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THE THINGS YOU CARRY WITH YOU-Swamiji’s speech on March 2010 in one of the Satsang/ Discourse

I take it that this is a spiritual group. Am I right? It is a spiritual group. Am I right or not? Here is the essential point. Nowadays, anything and everything goes by the name of spirituality, but it is a great secret, which always escapes the notice of even a careful attentive mind.

When you go anywhere, you carry your belongings, your luggage, and your property for the itinerary. These are the visible accompaniments of your travel, but there are certain things which follow you wherever you go, and they follow without you knowing that you are being pursued by them. These things which invariably are associated with you, day in and day out, right from your birth till the end of life, are those things about which you know nothing, and which you never think in your mind at any time. What are these?

When you move, you carry with you all those things which are vitally connected with you. That which does anything, or moves from place to place, is the person that moves. Now, the person is not the physical body that moves. Your mental structure is what you really are. You carry memories, for instance. Memories are not characteristics of the body. You have loves and hatreds, fears and anxieties, expectations, and many other characteristics which go with you wherever you go. You cannot throw your sorrow somewhere into the jungle, and then go on a travel. The sorrow will pursue you, and your joys also will come with you.

There is what is known as environment, very much emphasised these days by environmentalists. You carry with you, wherever you go, the environment in which you are placed. Like a shirt that you put on, the environment always comes with you, and you must know what that environment is.

As an individual, as a person that you are, you are a conglomeration of feelings, determinations, and decisions. Every person is a psychological entity. Sometimes we look like psychophysical individuals, inasmuch as the body cannot totally be dissociated from the operations of the mind. But, truly speaking, our fortune is not in the conditions of the body; it is in the conditions of our mind.

You not only belong to your own self, but you belong to a large area of human society. It is not possible for any individual to totally dissociate oneself from social associations or social conditions. You know very well how much dependent anyone is on the structure of human society. No individual is complete by one's own self. There are things which you can give to others, which others lack and do not have; but there are things which you would like to take from others, which you lack but others have.

Farmers produce wheat, rice, and sugarcane, and shopkeepers move the commodity from place to place for distributing it in the proper manner. Some produce things; some consume things. There is a mutual agreement and understanding between the process of production and consumption, which is one of the characteristics of human society. You cannot yourself till the land, grow harvest, and carry wheat bags with you; and your own self must cook and eat. You require associations from outside.

Not only that, apart from these visible characteristics of social relation, there are unavoidable relations which we maintain; namely, we feel within ourselves that we cannot exist unless we belong to society. We form, generally, small societies for the sake of our security, like family. Family is also a society. It may be of two or three persons. The cooperative coming together of these three or four persons called the family gives security to this group. The family is secure. A single person, totally independent, sitting in the wilderness, cannot feel that one is secure, because the winds of society will blow over the head in any manner.

But even a family cannot be secure unless it has the sanction of protection from a wider atmosphere, which is a larger society. You may call it the nation, or the country. The whole country and the national law protects you, takes care of you. The family cannot be secure if the nation is in danger. Even a nation is not fully secure if the international setup is not well balanced. Nowadays, the world situation affects even little families. The whole world has become one family now, so social associations extend up to the farthest corner of the earth, though we do not think deeply along these lines. None of us feels the necessity to think that we are existing here comfortably because of stable international relations. Theoretically, we may accept this fact, but we do not think that it is essential for us to go on worrying about this. How is it that we take this for granted? A tumult in international relations, which may be of great consequence, will affect every individual in the whole world, and how it will affect us is up to anyone to think for oneself.

The whole world is with you, and you carry it with you wherever you go. Wherever you go, you are in human society. Wherever you go, you are conditioned by these unavoidable associations with the external setup of social relation, even up to the limit of the United Nations. You have a vital connection with the United Nations. You may say, "What connection have I got? I am a simple individual sitting here. Let them do what they like." No, it is not like that. "Let them do what they like" is not correct, because if they do anything which is untoward, this may affect the whole ground of the earth, and as a wise person, you know what it is all about.

This is to say, you carry social relations wherever you go, up to the farthest limit of possibility, and you cannot ignore your obligation to society, inasmuch as the society is also giving you a helping hand in seeing to it that you are safe. Society supplies what your needs are. It gives security in the form of a government, and it produces commodities which you require. The foodstuffs, the clothing, and other facilities that you need come from sources which are outside the physical periphery of your personality.

