Rama lays claim to no mission. All missions are his. He is you and you are he. No Plurality. No Duality. This is the Truth: Rama expounds, Rama lives, Rama sheds, Rama bestows. This realization of Truth can be had by anybody as Truth is nobody's preserve, Truth belongs to one and all. This aspect is bought home by the volumes of 'In Woods of God-realization' in which Rama speaks to us directly from his heart of hearts and lays before us the ideas which he has practically mastered himself. He advises us to accept what he says only when it comes true to the test.
The present volume - the first in the series of 'In Woods of God-Realization', now in its eleventh edition, gives an impetus and inspiration to the readers to tread the path of Truth by themself and not by proxy to know what Truth is. 'To know is to become'. 'Know Truth and become Truth'. This is Vedanta and this is what Rama expresses.
This volume now in the hands of the Truth-seekers removes the mist of ignorance and unfolds 'Real Self' which is home of happiness and the substratum of everything in all the states of the dreamlessness, dream-land and wakefulness. It also unravels the secret of success and tells how to achieve it and become that fountain-head wherefrom Real Power flows continuously and fulfils all desires one may entertain. Next it also explains, besides other aspects of life, the Law of Life Eternal. It is this law which rules everything conceivable or non-conceivable. This law-the Law of 'Trishul' is very harsh on those who violate it and there is no escape. But those who abide by it are allowed to ride over it and reap the eternal life. It also provides guide-lines for married life and explain what Vedanta stands for.
Since 1909, seven Volumes of 'In Woods of God- Realization' have been published by the Pratisthan. These explain the practicability of Vedanta, which was and is, perhaps," read merely as good food for the intellectual consumption. It is Rama who declares that if Vedanta does not remove your chill; '- if it does not cast off your burden, then kick it aside. He pronounces in unequivocal terms that 'Vedanta printed in books and placed on shelves to be eaten up by worms, would not do. You must live it'. This living Vedanta is what Rama preached and what Rama lived. There is no other way. This Vedanta may be called by any name one chooses, but the content of Vedanta is eternal and omnipresent. To achieve this content- 'TRUTH', one is to pay the price and without paying the price one cannot have it. The price, Rama explains, is : Denial of little self and Assertion of real self. One may pay this price by continous feeling God-head, Knowing God-head and becoming all-pervading God "सर्व खलविदम् ब्रह्म". Brahman which is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. And ‘That Thou Art’- तत्वमसि.
The Pratisthan hopes that the inquisitive seekers of Truth will be inspired by these Volumes of 'In Woods of God- Realization' in their search and mission. Success is theirs, once they are convinced of Real Self. The only need is to live in Self and roam in the their pristine glory of Divinity. That is Rama's Promise.
These volumes are presented to the public in the name and memory of Swami Rama. In these volumes it is proposed to bring together all his writings and speeches. A short collection of his articles and essays published in his lifetime has already been reprinted and put before the public in nice form by Messrs. Ganesh and Co., Publishers, Madras. Besides these his other manuscripts, mostly the lecture-notes of his American speeches, taken down by some American friends, were found in his box when he left us for ever. Excepting the articles referred to above, that were published in his life-time and which also have been included in the present collection, all other lectures have not had the advantage of his revision.
So much that he might have eliminated is still there and so much more that he might have added is absent. He had intended to thoroughly recast, in fact to write anew all the valuable portions of the subject-matter of these manuscripts, with much more that was in his mind, into a systematic exposition of his teachings, a work that must have been a fresh and novel contribution on the philosophy of Vedanta advancing the latter systematically as the individual and social religion of the coming generations. But his work remained unfulfilled mainly for two reasons, first because about two years before his Samadhi, he seriously and earnestly undertook a thorough and complete study of the Vedas in original as preparation for his proposed work, and thus, I think the time which he could have perhaps more profitably devoted to the systematisation of his own writings was spent in the efforts of making his final work grand and monumental in every way; secondly, living in his beloved solitude of the Himalayas, out of touch with people whose hopes and aspirations might have stimulated his intellect to work for their fulfilment, his mind soared higher and higher till it lost its foot-hold by his daily increasing absorption in the Infinite. When the writer was for the last time with him, he, kept silent for most of the time. He had ceased taking interest in reading and writing. When questioned, he would expound to us the secrets of his state of consciousness, this supreme silence he called then by the name of Death-in-Life. He would tell us, the more one dies in Life, the greater is the good that naturally and spontaneously comes out of such a man for the benefit of others. "Rama may not seem to finish the task in hand, but Rama knows it will sometime be done all the better when he is gone. The ideas that saturate Rama's mind and have guided Rama's life, will gradually in the fullness of time filter down to society and can work their destiny properly when Rama loses himself now in the Divine, foregoing all plans, wishes and aims."
He had taken to this idea so ardently that no entreaties could prevail upon him to commence writing his work.
Thus, though deprived of the systematic exposition of his teachings by himself, it is a matter of consolation that we. still have with us some of the subject-matter of his thought, however scattered and fragmentary it may be. It has, therefore, been decided, not without some hesitation, that this subject- matter of his thought and the reflections of his consciousness in his extempore speeches, with his essays and note-books, should be put before the public in a printed form, almost in the same form as he left them. Those that have met Rama personally will recognize him in many and perhaps all of the speeches and will feel as if they were still listening to his wonderfully eloquent character. They will feel enchanted once again by the spell of his personality supplementing as they would all that may be lacking in the printed form by the affectionate and reverent associations of him in their minds. Those that have had no occasion to see him will be able to realize the state of that supremely blissful consciousness which is at the .back of these utterances and gives them their charm and meaning, provided they may have the patience to read them through. They may not be able follow him in some of his ideas at one place but at another place they will find those ideas expressed much more clearly and with greater force. Men of different shades of opinion and thought, on reading through these pages, will find ample food for their thought and spirit, and much that they will surely recognize to be their own.
In these volumes, he appears before us by no means as a literary man and has no desire to be judged as an author, but he comes before us with the majesty of a teacher of the spiritual laws of life. One great feature of his speeches is that he speaks to us directly from his heart and never endeavours to give us a lecture-room demonstration of Vedantic doctrines, not because he was unable to do so- for those who know him, know him to be the master of the subject he is handling but because he is trying to lay before us only those ideas which he practically carried into his own life and which, he thinks, would, if followed by others, guide, as they did in his-case, the like of man to the pinnacle of glory, of happiness and success. He, therefore, does not lay. before us the intellectual side of his mind, but tries to give us some of his own experiences and speaks out clearly with an inspired enthusiasm of the effects that certain thoughts produce on life when carried into actual practice. As such these speeches are only aids and suggestions to the realization of Truth that he believed in, rather than the philosophical and closely reasoned expositions of that Truth. Are we not already sick of works overloaded with intellect? It is indeed refreshing to see a masterly mind coming home to us in simpler and clearer and commoner accents of life. Instead of an argument, Swami Rama gives us a story, believing that the actual life of a man sympathises more with the life of another and weighs it more than all the abstract architecture of mental reasoning. There is that airiness and freedom in his expression which characterises the speech of a poet only. Poet-philosopher as he was, the suggestiveness of thought and speech is marvellous, pointing as it does to Infinity. He is the philosopher of that deep music of life which is audible to those only who go deep enough.
