Indian religion has always felt that since the minds, the temperaments and the intellectual affinities of men are unlimited in their variety, a perfect liberty of thought and of worship must be allowed to the individual in his approach to the Infinite.
The meeting of man and God must always mean a penetration and entry of the divine into the human and a self-immergence of man in the Divinity.
What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do hereafter. The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all possibilities. Because this temporal universe was a paradox and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of His being.
The impassive skies were neutral, empty, still. Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred; A nameless movement, an unthought Idea Insistent, dissatisfied, without an aim, Something that wished but knew not how to be, Teased the Inconscient to wake Ignorance.
It was the hour before the Gods awake. Across the path of the divine Event The huge foreboding mind of Night, alone In her unlit temple of eternity, Lay stretched immobile upon Silence' marge. Almost one felt, opaque, impenetrable, In the sombre symbol of her eyeless muse The abysm of the unbodied Infinite; A fathomless zero occupied the world.
The Infinite alone justifies the existence of the finite and the finite by itself has no entirely separate value or independent existence. Life, if it is not an illusion, is a divine Play, a manifestation of the glory of the Infinite. Or it is a means by which the soul growing in Nature through countless forms and many lives can approach, touch, feel and unite itself through love and knowledge and faith and adoration and a Godward will in works with this transcendent Being and this infinite Existence. This Self or this self-existent Being is the one supreme reality, and all things else are either only appearances or only true by dependence upon it. It follows that self-realisation and God-realisation are the great business of the living and thinking human being. All life and thought are in the end a means of progress towards self-realisation and God-realisation.
Spirituality is not necessarily exclusive; it can be and in its fullness must be all-inclusive. But still there is a great difference between the spiritual and the purely material and mental view of existence. The spiritual view holds that the mind, life, body are man's means and not his aims and even that they are not his last and highest means; it sees them as his outer instrumental self and not his whole being. It sees the infinite behind all things finite and it adjudges the value of the finite by higher infinite values of which they are the imperfect translation and towards which, to a truer expression of them, they are always trying to arrive. It sees a greater reality than the apparent not only behind man and the world, but within man and the world, and this soul, self, divine thing in man it holds to be that in him which is of the highest importance, that which everything else in him must try in whatever way to bring out and express, and this soul, self, divine presence in the world it holds to be that which man has ever to try to see and recognise through all appearances, to unite his thought and life with it and in it to find his unity with his fellows. This alters necessarily our whole normal view of things; even in preserving all the aims of human life, it will give them a different sense and direction.
Spirit without mind, spirit without body is not the type of man, therefore a human spirituality must not belittle the mind, life or body or hold them of small account: it will rather hold them of high account, of immense importance, precisely because they are the conditions and instruments of the life of the spirit in man.
Religions, creeds and forms are only a characteristic outward sign of the spiritual impulsion and religion itself is the intensive action by which it tries to find its inward force. Its expansive movement comes in the thought which it throws out on life, the ideals which open up new horizons and which the intellect accepts and life labours to assimilate.
Nothing in the many processes of Nature, whether she deals with men or with things, comes by chance or accident or is really at the mercy of external causes.
The whole world yearns after freedom, yet each creature is in love with his chains; this is the first paradox and inextricable knot of our nature.
The way of yoga followed here has a different purpose from others, for its aim is not only to rise out of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness into the divine consciousness, but to bring the supramental power of that divine consciousness down into the ignorance of mind, life and body, to transform them, to manifest the Divine here and create a divine life in Matter.
A memory steals in from lost heavens of Truth, A wide release comes near, a Glory calls, A might looks out, an estranged felicity. In glamorous passages of half-veiled light Wandering, a brilliant shadow of itself, This quick uncertain leader of blind gods, This tender of small lamps, this minister serf Hired by a mind and body for earth-use Forgets its work mid crude realities; It recovers its renounced imperial right, It wears once more a purple robe of thought And knows itself the Ideal's seer and king, Communicant and prophet of the Unborn, Heir to delight and immortality. All things are real that here are only dreams, In our unknown depths sleeps their reserve of truth, On our unreached heights they reign and come to us In thought and muse trailing their robes of light.
One lucent corner windowing hidden things Forced the world's blind immensity to sight. The darkness failed and slipped like a falling cloak From the reclining body of a god.
It was as though even in this Nought's profound, Even in this ultimate dissolution's core, There lurked an unremembering entity, Survivor of a slain and buried past Condemned to resume the effort and the pang, Reviving in another frustrate world.