They tell us these stories in monistic philosophy. Again, you sometimes hear or read in the pages of history that amongst a subjugated people a great man arose and made his country independent. If he had behaved like his fellow beings they would all have remained oppressed, and he one of them. You notice that those who liberate their people don’t accept the prevailing conditions. For instance, there was Shivaji. He was born in the seventeenth century during the reign of Aurangzeb, the last of the great Moguls who reigned at Delhi. Aurangzeb was a most extraordinary man, very clever, very industrious, very diligent, very ascetic. But one thing ruined him he had a crooked heart, he never trusted anybody, and he was a fanatic. Those are three things, but all three are really one: they follow from a smallness of nature. However, during his reign the Mogul empire reached its greatest extent. Shivaji was born in central India, in a state called Maharashtra, a mountainous country. His father was an important officer in the service of the Moguls, and his mother, whom he adored, was very devout. Of course, the father was always away, going from this place to that, and so the training of the boy was left to the mother and an old brahmin servant in the family. They taught him all the heroic stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Well, many people have learned these stories and very little change has been brought about in them, but Shivaji looked around himself and said, Why do we have to bow down to the Mohammedans? Why do they say, Do this, and do thatâ, and persecute us? Why can we not do anything about it?’ Of course his mother would tell him, Now, don’t say such things! The Mogul empire is very powerful. You be obedient. He would not accept that. He was a born leader. All the boys of all castes in the whole community became his followers, and in play he used to drill them, as boys do. But this fire was in him: he wouldn’t accept the situation. Word went about that the boy was saying all kinds of treasonous things, and the Mogul officers began to ask the father, What kind of boy are you training?’ The father was of course embarrassed and scolded his son, but it made no difference. Well, this is the man who practically broke up the Mogul empire and established a huge kingdom of his own.
Yes, that is the way, my friends: if we accept the prevailing conditions at their face value, then we live under the heel of the Moguls. But do we have to accept them? Why do you accept all these conditions? They are not true. If they were true, I would say of course you have to accept them. But none of these conditions are true. You are not the body, you are not the mind; the things that you are pursuing are unreal. Why should you remain a slave to falsehood? So I say look to the truth, and you will become a singular person; you will establish a kingdom of your own.
We have a word for it: the highest state of realization is called svarajya-siddhi, attainment of self-government, or samrajya-siddhi, establishment of empire. You are the emperor, the whole universe is your empire. That is what the monists say.
And why not? Monism above all demands of us that we think and feel not cravenly but courageously, heroically. It demands that we never be satisfied with anything small. Nayam atmd balahinena labhyah 1 This Self cannot be attained by one who is devoid of strength. Nalpe sukham asti, bhumaiva sukhams_ In the small, in the limited there is no happiness; the vast alone is happiness. That’s it.