Eko hi rudrah na dvitiiyáya tasthúrya imánllokániishata iishaniibhih
Pratyaḿ janámstistate samcukopántakále saḿsrjya vishvá bhuvanáni gopá.
In this universe the guiding entity is One; there is no scope for multiplicities. That single entity who guides and directs everything is the father, the preceptor and Guru of all. “Eko hi rudrah.” This Rudra is a singular entity. Rudra means “he who makes one weep”. In Saḿskrta there are two verbs referring to this state: rodana [to weep softly] and krandana [to cry loudly). Parama Puruśa is called Rudra because He makes us weep. But why should He who has unbounded love for us make us weep?
People weep due to intense pain or pleasure, that is, when sorrow becomes unbearable or when joy becomes overwhelming. Why does Parama Puruśa make us cry by giving us too much love or too much suffering? It is certainly not because He is cruel. He created this world because He was alone. He wanted to be with others, to play the game of joy and sorrow, of pain and pleasure. Now, there is no hard and fast rule which states that a play should have both comic and tragic scenes. It may be comic or tragic. However, it only becomes complete when it includes both comic and tragic elements. It should make one laugh and cry. Parama Puruśa makes you laugh with joy and pain; and He makes you cry with joy and pain. When people suffer they think Parama Puruśa is very cruel, but when they are happy, they never think about how much joy He has given to them. But they should remember:
“When tears of pain roll down my cheeks
Thanks to Hari, thanks to Hari.
When I float in the ocean of nectar
Thanks to Hari, thanks to Hari.”
In both cases Parama Puruśa deserves our thanks. That is why He is Rudra. If we only laughed, the drama would not be so interesting, and if we only wept, the drama would not be so enjoyable. Parama Puruśa’s drama is never dull or boring.
“Na dvitiiyáya tasthúrya.” There is no second entity like Him. Why? All the unit minds of the universe along with the cosmic mind make the mind of Parama Puruśa. So there can never be a second guiding entity. All the responsibility lies with the One Entity. Thus it has been said, “Na dvitiiyáya tasthúrya”. Why is this?
Sahasrashiirśá Puruśah sahasrákśah sahasrapát;
Sa bhúmiḿ vishvato vrtvá’tyatiśt́haddasháuṋgulam.
Puruśa evedaḿ sarvaḿ yadbhútaḿ yacca bhavyam;
A person works with one brain, but Parama Puruśa has innumerable brains. One cannot fathom the depths of His intellect, judgement or consideration. Everything is in His mind; He observes everything. You cannot hide anything from Him. Even if He does not want to observe someone, He has no choice as all actions are performed in His mind. You can shut out the world by simply closing your eyelids; but Parama Puruśa’s mind has no eyelids. All objects are within Him, and thus He has no choice but to observe everything. There is no place for a second guiding entity. “Na dvitiiyáya tasthúrya.”
What is the greatest benefit which human beings derive from this? Wherever they are, Parama Puruśa is always with them. They are never alone. If someone thinks, “I will not obey Parama Puruśa,” Parama Puruśa will chuckle to Himself and say, “What an absurd thing that person in my mind is thinking.” Similarly, if someone thinks, “No, I shall not recognize Parama Puruśa,” Parama Puruśa will laugh and say, “All right, don’t recognize me.” But later, when that person is in great danger, he or she says, “Parama Puruśa, please help me. I know I shouldn’t have said all those things about you. Please be merciful. Please forget what I said and help me. In order to become a public figure I sometimes denounced you, but you understand why I had to do this, don’t you?”
“Utámrtatvasyesháno”. When everything resides in His mind, can heaven or hell remain outside Him? No, both heaven and hell exist in His mind. If a so-called sinner goes to hell, is that hell outside His mind? No, it is also within Him. “Utámrtatvasyesháno”. “Uta” means “hell”. Even the most degraded people are not alone – Parama Puruśa is with them and will help them in times of need. No one should ever despair, however degraded they might be.
In the movement towards subtlety there are seven stages or lokas: bhu, bhuvah, svah, mahah, janah, tapah and satya; and in the movement towards crudity, there are seven spheres: tala, atala, talátala, pátála, atipátála, mahiitala, and rasátala. Rasátala, the crudest sphere, is dense, crude matter, like wood, bricks and stones. For a person having degenerated to this degree of crudity, it is next to impossible to return to the subtler spheres. But even in rasátala one is not alone – Parama Puruśa is also there. Hence, no one should despair.
