you create the sacred space like a church. So within that you realize that everything symbolizes the divine, an eternal symbol, an external sign of the interior reality.


And that is why food is important because food is not merely stuff that we put into our bodies. Food is a sacred reality. It's a form of life, and we are communicating life. And that's why it is important to decide what food to eat. Everybody who's vegetarian knows that it makes a great difference to your interior life. Why people often become vegetarian is precisely because it's what in India we call sacred food. It produces an equanimity of mind, and meat and stuff like that. It's rajasic. It produces energy and courage, but also violence and emotion. And so food is important, and that is why people make these rules. In the same way, if you read yesterday, you have all these purifications and so on, and even if you go out into the marketplace, you purify yourself when you come in. All this is an attempt to create a sacred universe,


to realize the sacredness of the world around us and to create a deep meaning. And that is what people today are trying to recover, you see. We've made the external world mere matter which we can manipulate and control with our technology, and we've created this foolish universe, you see, which can destroy us. Once you separate from nature, that nature in the bones can destroy you. And we're trying today to recover the sacred universe. Here there's matter, it's sacred, it's created by God, it has this marvellous power within it, and it's part of ourselves. We are part of nature, matter is like all the rest of the universe. So we're trying to recover the sense of a sacred universe. And we were celebrating with the children this morning the marriage of a perfectly broken across to this sacramental mystery. In marriage you cannot separate the body and the soul, mind and matter. It's a perfect image of the sacramental order of the universe.


In India we speak of Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is mind, consciousness, spirit. Prakriti is matter, nature. And the whole universe is the union, the marriage of Purusha and Prakriti. And the human marriage is a symbol and an expression of this universal mystery, the union of the male and the female, of mind and matter, of spirit and grace. It's a transcendent mystery. So we live in this sacramental universe. We have to try to realise it. At every level, as I say, You shouldn't think food is indifferent. That's just something you can on the market place and put into yourself. It's a way by which God has communicated life to us through our food. That is why Jesus took bread and wine, ordinary food and drink, as a symbol of the divine life. It's a symbol, it's a means by which the human life is communicated and in the middle it becomes a symbol of divine life.


Through the bread, through the wine, the divine life is communicated to us, the life of Christ. So this is the great mystery we live in, the sacramental world. And as I say, the opposite thing is that one, you get so attached to the ritual, the external rite and so on, that you lose the deeper sense that it's only a sign of the internal reality. The other, which is equally dangerous, is you're afraid of all this external ritual, all the routine of religion, and therefore you want to have a purely spiritual religion, no ritual, no externals about it. And that can be equally dangerous if you then begin to despise matter, despise the body, and you become split, therefore divided. So we all have to discover in our lives, in our religion and in our lives, this sacramental mystery. The spirit is manifest in the matter, the mind and the body, and we have to bring them together to realize their unity.


They are one, and we split them by our minds, by our present mode of consciousness. And that repentance is a change of heart by which we rediscover the sacredness of the universe, the sacredness of the body, the sacredness of all ritual and religious worship. Now this is a holy church today, and I'm the one performing it. ...I thought that, you know, and you come, and you shave, and they are struck, and they all kiss, and they all beat, and all have sex, and all that other stuff, and you shave... ...he didn't go, and he didn't achieve very much by merely healing people's diseases, and there's no doubt that the disciples saw these as messianic signs, a sign of the Messiah, the coming of God into the world. And today it recalls the prophecy of Isaiah, as I mentioned, when Isaiah comes, the eyes of the blind shall be open,


the ears of the deaf shall hear, and the tongue of the dumb shall speak. And so it's remarked, can you see, can you hear, this is a messianic sign of this power that has come into the world. It isn't simply that some people are going to be cured miraculously, but there is a healing power in the world. And I think that we have to see there are millions and billions of deaf and dumb and blind people still today, and medicine does a great deal to help people, but it doesn't cure it altogether. And we know today, actually, that the medicine has done wonders in many ways, but it's also a spectacular failure in other ways. They say that in America, where medicine has gone to anywhere, there's actually not less disease than there was, maybe more in some ways. You cure one set of diseases, and another set comes along, cancer and heart failure,


and these things are just widespread as any disease ever was. So medicine is not going to heal all these diseases, nor are miracles, nor is Sai Baba. Sai Baba cures many people, but these also are not healing humanity. And Jesus came really to heal humanity, to bring this healing power into the world. And that's, I think, what we have to realize, that healing power is in nature, but it's nature we knew, restored, redeemed, and that healing power is present in the world that will bring eventual, total healing. And that is the meaning of the messianic prophecies in messianic times, that God is present in the world, and he is a sign of his healing power, which can heal all diseases. And humanity is destined to be set free from all disease, to be set free from death, and that is the real answer of religion,


the desire to be set free from the disease, from old age, from death, from the limits of our life, the present. But God comes into the world to set us free from all, and we all wait for that final healing, the healing of all disease, healing of all age, healing from death, healing from all. And that is our faith, that power is in the world, and that it can restore all things, restore all humanity. And so we live in that faith, we don't see it around us, everything seems to go on as it was, but yet we have faith, we discern in our own lives how that power is at work, and we see it around us. There is a power of healing present, and we have faith that it has that power, that we as humanity, our own humanity is destined to be set free. And that is liberation. Liberation is on many levels, but the final liberation is from disease and death, and that is what religion comes to give us. The Buddha himself has offered this way,


