To Make the Boat

From On the Wings of the Swan, Volume VII, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

A map indicates something which has already been discovered. You cannot make a map of that which is undiscovered. What has my discovery been? What has Swami Satyananda’s discovery been, and what has the discovery of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, or any other person for that matter, been? It has been the expression of each one’s potential, not yours. Swami Satyananda came to a point of realization because of his inner potentials. Swami Sivananda came to a point of realization because of his inner potentials. Christ came to a realization because of his inner potentials. Prophet Mohammed came to a realization because of his inner potentials. Guru Nanak and Ramana Maharshi came to a realization because of their inner potentials.

So the chart which they have made is not going to be applicable to us. They can only give us the main tools like, ‘This is how you build a ship which will not sink as you sail the uncharted waters’, and that is all. Getting the right tools and the right equipment is important because once you begin sailing, you are discovering your own inner oceans: your own inner whirlpools, your own samskaras, your own karmas, your own joys and sufferings, and your own interpretations. They may be right or they may be wrong, but you have to chart your own path. The only guideline that can be given in this life is how to make the boat.

—December 2006