“Utámrttvasyesha”. Those who are very advanced, who have ascended to the zenith point of human progress, are also not alone: Parama Puruśa is always with them. Even if Parama Puruśa would like to ignore certain, people, He cannot, since everything is within His mind. He is bound to stay with everyone whether He likes them or not. We may say to a person, “Hey, you. Clear off!” but Parama Puruśa cannot, because nothing is outside His mind; everything is within. He cannot order anyone to “clear off”. If He instructs a sinner to go away, that sinner will say, “All right I’ll go, but where?” Parama Puruśa will have no answer since nothing is outside His mind. One can easily challenge Parama Puruśa by saying, “You are driving me away but where shall I go? Nothing is outside you. Oh Parama Puruśa, if there is another entity besides you, you are no longer the endless, infinite entity – you will be one of two entities.” Some people mistakenly believe that this second entity is Satan, but there is no such entity. If Parama Puruśa and Satan both existed, we would have to acknowledge two Parama Puruśas. Satan would be a second God. But that cannot be; there is no Satan. The force of avidyá [ignorance], the propensity which tricks one into doing an evil act, can be called Satan. Other than this, there is no Satan.
“Utámrttvasyesháno”. Parama Puruśa is bound to stay with those who live in hell. Similarly, those who have reached the zenith point of existence and attained infinite bliss, are bound to have Parama Puruśa with them. If they think that, having progressed so far, Parama Puruśa need not stay with them any more, they are wrong. He stays with all, be they the virtuous or the sinners. The virtuous He must love, the sinners He must rebuke and correct. In both cases, Parama Puruśa is obliged to stay with them.
“Utámrttvasyesháno yadannenátirohati.” There is no entity to supervise or administer Parama Puruśa because nothing exists outside Him. That is why He is the only adorable object for humanity. No other object can fulfil that role.
“Yadannenátirohati.” If one accepts a second entity as one’s object of adoration, what will happen? After blessing you, the second entity will have to say, “Look, I’m not what you think I am. There is somebody greater than me.” In this way one will have to worship thousands of gods, one after the other. But does anyone have that much time in life? There is a Bengali saying, “If I want to kill I will kill a rhinoceros; if I want to loot, I will a treasury.” [That is, one only attempts the greatest feat.] Thus if one is to adore any entity, it should be that One Entity, and no other. “Tamekaḿ smarámah, tamekaḿ japámah”. If I am to meditate on an object, let it be on that One Entity. “Tamekaḿ japámah”. If I am to utter anyone’s name in prayer, let it be the name of that One Entity. And if I am to prostrate myself before anyone, let it be before that One Entity.
“Tamekaḿ jagatśakśiirupáḿ namámah”. I should salute that One entity. “Tadekam nidhánam sharańaḿ vrajámah”. If I am to accept anyone as the supreme shelter of life, as the ultimate desideratum, let it be that One Entity, and no other. He is the only entity which needs no shelter and no base. He depends on none. He is “nirálamba”; He needs no support. That is why He is the Supreme Entity, the Highest Entity. Let us move towards Him.
“Tadekam nidhánaḿ nirálambaniishaḿ vrajámah”. Whenever human beings try to attain liberation, they are hindered by the binding shackles of their reactive momenta. Dragged forward by these reactive momenta against their wishes, they are forced to suffer the reactions of their misdeeds. They have no choice: this is the only way they free themselves of the influence of their past actions. They are mere instruments, unable to act independently. They cannot perform the pratya mu lak karma, and are thus forced to perform the saḿskara mu lak karma. These reactive momenta (or “bhava” in Saḿskrta) are sometimes compared with an ocean. The only way to traverse this vast ocean – and thus progress along the spiritual path – is to cleanse the mind of its reactive momenta. But everyone has so many sins, accumulated from so many lives, which cannot all be acquitted in a single lifetime. What should people do? How many more births will they have to undergo to be free of all the sins? If in one life people commit so many sins, imagine how many they commit in ten or twenty lives. Can people endure the suffering caused by those past misdeeds? How small and helpless humans are, even with all the knowledge and intellect they claim to possess. Those who are thought to be learned actually have such little knowledge and can only remember a small portion of what they study. People often blame themselves for their unwise actions; but why did they do them in the first place? No matter how wise people are, they always face dilemmas – not just every month or year, but every day. In every way humans feel the inadequacy of their physical and mental powers.