this old age, disease and death, what we saw as the enemies of the world, and he offered this liberation, Nirvana is liberation from old age, disease and death. And Jesus comes to offer that liberation, that truth of healing, and that is faith. Only by faith we know that power is there, and with that faith, that power can begin to work in our lives, and we begin to get set free from that. You know, it's not merely the act of disease and death, it's the fear of it, and the anxiety about it, the sense that we're doomed. That is what invades humanity, when you know that that's not so, that the doom has been taken away, that liberation has been given. Then we have faith, then we have hope, then we have a sense of fulfilment. Then we ask for that place to discern this hidden power of God, of healing the world. The whole gospel is concerned with the repentance,


the Kingdom of God. Actually, it's concerned, as you see, with these particular prescriptions about not killing, not committing adultery, not swearing, and these are all aspects of this repentance, this turning back from the external world to the interior. It's not a matter of killing people exteriorly, it's killing them in your heart. It's not a matter of committing adultery exteriorly, but having that thought in your heart. It's not a matter of swearing, but having that attitude of God in the heart. So religion is, or the gospel is, this interior religion, and I think that's what we all try to learn today, to pass from an exterior religion, which is necessary to keep together, to lead and to share, to an interior religion where the real meaning of these actions is revealed. And that is repentance, that is this turning back, this discovery of God within.


And particularly here in India, this is called to discover the inner self, the inner reality. And it's something that people are seeking now. People come to India from all over the world in search of their inner experience. And I think that's what is called the world today. The exterior world is threatening to dominate everybody and everything, and people turn away from that, they're searching for a deeper meaning in life. And we find that deeper meaning when we turn within, discover our own inner consciousness, the weight of the self within. And this is a metanoia, this is repentance, this is a discovery of what's important, that leading for this hidden, this secret and hidden wisdom of God. This is the secret of hidden wisdom, the wisdom which is in the heart. And it's a constant turning away, because the world comes over us day by day,


we're forced to live in it, to share various things, and the external world comes to overwhelm us when we have to discover the inner reality. It's in the world, all around us, but we get the exterior, the appearance of the things, and we live in the appearance, we don't discover the hidden mystery which is in everybody, in everything. And that is what repentance is, and that also is what enlightenment is. And that also is what we were reading in the Bhagavad Gita, this is a great mystery revealed, that the field and the knower of the field, the field is this external world, all that is in it, and the knower is the Lord within. And in this external world is the hidden mystery, the secret of hidden wisdom. And it's to discover the inwardly presence in the midst of everybody, in the midst of everything, that is the wisdom. It's the wisdom of Hinduism, it's the wisdom of Buddhism, and it's the wisdom of the Gospel, and it's the wisdom of religion, it's the wisdom of human existence, really.


So even if you don't believe in God, you can discover this hidden presence, this mystery in the heart of your life. What is deadly is living in the external world, on the surface, on the appearances, which is illusion. You see, when you separate the appearances from the reality, you're living in a world of illusion. Most people are living a great part of their life in this world of illusion, just seeing the outer appearances and not realizing the reality. And so repentance is day by day rediscovering this hidden mystery, this reality within us, within the world, within others, within everything. So we all have to ask for this grace of repentance, discovery of the hidden mystery within, and not living in the external world. In asking for a sign in this way,


the Jews were doing what is fairly common, apparently, with Israel. If anybody preached some doctrine which was not normally accepted, they had to give a sign from heaven to show that this was authentic, some miraculous act. And they were asking for some miracle of that kind. And Jesus refused signs of that kind, these miraculous powers, for so they are something in themselves and not signs of something beyond. And that is the great illusion. It's very common in India, that Josai Baba performs these miracles every day, and many people think that's a sign that he must be divine. And, of course, it's nothing of the sort. They're simply psychic powers, which some people have and some haven't, and in themselves have no particular value. They can be signs of something beyond, and that's what Sai Baba himself says. He does these things to draw people, something beyond. And Jesus did many signs of that also.


St. John uses that word, sign, of all his miracles. They weren't simply demonstrations of this psychic power. They were signs of a divine presence. They were trying to draw people to himself, not to the external action, but to this person who was behind it. And in that sense, everything in creation is a sign, a sign of God. And we all tend to be idolaters. We mistake the signs for the reality, in the sense that it's the essence of sin, which is idolatry. Everything in creation is a sign. The sun and the moon and the stars and the earth and the trees, animals and every human being is a sign of the divine presence, God is present in all these things. And we all mistake the signs for the reality. And Western science, in particular, the model of this idolatry tries to eliminate anything beyond the external.


It examines the physical world in the utmost detail, then develops the power to control it and so on, and all the time ignores the sign aspect, that all these things are signs of something more. And that is idolatry in the exact sense. And we're all guilty of that, because we see the outside world and we relate to it in an external way, and we don't see the presence of God behind the sign. God comes to us in everything in creation, in every human being, in every situation. There's a book, some of you may know, called The Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Clevata Cossard. And his great theme there is that God comes to us in every event of our lives. If we come to assemble for prayer, that God is calling us to prayer. If we go to breakfast, God is calling us to breakfast. If we meet somebody who wants to talk to us,


God is coming to us in that person. If we meet with some accident, God comes to us in that accident. And that is wisdom, to see that in every event, in every person, in everything, there's a sign of this divine mystery in which we're living. And the opposite, you see, is to take it simply. You come to prayer because the bell goes. You go to breakfast because you need breakfast. You meet God and it's just you meet that person. There's nothing more in it. But there's always something more. Everything is assigned with something more. And then we regard it as supernatural signs. You see, there are physical signs and there are psychic events. Psychic events are just as normal, in a sense, as physical events. This power to produce things, to produce the booty or something, or the power of second sight, to see into the future or into the past. All these are psychic powers. They're unusual in many ways, but they're not divine in any way. We have all these powers,


and we have no grace of God in you at all. In fact, it can be the opposite. It can be diabolical. There are many people who have these powers and they use them to do harm to people. It's not at all ungoverned. You can use these powers to harm people, even to kill people. So there's nothing divine about these psychic powers. And it's a great illusion. And people have them. Everybody runs after them with something wonderful there. There's nothing very wonderful. It's something very dangerous, really. So there are these, as I say, the ordinary events of the world which are signs of something beyond. And then these psychic powers can be used as signs. Jesus had these psychic powers. He could turn water into wine and multiply bread. He had all these psychic powers, but he didn't use them simply to demonstrate that he had these powers, as the Jews wanted him to. He used them as signs to draw people to the presence of God in him. It was meant to awaken them, give them life and wisdom.