You are a world individual in one sense. You are not a citizen of one place; you are a citizen of the whole world, if you think over this matter carefully. You belong to the whole world, and the world, in its gesture of goodwill and cooperation, has embraced you and taken you into its bosom. If that had not been the case, you would not have been here breathing the fresh air comfortably. You would be disturbed every moment about what is going to happen outside. You feel that everything is all right; nothing will happen, because of the stability of human society throughout the world. These associations which are inscrutable in their nature and not visible to the physical eye, always escaping the notice of even the greatest power of introspection, do exist.

So, the first thing to remember is that you are a social unit, apart from being a citizen of a particular country. Your belonging to the worldwide organisation of society is a more consequential relation than your belonging to a single country which gives you a passport or a visa. Human society is larger than a country and a particular nation, and that is with you wherever you go.

But, does anybody think like this? "I am a carefree individual. What does it matter? I go wherever I like." You cannot go like that. You cannot go wherever you like. You can go only on the surface of the earth, in the midst of society. This is possible only if the air that is outside, the atmosphere external to you, is cooperative and friendly. You cannot even walk on the road unless the atmosphere of the road is cooperative. Suppose there is fear on the road; then, you cannot walk on the road. But you know that everything is all right. You can walk from here to Delhi without any kind of anxiety because society is so well knit together in a cooperative gesture of indivisibility. You are safe. Socially, you are safe because of the mutual cooperation.

So, in this context you will realise that selfishness is rooted out completely. No person can be selfish. "I mind my business, you mind your business." This kind of thing will not work in this world. You have no business of your own, even as nobody else has a business of his or her own. It is a total business of a world family, to which we belong.

This is to tell you one aspect of that which you carry with you wherever you go. This is also a commodity that you carry - your social relations. But there is another thing which is deeper than this - namely, you carry your relationship with the whole of nature. Nature includes anything and everything that this physical world is. This very earth supports you. I mentioned society supports you. Now I am telling you the earth is supporting you. There are five constitutive elements in physical nature - earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Ether or space gives us accommodation. What we call accommodation is nothing but availability of space, and that space is everywhere. You do not like a narrow, congested little area of space for you to exist; you would like to have a wide area.

The physical body cannot continue to live unless it is fed with the elements produced by the earth which you call diet - food, for instance. The food that is necessary to maintain this body comes from the production of essences of the earth itself. The physical body is made up of earth principle, so it requires to be plastered every day by that which comes from the earth. The earth is supporting itself. The body is a part of the physical earth, and it cannot continue independently without a relationship with the vast earth.

We require water to drink. Suppose there is no water; what will happen? We do not manufacture water. Even food we cannot manufacture, as we think it is. The earth has to permit the growth of foodstuff. It simply can withdraw its essences and there can be drought and dryness everywhere. The sun can heat up the whole earth, and there would be no food to eat, and no water to drink. The elements are our friends.

We said human beings are our friends; all right, agreed. Now we come to another thing: the elements are our friends. The earth can shake, simply; but it does not shake. Why should it not? It can simply blow up the ground if it wants, and what happens at that time? We call it an earthquake. We are sure that the earth, the dear mother of ours, on whose bosom we are sitting and walking, will not do such a thing. We have a faith that the earth underground will not break today. This is a faith, without any reason behind it. Faith has no reason. Why should such a faith be there, that the earth will not break? But we have faith: "No, no. It will not take place. The sun will rise every day." Why should the sun rise every day? Have we any control over that phenomenon? Let the sun not rise for a day and see what happens. All life will perish with cold.

You do not have to manufacture fresh air. Are you paying tax for the air that you get from outside? It is a gesture of God. Let there be no air. Can you manufacture air by any amount of money that you have? The earth gives you free food. Water is given to you freely; air is given you freely. Sunlight is free. What a wonder! All essentials are coming to you freely. What is man-made has to be purchased by a recompense of payment, but what God has made comes to you totally free. Suppose you have to pay a tax for the air that you breathe, or sunlight. What will happen? This is the bounty of nature.

In the same way as we have to be perpetually aligned to the requirement of the international social setup, we have also to be perpetually in harmony with natural conditions. We cannot violate the laws of nature. You must know, as educated persons, what the laws of nature are. You cannot insult nature in any way. You cannot spit at the sun and condemn air, or criticise water, or hate fire. No, you should not say like that. They are divinities. God operates not only in the form of an indivisible social setup for the sustenance of our life; He also operates as nature. Philosophers tell us that the world is the body of God. When God created the world, He did not create human beings first. He created the elements only. Read the bible, the Upanishads, or the Gita. Whatever you read, you will find that man and woman were not created first; they are latecomers. These latecomers are now becoming so proud that they think they are the masters of the whole creation. This is a very great tragedy.


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