A few lines may be appropriately devoted here to give an idea of what Rama was in himself and to us. Born in an ordinary Brahman family in the Punjab, (now in Pakistan) he was the patient architect of himself from childhood to manhood. He built himself little by little, moment by moment, and day by day. It may be said that perhaps the whole career of his future life was sketched already before his mind's eye, because even as a boy he was working so gravely, so silently and so consciously for a definite mission. There was the resolution of a riper mind in the steps of the poor Brahman boy who faltered, not under any circumstances, and who was never daunted by any difficulties. Under that extremely humble and winsome appearance, touched with resignation and purity almost like that of a shy and modest maid, there was concealed in this thin frame of the Brahman boy an iron will which nothing could shake. He was a typical student who loved to study not with any nope or gaining worldly ends, but for satisfying the ever-growing thirst for knowledge which was firing his soul anew with every new Sun. His daily studies were sanctified oblations on the altar of this havan kund.
He would forego an extra suit to himself, and an extra loaf or even a day's meal for the sake of oil for his midnight lamp to read his books. It was not unoften in his student life that he kept absorbed in his studies from sunset to sunrise. There was that love of knowledge which pulled strongly at his heart so much that the ordinary comforts and physical needs of a student life were entirely forgotten. Hunger and thirst, cold and heat, could not tell upon his supreme passion that he felt towards knowledge. There are witnesses of his student life still living at Gujranwala and Lahore, (Pakistan) who say that the pure-minded Goswami toiled unarmed and alone day and night, fighting with life without the sinews of war, and they remember the occasions when even in this country of boasted charity, the poor Brahman boy had for many a day little or nothing to eat, though every muscle of his face always exhibited an ineffable joy and satisfaction.
I have great pleasure in complying with the request of the friends of .the late Swami Rama Tirtha and writing a brief introduction to the series of lectures contained in this book. The name of Swami Rama is one which I have learnt to honour through residence in the Punjab where his chief influence was felt. Again and again I have seen faces lit up at the mention of his name, and men have told me how much they owed to him. He came at a time when a deep unsettlement was taking place in the minds of educated Indian students with regard to religious truth, and when the claims of the material world were becoming too absorbing. The training in Western Sciences, divorced as it is in Government institutions from religious culture, inevitably led to an indifference to religion altogether. After college days, the struggle for existence in the world has only too often left little or no opportunity for the cultivation of the inner nature, and a reputation for worldliness had gathered round educated life in the Punjab. The reputation is not altogether justified, for there have been most notable exceptions; but the dangers of the time of transition have been very great and the results serious.
Into such an atmosphere of getting and spending, Swami Rama's unworldly spirit came with a message that commanded attention by its very contrast. No one could be long in his presence without feeling that the highest happiness in life was to be found, not in the things of the body, but in the things of the soul. It was not so much that anyone had taught him the truths he held so dear (though he would have been the first to acknowledge how much he owed to the kindly influences of the Forman Christian College where he was both a student and a Professor), but he seemed from his earliest childhood, to have grown up with an intense realization of spiritual realities and every instinct in his nature pressed him forward to the devout religious life. Many of those with whom I have conversed about him have told me of the innate power which he possessed, a power which moved them profoundly whenever they met and talked with him, a power which took their thoughts away from material things and made them feel, if only for a moment, the reality of spiritual experience.
The Lectures and Conversations which are now published for the first time, will show more clearly than any words of mine the secret of his great influence. There is a childlike simplicity in what he writes, and an overflowing joy and happiness, won through great self-discipline and suffering, which reveals a soul that is at peace within itself and has found a priceless gift that it desires to impart to others. There is a striking personality which makes itself manifest in his very language and mode of address. At the same time there is on every page a definite refusal to appeal to those lower motives that are ordinarily urged as making for success in life, and a determination to find in the soul itself, apart from outward circumstances, the secret of all true and lasting joy.
The Lectures unfortunately have not had the revision of the author himself. He would undoubtedly have altered much, and possibly abbreviated much. He would have corrected also the metrical form of some of his poems, which have clearly been put down on paper as the inspiration to write came to him, without any laboured correction. But while there is considerable loss to the reader on this account, there is also considerable gain; for what is lost in finish and correctness is gained in freshness and vitality. I cannot doubt that the friends of the author were right in tenderly and piously preserving every word of the manuscript before them. The readers will gladly make allowance for repetition and lack of finish, when the individuality of the Swami himself is brought so vividly before them by his manuscript notes. We seem to be talking with him, as we read, and he seems to be talking with us. We feel, the Swami himself still present in his words" and can almost picture him speaking.
If I were asked to point out what I considered to be the special qualities that appear in these writings, I should mention' first and foremost the point I have already emphasised, namely, the unworldliness that is apparent on every page. Wealth, riches, worldly ambitions, luxuries-these are all laid aside without a murmur. The Swami's own life had reached a calm haven, into which the stormy passions, that are roused by the acquisition of wealth and worldly honours, had never come. His inner life had been free from such things. He cannot even understand them. The child-nature seems to come out in him as he speaks of them. He smiles at them with an almost boyish laughter from his own retreat, or mocks at them with a gentle raillery. The laughter appears most of all in his poems.
In the second place I would mention his overflowing charity, his kindliness of spirit, which seems incapable of bitterness or malice. He is always trying to win men, not to drive them; to make the best of them, not to blame or scold them; to attract them by the power of his ideals, not to argue with them in useless and unsatisfying controversy. The bitter and rancorous spirit is absent and the kindly tolerant spirit prevails. This is especially noticeable when he is dealing with beliefs other than his own. Here he is always courteous and sympathetic. If he has any' objection to make, he does it with an apology. Usually his attempt is to absorb and assimilate all that he can accept, especially when he is speaking of Christianity, and mould it into his own system of religious thought. In this respect he shows the truly catholic spirit, which is the opposite of bigotry. He has a large share of that charity which 'thinketh no evil' and 'rejoiceth with the truth.' I would like to add how deeply I feel that it was in accordance with this characteristic of Swami Rama, that his friends, in bringing out his works, have so kindly offered to me, a Christian missionary, the privilege of writing an introduction and have given me, while doing. so, such liberty of self-expression and freedom of comment. It is my wish that I may fulfil this duty in the same catholic spirit.
The third feature that I should wish to notice in the life and writings of the Swami was his abounding joy. He was not in the least one of those gloomy ascetics, who, in choosing the path of renunciation, seem to have left behind them all joy and happiness. He knew what physical hardship and endurance meant in a way that few can have experienced. But this did not embitter him, or make his message one of harshness. On the contrary the very titles of his lectures are sufficient to give a picture of the character of his own mind. "Happiness within," "How to make your homes happy," such are the subjects that appeal to him, and his heart goes out in every word as he tries to make his message clear; it is the message of his own experience, not that of another's. He is full of happiness himself which he wishes to give to the world, and he is never so happy as when happiness is his subject. It is this also which bubbles over in his poems, waking in others an echo of his own laughter. The outward setting of these poems, as I have already said, may often be crude and even grotesque, but the inner spirit may be caught by the sympathetic reader beneath the imperfect vehicle of expression. The message of this gay spirit, laughing at hardship and smiling at pain, is one that sad India sorely needs amid the despondency of so much of her present modern life.
This mention of his poems leads me on to the last feature of his life and writings which I would wish to mention. I do so with considerable diffidence, as it is quite possible that others may take a different view to my own. But what I could venture to say is briefly this, that I find in Swami Rama Tirtha's poetic spirit, which lies behind his philosophy, the highest value of his written work. In this seems to lie the freshness, originality, contribution to the world of thought. His romantic love of Nature, strong in his life as in his death; his passion for sacrifice and renunciation; his eager thirst for reality and-self-abandonment in search of truth; his joy and laughter of the Soul in the victory he had won-all these, and other qualities such as these, which make him break out into song, reveal the true poet behind the philosopher. It is to these qualities that my own heart goes out so warmly in response, and it is on these sides that I find by far the strongest attraction to the writer himself.