So we all need to discover this whole mystery. The whole universe is a sign. And as long as you mistake it for the reality, you're an idolater, and you're missing the truth. You're under an illusion. This is maya. When we mistake this world for the reality, then the world is maya. It is an illusion, and we're deluding ourselves. That's what Peter was saying this morning. He said this, this darkness of ignorance, when we see everything as an illusion, the whole universe then becomes an illusion. But when we're awakened, at the sattva, we see, then we see the universe as a revelation of God. Everything in the universe, the good and the evil, because God is present in the evil also. There's always a divine presence. When we see that, then we're in the truth, then we're enlightened. So we all have to ask for this grace to see beyond the outer appearance, to the sign, to the reality,


and to live in the presence of God. There's again this problem of miracles and the material aspect of things, and the spiritual. Disciples are kind of living on the material plane all the time, and they forget to take some bread, and they get worried about it. And Jesus says, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. He immediately takes it onto another plane altogether, speaking in symbolic terms, the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. I think one could interpret the leaven of the Pharisees as this religious attitude which is materialistic, ritualistic, legalistic, and the externals of religion. And perhaps the leaven of Herod is the political world which sees only the outer world, the material needs of people,


and doesn't realize the inner reality of humanity, and inner needs. So Jesus is making a complete sin habit of seeing everything in material, external, legalistic terms, and not discovering the inner reality. And then He recalls to them the feeding of a 5,000, the feeding of a 4,000, how the material elements were there, and they picked up all these baskets full, but the miracle was not in merely the material elements. It was quite secondary to it. Jesus wasn't simply feeding people. He was revealing Himself as Messiah, in a sense. There seems to be no doubt that Jesus saw this as a revelation of the miracle, of the Exodus, that in the Exodus they were fed with bread from heaven. And it's in John's Gospel, as you know, the full meaning of this is brought out,


that they were fed with bread from heaven. Jesus says, I am the bread from heaven. In other words, this feeding the material, physically like that, was to open their eyes to who He was, to what their power was within Him. And so, the external, who was the sign of the interior? And as I was saying yesterday, I think we all need to reflect on this way that we may learn to separate the exterior and the interior. We think the material world is something outside us, something solid, objective, outside us, which we examine and measure and so on, and learn to control. And then we think that feelings, thoughts, these are something inside us, quite separate. But reality is the interior and the exterior are one. They are two aspects of one reality. And just as our body is not something outside us, the body is inside us. The body is inside the mind, not outside.


And the body and mind are interrelated, interdependent reality. There isn't a body separate and a mind separate. There's a body-mind, a psychosomatic whole. And the whole universe is this psychosomatic whole. Everything has a psychological significance, as well as the material. Every single thing, you see. Bread is physical, it has a chemical substance, and it feeds the body chemically. But also, bread has a psychological dimension. When you have a good meal, you feel happy. Your whole attitude of love to life changes. That's a profound psychological affair. And that comes from the bread. The bread has a psychological aspect, and a psychological dimension. And everything, as we know from the Vedas and all ancient tradition, has a threefold dimension. A physical, a psychological, and a spiritual. And nothing is really physical, and nothing is really psychological. As we know, in disease, the best example of day work discovered, no disease is merely physical.


It always has a psychological component, and it always has a spiritual component. If you're run over by a car, there's a physical aspect of it, but there's also a psychological aspect. Why were you in that place at that time? Why did the car collide with you, or you hit the car? There's a psychological aspect. And then thirdly, why in the providence of God were you allowed to be in that place, to meet that car in that time? There's a spiritual significance. So everything has a threefold character. And we simply delude ourselves when we think that this is just an accident. That's the physical substance of the car colliding with the physical substance of my body, and this accident took place. The whole thing is a physical thing with a psychological dimension to it. And all reality has this threefold character. We have to discover the psychological meaning of that world around us, and then the spiritual meaning that God is present in the midst of all these events. Every physical and psychological event


is an expression, a manifestation, of this presence of God. And Jesus really gave us the Eucharist to make us aware of this. There is the bread and the wine, and that was a physical aspect of it. But bread and wine have a psychological aspect also. They give life to us, and they give joy, and they give inner experience. And when we share bread and wine together, we have a beautiful sharing of our lives together. So it has a psychological meaning. And then it has a spiritual meaning. When we eat together and share together, God is giving himself to us. And in the Eucharist, God gives himself to us in a special way. He consistently gives himself to us in the surrender of Jesus and his life on the cross. I would rather call that a modern Israel separated from Judah, Babylon as well. And the 8th century was invaded by the Assyrians, and people were carried away captive.


And a lot of alien people were settled in the land where the Galilee was a land where there were many strangers as well as Jews. And it's rather significant, you see, that Jesus began to preach the gospel in this land of the nations, Galilee of the nations, not merely to Israel, but to the Gentiles, to the world, so that this kingdom he was preaching was not to be only of the Jews, it was to be of the Gentiles, to be of the whole world. And then his message is the kingdom of God is at hand. And this phrase, certainly for the Jews, had the significance of something that's about to come, or is coming. And all through the gospel, that message is given, that you do not but are the son of man, will come, with his future coming. And we all still look forward. Christ is died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. We're waiting for the coming of the kingdom. And that is the typically Jewish perspective.


