The great point is, not to rule ourselves out but to follow the instructions and make the experiments. The sceptic may say, “There is no Rama, no such God in reality. What is the proof? Rama and Krishna were simply mythological dark-skinned South Indian divinities taken up by the Aryans after they found they could no longer believe in the old Vedic gods such as Indra.”
They support their view by inferences from texts, always with the absolute conviction of materialist pre-conceptions. But these texts are to be tested by experiment, not ruled out from the beginning by what Shankara calls ‘forceful assertion’.
In the Brahma Sutras, one of the great text books of yoga, it says (III.2.5), “By meditation, that which is hidden becomes manifest.” His commentary explains that there is divine inspiration and power within every one and, if there is resolute meditation and resolute inner purification, the divine within begins to show itself. Such manifestations are not personal powers, but movements of the God within.
Our teacher often said that nobody is without inspiration. It is raining on everyone all the time, and through meditation they can come into touch with it. Here someone may interrupt: “They always quote Beethoven or Michelangelo for these things; it might be all right for people who are musical or artistic; how is it going to be expressed through ordinary people?”
Our teacher had lived in Japan and spoke the language; sometimes he quoted the tiny Japanese poems called Haiku. One was by a poetess, Komachi, one of the Eight Poetic Geniuses of Japan. She puts into seventeen syllables of Japanese what Chekhov expressed in many more words in his play Three Sisters. “What has happened to us? We were so full of life and so interested in life, but now we have become so bored and boring?” Komachi’s poem is, in Dr Shastri’s translation, which is very literal:
” Alas, it is the flower of the heart that fades with no outward sign”
Though the poem is tiny and is in simple Japanese, it is a masterpiece. All Japanese know these words and there is nothing difficult about the arrangement of them. Our teacher used to say that in everyone there are such inspirations seeking to come, even perhaps in the form of a single sentence, and when they come they can change someone’s life.
One such sentence was: “God will speak to us when we stop shouting at Him.”
Another is by St Francis: “Short prayer pierces heaven.”