15 Dec. 1979
My dear Radheshwari,
Jai Sri Radhey!
Thank you for your letter which came some days ago now. Ellen continues to be sick - though recovering slowly - and Baba comes and goes with his urgent works. So I am kept busy and don't get round to reply to all the letters that come as soon as I should. No other reason that I didn't write sooner.
I'm sorry if you misunderstood me and thought that I was testing you in any way. No, I asked you the question seriously- as a serious inquiry from a serious sadhaka. I had been noticing over the last couple of years that so many of those who were with us before also in search of That seem to have thrown away the quest and settled for mediocrity instead. Up to the time I wrote you last I had again heard about another couple of friends falling away. So my mind was very occupied with this situation and I was wanting to understand the reason, to find some explanation why those who had seemed so sincere, so dedicated, could yet change their minds. Perhaps because of my deep feeling, my words might have sounded to direct to you, but believe me, they were as much directed to myself if not more so. In fact when I wrote you, I told Ellen who was sitting here that I had just written a letter to myself. After that, I even had second thoughts about posting it!
Anyway, concerning my enquiry which I think was also called for since who knows that the next to go may not be myself, I came to certain conclusions. Firstly, that it's very hard to give up the desire for sense gratification; in most cases of my friends, I think this has been the basic reason. Secondly, in some who even seemed a little more advanced in their inquiry of Truth and sadhana, it has been due to a basic error in judgement that they have felt the need for no further sadhana. And that error arises from their having caught a glimpse of the universality of the soul. However, instead of the jivatma identifying itself with the Paramatma, they have identified with the lower aspect of their nature and thus been deceived into thinking that the free reign of the desires is the highest reality. that is why I kept thinking about Krishna's dissertation on various aspects of sadhana even after Arjuna had enjoyed the divine vision. It seemed to me that there is a very important idea behind this; that the vision in itself is not enough unless we can incorporate it in our consciousness in the right way. Sadhana prepares the mind and intelligence for this. Again I remember the story of Indra and Virochana ( I think that was the name of the demon chief) who went to Brahma to enquire the highest Truth. He told them 'Brahmasmi' was the highest. Virochana was content to look in the mirror and to understand that what he found reflected there was the Supreme Brahman; and Indra too would have been content with this answer had his wife not sent him again and again back to Brahma to do sadhana and to learn, after long, long years and repeated failures that Brahman is not the body, not the mind, not the intellect, but something even more than consciousness itself though it may be reflected through the purified consciousness. It means, as the Sufis say, "Go still further!"
You said, why should I be worried about falling into a material life? Now you might understand. Since I have seen it happen so many times in the last year or so, I am always aware that I might be the next to deceive myself if I don't understand the causes clearly. Of course, I always feel there is a certain amount of Grace with me but I believe if I also don't make some effort to deserve this grace, rather to be worthy of it, it might be withdrawn from me any time. Then certainly, there is no chance of experiencing that Ocean of Bliss..
As far as the ego goes,you said you would, for one, be sorry to see it go. Actually I don't think it really disintegrates until death and even then, if we look at reality at the perspective of its always manifesting itself, we must accept reincarnation. This means that even in death the ego does not disintegrate but continues to exist in subtle form until it remanifests itself in an appropriate body. So there is not much chance of my losing the ego so soon it seems! Still, from what I have learned through the words of the saints, the ego must be reconstituted. The ego of a saint is not the same as that of an ordinary man. And I am sure that until that time when we are truly reborn as devotees through the sacrifices of love, all our worship is not really worth much. I sincerely feel that it is only when the ego has been totally transformed that true worship begins. Until then, we are just imitating the outward forms of worship - not altogether useless in itself since it is by this means that we should be purified; but still, not altogether meaningful either.
Anyway, perhaps I should not burden you with all these thoughts though it would seem to me that it is the exchange of such views that is the true reason for having any friends on this path. In a way, I have even come to see that friendship too is a kind of illusion since we all ultimately have to face death alone and even our friends cannot protect us then. Still, it is a sweet illusion and even sometimes too, a great solace, a great awakening, and even the great sacrifice on Love's alter.
My pranams to Santji and Swamiji if he is there too.
With all love in Him as ever,