But there's another perspective, which is more that of India, which sees beyond time. The Jews had no vision beyond time. They saw eternity in the terms of extension in time, forever and ever. And that's one way of seeing it, but it's a limited way. And in India, and to some extent also in Greece as well, we could realize that time is only one dimension of reality, and that eternity is not an extension of time, but is beyond time. And I think it's very deeply meaningful when we reflect on it in that night in the Upanishad, for us that breakthrough beyond time and space to the eternal reality, this Brahman, this Atman, is not in time, it's beyond altogether. And the kingdom of God really is not in time at all, it's not a future state, it's an eternal state. You can think of it in these, like time is like this,


that's the past and the present and the future, and we're moving along that line. And eternity isn't going on and on like that, it's going there. Eternity is always present to every part of time. And so we're living in eternity as well as in time. And repentance, the metanoia, this change of mind, is when we recognize the eternal reality beyond and within time itself. You see, the eternal is in time and beyond it. And really the point of the Gospel is to live in time and always beyond, to see the eternal in our daily lives. For the eternal reality is present to us in the midst of all our daily life, our daily experiences. And perhaps particularly when we come to the Eucharist, we try to realize that eternal presence. And again in the Eucharist, we think of the bread and the wine, and that Christ is present in the bread and in the wine.


And it's the eternal reality of Christ, which isn't Christ merely in the earthly life, but Christ in the risen life. At the Resurrection, Jesus went beyond time and space. He didn't simply go into another space or another time. He went beyond time and space into that eternal reality. And in a good sense, the Kingdom of God came at the Resurrection because time was taken up into eternity at that point. And so we're living in that other dimension. And when we celebrate the Eucharist, precisely the bread and the wine belong to this world, time and space. And yet within that time and space, within that bread and wine, is the eternal reality. It opens us at that point. So we all try to discover this hidden mystery. We're all living in this hidden mystery of the eternal, which never appears. It only appears in time. Bread and wine are appearances in time and space. But the reality is beyond time and space. Let's open our hearts, our minds, to realize the common,


to realize the truth, to realize that the Kingdom of God in our midst is a manifestation of the mind, which awakens us to this eternal reality. We celebrate this public date. I think it's important to reflect on this unity of India and perhaps even deeper on this question of the relation of religion to politics, to the world in which we live. India is a secular state. And secular, I understand, but it's not permitted as a state to any particular religion, but it supports every religion. It's not an atheist state or an agnostic one. The state itself doesn't profess any religion, but it gives support to every religion. And that seems the best constitution we could have.


But then the question arises, how do you have many religions, five or six at least, and how do they relate, and how do you find a unity, that the religions divide? I think one could see that there is a spiritual wisdom which belongs to all religions, or at least to all the main religions, and we have to discern that spiritual wisdom. In Christianity itself there is a spiritual wisdom, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount. Mahatma Gandhi and all the great leaders of India have been devoted to the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. Gandhi built his whole life around it. And that flows from Christianity, from Christ, but it's not specifically Christian. You can follow the Sermon on the Mount without being a Christian. And the same way the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, the main part of it, is a universal wisdom,


and you can follow it without being a devotee of Krishna or any Hindu god. In the same way with Buddhism, the teaching of the Buddha, the Theravada for instance, is a universal teaching, and you can follow that without being a Buddhist, without being committed to the Buddhist way of life. So I think we probably need, everywhere today, to make this distinction. Religion and culture, if you like, even that culture, the whole way of life, which can be merely material, but can also be spiritual. There is a spiritual culture. And in Europe today, Christianity is rejected by the vast number of people, but still one can ask for its Christian culture, with its acceptance of the very basic principles of Christianity, of the Sermon on the Mount. And so in India, I think we can ask for this unity of India and this spiritual wisdom, which comes down to us from the Vedas,


from Ganesha, from Bhagavad Gita, and from the whole development of India, and really unites the whole people. In the 8th century, if you like to recall, the Shankara founded four monasteries in the four corners of India. And that meant that at that time, India was a unity. He could travel the whole of India, and he could preach his doctrine everywhere, preaching in Sanskrit, which is the common language of India. And so there is a unity, a spiritual unity in India, and it's come down through these ages. And whether we're Christians or Muslims or Sikhs or Parsis or whatever, I feel we're all called to share in that spiritual culture, that spiritual wisdom. And in our ashram, we've got a special commitment to that. It was founded on this principle of living a Christian life in the context of Indian culture, of Indian spirituality. So I think we can all ask that we may,


those of us who are living in India certainly, and those who are interested in this movement, try to be aware of this Indian spirituality, we call it. It's a spiritual way of life, a spiritual understanding, which comes from India, and it's really India's gift to the world. It's not only in India. Today, this culture spreads all over the world, and people are discovering it. It's something as a dimension of human life, really. There is this unique gift of India to the world, and we want to share that as far as we can. So we can all ask for this for ourselves, and then for India as a whole. You see, at both days of today's, people are all dividing, the Sikhs are wanting to have a separate state for themselves, and so many divisions are taking place, with race and religion and language and caste, that this country can easily fall to pieces, and the only thing that can really unite it is this spiritual wisdom,


which is a common tradition throughout. So I need to ask that that may go. And it's important that the president of India doesn't always need a man, a great spiritual culture, like Dr. Radhakrishnan. An interesting quote I once said, that the world would only be rightly governed when philosophers were kings, and kings were philosophers. Well, Dr. Radhakrishnan is probably the greatest philosopher in India, and he was made president, which is very significant. And even today, Jail Singh is a very deeply spiritual man, a man who is also open to all religions. It's rather interesting, there's a father in Utti, Father Abraham, who has founded a book of faith movements in the Nilgiris, and he invited the president to it, and the president had a great deal of interest in it, and he went up to Delhi and talked with him there, and so the president was deeply interested, in bringing together the different religions of India,