With the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta, as it is often stated in the writings of Swami Rama, I confess I have only a faint and distant sympathy. Rightly or wrongly it seems to me an illegitimate short cut to the simplification of the problem of existence-a solution which has overlooked certain persistent facts of human experience. I am always conscious of obstinate and irreducible elements in the equation of God, the Soul, and the universe which the Advaita system itself does riot seem seriously to take into account. I. would refer for an instance in this book to the chapter on the "Prognosis and Diagnosis of Sin." While containing some valuable thoughts, these chapters appear to me to be altogether unsatisfying in their conclusions, intended as they are to form a final answer to the problems of the origin of evil and its elimination from the heart of man.
But on the other hand with the poetic spirit of Swami Rama, where-his thought is still in solution and not crystallized into a formal logical system, I have a sympathy which is not faint but deep. Here I feel again on common ground, and my whole heart goes out to writer in his beautiful passages on renunciation as "the law of life eternal" or again in his intense and vivid appreciation of beauty in nature; or again, to mention only one more instance, in his ideal of married life. I experience in a measure the same sympathy when I read some of the poetry of the Upanishads, or certain passages from that greatest of all Hindu poems, the Bhagavad Gita. There also the note is struck, which is heard many times in Swami Rama's writings, that only in the unruffled silence of the soul can the divine harmony of the universe be heard.
Pay the price; you are TRUTH, you are God. The price is to break through the cocoons of desires and undo what you have done in making your prison-house. The key to unlock and open up the door is OM-AUM-, the mantram, which is All in all, nothing without it and nothing beyond it.
This Realization is brought home in Rama's lectures contained in the present second Volume of 'In Woods of God- Realization', now in your hands by you, for you and through Swami Rama Tirtha Pratisthan of yours.
The lectures in this Volume explain VEDANTA which, in a nutshell, is: Denial of little self and Assertain of Real Self-the Divinity in all the forms of first, second and third person, embracing All without any distinction or discrimination. And the result is that all the impediments impairing the vision are set aside and Glory of ultimate Reality showers on you automatically. How simplest of the simple it is. Feel, Feel, Feel your Divinity in every sphere of thinking and action, and everywhere, every time; and lo! There is total identification, no duality, all one. "I am" is undisputed certainty. That "I am" is "Shivoham", "Tat-twa-Masi”- That Thou Art, "God I am" ''Truth I am".
This "Happiness", this "Heaven" is your birthright. This is Vedanta. You can experiment on it, with it, you can put it to test, you can verify it, you can scutinize it. But please do take up the experiment in accordance with the pre-requisite requirements necessary for carrying it out, otherwise you cannot speak against Vedanta. Do please adhere to the rules of experiment. A little deviation from and non-adherance to the rules of the experiment will mislead you, will entrap you and make you to draw mischievious calculations and conclusions - far from Truth. Donot blame others for your mishandling. Be on your guard. Be firm and catch hold of the hissing snake like Moses and wonders will flow automatically.
A glimpse of Truth can be had by assimilating and translating into action the precepts, axioms given in this Volume of 'In Woods of God-Realization'. It elaborates how to realize cosmic consciousness, and lays stress on universality and imperativeness of religion besides pinpointing the inherent oneness of Man. It further reveals the moral and the reality behind the short and inspiring stories, besides other important issues relevant even to-day after a century. Unique is the presentation of the issues which touches the heart and convinces one of Divinity. It assures that if one Rama can do it, anyone can do it. Will is needed, determination is required and total involvement and concentration is a 'must'. Then one is sure to belessed with the ultimate Reality what he is- ‘अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि'!
One word about the Pratisthan of yours. More than eight decades old it is. Not much to its credit. But one is there and that is the preservation and presentation of Rama's words, which continued to see the light of the day on account of the donation of life-long savings of Master Amir Chanda, who was hanged in Lord Hardings Bomb case. The total credit of fishing out scattered pearls from the ocean of knowledge in the form of words of Rama, which were nowhere available at one place, but were to be collected from various sources at home and abroad goes to R.S., Narayan Swami, the founder of this Pratisthan and Sardar Puran Singh, both of whom toiled relentessly to give these lectures of Rama the shape of "In Woods of God-Realization," whose second Volume in its twelfth edition now is in the hands of the readers.
We beg pardon of our esteemed readers, who may be put to some inconvenience by the soaring prices of all the materials required for its publication. This has compelled us to enhance the price of these Volumes. We hope, our benign patrons will bear with us and help us. One word about the encouragement and guidance given to us by our members and devotees of Rama who, of their own accord, gave us the suo-motto impetus to publish the new edition. We adore them all and are obliged to them who are above name and fame and live in Divinity.
We are sure that once in touch with Rama one will transform himself and will be face to face with Divinity which he is.
Existence is the substratum. Conscious is everybody of this Reality. All his thinking and actions emerge and flow from it. He is the mentor, creator and executor and as such, he is all in all. The subject and the objects are of his own. The separateness of these two create duality-the phenomenal world. But, when the subject and the objects converge into and become one, there is only oneness alround and oneness alone. This is Vedanta; This is Reality.
Vedanta is no dagma, no religion. Vedant is precept and practice in one. Vedanta is Truth of oneness. This oneness is the crux. It brings you face to face with 'Reality and destroys the myth which overshadows the world. Vedanta should not be misinterpreted. It claims:"Brahma is Real and the world is myth". "ब्रह्म सत्यम्, जगन्मिथ्या" And you are Brahma, nothing but Brahma, the Reality, The world is not unreal, it is a myth, just like a dream, while dreaming. It seems to be real when one is dreaming and is gone when he is awake; dream is no more; So is the worldly myth.
Rama claims.Vedanta is science, the sciece that is systematic knowledqe, worth' of being experimented upon and of being keenly observed. Just as in laboratory, experiments are carried out to acquaint with the results and know the reality behind them, you can experiment with Vedanta and its postulates in the laboratory of living world. You are free to examine, scrutinize, verify, sift Vedanta, but must follow its rules and regulations like those of the experiments of physical sciences, Iest you should be led astray. The conclusion will be automatic: "To know is to Become". Know yourself and Become what you are. You are God, nothing but God. That Reality you will face and you are God.
Vedanta to Rama is no inaction or lethargy or idleness or adolescence. It is neither a vehicle to prove one's skill. It is pure activity and the masterly way of thinking, feeling and living. Vedanta removes all doubts, it inspires, encourages and leads you to realization of SELF. There is no duality in Vedanta, there is unison, harmony and oneness of which Vedanta makes you conscious and takes you to the realm of all Bliss. In the present Volume, the third in the series of 'In Woods of God-Realization', Rama Gives exposition to the various aspects of Vedantic thought, which reconciles, explains and elaborates seeming worldly problems. Rama also answers to various queries and removes many a doubt entertained about Vedanta. The educative and explanatory Vedanta is pronounced by Rama from the top of hill of Vedanta. This is elaborated in the beginning of the Volume.
Thereafter the Volume brings to fore a new personality of Rama as a patriot, thinker, inspirer and revolutionary in character, action and spirit who is too much agitated on the plight of his country men of Mother India. Once he told Puran:"First his head will roll then of others."
