Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) — The Spirit

May 22, 2020

The Spirit

Swami Venkatesananda      Life is spiritual. The spirit is indivisible and it is also invisible. It therefore does not satisfy man's craving to experience it, to possess it and to express it. Therefore we see in him a savage compulsion to materialize this spirit.

      This idolatry of matter is seen in our veneration of someone who is able 'to materialize things' by a wave of his hand. But our own life is full of such materializations; the whole world is the materialization of the spirit. All the machines and all the weapons have been 'materialized' by a wave of someone's hand.

      It is this materialization of the spirit that has prevented us from realizing the spiritual nature of life. The mind serves as the veil to hide the reality and promotes the worship of matter. The mind is clever enough to conjure up, like an adept magician, false concepts and images of God, religion, love, peace and happiness, so that even in a moment of disillusionment we might not turn away from the unreal and discover the reality. Only the greatest of spiritual heroes is able to discover this plot and to realize that these concepts or images are not only not the reality, but the greatest and most potent obstructions to the realization of the reality which is pure and spiritual. The spirit is never lost, though, in ignorance, it may be lost sight of. It is forever waiting to be discovered.

      Right from infancy we have been bombarded with concepts that have created divisions in our consciousness. The infant's vision is pure. Perhaps even the notion that there is an object external to itself has not arisen in it, because its own ego-sense has not been developed. The parents strive to condition the infant's mind and call it 'training'. The child is prevented from seeking to find its true identity by being forced to identify itself with this or that. 'I' am constantly pressurized into accepting as an incontrovertible fact that I am a man, an Indian, a Brahmin.  It hardly ever occurs to me that I am even a human being, leave alone the purest truth, that the spirit alone is real and 'I' am but a cell (a soul) in the cosmic body of the spirit which is the universe.

      The direct realization of the spirit which is indivisible is religion. It is also love that is God. That love is not partial, limited, contractual, nor is it the antithesis of hate. It is the spontaneous manifestation of the already existing indivisible oneness which alone is the truth.

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