Learn to die so that you may begin to live
1 November, 1967
We are all under a grand delusion. What is this delusion in which we are adrift? We are the indweller of the man-body but have become identified with the body so much so that we have become as if we were the body itself. This body has been given to you with the Grace of God to find your Way back to Him. You are conscious entities, a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness. With His Grace you have got the man-body, the highest rung in Creation, in which you can go back to the True Home of your Father. We are under a grand delusion for two reasons. The body is made of matter, the whole world is made of matter. Matter is changing every minute and at the same speed as our body is changing. If two things are changing at the same speed and we are identified with one of them, then both appear to be stationary.
Suppose some men are rowing in a boat and the boat is going in the same direction as the flow of the river. If you are identified with the boat and the speed of the boat and the river is the same, then you appear to be stationary. The question arises of how to be out of this delusion? The body and the world, both of which are made of matter, are changing. There are two ways to be out of this delusion. One is by far sight. When a man is sitting in a boat he should look to the shoals of the river and he will find that he is going downstream. But the best way is to be out of the boat.
So the Masters advise,
Oh man, you are under a grand delusion, whether you are learned or unlearned, rich or poor. You must be out of this delusion to enable you to see this world in its right perspective.
So there are two ways and the first one is by far sight. Another effective way is to go and sit in a graveyard, or in a place where dead bodies are burnt. At these places you will see people bearing dead bodies on their shoulders, either to bury them or to consign them to the flames. But we have forgotten ourselves so much that although we see with our own eyes or carry dead bodies on our own shoulders, we are still not convinced that one day we have to leave the body. How grand a delusion it is! So one way is like that, and the other way is to be out of the body. If you were out of the boat, you would see the boat and the men who were identified with it all going downstream.
So to see this, the Masters have said,
You must learn how to leave the body – learn to die so that you may begin to live.
You must rise above body consciousness, then you will see everything in its right perspective. So this is our condition in the body which we are carrying.
The question then arises, what about our relatives? We have been brought together as a reaction of our past karmas, our give and take. When that is finished, everybody has to leave, to take his own way. This body won’t remain here with us, nor will others who come as a reaction of the past. They will also have to leave us, or we will leave them. All our possessions have also to be left here. This very body, the first companion that we get on being born into this world must be left behind. When our body must be left behind, how can all other things which have come in connection with the body go along with us? This place, the earth or man-body, is not the place to live forever. We have to leave some day, sooner or later. Very great philosophers have come to the world, Masters have come to the world. They all had a man-body and they left it. There is no exception to the rule. Unless we have got the right view, we cannot see things as they truly are.
You have to leave this world. These things will remain here, you will go empty handed.
But still we are not convinced.
To see things in their right colour, there are only two ways. One is by far sight, just as a man rowing in a boat looks to the shoals of a river, or the other way is to leave the boat. So this is the grand delusion in which we are all going down. When these things are brought home to us, then our angle of vision will change.
Why do we squeeze the blood of others? Why do we torment them? They have the same man-body as we have got. They are of the same essence of God, like us a drop of the Ocean of All-Consciousness.
The same Controlling Power is keeping everyone of us in the body. The Highest Aim is to rise into God consciousness. That will come only when you know your Self, who you are. You are not the man-body, you are dwelling in the man-body, the highest rung in all creation. We have to make the best use of it and that is, how we can be out of it. For this purpose, Masters always advise us to rise above body consciousness.
Learn to die so that you may begin to live.
You will have the right spectacles to see through if you do this. Everything will appear in its right perspective. This is why all Masters have said,
We are bearing the labels of the different schools of thought in which we have joined only to realise this Truth. When you know your Self, then only will your attachments be cut off.
You people have come from America for one, two, three or six months. You know that you have to go back. Although you are here enjoying, still you know you have to return. If you just have that angle of vision by rising above body consciousness, you will always be conscious in knowing that this is not your Home. The Home of the soul is the Home of our Father. We are fortunate in having the man-body in which we can go back to the Home of our True Father. This cannot be done in the lower orders of creation. They come only to reap the reaction of what they have acted before, to reap the fruit of them. In the man-body, which we have got as a reaction of the past, we are free within certain limits to direct our steps on the right Way back to God. The ABC will start when you rise above body consciousness. You will learn how to leave the body at will. Then your whole angle of vision will be changed. This is how you can be out of this grand delusion that you are in.