He felt, supreme sacrifice was needed and there was imperative urgency to change the process of thinking, living and behaving of the Indian people. He is vigorously against the exploitation of 'Sudras'who supported the whole social edifice. If the very feet are weakened or crippled, the whole society is bound to crumbled. The result of ignoring the" Sudras" had been that India was enslaved by invaders. Rama denounced caste- system and pleaded for amelioration of conditions of Indian women. He also warned against population explosion as early as the very beginning of the last century. Rama was too much concerned with the worsening conditions of his Motherland.
A few of Rama's letters, included in this Volume speak of another aspect of Rama's personality-generous, kind, communicative, educative and humane. He proves himself that he was submerged in Nature and was enjoying, playing and talking with it in non-duality. His letters to Mrs Wellman telt how much she was influenced by Rama. The inclusion of a National Anthem composed by a devotee of Rama in America in this Volume shows the influence Rama wielded on American people which was further expressed in the poem recited at the time of Rama's departure from America.
The Pratisthan, established in January, 1920, has not much to its credit except that it somehow preserved and published the words of Rama-that too far from satisfactory manner. This calls for your involvement and your identification with the Pratisthan.
Swami Rama Tirtha, the super saint, visionary, poet and practical philosopher, was one of the greatest personalities not only of India but of the whole world. He was an example of an ordinary man developing into a superman, under very trying circumstances, like a beautiful and fragrant flower blooming out of its muddy origin.
He was born on 22 October 1873 in village Murariwala in district Gujranwala in West Punjab, (now in Pakistan). He was thoughout an extraordinarily brilliant student, standing first and earning merit scholarships. He did his M.A. in his favourite subject, Mathematics, and was appointed professor in his own college.
He was an obedient son, an obedient pupil and an obedient disciple. He was a quiet, modest and unassuming young man in the hey-days of his youth, well versed in the ancient and modern philosophy as well as in sciences. Gentle, amiable, child-like, innocent in manners and behaviour, he had the Iron hand in silken gloves. He was scrupulously regardful of the feelings of others.
At a very young age of only twenty seven years, he left his service and snapped all his domestic and worldly ties to become a free Sanyasee (monk). He then went round the world, ,vsiting a number of foreign countries, including Japan, America, Egypt, etc. to preach Vedanta, the universal religion. He was, so to say, the spiritual ambassador of India to the modern world, bringing to it the supreme Truth of Oneness with the whole universe. He lived a very short life and left his mortal body at a very young age of only, thirty three years in 1906.
His whole life was an expression of Practical Vedanta which he preached in his forceful writings and stirring speeches, which always ,instil the spiritual life of Divinity in man.
Vedanta to him was not theoritical and dry. It was practical and animating. On material plane, it was perfect democracy, equality and unity with all. There exists neither an air of superiority nor an embarrassment of inferiority in his Vedantic teachings. In reply to a question he once said, "I embrace all, I exclude none. I am all Love. I love all equally, like my own self, irrespective of caste, creed, colour or genus." He would never utter a word which he had not experienced in his own life to be true.
Swami Rama Tirtha did not believe God to be living in the sky or higher up in some comfortable heaven or sleeping in the ocean of milk. According to him, He is unlimited. He is in every thing and every thing is in Him. Nothing is beyond Him. As a matter of fact, He is All in all. Therefore, he used to emphasise, "Service to the living beings is the worship of God."
Swami Rama was not only a spiritual teacher, he was also a very sincere patriot and a devoted social reformer. According to him, Patriotism is a stepping stone to Universalism. He used to say, "A man who does not realise his unity with his country, can never realise his unity with God." He had completely identified himself with India. His heart ached at the pitiable condition of India. He wanted to arouse among the Indians the spirit of appreciation and not of criticism, the sentiment of fraternity, equality, unity and integration among the different communities. He denounced caste system, untouchability, child marriage and population explosion. He pleaded for equality and emancipation of the women and the down-trodden people of the world. His lectures in India are mostly devoted to topics relating to the masses.
His teachings are reflected in his own life and amply expressed in his essays, letters, articles and speeches. But unfortunately, his English works contain only a few of his lectures delivered by him in America or Japan which could with much difficulty be made available to R.S. Naravana Swami. his chief disciple, after the death of Rama's mortal body. But mostly his philosophy and valuable works are found in his original writings in "Risala Alif", an Urdu magazine started under his inspiration and guidance, when he was at Lahore. These will be published in English, in Volume V of, "In Woods of God-Realization."
As for his lectures, hundreds were delivered in India but could not be collected. Hardly a few, delivered in Uttar Pradesh, could be collected. The notes of the lectures at Mathura and Agra included in this Volume were taken by R. S. Narayana Swami and Lala Baijnath respectively. The notes of most of the remaining lectures delivered in Eastern U.P., were taken by Mahatma Shanti Prakash.
There was a great demand for the English translation of his original writings, essays, articles, and the Indian lectures, from the non-Hindi speaking areas of India and abroad especially America.
By the grace of Rama, as his Birth Centenary was appraching, most of the his original works in Urdu and Hindi, except his letters and poems, have now been translated into English.
This Volume contains mostly the lectures addressed to the Indian public. They needed all-round reforms to raise themselves from the morass of degradation and the spirit of freedom, unity and integrity in them. It is hoped that the readers will overlook the shortcomings and imbibe the essence of the subject-matter in this book.
May the readers of Rama's works eniov freedom from fanaticism, orthodoxy, narrow-sectarianism and selfishness and breathe the refreshing fragrance of universal love and spiritual unity with all, the All.
Exactness leads to Perfection in the pursuit. And the eternal pursuit has been to search Truth, know Truth, realise Truth. Prophets, saints, seers and others have engaged themselves in this pursuit and "revealed Truth, as they knew It, as they realized it. Yet, the pursuit is still going on, because Complete Truth, Whole Truth has not been identified so far. Various reasons are attributed for it. Vedanta asserts: Truth is realized by becoming One with it.
No separateness, no distinction, no duality. One and only One, God and only God, Truth and only Truth exists. No search needed, no research needed. Only Realization is needed. "And That Thou Art." No question about who, what, where, when, why can be raised as it is. arguing in a circle. Realization is feeling Oneness.
Rama simply indicates to 'Truth'-Oneness-in his article- 'UPASANA'-Devotion that it is realized when the worshipper and the worshipped are merged in One, just like sugar candy dissolving itself in water and becoming one with it. The method is the mathematic approach, temper and culture. It teaches how to involve and submerge in solving the problems, by rising above all the considerations - physical, mental and otherwise and having one-pointed concentration for the purpose. This is how to know and realize.
The present volume of "In Woods of God-Realization"- the fourth in series, is its new edition and now in the hands of our benign readers in with a difference. The preceding three volumes " contain Rama's spoken words mainly in Japan and U.S.A. This . fourth volume includes Rama's three articles -"UPASANA" written originally in Hindi, whose English rendering is given and the other two - one on "Mathematics" and the next on "How to excel in Mathematics" originally written in English when he was a professor.
Another feature is an attempt to give to the readers the synopsis of the lectures of Rama delivered at home in Hindustani on the basis of the notes taken by the devotees of Rama. In these lectures, Rama's obvious concern on the then prevallino conditions, deplorable as they were during the British regime has been expressed with a call to the countrymen to rise above petty- fogging and struggle and work whole-heartedly for gaining the glory, the country deserves. Concentration, perseverance and involvement are needed. Practical Vedanta shows the way and tells how to involve and merge as one with the mission. Theory bereft of practice has no meaning. One has to be practical and become Practical Vedantin.