to see that they have a positive value, that each religion can contribute to the good of the whole. But it means we have to discern in each religion what is universal and what belongs to all, and what is particular and what others may not accept. So, this is quite a discernment, I think they're all trying to make that discernment, how to find what is genuinely universal, and what belongs to a particular culture. So, ask for this spiritual unity with India as a whole, not only understanding of that spiritual unity. We speak a little of parables, but even heaven is a mystery, it is a mystical reality, and it can only be made known by the images, the symbols, these parables, and these parables challenge us. You see, Jesus says, nothing is hid except to be made manifest,


or secret except to come to light. If you have ear to hear, let him hear. See, you can listen to the parable, the story, and it means nothing to you, because it will just take the surface meaning. But then when you go beneath the surface, and you say you have an ear to hear, then it comes home to you. Many have that experience to read the Bible or something, and it doesn't mean anything at all at some stage, and then suddenly some word, some sentence comes out, and it speaks to you, and you awake, and then you hear what is being said. And again he says, take heed what you hear. The letter you give will be the letter you get, as to more will be given you. If you're listening, you have a listening heart, then the words come through, the meaning comes through, and you awake to the deep reality. But if not, it just passes you by. And the majority of people, they just can't answer the question, come to hear the ceremony, and the words just flow by them, because you touched them before, but suddenly it awakens you,


and you discover the hidden meaning. And that is what you hear. For to him who has, more will be given, and to him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. If you have this gift of hearing, if you listen, then you learn more and more. Each time the words begin to mean more. And on the other hand, if you don't listen, if you just let it pass by, you gradually lose the meaning. And I think for billions of people perhaps today, the words of the Bible have lost their meaning. They don't answer, they don't serve us, and the words just flow past them, and they have no meaning. And then, as I say, sometimes the words come through, the meaning comes through, and that is what challenges us all the time. And I think we have to recognize, you know, gospel is a mystery, a mystical reality. It's not of this world. And as long as we try to interpret it in terms of this world, it may make something of it, but it really has no ultimate meaning. It's when you wake to the hidden meaning,


to the mystery within, and the mystical reality... You see, I think today we're realizing that religion has to be mystical or it's nothing. It can be made into some sort of social reality and be useful in some ways, I think. But for many people, that sort of thing is no longer validity. And it's only when religion is seen as a mystery, as a mystical reality, which awakens us to something beyond the world, then again it really begins to have meaning. And I think that's a challenge in all religions. You see, every religion has its ritual and its doctrine, and people just go on listening to it, following the rituals, and without waiting for the meaning. But sometimes, in some people, they wait for the hidden meaning behind the ritual, behind the doctrine, this hidden meaning, and when that comes, then your life is changed. You see, there is a real meaning of it. It awakens you to this change in one's life.


So that's what we ought to ask, and metanoia, repentance, is precisely that change of heart, that awakening which takes place. And we also speak of enlightenment, you see, that suddenly you get enlightened, your own mind changes and you discover this hidden meaning. And really all we've done during this week, these Parables for the Kingdom, is we've put all these Parables for truth to awaken people. And some would simply pass them by, and others would hear, would listen, and then the heart awakens. And then it is this, the more you receive, the more you are given. And that's what the message comes through. And then it grows and grows and transforms one's life. If you just miss the message, then it just passes aside and it's reached a different meaning. These Parables of the Kingdom of God


are very instructive. First of all, the fact that the Kingdom of God can only be expressed in Parables. It's not something which the human mind can comprehend. They have images, they have symbols, which awake us to this mystery. It's a mystery which can't be put into words. And both these Parables are very instructive because the image or the symbol is a joke. And we have to see the Kingdom of God as this mystery which is growing throughout the world all the time. And it begins as something very, very small. The world seems very large and great and a little tiny seed is planted there and you can hardly see it at first. And so you look around the world today, the vast world of vast organizations, science, technology and all the rest, new civilization being built up. And the Kingdom of God, the presence of God is something almost totally hidden.


It's so small you can't see it. And so also in an individual person's life occupied with so many things all the time and this little mystery of the Kingdom of God is a tiny seed hardly visible. And yet it has this capacity for growth. And we all have in us the capacity for growth and the world has. In spite of all this vast organization which is all going to pass away, there is a hidden mystery and that is growing in the world. And as we become aware of this growth in ourselves, we become aware of this growth in the world, that there is something happening all the time. A mysterious growth is taking place which is transforming the world. And a good example is a growth of a chicken out of an egg. I once saw pictures of a growth of a fertilized egg that is in the egg, the white and the yolk, with a tiny speck of blood in the corner. And that little speck has this capacity


gradually to absorb all the white and form a chicken out of it and then to feed on the yolk. There is this little tiny seed. Think about a growth and transformation. And the Kingdom of God is like that. It has this little part in it to transform everything. And then the interesting thing of the first parable is that it happens all of its own. Man sows the grain in his field, it grows, then it goes, it rises and sleeps night and day and it grows of itself. We all tend to think that we've got to produce the Kingdom of God, we've got to work. And of course we have to work in the sense that we have to allow it to work in us. It's a great difference when we begin to see that God is working in us. We are not doing it all. We all start out with the idea that we are doing it, I am the doer, and we have to achieve the spiritual life and something in our lives. Instead of that, we have gradually discovered that God is working in us


and that there is a hidden mystery working in our lives and in the world around us. And as we become aware of that, it begins to grow of itself. That is the great difference. As long as we are trying all the time, putting all our own efforts into it, we have some limited growth, no doubt, but it's very limited. But when we allow it to happen, then something wonderful begins to take place. So we have to allow God to work in us, to allow the spirit to move and to change us. And it's a kind of relaxation. When we meditate, the first lesson of all meditation is relaxation, how to stop the mind with all its activity and to allow this growth, this deep ascension to take place. So we have to learn to relax, to be open, to allow God to work in us and in the world around us. And I think many discover how as you begin to surrender to the will of God, you find it working around you.


