Talk 596.
A visitor asked: Sri Bhagavan said last night that God is guiding us.
Then why should we make an effort to do anything?
M.: Who asks you to do so? If there was that faith in the guidance of
God this question would not have arisen.
D.: The fact is that God guides us. Then what is the use of these
instructions to people?

M.: They are for those who seek instructions. If you are firm in your
belief in the guidance of God, stick to it, and do not concern yourself
with what happens around you.
Furthermore, there may be happiness or misery. Be equally
indifferent to both and abide in the faith of God. That will be so
only when one’s faith is strong that God looks after all of us.
Mr. Chopra asked: “How shall I secure that firm faith?”
M.: Exactly. It is for such as these who want instructions. There are
persons who seek freedom from misery. They are told that God
guides all and so there need not be any concern about what happens.
If they are of the best type they at once believe it and firmly abide
by faith in God.
But there are others who are not so easily convinced of the truth of
the bare statement. They ask: “Who is God? What is His nature?
Where is He? How can He be realised?” and so on.
In order to satisfy them intellectual discussion is found necessary.
Statements are made, their pros and cons are argued, and the truth
is thus made clear to the intellect.
When the matter is understood intellectually the earnest seeker
begins to apply it practically. He argues at every moment, “For
whom are these thoughts? Who am I?” and so forth, until he is
well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us.
That is firmness of faith. Then all his doubts are cleared and he
needs no further instructions.
D.: We also have faith in God.
M.: If it had been firm no questions would have arisen. The person
will remain perfectly happy in his Faith in the Omnipotent.
D.: Is the enquiry into the Self the same as the above mentioned faith?
M.: The enquiry into the Self is inclusive of all, faith, devotion, jnana,
yoga and all.
D.: A man sometimes finds that the physical body does not permit
steady meditation. Should he practise yoga for training the body
for the purpose?

M.: It is according to one’s samskaras (predispositions). One man
will practise hatha yoga for curing his bodily ills; another man
will trust to God to cure them; a third man will use his will-power
for it and a fourth man may be totally indifferent to them. But all
of them will persist in meditation. The quest for the Self is the
essential factor and all the rest are mere accessories.
A man may have mastered the Vedanta philosophy and yet remain
unable to control his thoughts. He may have a predisposition
(purva samskara) which takes him to practise hatha yoga. He
will believe that the mind can be controlled only by yoga and so
he will practise it.
D.: What is most suitable for gaining facilities for steady dhyana?
M.: It depends on one’s samskara. One may find hatha yoga suitable
and another man nama japa, and so on. The essential point is the
atma-vichara - enquiry into the Self.
D.: Is it enough if I spend some time in the mornings and some time
in the evenings for this atma-vichara? Or should I do it always
- say, even when I am writing or walking?
M.: Now what is your real nature? Is it writing, walking, or being? The
one unalterable reality is Being. Until you realise that state of pure
being you should pursue the enquiry. If once you are established
in it there will be no further worry.
No one will enquire into the source of thoughts unless thoughts
arise. So long as you think “I am walking,” “I am writing,” enquire
who does it.
These actions will however go on when one is firmly established
in the Self. Does a man always say, “I am a man, I am a man, I am
a man,” every moment of his life? He does not say so and yet all
his actions are going on.
D.: Is an intellectual understanding of the Truth necessary?
M.: Yes. Otherwise why does not the person realise God or the Self
at once, i.e., as soon as he is told that God is all or the Self is
all? That shows some wavering on his part. He must argue with
himself and gradually convince himself of the Truth before his
faith becomes firm.