Rama has given out what he had experimented and experienced. He advises you not to accept him blindly but to verify, test and examine what he says on his testimony. If ltcornas true to your testimony, you should accept, what he asserts. You are under no bondage. Free you are and Freedom Incarnate! Vedanta does not stand for slavery. Vedanta tells you what you are. It is the revelation of your own identity of being "Truth, Consciousness, Bliss" Incarnate.
Let us roam in the woods of God-Realization with Rama and realise "Aham Brahmasmi'. (I am God).
Knowledge is Power. Absolute knowledge is Absolute Power. This omnipotence is realized by Knowing 'SELF', 'GOD'. Every body in this phenomenal world is conscious of his individual self, selfish self, confined to the body, mind, intellect and instincts. He behaves accordingly, and is caught in the quagmire of sorrow or happiness, pain or rejoicing or the like, which surfaces as a result of his actions and thinking. These seem to be good or bad, welcome or despisable as he perceives them. The perception is based on relativity and duality, which, in essence, is the veil hindering vision. It is an obsticle in realising the Reality.
Vedanta says: Reality is ONE, only ONE. There is no duality. Whatever is seen as duality or relativity in the phenomera is due to Maya which puts a sort of curtain before the eyes, hampering the visivility. We live in illusion, thinking it be real but in fact it is myth. Do away with it and throwaway the veil of Maya and lo! every thing is crystal clear, shining in the glory of God. You are face to face with TRUTH, GOD. The way to realize HIM is as simple as can be conceived of. The will and determination is needed and you tread the way to success. The way, the only way is : "Deny little self and assert Real SELF." Be conscious of Divinity, God-hood that You Are! Feel this consciousness, act it, live it and be with it. Then enjoy the sun of Glory being shed by TRUTH everywhere and all the time. Nothing without It and nothing beyond It.
Real SELF is the sternest fact. Please do not be oblivious. You can examine and experiment with It and the result will be one and the same, which cannot be disputed. In this experiment, one is to follow and adhere to its rules, otherwise there is every likelihood of his being led astray. We do not follow the rules and then blame the result on its basis. This does not behove you. The rule is one and only one : "Know Thyself" and every thing will unfold itself of its accord by living this rule. Master of masters you become. You shine in your pristine Glory. You are All in all.
This knowledge of SELF is brought home in the writings of Rama which are included in the present volume V of "In Woods of God-Realization", now in your hands. These articles are simple, lucid, and penetrate into the deepest corners of your heart. The way of expression and presentation stirs up the thinking and implores and leads one to his cherished destination of realizing SELF. Most of these articles were written by Rama prior to his becoming a sannyasin, during the days of his professorship. It was on account of his inspiration that a magzine by the name of 'AUF' in Urdu was published and it included these articles written by Rama in Urdu. This magzine was brought out in the vicinity of 1900 and was supervised by Sri Narayan Das who later become the chief disciple of Rama and was known by the name of R.S. Narayan Swami.
These articles of Rama deal with explaining Vedantic thought ' in the scientific, convincing and straight manner. Vedanta is not a precept to be talked about alone. Vedanta is practice in action and self-reliance in thinking. These articles also give an opportunity to us to visualise the working of the temper of the professor who was shaping himself to become 'Swami' (Master) of every thing. What a fire and an urge he had then and that lead him to become 'TRUTH' Personified.
In the Preface appended next is written by Narayan Swami for "Khum-khana-e-Ram" - the volumes published in Urdu, containing the lectures and writings of Rama. These were mostly original works of Rama in Urdu. These were rendered into English in a faithful manner by the then Secretary of Swami Rama Tirtha Pratisthan, Sri Ayodhya Nath Sinha, who worked tirelessly and laboriously to fulfil the assignment given to him by himself.
"Reading is Believing." No Proof is, then, needed. TRUTH is 'Tat-va-Masi-' That Thou Art'.
Let us live in action to realize Truth, which we are. This action expresses in the living of Practical Vedanta, and leads to realisation of SELF or Oneness-simply of Oneness.
The speeches and writings of RAMA are like the over-flow of Self-intoxication of a devotee's heart. Each of his articles is like the brimful cup of wine of Divine. Knowledge and Infinite Bliss. Accordingly, his writings have been captioned as 'Khumkhana-e- Ram' (Ram a's Bar of the wine of Eternal Bliss).
The lectures that were delivered in English, on American soil, almost all of them had already been put down in Urdu, though in a different form, with his masterly pen, before leaving India. These Urdu articles were published under the supervision of the undersigned. In fact the blissfulness, that has flowed from his heart, in his Urdu writings, subsequently reappeared in the form of his lectures in English in America. There were, however, certain new ideas which were found in English lectures only, but were not available in his Urdu writings. Also, there are some relevant and super thoughts and arguments, lucidly explained in his Urdu articles, which were absent in his English lectures. The new thoughts expressed in America were published in Urdu by Swami Ji, on his return to India, in the shape of articles and essays in various Urdu periodicals. The best way to propagate the central ideas of RAMA's lectures is to compile and publish all those writings. In case any particular lecture is not found in his Urdu writings, it may be translated into Urdu.
All the writings and speeches of RAMA will be published in Urdu in three volumes as Kulliyat-e-Ram (complete works of RAMA) and the number of small popular editions may reach about eight or more.
"Khum-Khana-e-Ram" contains an honest reproduction of speeches and the Urdu essays which came forth from the sacred pen of Swami Ji, in the same serial order. In order to clarify this point, the volumes are named as 'Urdu Kulliyat-E-Ram.'The readers may take them to be nearly all that is contained in his English works.
In the above paragraphs it has been made clear that the works in English are generally based on the Urdu writings of RAMA. As such, the essence of the contents is more or less the same, as published in Urdu, during the life time of Swami Ji. The same arrangement has, however, not been adhered to. The serial order, as in the works in English, has also not been followed.
Originally Swami Rama Tirtha, when he was still a grihasta, started the Urdu Magazine 'ALlF' and edited it personally. Its first number was issued in January 1900 under the supervision of the undersigned. This was followed by about eighteen numbers of the periodical. These all were the publications of the two years. On his return from America, several essays were written and a number of lectures were delivered by him at different places. Only some of them could be published in various magazines and papers from time to time.
The first volume of "Khumkhana-E-Ram" contained twelve numbers of the magazine 'ALlF', i.e., those brought out in the first year. This will be followed by subsequent volumes, containing the essays and lectures of RAMA. In Vol. II the remaining essays of ALIF and an account of the life of RAMA will be published.
The Vol. III may contain the remaining articles and writings published in various Urdu papers and magazines, along with the translation of such English lectures, the subject matter of which is not to be found in his Urdu works.
Each one of the Volumes is likely to consist of about 500 pages. In case, certain writings and essays still remain unpublished, it may further necessitate the publication of Vol. IV. This will, however, be indicated in the preface of Volume III.
The articles incorporated in this Vol. I, were originally published in the Urdu Magazine, 'ALlF' which was edited by Rama himself. The undersigned has reviewed them and also given the translation or the substance of the quotations, both in prose and poetry, whether in Persian, English or Sanskrit, at the foot-notes for convenience of the Urdu knowing readers to facilitate the follow- up of the sequence of ideas.