Things which apparently are accidental, which otherwise you might think are accidental, you begin to see are part of a plan, a providence, and your life begins to be guided by this providence. I think that's the most important stage learning in spiritual life, when you realize that you're not doing the thing yourself, that something is working in you and around you and you're part of some mysterious process. And after all, the whole creation is this mysterious process going on over millions of years and the kingdom of God is that hidden mystery in the good grain of mustard seed in the kingdom of creation which is transforming the whole creation, the whole of humanity, and each human person. If we are married, then gradually it transforms us, changes our lives. And we can all ask for this insight in the mystery of the kingdom of God and that was really what Jesus came to preach, this whole teaching on this kingdom of God. And it's a hidden mystery, and that's why he uses parables,


then he just passes by, it's a nice story and nothing more, but when he reflects on it, he begins to see the hidden meaning of it. And then the kingdom of God begins to grow and things begin to happen. So we all ask to have this insight and allow this process to take place. How to hold upon the seed of water is always considered a great power of God in the creation itself is that this great chaos of waters and the power of God and the order out of it that taught this creation. And stealing of the seed, therefore, is a sign of the power of God in the creation. But there's another aspect of that. People always think that God is outside the creation, working on it. It's also the view that God is within the creation,


working within it. And I think it's a deeper view, really. And we've all rather inherited this idea that creation is something outside us. The world is outside us and we often imagine it obeys mechanical laws right out of our control. But the deeper view is that the creation is one and we are part of this creation. Our bodies are just as much part of nature as the earth and the trees are. And we are within the creation. And those, and also not only the outside of the creation, but the inside, the power which works in creation is also working in us. And when we become aware of our own inner being, of the power within us, we become aware of this power of nature which is within us. And Jesus is one who, as we say, is totally there now, is totally one with nature. He was in the creation and the creation is in him.


And therefore he had this power to over the creation, over nature, over the wind, over the sea. And this is not unique. There is any holy man who has reached that level of consciousness, awareness, and obtains these powers. They are very common. Many of you know Milarepa, the great Buddhist saint, Tibetan Buddhist, had these powers. And today, such as Ayyubbaba, has similar powers, reproducing things, creating things. And it doesn't seem any doubt that there are these powers which are in nature also in us. Most people, we've lost them. We've lost them and we feel nature is something outside, beyond our control. That's why we're subject to disease and eventually death. But in reality, as I say, nature is within us and we are within the creation. And when we realize that, then the power which is in nature is within us. This is part of the whole Hindu understanding


of the Brahmin arc. The Brahmin is that power in nature, the power which sustains the universe. And the great discovery of the Upanishads was that this arc and this self of mine is Brahman. Aham Brahmasmi. I am Brahman. But that power which is in nature is also in me. It produces me and I'm really in it and through it. And when I realize that, then there's no longer any separation between me and nature, between the creation and the human being. So I think it's something we all have to try to realize. We've been brought up in another tradition. If God is quite about creation altogether, we're not within it. And we ourselves are separate from nature as something outside us. But as we go deeper in consciousness, we discover that we are in creation, creation in us. God is in creation and creation is in God. And then we get a new vision of the universe. And incidentally, this is also the vision of science today. This great division between man


and nature is breaking down. We realize that man and nature are interdependent. Nature doesn't exist apart from man and man doesn't exist apart from nature. So then we are rediscovering this inner unity behind all the outside differences and divisions through the deep inner unity in the whole creation of all of humanity. And really redemption is rediscovering this unity, finding ourselves one with nature, one with one another. Humanity and one with God, we rediscover that visible unity man and God, creation, this reality. ...and the month and the program which we have offered up, the conduct of life, and not simply addressed to a few Jersey disciples, but really addressed to all. And yet, of course, it's extremely challenging because it really


puts the opposite to what most people think is the way of life. It begins, blessed are the poor in spirit as the kingdom of God. And most people feel that it's rather the opposite. You have to make your way in the world. You have to develop your powers, capacities and do something great. People have that ambition to be somebody of importance. And yet Jesus wants us to empty ourselves. Holy Spirit, those who are empty. When you are empty, you can be filled with God. When you are filled with yourself, God comes and you can look in. Many of you know the story of the Zen master. A disciple came to him and they had tea together. They started pouring out the tea and filled the cup and it began to overflow. And the disciple said, Master, it's overflowing. And he said, yes, you are like that. You are so full, I can't put anything into it. And we're all like that. We're so full of ourselves that God can't enter in. So part of the spirit


is to be empty before God. And that is the condition of everything. Then our work comes from God, not from our ego, the limited being self. And then he said, blessed are those who mourn. And that again sounds very contrary. Everybody wants to be happy, to enjoy themselves, to have a peaceful life. And of course, there's perfect justice in that. But all happiness in this world has to be conditioned by sorrow. We have to be aware of the suffering of the world. We live in a world of immense suffering. Here in India, there's poverty, oppression, suffering of every kind. And we must be aware of that. We're not really living a human life. We're living an illusory life. We're imagining a different world from what it really is. And so this condition of mourning is really a tremendous pain because one has to keep it in mind all the time. One can never really let go and simply enjoy oneself without thinking of the others who are not enjoying


