I have innumerable friends, students, devotees and disciples with whom I have associated over the last thirty-five to forty years. I lived for twelve years with my guru brothers, then for eight years I travelled as a parivrajaka (wandering mendicant) amidst devotees, disciples, satsangis and friends. Now for the last twelve years I have been staying with my disciples and helping them to grow spiritually.
All kinds of people come to me with many questions and problems. But there is one thing that I have been trying to find out from all of them and that is - what do they really want? I have asked many people what they would like to be. I have tried to study and understand their behaviour and character in the hope of discovering what is their strongest and most earnest aspiration. I have asked so many people from all walks of life - the happy and the unhappy, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, upper class and working class: 'What is your aim; what is your purpose in life?' Sick people too have come to me and from their diagnoses I tried to understand what they wanted also.
I found that everybody is ambitious. I did not find anyone who did not aspire to become something. People's minds are all constantly brooding over the fulfilment of their ambitions and the satisfaction of their desires. Everyone is so engulfed in his aspirations that he cannot see beyond his own reflection. Entangled in all kinds of ambitions and desires, man is wandering through life seeing the world only in the light of his own selfish pursuits. Man's aspirations evolve from his karmas, thoughts and actions. Engulfed in the mad rush for material satisfaction, he mounts the horse of imagination and runs wildly after all his ambitions.
However, upon self-analysis I found the opposite was true for myself. I did not want to be anything. I did not want power or a high position. I was satisfied with what I already was and I really didn't want to be or to have anything more. I thought if I got something more, well and good, and if I lost anything that was all right too.
Now standing unconcerned amidst the world, I clearly see that thoughts, actions and results are based on an enlightened inner self, and not on ambition. Thus detachment arises like the sun permeating everything with its rays of heat. This is the guiding light to all divine fortune and spiritual power, the way to perfection and the cessation of all ambitions and desires.
One who crosses the borderline of desires where all ambitions cease will find himself in the garden of detachment. Here he listens to the melodious music of universal wisdom. His vision is illumined by the bright light of detachment which reveals the inner nature of all things. Here the flowers of effulgent self-glory eternally bloom, and all kinds of perfection, pleasure and auspicious work are achieved. This garden is infinite without beginning or end, desire or its fulfilment, day and night, hope or despair, success or failure. In this land of bounteous harvest, the storehouses are full of grain and the cows give plenty of milk. There are beautiful children and gentle, harmonious people.
Even at this stage of being, I see three distinct dimensions of thought, action and result: one of ambition, the second steady wisdom and the third detachment. From the dimension of wisdom I see the land of detachment. As I walk towards this vast expanse I feel universal consciousness and divine glory coming closer. And so I proclaim to all that dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (desire) and moksha (liberation) are all found within the span of yoga. So, take shelter in yoga and achieve the four purposes of life.