Regarding the periodical, 'AUF', it may be mentioned here that it was a unique one, both in its kind and objective and no other (Vedantic) magazine of such a high calibre has so far been issued in India. A number of periodicals and magazines were, no doubt, available on a variety of" subjects, yet none but this was issued with the sole object of propagating the knowledge of Vedantic philosophy and making it easy to understand through its logically and convincing arguments in an interesting mariner of exposition. Such a flowery literary style with its magical effect as found in Rama's AUF, has surpassed all the magazines of the time .
This magazine was unparalleled for its style and diction and its theme was also unique. The great influence, which it weilded on the intelligentsia of the day, can be known from the reviews and opinions incorporated at the end of this volume (in Urdu).
Fortunately, from the very beginning of this magazine, 'AUF', the responsibility of its publication etc., was with Narayana Lala Har Lal was, however, incharge for its financial aid. Today, after thirteen years, Narayana has to shoulder its responsibility once again in getting it published a second time. Instead of Lala Har Lal alone, scores of devotees of Rama have how come forward financially to help its publication. How far the public will be able to give financial aid depends upon Rama Himself. But there is no doubt that it has very much encouraged Narayana to undertake its republication. Blessed are those who are taking part in helping this sacred mission. And Narayana is also very fortunate in having this opportunity to serve the public once again. They all deserve special thanks who have so far helped us financially to get these useful works republished.
A man from the very beginning is caught in the never-ending whirl-pools of desiring and wishing, coming from various, sometimes opposite directions. This process of human behaviour continues unabated giving rise to innumerable sentiments, feelings, pleasures and pains etc. In this vicious quagemire, he longs for permanent and eternal peace and tranquility which keeps on eluding him. He does not find peace.
He knows it well that the world is transitory and fleeting, but always behaves as if he will live till eternity. This belief in his eternity as against the temperory nature of the world being noticed by him all the time is born out from the fact, which is TRUH, that there is something in him which is immune from body, mind or intellect, yet is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. What is It ? Vedanta explains, It is your Atma, your Real Self and It is eternal.
Through a very simple example, Rama brings out TRUTH that there is something which persists and is there in all the three stages of dreamless, dreaming and waking phenomenon. The very assertion that you saw nothing while in your dreamless stage proves that at least you were a witness to it and you were present there and in dreams, though of temporary nature you appear there simultaneously as the subject and object. In the waking stage, you do not question your existence. In all the three stages of life in this phenomenal world, that what persists and is present is You. The question is 'What are You?" Are you the body or mind or intellect or after all who are You.
Rama explains that you are something beyond all this, you are one with all the worlds of mineral, animal and all other kingdoms. This unity and oneness in all, you represent and that is what are you. Know it, realize it and be one with Truth. "That Thou Art" ‘तत्वमसि’.
All the seers, prophets, philosophers explain this unitary character in their own ways but the conclusion is one and the same. When Christ emphasises that "I and Father is One" or when Mohammad exclaims-"La llah ll’illah”, this Oneness is evident. This oneness you are. 'Aham-Brahmasmi.' "I am God."
Rama tells you frankly not to accept Rama's words on Rama's testimony. Have your own criteria, judge Vedanta, verify Vedanta, test Vedanta. If you are conviced of Vedanta, live it. Pay first the price for TRUTH and then be TRUTH afterwards. Realization is there. You are God.
This sixth Volume of "In Woods of God-Realization" contains the gist of the lectures and talks given by Rama in pre- 'Sanyasin' days. These are based on the notes taken by Rama's devotees and admirers. We have taken pains to present them in the tone and tenor of Rama to our best ability.
One of the talks included in this Volume is with Muslim representatives. It allays so many doubts and fears entertained by many specially about Vedanta and various aspects of Hindu religion. Rama elucidates the basic principles of Sadharan Dharma and indicates to the distortions creeping into it. The real purport behind 'Krishna Leela' is brought home by Rama who makes us understand the mysteries behind these sports of Krishna. But Rama is totally against orthodoxy and unreasonable conventions of Hindu and other religions.
Rama underlines the unity which the religions preach. He presses us to catch hold of 'Content' rather than to run after forms. In the simplest and straight forward manner Rama says : Live Truth, Know Truth, Realize Truth and be TRUTH. There is no other alternative.
One word of gratitute to our ex-president late Ayodhya Nath Sinha who worked relentlessly, devotedly and selflessly to translate into English the available reports in Urdu about Rama's speeches. He procured the notes from all possible sources and tried to give them a shape in Rama's spirit. Let us be with Rama. Avamastu (एवमस्तु); Let it be so !
I feel great pleasure in presenting to the lovers of our beloved Rama the Volume VI of "In the Woods of God- Realization."
Here it may be mentioned at the very outset, that all the 'Lectures' and 'Talks', given by Swami Rama in India, published in this or in the previous two volumes, are, without exception, based on the notes taken in Urdu by his devotees. These were afterwards 'translated into Hindi and English from .their Urdu version.
Swami Rama Tirtha is not new to our readers. He is very well-known not only in India but throughout the world. But due' to the indifference and apathy towards religious, moral and spiritual knowledge, the people in general lost sight of Reality .. It is, therefore, essential for us in the present context to imbibe the sublime and moral lessons of ever-lasting value. Swami Rama Tirtha, worthy of the tradition of India's great Rishis who represent Truth and Divine Knowledge has shown us the way and we are to follow it for realizing the ultimate aim of our life.
Rama's life inspires and encourages us never to lose heart, even in the most adverse circumstances, but to continue to do our duty to achieve the desired goal with firm faith in God and strong determination. With his delicate health in his early life, in his home village, Murariwala, in district Gujranawala, now in Pakistan, nobody could even imagine that this shy boy of frail constitution would ever grow to influence the thoughts and actuate the lives of millions of persons throughout the world. Though he lived a very short span of life (1873-1906) of only thirty three years, yet he surprised the world with his deep spiritual wisdom, strong will and indomitable power of reasoning. He discovered the secrets of Nature and thoroughly grasped the unifying principles of the various religions.
In the first phase of his life, Rama was a great devotee (a Bhakta) of Lord Krishna, so much so, that his pillow used to get wet with tears of love for Him. But later on, after his contact with Swami Madhava Tirtha, the then Shankaracharya of Dwarika Peeth, he started serious study of the Upanishads and Yoga-Vasishta. This study sublimated him to be a staunch Veda n tin. Later, the close contact with of Swami Vivekananda further confirmed his conviction that no philosophy could be rationally and scientifically more convincing than that of Vedanta. It was, then, at the behest of Swami Vivekananda, that he finally decided to preach Vedanta to the educated, and teach the ignorant public about their true religion through direct and heart- touching delivery of his lectures and talks. For this, he had to work very hard in the solitude of the Himalayas to fully saturate his subjective mind for the implementation of the Vedantic philosophy in his own life. He then gave up his professorship and domestic life to take up Sanyasa in January 1901.
Swami Rama not only preached Vedanta, but he actually lived it. He never forced his Vedanta on anybody. He asked his audience to test it, sift it, scrutinise it and analyse it in an unprejudiced way, before accepting it. If they are fully convinced and satisfied, they can accept it otherwise there is no compulsion whatsoever Every body is his own judge to accept or reject any thing.
Swami Rama used to explain the Vedanta philosophy to different persons in different ways with different arguments, according to their respective stages of mental and spiritual evolutionary development. He used to stress that Vedanta is no bug bear. It is easy and natural and not at all difficult to understand, provided one wishes to understand it with an open heart and unprejudiced mind.