How can a person cross this vast ocean of bhava, this vast ocean of reactive momenta whose waters have been rising life after life? To reap the consequences of all these saḿskáras would take a person at least twenty lifetimes. What a long time! Is this suffering necessary? The person who committed those bad deeds, those undesirable actions, was not enlightened – he or she did not understand right from wrong, but acted quite unknowingly. So is it not Parama Puruśa’s duty to consider the state of ignorance that the person was in at the time? Certainly; but Prakrti never pardons anyone because of their ignorance. If a one-year old boy puts his hand into a fire, he will get burnt. Prakrti never forgives; for her there are no exceptions. She knows what reactions each action causes. But will Parama Puruśa not consider that human beings commit mistakes due to their inherent defects and imperfections? Yes, He will certainly consider that, due to their lack of wisdom and proper judgement, they were not aware that their actions would have such painful reactions. The jiṋániis and karmiis may not realize this, but the devotees certainly will. The devotees will not plead, “Oh Lord, please help me,” because they know that He is all-merciful and considerate.
Parama Puruśa is not an unfeeling judge, sitting impassively on his bench, following the codes and rules of court. No, He feels love and compassion. He knows that His devotees have a deep love for Him and thus He has a similar love for them. Love and attachment are reciprocal and interdependent: they are not one-sided.
Can a person cross the ocean of saḿskáras by individual effort? In this regard Krśńa said:
Daevii hyeśá guńamayii mama Máyá duratyayá;
Mámeva ye prapadyante Máyámetáḿ taranti te.
“It is very difficult to surmount this Máyá, because she is very powerful. How can such a small, ordinary human surmount this Máyá?” “Mámeva ye prapadyante máyámetám taranti te”. “Only the one who has taken shelter in Me can surmount Máyá”. Individual effort alone will not suffice. How can one free oneself from the saḿskáras accumulated while under the influence of Máyá and thus cross that dreadful ocean? A devotee has said, “Bhavámbodhipotam sharańam vrajámah”. “I will not be able to swim across because sharks will devour me. It is an impossible task. So what shall I do? I shall board a ship and sail across that ocean. Oh Parama Puruśa, please be the ship which carries me safely to the other side.” “Bhavámbodhipotam”. Ambudhii means “sea” – the bháva samudra; potaḿ means “ship”. Saranam vrajámá signifies, “I shall take shelter in that ship for I have no other way.” Thus, the intelligent people, the devotees, know that Parama Puruśa is the only shelter, the only patron. There is no other path, no other alternative.
Human beings would not be such helpless creatures, if they realized that Parama Puruśa is their dependable shelter and permanent guide. There is a riddle: if there is a severe fight between a cow and a horse, who will win? The answer is, if the cow is in her shed, she will win; and if the horse is in his stable, he will win. The point is that the winner is the one who has the support of his or her patron. The same is true of humans. For the devotee, the divine patron is Parama Puruśa. When a devotee fights a non-devotee who is scattering thorns on the path of devotion, the devotee will ultimately be victorious in the struggle.
“Pratyaḿjanáḿstist́hate saḿcukopántakále”. Parama Puruśa remains with every entity. He is everyone’s shelter, everyone’s refuge. Thus, human beings are never helpless, neither individually nor collectively. Always remember that He is with every individual. Some philosophers, quoting the scriptures, say that a day of final doom will darken the Earth when the dead will rise from the grave. Others predict that a doomsday (pralayá in Saḿskrta – “pra” means “complete” and thus pralaya means “complete destruction”) will obliterate all forms of life. One should laugh at such illogical doctrines. According to Ánanda Márga philosophy, this doomsday or pralaya will never occur. On the one hand, the flow of creation will continue and on the other, there will be jadasphota [gradual or instantaneous disintegration]. There will never be a complete thermal death. of the universe. Thus, predictions of an imminent doomsday should be of no concern to you. It is nonsense; pralaya will never occur. But supposing it were to happen: even then there would be no cause for fear as Parama Puruśa is always with us. If pralaya does occur, He will be there with us, so do not worry. “Saḿcukopántakále.” He will remain with us even at the time of doom.
“Saḿsrjya vishvabhuvánánii gopa”. His plan to secure everyone’s salvation remains a secret. Even though He will never reveal Himself openly, one can easily understand who He is. He is constantly engaged in His work of manifesting the universe and bringing all beings to the path of enlightenment. In every way He is firmly establishing human beings on the path of advancement through various theories, philosophies and principles of ethics and morality. But the funny thing is that He constantly eludes humanity. “Bhuvanánii gopa”. Although Parama Puruśa resides in every corner of the universe, He can never be fully discovered.
“Bhuvánánii gopa”. He has concealed most of Himself. If He were to express Himself fully, He would face many difficulties in carrying out His work and thus the collective interest of humanity would suffer. In the interest of human society, He will have to keep Himself secret.
25 December 1978, Kalikata