Social Gatheka Number 19
Sadi has expressed a wonderful thought in his work called
the 'Gulistan,' and in simple words. He says, 'every soul
was meant for a certain purpose and the light of that purpose
was kindled in that soul.' It is one little verse, but it
is a volume in itself. What does this suggest to us? That
this whole universe is like one symphony, and all souls
are as different notes. Their activities are according to
the rhythm of this symphony, and their life is purposed
to perfect this symphony.
People are anxious to do something, and wait for years
and years, unhappy, in despair, waiting for that moment
to come. It shows that the soul knows in its subconsciousness
that there is a note to strike, and the moment when it will
strike that note, that soul will be satisfied, and yet does
not know what note it is nor when it will be struck. What
is life, and what keeps us living in this world of limitation,
this world of continual changes, full of falsehood and full
of suffering and trouble? If there is anything in this world
that keeps us alive, it is hope – the honey of life. There
is not one soul in this world who says, 'now I am satisfied,
I have no further desire.'
In everyone, whatever be the
position of life, someone very rich or one very poor, one
full of life and the other ill, in all conditions, man is
continually yearning and waiting for something to come,
he does not know what, but he is waiting. The real explanation
of life is waiting; waiting for something. And what is it
that man awaits? It is the fulfillment of the purpose of
life, which comes when the soul strikes that note; that
note which is meant to be his note. And this he seeks, whether
in the outer plane or the inner plane. And man has not fulfilled
his life's purpose until he has struck that note which is
And the greatest tragedy in life is the obscurity
of purpose. When purpose is not clear, man suffers, he cannot
breathe. He knows not what is the purpose, what he must
do. This life will present to him things that will interest
him for the moment, but the moment he possesses that thing
he will say, 'no this is not it, it is something else.'
So man goes on, in an illusion, constantly seeking, and
yet not knowing what he seeks. Blessed is he who knows his
life's purpose, for that is the first step toward fulfillment.
And how are we to know life's purpose? Can anybody tell
us? No. No one can tell us: for life in its very nature
is self-revealing, and it is our own fault if we are not
open to that revelation which life offers to us. It is not
the fault of life, because the very nature of life is revealing.
Man is the offspring of nature, therefore his purpose is
nature. But the artificiality of life brings obscurity,
which prevents him from arriving at that knowledge which
may be called the revelation of one's own soul.
And if you ask me how one should proceed, I would advise
you to study every object, whether false or true, which
holds and attracts you, to which you are outwardly attracted
and also inwardly attracted. And do not be doubting and
suspicious. What Christ taught from morning till night was
faith, but the interpretation of this word is not made clear.
People have said faith in priest, in church, or in sect.
That is not the meaning. The true meaning of faith is trust
in one's self. A person came to me and said, 'I wish to
follow your ideas. Will you receive me? Will you let me
follow you?' I said, 'yes, but will you tell me if you have
faith?' This person looked perplexed for a moment, then
he said, 'well, I have faith in you.' I asked, 'have you
faith in yourself?' He said, 'well, I am not sure.' I said,
'your faith in me would be of no use to me. What I need
is your faith in you.'
Friends, what we must learn in life is first to trust
ourselves. This wobbling tendency of mind, 'shall I, or
shall I not – is it good or is it bad,' keeps man in confusion.
And for years he may have the best intentions, but he will
linger in the same place. He will not advance, for his own
confusion will paralyze his limbs. He will not think he
is going on, but he will be stopping in the same place where
he is standing.
Man must have initiative. And this is the word from which
comes initiation. Who is the initiate? The brave, the courageous.
Who is brave and courageous? The one who trusts himself.
Only his trust in himself will be of any use to himself
or others. People say, 'those of simple faith and trust
suffer much and come to failure.' I will say no, because
what is gained is so much more than what is lost. In order
to strengthen the trust, one has to meet with some failures.
I would rather trust and be badly treated, than distrust.
The strength that faith and trust gives, is the divine strength.
The man who trusts his fellow creatures, inspires trust
in others. He can so develop that he will turn the untrustworthy
into the trustworthy, with sufficient trust in his heart,
he can develop the power to do this.
I always remember the
blessing I received from my holy Master, my Teacher. It
was, 'may your faith be strengthened.' Being young, I wondered
that he said nothing about happiness, long life, or prosperity.
I have now learned to understand the meaning of that blessing,
and understand it better every day. All the blessings that
man attains in life, all that is in Heaven and earth, become
the possession of man when his faith is strengthened. We
read every day in the scriptures of 'faith,' but how little
we think of it, and how many people at the present moment
are beginning to laugh at it. Faith they give no attention
to. It is something that conveys nothing to them. It is
so simple and yet so complex. It is a miracle. It is a wonder.
All our weakness, all our failures, all our limitation,
all our suffering, comes from lack of that substance which
is faith. All success, happiness, and advance, all that
is achieved, the credit is due to faith.
The works of Sadi from the beginning teach the first
lesson of faith, of understanding; that we are not here
in this world in vain, to waste our lives. We are here for
a purpose and each one of us for a particular purpose. And
each one of us make an atom of this universe, and complete
the symphony, and when we do not strike our note, it means
that note lacking in the symphony of the whole, and when
we do not fulfill our life's purpose in this way, for which
we are created, we are not living right, and therefore we
are not happy.
Our happiness depends on living right, and right living
depends on striking that note; and the realization of that
purpose is in the book of our heart. Open that book and
look at it. All meditation, all concentration and contemplation
is only to open this book, to focus our mind, and to see
what purpose there is in our life. And no sooner do we see
that our ultimate goal and our life's object and happiness,
our true health and wellbeing and our real wealth and welfare,
are in the fulfillment of our purpose, then the whole trend
of life will change.