Through his knowledge of Vedanta, Rama rose above fear, above anxiety and above annoyance. But this highest stage was achieved by him through constant practice. Every whiff of wind used to throw Rama off his balance. But by sheer dint of his will-force and perseverance, he could reach the delectable heights of spiritual attainments. If a poor village boy can do it, we all can also hope to achieve the same success, provided we also work hard with patience and firm determination. That is how Rama encourages us to evolve ourselves by his own personal achievements and experiences.
Rama was always seen happy, gay and blissful, because he lived a life of love under his unassuming and quiet appearance. He was humble like an obedient and disciplined I disciple and modest like a maiden. But, all the same, he had within him the force of conviction, the strength of Self-reliance, the will of an indomitable conqueror and the fire of firm faith in God. Being one with Nature or God, he was never afraid of any thing. The elements of Nature danced to his tunes and obeyed his orders, as if they were the very limbs of his own body. Inspite of his ever smiling face, he would very successfully counteract his bitterest and the most malevolent or malicious opponents with a firm and resolute grit and with sharp and forceful arguments put up in a very polite and civilized manner. Often, he would disarm his opponents at their silly arguments or unseemingly questions by his mere laughter which made them nervous and realize their own shortcoming and irrelevancy. As a matter of fact, he had an iron hand under his gloves.
Rama had acquired a vast amount of knowledge and informations on literary and philosophical subjects. He was equipped with the vast range of human thoughts. It was only because of this that he convincingly threw floods of light on all the subjects concerned with human life, social, political and spiritual. The very mission of his life was to dispel the darkness of human ignorance with the guiding light of his perfect Divine Knowledge and to lead the world, groping in darkness, to the final and the destined goal of humanity. It was interesting to note that, when this lion of Vedanta roared with his philosophy of universal liberalism of oneness with all, in the over-crowded halls of the American Churches, all the howling jackals of sectarianism, narrow-mindedness, bigotry and fanaticism disappeared, like drops of dew in the bright sun light. He would declare that he was born not to produce millions of followers, like Buddha, Christ, Mohammad or any other prophet, but to produce, evoke and express Rama himself in every man, woman and child. While refusing to initiate any disciple formally, he often used to say that Rama makes only Rama and nothing but Rama. He would assert that "it is Rama who is beating in your breast, seeing through your eyes, throbbing in your pulse, smiling in flowers, laughing in lightning, roaring in rivers and silent in the mountains". He would emphatically aver that Rama was determined to thunder out in your bosom his God-head to make you realize your Freedom through Love and Unity, by helping you digest and assimilate Vedanta which is universal and dynamic. It is no idle talk for theoretical discussions. It is to be lived in life and it is to realize Truth, Consciousness and Eternal Bliss. His Vedanta on the material plane is perfect democracy and equality. It has no load of external authority or any vain accumulative spirit. It has neither any airs of superiority nor any embarrassment of inferiority. It is pure and simple oneness with all, with no feeling of separatism. His Vedanta is based on the Laws of Nature, specially the Law of Continuity through Universal Unity. In other words, it is based on Eternal Truth which remains the same, yesterday, today and for ever.
The perennial query before the mankind has been to know the identity of the individual and the basis 'of his existence. The knowledge of "Who I am" has been the search of the intelligence of man. 'Why, When, where, which, how and other questions' creep up later on. Our prophets, sages, seers had been meditating and concentrating on knowing TRUTH; the philosophers, thinkers, scientists and others have been probing it in their own way, logically and scientifically as is claimed; 'but the solution to the riddle has not been reached at to the satisfaction of one and all.
The prophets exclaimed TRUTH as was revealed to them; as they realized it., Their perception of TRUTH throws much light on the way to know Reality, For Christ, 'Father and I are One', To Mohammad, "There is only but God", In Vedas is explained "I am God". Practically all the seers, philosophers, thinkers agree on the existence of the substratum which sustains, subsists and remains, as it is, always-yesterday, today, tomorrow. It is WHOLE, anything added, subtracted, multiplied or divided has no impact, WHOLE remains 'WHOLE', whose unifying unity is discernible in all-round diversities, in multitudes of Duality on this phenomenal plane, in this material, world. Yet all .that we know, we understand, has not satisfied us, it is a fraction, a minute one, in the vast ocean of knowledge. But it guides us to further the' search and delve deep in the ocean to unfold the unknown. The aim is to come face to face with Reality.
In realizing Reality, the stray thoughts of Rama contained in the present VII Volume of 'In Woods of God-Realization,' published in its new second edition by your own Pratisthan can be of much help to the intelligence of the seekers of TRUTH. They are advised by Rama himself to ponder, over, verify, experiment on what he says and if found true to their test, they ought to accept, otherwise not.
These Rama's thoughts and collections flashed in his thinking are virtually in the form of aphorisms, containing pieces of wisdom and knowledge based on Rama's experiences, observations and study. These pebbles, searched' and found by Rama himself in Rama-hood, indicate the path of 'Vedanta-in- action', and when this path be cemented and smoothened, the travellers will, naturally, enjoy their journey to the full. Let us, then. toil with all mite and sweat and engross ourselves in work, leaving no trace of 'little ego', Then we will roam fearlessly and freely in the woods with GOD-Himself-That Thou Art's the eternal TRUTH.
In all, thirteen note-books could be managed to be found after Rama shed his mortal body. This present Volume contains only eleven out of thirteen-two missing, one on Evils of Capitalism and the other on Christianity versus Churchanity, both said to be critical of the then British administration. All these note-books were with Amir Chanda with whom R.S. Narayan Swami, chief disciple of Rama was staying then when all of sudden in the dead of night there was raid by the Police. Both of them slipped , Any how eleven note books could be taken care of, but remaining two could never see the light of the day. There were some other note-books, which the possessor refused to hand over because of the fear of the then British administration. Now no trace of them.
Whatever is in hand is a matchless treasure which emanates the rays of TRUTH. We are to imbibe, live, realize. It is to be One with Truth. No Duality, All Oneness.
One word about this Pratisthan of yours-over eight decade old. Not much to its credit, except that it, somehow, managed to preserve and publish Rama's words which were scattered hither and thither. This could be made feasible because of untiring efforts of R.S. Narayan Swami. Still the Pratisthan is not out of woods, yet it puts stay boldly.
Due to the rising prices of the printing materials, the Pratisthan was constrained to enhance the price of the volume, which, the Pratisthan hopes, its patrons will bear. Our thanks are also due to Mr. Pukhraj Jain of U.S.A. who guided the Pratishan in bringing out the present .volume. It was his non-Duality which is the substratum.
This is the last of the four Volumes of 'In Woods of God- Realization' (now VII in the present series of these volumes) which contain the lectures, letters, poems, and writings of the late Swami Rama. This volume publishes the contents, reproduced almost verbatim, of his thirteen note-books, with the exception of Note-Book No., IV, which has been reserved for certain reasons for future separate publication. There is also a lecture of Swamiji's on the 'Evils of Capitalism' which has to be omitted in accordance with the best legal advice. I also understand that there are still some unpublished Note-Books of Rama with a gentleman of Lahore, Lala Har Lal Sahib, Nazir, District Court. I tried much to induce the gentleman to part with them for a short time so that their contents of selections from them might also be included in this volume, but I do not know why he has not acceded to my earnest request. With these exceptions, to the best of my belief this Edition of Swami Rama's Works, based on the original manuscripts bequeathed by him to his beloved and devoted disciple, the learned Shriman R.S. Narayana Swami, is comprehensive, complete and exhaustive.
