Shrii Shrii Anandamurti visited Istanbul in 1979. I was a third year student in Boğaziçi University at that time and I did not know about him. He gave 3 lectures in English on September 14 and 15 in 1979. I missed these special gatherings but I have read the text of the discourses countless times. I translated the Istanbul discourses into Turkish. You can find the Turkish versions in the links given at the end of this page. Baba’s Istanbul discourses have been preserved by Ananda Marga but I think that more people should read them.
Mysticism and Yoga
14 September 1979, Istanbul
When the aesthetic sense, based on the subtle aesthetic science, comes to touch a certain standard, it is what is called mysticism. And when this mysticism reaches the pinnacle of human glory, or the excellence of human glory, it is called spirituality. What is mysticism? Mysticism is the never-ending endeavour to find out the link between the finite and the infinite. It is a never-ending endeavour to find out a link between the self and the Super-Self, khud and Khudá. This is mysticism.
It is one of the human wonts that human beings are never satisfied with something finite. They are never satisfied with something limited. In Sanskrit it is said, ‘Nalpe sukhamasti bhunaeva sukhamasti’ [Human thirst cannot be satisfied with something limited, human hunger cannot be satisfied by something finite].
That is, in the quest for the Infinite, human beings first come in contact with aesthetic science. Aesthetic science does not always mean to get something pleasant; it may mean to get something troublesome, something embarrassing – it may or may not be something pleasant. Aesthetic science is that which one can express in a subtler way, from subtle to subtle, and when it reaches the subtlest point, that point is the pinnacle of human glory. Now, it is the duty of artists to express their work in a nice way, in a lucid way, and place it before the world. Not everyone can do this. But enjoying something with aesthetic taste or aesthetic charm is within the capacity of each and every human being.
When human beings started their movement towards the Supreme Being, in quest of Supreme Bliss, they first came in contact with spirituality. As spirituality is coming in contact with the Infinite, that is, the finite comes in contact with the Infinite, it is called yoga. Yoga is the unit moving in quest of the Infinite, the finite moving towards the Infinite in a mystic style. In Sanskrit, yoga means “addition”. For instance, two plus two is equal to four. But for a mystic, for an aspirant of the mystic goal or the mystic desideratum, yoga is not only addition; here yoga means “unification”. What sort of unification? It is just like sugar and water. Say there are two plus two apples. In the case of addition there will be one apple, then two, then three and then four apples. Every apple will maintain its individuality or its identity. The identity of the apples remains unchanged before and after the addition. But in the case of unification, that is, in the example of sugar and water, the sugar does not maintain its identity because it becomes one with the water. This is unification. In the realm of mysticism, yoga means this type of unification. That is, it is unification like sugar and water, and not simply addition like two plus two.
Now the starting point is aesthetic taste or aesthetic science. The culminating point, that is, from the culminating point, starts the movement of Supreme charm. In that movement with the goal of Supreme charm, human beings become unified with the Supreme Entity, whose seat is above the pinnacle of existence.
This movement for yoga, for the unification of the unit with the Supreme, the finite with the Infinite, is a must for each and every human being. The human physical and psychic structure is most suitable for this purpose. Animals and plants act according to their inborn instincts. They are mentally undeveloped, and because of this their brain is also undeveloped. The cranium is very small and the conscious portion of the mind is sufficient for them; there is no necessity or little necessity for the sub-conscious or unconscious strata of the mind. A plant gets pleasure or pain when its inborn instincts are either encouraged or discouraged. When the inborn instincts of a plant or an animal are encouraged it gets pleasure, and when the inborn instincts are discouraged, suppressed or depressed, it gets pain. This is how the brain or the mind of plants and animals functions. But in the case of human psychology, human psycho-spiritual movement cannot be suppressed, cannot be checked. There lies the speciality of human existence.
Now yoga. Yoga is the most developed and most valuable expression of human wonts, so it is in the first phase of yoga that one expresses oneself through so many arts and sciences. The final point of all artistic movement and the final point of all branches of sciences is the supreme source, the perennial source of all energies, the supreme seat of all energies. It is Parama Puruśa, the Supreme Entity, who is the Father of all, the Causal Matrix of all created beings in this universe, both animate and inanimate. That is why for all people, whether they are intelligent or illiterate, thin or fat, educated or uneducated, the Supreme Entity must be the goal of life. That is, the Supreme Entity is the culminating point, the desideratum of all human expressions. When human beings are lacking in this spirit of movement, they degrade themselves from the human status. All you boys and girls, you should remember this supreme expression of veracity.
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
“Mysticism and Yoga” was originally published in English in Ánanda Vacanámrtam 14, 1981. Second English publication was in Yoga Psychology, 1991.
The links to all 3 discourses in English