Kamal Sahani, of the Second B. Com Class of the College spoke now, using fine simple appropriate words, on the human body and the purpose for which it has been given to you. He said that the world is a stage and that the body is a costume that one has to wear in order to act the role that God has allotted to you in the play produced and directed by Him.
This is a correct interpretation. But, when you are allotted a part, your duty is to do it well and earn the appreciation of the Director.
The stage on which you play your role is an infinitesimal dot when compared with the vast unlimited Cosmic space. The time when you strut about the stage in this costume or in any other is also infinitesimal. Deepak of this College acted as Sankaracharya on the stage at the Shanmukhananda Hall, Bombay. But, his Deepak-ness was not lost thereby; even while he was Sankaracharya, he was Deepak. His Sankaracharya-hood was but a temporary phase. So too, the Atma is the Eternal Truth; the body which it dons is temporary and the role it induces is also short. Or, to illustrate this in another way—the time spent in dreams is infinitesimal, when compared with the time spent awake. The ‘waking’ stage is the representative of the stage of wisdom and illumination, of the Atma; the dream stage is the representative of the ’ignorance wisdom’ hazy stage of human life.
The question may legitimately be asked, why or how did this eternal universal Atmic principle take up residence in this temporary, particularised body box? Well. You do not keep diamonds in a diamond casket, do you? If you do, the robber would be doubly benefitted. You keep it in an iron box only. Of course, the iron box or safe will be artistic and charming, for, the container is chosen, to suit the value or sanctity of the thing contained. To drink milk or some such beverage, you select a clean attractive tumbler or cup. But, for a spittoon, inferior metals or mud is felt ample.
The body is a chalice, wherein you collect the nectar of Divine Grace. That is the prime purpose for which it has been gifted, to you. For, without a cup or chalice, casket or jug, how can the nectar be taken? Raso Vai Sah: say the Vedas; “He Is Sweet-Nectar, no less.” And when His Graces is showered, the body is thrilled. The Body has to be kept ever clean and pure, unaffected by dirt, disease, distress, or defeatism. Nara and Narayana, man and God are like iron and magnet. God by His very nature attracts man near, for in man, there is the Divine. When the magnet fails to attract the iron piece, the iron foolishly concludes that the magnet has lost its power! The real fact is: the piece of iron is too thickly covered by rust and dust. It does not realise its own defect; it rushes to blame God (the magnet) or even to deny Him!
The easiest and the most fruitful method of keeping yourself free from dust and rust is the Satsang. The company of the good and the godly will slowly and surely chasten and cleanse the persons prone to stray away from the straight path towards Self-Realisation. Care has to be taken to see that you select and stick to the proper company. A cup of water has no cash value; but, if it is poured into ten cups of water, it acquires the value that people attach to milk! If on the other hand, one cup of milk is poured into ten cups of water, it loses the value it had and is condemned as useless. So, the Satsang you join must be purer, more venerable, and sticking to higher ideals of virtue and truth than you yourselves. When a smoker joins a group of non smokers, there is every likelihood of his giving up that bad habit; but, when a non smoker falls into a den of smokers, he is certain to become a victim soon! Such is the subtle influence of the company one keeps. The company you join must be qualitatively and quantitatively greater and higher than the one in which you are now caught.
There are precious gems of wisdom within your hearts, which require excavation, in order to be of any benefit to you. Intelligence is the instrument you have to use, in order to gain them. At the very start, you will encounter a boulder barring your way—that is the Body Consciousness, the Ego. Desires are the loose rocks that have also to be dug out and kept aside. Then, you come to a bed of sand—good thoughts, good words, good deeds; when this stratum is reached, you are nearing success. If you keep on in Satsang, every day, your hearts will maintain their purity unimpaired; but, if you seek one, only off and on, it will be difficult to win grace or partake of it, for, the vessel will be tarnished and untidy. In your own households, you must have noticed that a vessel in daily use is bright and clean; but, vessels stored and used only now and then will have to be scrubbed with great vigour to become bright.
You must take all the trouble and welcome all the patience needed, to seek Satsang and remain therein. For, it is not being born a man that is the sign of the glory; it is living as a man that confers the dignity.