I must also state here that in the editing of this Volume, brother Puran has taken no part whatever, Swami Narayana and I are alone responsible for it. Where we differed, Swami Narayana had-of course the final voice. I must also say h:ere for the information of the readers of this Volume that great difficulty was felt in making selections from his Note Books, as Rama had not often marked the quotations or indicated their source. A good many quotations have thus been omitted.
It is a source of great satisfaction to me that the humble and inadequate expression of my admiration for Swami Rama took the shape of my undertaking the publication in May, 1908. It was done on the suggestion and advice of Swami Narayana to whom I owe a deep lifelong debt of gratitude for the great spiritual benefits and updestu have derived from his company. It is through his heady and devoted co-operation alone that this work has been at last satisfactorily concluded, in one sense at any rate, though I realise that there is still much to be done.
Swami Rima's writings are all at last safely preserved and cannot be lost to the Motherland who needs them most at this critical time of her history. It is a matter of still greater satisfaction and joy that the undertaking has been highly appreciated in many unexpected quarters. Hardly a fortnight passes that I do not get a couple of letters congratulating and thanking me warmly and sincerely in highly complimentary language on the enterprise, and recounting the spiritual blessings accruing to many a hungry and thirsty soul seeking after Truth and Peace-of Mind Inspite of more than a century of the introduction of Western civilization into this sacred land of hoary antiquity and of the inevitable tendencies towards 'materialism' that have followed in its wake, if is fortunate that our beloved Motherland has not yet lost its earnest longing for the' priceless treasures of the great blessings and sterling virtues of Sat (Truth), Anand (True Happiness, Shanti (Peace of Mind), Prem (Love), Bhakti (Devotion), Gyana (Knowledge), Buddhi (Wisdom), Driven (Meditation and contemplation) and Mukti (deliverance from the bondage of Ignorance, the root of all Evil).
It appears to me that Swami Ram-the philosopher, poet, teacher and divine-was one of those great personalities' which apear from time to time in this world of ours at the most critical junctures of its history. He was certainly one of the most distinguished and eminent sons of Bharatvarsha who came to us just when he was most wanted. He did not appear on the stage of India's history to found any new sect or society of which we have already too many, to revive any old or 'defunct religion or form of worship, to promulgate any new doctrines or Philosophy, to establish any new Institution, or to unite like Nanak the Hindus and Muhammadans though there is room no doubt for such a work, but his great and' noble mission was universal and cosmopolitan. His great aim, his great life-work. was to preach and teach the highest eternal spiritual Truths to the whole world specially to-lndia, in this twentieth century of the Christian era, in this scientific age, in these days of exciting race for wealth, industrialism, competition, socialism, hard struggle for existence, and all the attendant evils.
Is not this teaching just what we need most at this time? Is not his message of spirituality and higher life just the great need of the hour? Is not his entire teaching a strong, emphatic, living protest against the rampant selfishness, the superficiality and dazzling show, worship of form and externalism, the intolerance and hostility of religious sects and fanatics, the love of pleasure with its concomitant evils, the unceasing self- aggrandisement of European nations at the cost of their Asiatic brethren-"sons of the same Heavenly Father"- the heartless use of modern destructive weapons and the great costly preparations for war- to pick at random some of the characteristics of Modem Civilisation? He preached the Truth in America, the land of the setting Sun, in Japan, the land of the rising Sun and in India, the Motherland, and thus unmistakably showed that his mission was world-wide, and that his message was meant for all alike, equally for the poor and rich, the old and young, the educated and illiterate, men and women, Asiatics and Europeans, black and white. He recognised and made no distinctions of caste, creed, colour or race, and thus imparted a lesson of immense importance, fraught with most pregnant and weighty consequences and issues to his own country, and also to the West where these distinctions are made much of even in their advanced stage of refinement and culture and in spite of all the influence and power of Christianity and progress of Liberalism. He set forth his teachings for the whole world, though one country like India might be in greater need of them at present. How could it be otherwise in the case of one who fully believed in and realized his oneness, his "at-one-ment" with all others?
But the striking personality of our Rama does not appeal to me only as a great spiritual teacher. He appeals to me, impresses me, forcibly strikes me as a genuine, sincere and devoted patriot, a true lover of "India, the Motherland," a true and worthy son of Bharat, the Janma bhumi of great sages, seers and savants, of rishis and munis, ascetics and yogis as well as of the greatest warriors, rulers and heroes; a devoted and faithful sevak (servant) of the holy Aryavarta and a martyr to the cause of the country.
He has clearly taught us our National Dharma and his utterances inspire us with a sense of the great responsibility we owe to our Motherland as the inheritors of a great and historic past.
It has struck me as very strange that this aspect of Swami Rama's great selfless personality, of him who was "in the world but not of it," this trait of his character has not been noticed and recognised in any of the appreciative articles on him that have appeared in the Press or elsewhere since his "mukti' (release from the cage of the Body) in 1906. The seventh part of the these Volumes is enough to amply verify and fully demonstrate the truth of what I have just said above. I dare say that he spoke and wrote about India as fearlessly and boldly as on any abstruse problems of metaphysics, and I may add without fear of contradiction that the great courage and spirit of Martyrdom that he always showed in advocating the cause of the fallen Motherland before foreign nations as in his 'Appeal to the Americans on behalf of India' or in explaining to her unworthy and degenerate descendants the Path of Rise and Progress after centuries of decay and downfall-a phenomenon the like of which no other great nation of the world has witnessed- have been rare even among our best Sannyasins. He who was never afraid of tigers and deadly serpents among which he lived, he whom the terrors of the most desolate wildernesses and the wildest mountains could not terrify, he who never retraced his footsteps in the face of imminent danger, he whom the prospect of instantaneous death by the least slip as when climbing the lofty summits of Sumeru (Bunder Puchh) could not frighten and turn back from his firm resolve to reach the goal in view, he who had conquered mighty Death, he to whom this life and death were really alike, could he, could such a one, I say be afraid of any human power or being, however high, however great, however mightly? It is to this spirit of perfect fearlessness and independence, this perfect indifference to life and death, this absolute indifference to his future that he owed his bold and undaunted advocacy of the Truth, truth relating to this world as well as to the next, truth regarding Governments as well as Priest craft and Civilization. This is what constitutes his glory; this is what makes him great-as great as any man ever was in this age-this is what raises him above many a preacher, teacher, leader and reformer who often begin ,with setting up the smooth easy motto of "Work along the line of least resistance" as their fundamental principle and whose first care is their own safety and the interests of themselves and their kith and kin. This is what proves him a true Sannyasin. Little is known to the general public, even to most of his lovers and admires, of the unknown persecution by the mundane powers for the truth he spoke freely in free America and on his return in the land of his bith,- truth that like all the great men and martyrs of the world he spoke irrespective of consequences, regardless of the approbation and disapprobation of those who listened to him, truth bare, bold, unvarnished; truth not influenced by any worldly motives of sordid gain' or loss or consideration of filthy lucre, truth not meddled with or controlled by the "big men," the multi- millionaires of-the World. It is this spirit of uttering forth the plain truth-bereft of considerations of policy and expediency,- "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth" that makes him a great hero, this is what imparts' force and value to his criticism and condemnation of institutions', government, civilization, customs, fashion, priestcrafts, pseudo-reformers, cowardly leaders and men in general.
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