You are not the man-body, but are a conscious entity. You have got the intellect but are a conscious being. You have been given this man-body by the Grace of God to enable you to go back to your Home. It does not mean that you have to leave the world and go to the forests. You are to remain here, pay off your debts, your give and take and find your Way back to God. Relations are brought together only as reaction of the past, to pay off their debts with Love and not to be deluded, as we are now. We think that we will live here forever. This is the golden opportunity that we have got to find our Way back to God. For that very purpose, we have joined various schools of thought. The badges you are wearing only relate to your body. You have got the man-body, you are conscious entities. Your True Home is one which is All-Consciousness. So to find the Way back to God the first lesson is that you are under a grand delusion and must come out of it.
When we are doing our practices, even then we are not conscious of them. If you do your practices accurately you will rise above body consciousness. The body is not you. You will begin to have experience of the beyond. You have to leave the body. This fate awaits everybody and there is no exception to the rule. But with all that, we are afraid of death. Death is only a change, just as the sun sets on one side of the world and rises on the other. Similarly, we leave the physical world and rise into the beyond. This is practical question, and if somebody gives you a demonstration of rising above body consciousness, you should develop it from day to day. So death is no bugbear. It is a very loving change to those who have got experience of the beyond. For others, they dread it. Why? for two reasons. One is that they do not know how to leave the body. At the time of death we have to leave the body. If you see a dying man, you will see how much pain he has in the body. The withdrawal of the soul from the body according to a Mohammedan Saint – the Masters have also referred to it in Their scriptures –, is just like having a thorny bush put into the rectum and extracted through the mouth.
The Hindu scriptures tell us that the pain one feels is as if one thousand scorpions were to sting at one time. You may have been a witness to that. Generally, people are very much in agony. This is one reason why we are afraid of death. The other reason is that we do not know where in the beyond we have to go. Those who come to the Master are given a demonstration of how to rise above body consciousness for a while. You will forget the world outside. Your Inner Eye is opened and you see into the beyond. You are not the body. This is the first grand concession that the Master gives to you. This experience can be had only with the help of a Master. When you leave the body you will begin to understand how all this is going on under the Divine Will. The man who becomes a Conscious Co-Worker of the Divine Plan never says I am doing this or that, he says it is His will that is being done.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
The man who learns to die, to leave the body at will, gets Ever-Lasting Life, never to return. All Glory and beauty lie within you. The astral planes are more beautiful than the physical one. The causal plane is still more beautiful, and the Spiritual Planes beyond are the most beautiful of all. Those who have experience of the beyond would naturally like to go there, but they are bound. Even the Masters are playing Their role. They want to go back, but They are bound by order, they have to carry on.
This is the ABC to be learnt on the Way to Spirituality. You must come out of the delusion. The practices which you are asked to do daily are only meant for that purpose. Do you leave the body at will? Do you traverse into the beyond? Somebody should be there in the beyond to guide you, and here also to give you a demonstration of it. He Who can do this is called a Saint or Master. He never leaves you, either here or hereafter.
Everyday you are given some lesson. We have to learn this lesson of how to leave the body, how to come out of this grand delusion. If you have learnt it, then I think that you will have the right perspective. The ABC starts where all philosophies end. It is a matter of seeing, of rising above body consciousness, of experiencing for one’s own self.
Saint Plutarch tells us,
Those who are initiated into the Mysteries of the Beyond, their soul has the same experience of leaving the body as it has at the time of death.
The Master gives you a demonstration. He guides you outside and when you go within. It is a great blessing to have a Living Master. The Master-Power never dies, but works in different human bodies. Our Master used to give an example that when one bulb is fused, another is put in. When that is fused, a third one is put in. That Light is the Master, embodied in the man-body. That never dies.
So this is the ABC that is to be learned today. We are all in a grand delusion and we must come out of it. It is not a matter only of talking, it is a practical matter of rising above body consciousness. If you rise above body consciousness every day at will, then where is death? No fear of death will remain, you will go jolly. You have come here to be with the Master, is it not so? You are jolly, I think. So similarly, we have to go to the feet of our Master, our True Master within us. This place is not for us to live in forever, we have only to make the best use of it.