There was a great prophet born in Bengal several centuries ago. He taught love of God, but he made a division between his followers. The vast majority he taught to sing the name of God loud singing, dancing, many drums, many cymbals a wild affair. He himself would go into the streets and start singing, and thousands the whole city, really would come out and sing and dance in ecstasy. Being an Incarnation of God, he had that power. He also taught this class of people to practise kindness to every person and to serve the holy. But there was a smaller group to whom he taught all the mysteries of divine love: how to meditate deeply; how to attain a state of ecstasy where the soul can realize God’s love and become unified with Him in deep communion, become totally absorbed in His love. He himself used to pass through three stages. There would be an external state of consciousness in which he could sing the name of the Lord and tell people about God; then there would come a state of ecstasy in which he could not speak but would dance in the joy of God. And then came an internal state in which he would become absolutely calm. Well, these last two states are for the minority, and I am speaking, of course, of that group.
And for them there has to be discipline. Discipline is not only of the senses but also of our energies. If you have no control over your energies, how will your thought become powerful? Unless your thoughts and feelings have energy behind them, they are pale and unreal. So you have to have energy, and you have to apply it to the right feelings and the right thoughts; then those thoughts and feelings become powerful and can attain what you want to attain. In the long run you will find nothing avails unless it is powerful. Mere piety is not enough. Yes, I like a pious person. What is wrong with piety? People say, Oh, so-and-so is so pious!’ as if it were a matter for reproach; probably they think piety is superficial. But put energy behind it, then to be pious is wonderful. Everything requires energy. If there is no energy behind what I say, then I am only adding more noise to this noisy world. But if there is energy behind my words, they will go through all kinds of barriers and reach the quick of your heart and become effective.
In meditation you need energy. Just as a diver who wants to go to the very bottom of the sea can’t do so because he hasn’t the energy to counteract the buoyancy of the water, in the same way our mind wants to go deep, but there is no energy behind our efforts; so we are frustrated, we are pushed back to the surface. How will you get this energy? There is no lack of energy in anyone; only it is flowing in wrong directions. People say they have no willpower. Of course they have willpower. Just see all the wrong habits of thought and action we have; such tremendous power is behind them that we cannot withstand them. That is where your power is going. If you could ring that power away from there and put it in the right place, then you would say, I am exceedingly powerful.
Well, that is called discipline. You have to practise those things. Now, when I put it in this way, it seems like a rigid routine, dry and forbidding, and I think some of you will say, That’s not for us! There must be some easier religion. But when you live it, it can be different. I am telling you all these things in an hour or an hour and a half, but in living them you will probably spend all your life, and if you live them every day, there is nothing forbidding about them. As a matter of fact, the life of a person who meditates regularly should be a joyous life. On the other hand, I should not give you the impression that from the very beginning it is all just great fun. No. There is a period of struggle. Who doesn’t have it? When boys and girls leave high school and go to college, they are frightened the first year. Even intelligent boys find college life too much for them at first; but within one year they become accustomed to it. Spiritual life also is like that: struggle is required, but there is a joy in that struggle. If you know the traditions of spiritual life, you won’t be discouraged. The traditions are that spiritual practice is a slow process and that what you gain through your spiritual effort is infinitely valuable. Even if it takes a long time to attain anything, it is worth doing, because what you attain will always be with you, from eternity to eternity. Just imagine this!