themselves. And it doesn't mean that you're miserable all the time. On the contrary, when you're aware of the world in which you live and the needs of the world, you can have a real enjoyment which is real, which is meaningful, because people in those moments, they want to be happy. And so by sharing people's suffering, you're able to help them to have genuine happiness and be able to fulfill their lives. And then it says, And again, this is quite the opposite, you see. If you want to get on in the world, you have to push your way forward. You have to get together with others, you have to dominate others. And the world lives by this, each one trying to dominate the other, one country trying to dominate another, and so on. And yet, Jesus puts the exact opposite. Weakness is not trying to dominate, but putting yourself beneath others. And one of the sins of the fathers is that you haven't got perfect charity, as long as you think


you're above anybody. You're beneath everybody. One of the Hindu saints said, I want to be the dust on the feet of the saints. I want to be the dust on the people's feet. And Jesus himself illustrates it by washing it beside his feet. So this again is a tremendous challenge. You're utterly beneath, you put yourself below others. And there's a saying in that town in Beijing, the Chinese, that if you keep out, you will be kept in. And water is the most precious of all elements, and water always seeks the lowest place. Water always goes to the lowest place, and therefore it's able to achieve so much. And again, history, when we put ourselves below our race, into the humblest importance of being saintly. And yet, neither are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. And righteousness means the righteousness of God in a very deep sense, but of course it means righteousness in the world.


And today we are much concerned with the whole question of social justice. And this righteousness of God is that righteousness which gives each person what he really needs. And we are all concerned today how we can create a society where people, whether it is righteousness, whether it is justice. And of course it's an immense problem, and there's no solution in sight. And yet for some, one has to work for it. On a small scale, you can't make the world righteous. You can create a human community, maybe a family, or just a small group in a village, or a group in which you live, and create that condition of justice, that concern for others. And that is what we're all challenged to do. And yet today we try to see our fistful knife in those hands, how to create that order of justice in your own world, in your own limited circumstances, and then it can grow, it can spread, it becomes something universal.


So that's the big challenge for all people today. And then there's another mercy, the question of plain mercy. And that again is very important, but we should always realize we need mercy. Many people think they're all right, and they can put other people right. And they may be all right up to a point, and then they break down. But we all actually need mercy, we need forgiveness. And when we realize our need, we're able to forgive others, we're able to be merciful. As long as you think you're all right, and you look down on others, then you come into conflict all the time, and you dominate, you try to dominate. And when you realize your own need, your own unworthiness, then you also have compassion. It's a great system, if you see your own need of forgiveness, then you're compassionate to others. When you think you're all right, then you're hard on others. So again, it's a tremendous work, and we're always regressing, we're always looking for opportunities. That's the thing that's so challenging. And then he says, yes, you are the


pure in heart, spacious, sweet bird. I think one could think of this for people in India, self-realization. When you discover your inner self, your outer self, most people live from their outer self, and relate to others at that level. Others may have a little within, but they don't get beyond their own personality, their ego. And again, you're not trying to achieve a harmony in the midst of that. But when you go beyond your ego, beyond the outer self, to the inner reality, then you begin to live in the presence of God, and you begin to relate to others at that level. Relate to others from the presence of God within, from your true self. So this is, again, such a challenge. You see, we can't always show us today that we can serve other people. It's not right at first. We have to. But you'll never serve others unless you've learned to purify your own heart, unless you've freed yourself from your ego. You'll be able to free yourself from the prison


of each one who's imprisoned in his own ego, and you'll never become in conflict with others. Only when you get beyond the ego, the experience of inner reality, the inner truth, the complete purity of God, take the true God within, then you can serve other people, other strangers. And finally, it's not about the peace maybe, as the patient was saying, the peace of God. And again, there are many, many movements of peace today, and they're already right in their way, but unless we discover peace within, we cannot take peace without. And everybody knows, people have violence within. If you don't realize it very early, everybody has that hidden violence, anger, resentment, maybe personal, maybe on a broad scale against capitalists, or against communists, or whatever. And there's tremendous violence within, and until you overcome the violence within, you can't create peace without. And today, it's a very deep sense of that, and I think the meeting at Assisi was a very phenomenal event, and all


the people of different religions of the world met together to pray for peace, to recognize their own responsibility, and to see that peace comes not only from negotiations and promises, but comes with prayer. And when people are peaceful in themselves, we can create a peaceful world. So he was a tremendous challenge, and it's really, you know, he could only see this as the program of Christian life. You see, so easily we take the Ten Commandments, don't kill, don't steal, don't commit adultery, well, you haven't got very far if you do what it comes off. This is what Jesus wants us to do. I think the influence is great, and which we are capable of. If people really see the need for this and desire it, they can also follow it, the grace of God has offered us for this very purpose. And when Jesus ends by saying, you'll meet with all this persecution, well, you may meet persecution, but much more, you just meet position. You find the point, the opposition, of going against the current of the world, and you're going to suffer for it, but what you receive


in life is that there is suffering, there is the suffering, but there's also a tremendous sense of inner fulfillment, and that's what people want. When you merely give your life for others, you get a deep inner fulfillment, and you're not worried about all the other stuff that is going on. So I think there is a need to reflect, you know, day by day we have to reflect on these things, otherwise we just get carried by the current, by the different view of life. We are trying to build a society in a completely opposite way, and everybody today is seeing that a disaster is happening. We see an end of it, and violence is taking place, but our society is not following this path. If we try to follow this path, then we could create a human society, a society which is a system. ... ... his own country,


