Then comes a stage in which you want to realize the spiritual ideal from this monistic viewpoint. There your path might be that of reason or of action or of concentration or of devotion, it doesn’t matter; the thing to practise is nonidentification with the body and the mind. You say, I am not this body, I am not this mind. Of course, I admit that just saying so won’t do. In this stage, these affirmations must be accompanied by actual practice. Here also the advice is, be a strong soul. The violation of your internal word by your external behaviour just weakens you, takes all the courage out of you. If a man thinks something to be true but does not carry out his belief, if he belies his internal truth by his outward action, then he undermines himself. So the two have to go together. If the body is not real, the hungers of the body are not real, appetites of the senses are not real, the vagaries of the mind are not real. We find out the source of all those illusions and cut at their root with the sharp knife of reason. Knife did I say? Sword I should say. Nothing less than a sword will do wielded by a powerful hand. We shall cut at the root of all these stupidities. In this second stage we do that; we say, Enough of this, I have had enough of this world; I no longer want these corroding things. Now I am for higher things; let not the body and the mind stand in my way. You become a fire and burn the stupidities of body and mind; or you wield the powerful sword of reason and analysis and cut them at the very root. You find your body has separated from you. Outwardly it may not be so noticeable. There will be the same body; yet those who have the eyes can discern certain signs by which they can recognize that the body is not sticking to a person like glue; it has separated. The things of the body cannot influence or affect him; the senses cannot trouble him; nor do many thoughts and desires rise in his mind. They have all become uprooted, and there comes a serenity in him. Although you talk with him, and he responds like any other person, if you are observant you will notice that a part of his mind is somewhere else, as it were. A part of his mind has become aware of the presence of this one vast Spirit, which in our ignorance we call God and in our knowledge we call Self. Some of you are ready to practise these things, and to the extent that you practise, to that extent you will achieve.
And why should you not practise this? You are all lords and ladies honourable. If someone says you are good for nothing, you will flare up. But all the time you are telling yourself that you are good for nothing. If I ask you, Why can you not practise these things in the search of truth?’ you say, Oh, that’s not for me, I am not ready for it. You mean you are good for nothing, don’t you? You are saying to yourself that you are a weakling. Why should you do that to yourself?
Why? Do you think only little things are to be attained in life? There is a saying in Bengal that the domestic cat, that mewing cat, will become a snarling and growling bobcat when he goes into the woods. In other words, when this very man, feeling insignificant, helpless, attains to even a little truth he becomes like a lion.
You remember that most beautiful story that the monists tell of the lamb-lion? We are all lamb-lions. It seems a lioness in the fullness of her time fell upon a flock of sheep and in that exertion gave birth to a cub and died. Well, the cub grew amongst the sheep, who licked it and nursed it and so on. Of course the lion cub didn’t know it was lion; it grew amongst these lambs and became big and learned to eat grass and to bleat. Then in course of time another lion came by and was astonished to see a full-grown lion grazing amongst sheep. When he approached the flock, all of them, including the lion, ran away, and that young lion began to bleat. The stranger lion was awfully surprised to see the degraded condition of his fellow creature. So he bided his time, and one day he grasped him. Of course the lamb-lion bleated in fear, Don’t kill me!’ So he shook him, What are you saying? You are a lion!’ Oh, no, no, I am not a lion, I am a lamb, a poor lamb. Please don’t hurt me. So the lion dragged him to the side of a pool and said, Look at your reflection; look at mine! You see that?’ Of course he found that both were the same. Ye-ess. All right!’ So he brought some raw meat and put it into his mouth,
Eat this!’ And the lamb-lion tasted blood. Now roar!’ So he began to roar. Come on with me to the woods; you are a lion!’