You grow by absorption and assimilation. In order to quicken your progress you need abstract as well as concrete ideals. The secret of all rapid and startling spiritual development is man-worship. By man-worship I mean devotion to, reverence, and intense and all-absorbing passion for the perfect individual man of realization–a Mahapurusha, Christ, Buddha and Vivekananda were all such-type men.
You must constantly and thoughtfully meditate upon the lives and writings of saints and heroes. The formative influence and valuable powers of study and meditation upon lofty ideas and ideals are incalculable. Man grows by the deepening of consciousness and the acquirement of wisdom. All study, subjective and objective, is a Â»TapashyaÂ« or Austerity directed to the acquirement of wisdom. It is the worship of Saraswati–the Goddess of Wisdom.
This worship is definable as perfect emotional solitude, close study, absolute chastity and celibacy, and at last the merging of the personal into the impersonal. This austere life is the secret of all greatness. You know how Archimedes when threatened with death by the vandalistic invaders of his country raised his head and said ‘Please do not disturb my circles’ and nothing more. This man was practising Yoga unconsciously.
You must be able to lose all consciousness of this relative personality, the sure victim of death and impermanence. You must give up the personal ego that in the words of Walt Whitman ‘is contained within your hat and boots’ and then alone will you realise an infinite individuality. Truly in losing himself man finds Himself. ‘Ye must be born anew’. Herein, apart from its formative and moulding influence lies the greatest value of study. Study and direct aural influence of a perfected soul are the two objective means of instilling powerful suggestions into the subjective self or the inner soul. All knowledge is within the deeps of the eternal subjective. But the gate is locked.
Your Guru gives you the master-key with which to unlock the door and enter the gate of wisdom and power. Once you are there all pain and death shall be conquered. You can then help yourself. Man can only worship such a God as is greater than himself in degree and not in kind. Such a God he can “grow into.” It is the impersonal God of the Hindu Philosophy that gives you the abstract ideas and the living Guru (God) in human form that gives you the concrete ideal. The one is necessary for the soaring intellect; the other for the rousing and enkindling of tremendous and indomitable motive-power.
Seek both and when you find them worship and serve them with all your heart and soul. ‘My worship for my master is the worship of a dog. I do not seek to understand his nature. It ever startles with its newness and profound depth’. So spoke Vivekananda of Ram Krishna. Need I tell you of the tremendous and world-conquering power that awoke in Vivekananda through mere Guru worship? In India the Guru asks for nothing short of absolute worship, obedience, and submission to his will although none values and appreciates individual freedom more than the master. So long as you are at the feet of your master be as submissive as a lamb. So will you open yourself to his great batteries of inner power. Serve him. Please him. Obey him. Be his slave. No matter what contradictions you may see.
A great and profound nature is full of contrary ways and his character is a paradox impossible for you to read through reason and observation. You can only understand him by having perfect faith in him, loving and serving him like a faithful dog. So will you tap on to his inner forces. And when he sends you away into the broad world to live out the great ideal he has set before you, you shall be astonished at your courage and power. You shall take fearless possession of this world and every minute you shall realise how only he can command who has learnt to obey.
By commanding I do not mean dominating any one and forcing your views on others. This is the sign of fools. But you will find your influence radiating and circling out naturally and irresistibly, winning souls to the higher life, and you yourself shall thus stand as a tower of strength, a redeemer of the race, an inspiration and a living benediction unto humanity. Peace be with you! May you realise strength of soul!