they're all astonished by his teaching, and so on. But they can't feel him, they know his brothers and his sisters. It incidentally, many people asked that are they the only brothers and sisters? And I think in India I always found the answer to that. If you travel again and meet somebody and say, this is my sister, this is my brother, but you find it's quite a remote cousin very often. They all live in extended families, and I'm pretty sure in Jesus' time it's the same. You know, they were all close relatives, if not necessary they were split apart, but this isn't a great matter that's much reflected. Anyway, he comes among these people, he's grown up among them, and they can't believe in something more in him that they see. And that is a great problem always. That's why Jesus said, unless a man who knows God and mother and wife and children and all that you have cannot be my disciples, people who know you well,


it's very difficult to believe that anything is happening to you at all, any great events are taking place in your life. And that is why there is this conflict in the world. Those who speak of the love of God and how to preach this good news don't accept it because there is a sort of prejudice against it, people think they know you too well. And that is what happens all over the world, we celebrate the crucifixion of Don Vito, of Malcolm in India, and in a way it was kind of accidental, got up against the cloak of sin, and was martyred in this way. But that is one of the ways in which this opposition comes. And you all encounter it, that people have got their own ideas of life, and it's truly opposition, and it's true opposition to understanding of life


among the people with whom you live. And that is a great problem, and one has to learn how to face it, to have to recognize that God is present everywhere, and yet people find it difficult to accept that presence. And today particularly perhaps, as has always been so, the world has its own standards of life. People want to get on in the world, make money, get a good job, get married, and all these things, and they are completely obsessed with this world in which they are living. And it's almost inevitable in some ways, the pressure is so great around, and now today with TV and radio and all the newspapers and so on, there's a siege on every side to that vision of the world, and it gets into you day by day, and it's very difficult to get beyond it. And then you will read the Gospel, and even after the stage persists, another world, another dimension of this world. It's not only another world, it's another dimension in this world.


And people are death and dying for that other dimension. That is why, when Jesus was there, they just saw him as one of themselves, they couldn't see the other dimension in his life, this mystery of God because he didn't exist. And so that's the great challenge today, if you can't see the mystery of God. For many people, the word God is totally meaningless, and you can't even mention it in good society, you think they're just being a little odd. And so we live in a society where this understanding of God is completely disappeared. I'm thinking of the West, of course. In India, the sense of God is very, very deep in everybody. As it is going, of course, in towns and elsewhere, where people have adopted Western customs, they also lose the sense of God. But it is a great grace that in India still, in the villages and in the synagogues, you can indeed, on a vast scale, release this awareness of God. And for those people who've experienced it, in a bus or in a shop or in a bank or anywhere else,


you would start talking about God. We had a postmaster in Kulicharai. He was a Sufi from time ago. And if ever I met him in the post office, he would stop all his work and start talking about Sufism. That is typical in India, where people have this sense of God as a priority in their lives. It's a very inefficient way, if I'm true. I'm sure it has its complications. So, that is it. The world in which we live, where this mystery of God, of grace, of love, has been sort of pushed out of the way, and people are no longer still, it has just disappeared from their lives. And yet, of course, it always there, it can always come back. And that is the mystery of the gospel, that it can be reposed, deep in their hearts, because people have this awareness. When they were children, that awareness was with them. When the world was, they got it out.


But it always, the seed remains. That is why the good news can always be preached, the gospel can always be shared. And why, of course, also, it needs to be set in opposition. So, for incomprehension, you see, it's not simply rejection of something, it's total incomprehension, in what we're talking about. So, we all have to face that problem now, in the world around us, and to lose the mystery, you see, I think that is the great challenge, to live out this mystery in one's life, and still God is present, and to share that with others, as far as one can. That is the real calling today. And it has to be renewed, day by day, through our experience. It goes down very easily, that people leave here, and go to God, go home, go west, and so on. They find it very difficult, anyway, to keep this understanding. Something that has come, and yet the world regards this,


and has to take it away again. And so, one has to renew, day by day, in meditation and prayer, to become even more aware that God is in our lives, God is the meaning of our lives, and we have to share that knowledge, that knowledge with others. I think we are up to that point, but we need to remain in mind that, we have looked at this for a very long time, through this power of Jesus, sending out his message. And of course, it is conditioned by the time and place in which he was living, and he sends them out, two by two, day by day, to the unhealing spirits. And that was one of the characteristics, this power of the evil spirits. And the whole theme of this is much more intelligible than we see in the context of India. But most of what Jesus says here can be applied in the context of India.


And this power of the evil spirits, very strong, especially in the villages, but it's always been, there are these powers which work in people's lives, and those people, in India and also in Africa, middle-aged people, they were aware of these evil powers which were all around them, the psychological forces which were working in you. And they were much more aware than we are. We think if you get down to a bed, to help or sleep this night or something, that they were aware of the psychological forces working around you all the time, which caused depression and caused anger and despair and battle and so on. And so Jesus said to people, to free people from these psychological forces and these evil spirits. And then he gave them instructions, which here in India would be particularly valuable, whereas in the West they are quite meaningless. He says, take nothing for your journey except a start.


You see, a sannyasi only goes far with nothing except a start, a thunder, a storm. No bread, no bag, no money. And curiously, to wear sandals. But in another gospel it says, don't wear sandals. Obviously the instructions don't go exactly. But a sannyasi doesn't wear sandals. And not to put on two tunics, even naturalized, quite customary, which have two pieces of cloth, one around the waist and one around the shoulders, no more and no less. And that is a sannyasi. And it means complete poverty, complete freedom, you see, from all forms of superiority. The absolute minimum. And it's very interesting that in India for hundreds and hundreds of years what has been the rule of a sannyasi, you see? He has a scarf, he has a water pot, and that is nothing else. and that is nothing else.


He has a scarf, he has a water pot, and that is nothing else. He has a scarf, he has a water pot,