St. Lynn's Convocation Banquet Speech, Jan. 3, 1937

"Beloved Swamiji. May I ask that all of you stand to do honor to Swamiji. Raise your hands, please. Exhale your breath quickly. Concentrate on the palms of your hands. Concentrate at the point between the eyebrows; concentrate on your heart. Exhale again. Concentrate on your hands with reverence for the presence of Spirit of which your soul is a part. Feeling this with reverence, concentrate on your hands, on your forehead and on your heart. Exhale again. Realize that you are in the presence of the Omnipresent Spirit, that you are never separated from that except as you shut it out of your consciousness.

Discovery of the Real

"Just five years ago I had the great privilege of meeting Swamiji for the first time. I had always been interested in life and religion, although I never accepted any church. My life was business but my soul was sick and my body was decaying and my mind was disturbed. I was so nervous I couldn’t sit still. After I had met Swamiji and had been with him a little while, I became aware that I was sitting still, I was motionless. I didn’t seem to be breathing. I wondered about it and looked up at Swamiji and became conscious of a very deep white light, seeming to fill the entire room. I became a part of that light and ever since, my nervousness disappeared. I found that I had discovered something real, something valuable to me. I had to be sure. Not until I experienced this did I realize that I was finding something which I had not known about before. The beautiful thing in this work is that one doesn’t have to depend on blind beliefs. He experiences. He knows he knows because he experiences. One who is not conscious of that is not living, because he is not conscious of his own life. He knows about everything, perhaps, in the material world, everything about him that he can smell, taste, touch, see or hear, but he is not conscious of that something of his own being which make it possible for him to cognize these things with his senses. He doesn’t know anything about that which is behind the scenes, just behind the thoughts. One must realize the presence of this Life, the real life and the union of his own soul with that Life.

Purpose of Religion

"Religion can have but one purpose and that is realization of one’s own life as the omnipresent Life. That is the Heaven. And not until one is conscious of that does one have salvation. It never seemed to me at that time that we could be conscious any more than I had been, but having enjoyed the things of the world, I came to a point of distress because, as I said, a moment ago, my soul was sick and my body was not well. Nothing seemed to satisfy. If you have ever had the opportunity to observe the rich who have had everything they want, you will find that they are most unhappy and dissatisfied. Wealth cannot bring joy. And after all we are seeking that one thing in life. In everything we do we are seeking happiness. Without that we are not satisfied.

"In this work one becomes alive again. He actually lives. He feels the life. He realizes his own life and experiences the union of soul with Spirit. And it is scientific. It is a combination of science and devotion. Understanding and developing life in devotion to God will bring you realization of your own divinity. And without that—in my own experience I am firmly of this opinion—there is no salvation.

India Rich in Spirit

"After listening to those who have talked this evening, one of the western world must feel somewhat ashamed that those who come here from far-off India can give an exposition of more wisdom that we ever thought of. America is rich in materiality. India is rich in Spirit. The combination of the two is good. But I think I should prefer India with her spirituality alone than American alone with her wealth.

"One who lives in the material world alone, in the consciousness of materiality, is attached to things of the material world. Attachment develops slavery. We become slaves to habits—possessions. It is not possessions that makes us slaves. It is the use that we make of the possessions. And one with attachment is never free. He has something that he is bound to lose. There is but one thing that is lasting and that is Spirit. Take the spirit out of anything and it doesn’t have any attraction at all. Life is Spirit. And in everything there is some degree of consciousness. Even in a dead body there remains some life for that body contains God’s life itself.

"Just two things stay with us when the body goes—life and consciousness. We can get rid of everything except our own consciousness. That is constantly with us. This work teaches one to develop a proper consciousness, a consciousness of self-realization of Spirit. It doesn’t ask anyone to accept anything as a matter of belief.

Embodiment of Love

"A master is one who is an angel of God and in our beloved Swamiji we have one who is the very embodiment of love, unselfishness, possessed with Divine Joy. His contact goes back to the chain of Masters. To the western mind this may sound a little strange but it is a fact. The Masters are linked, one with another. They have contact with the Spirit and that Spirit is transmitted through their powers. What a blessing it has been for us that India, a country that many people think of as a land of snake-charmers, did send one to our shores who could bring us God consciousness that our souls might be revealed and bring us Divine Joy and Divine Happiness.

"Those who commune with Spirit experience a beauty, a sweetness that is not experienced in any other way.

"What a blessing it is to enjoy the company and environment of saints. Of all the things that have come to me in life, I treasure and value more than all else what Swamiji has given to me. I must admit I was prejudiced at first. Possibly not when I met Swamiji so much as when I was one of those who thought of all Hindus as snake-charmers. I want to tell everyone who lives in the consciousness of the material world that he cannot know what love and happiness are until he has experienced the Divine Consciousness."

INNER CULTURE,  March, 1937 VOL.9—5,  Part II

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