What we regard to be polarities are no polarities at all. These polarities could never exist; it is all but just oneness. The polarities are created by man’s mind and his analysis using the brain’s left hemisphere. Surrender has its value, and activity has its value as well.

Activity is striving for something you in your mind project to succeed. But what is a success, after all? Is it the acquisition of material possessions? Would you call that success? No, it could be a significant loss, a total loss. I have known many millionaires worldwide, and I travel about three-quarters of the year around the world lecturing. I still must meet a successful millionaire though they look successful with ten Rolls Royce, or seventy-one of them, or big mansions. Are they successful? They are not successful. The outsider who sees their immense wealth would think that they are successful, but they are not.

Real success is the peace one finds within the Kingdom of God. Seek ye first that, and all else shall be added unto thee. You know that scriptural saying very well. True success in life is to find that beautiful peace within you, inherent in you, which is your birthright, and to reach your birthright, to reach that which is inherent within you, that constitutes success.


There are many paths to this; one is total acceptance of life. Because every millionaire that owns, say, ten million wants to have twenty million. If you have ten Rolls Royce, you want twenty Rolls Royce. Therefore, you are constantly striving, and that mightily striving is creating turmoil and conflicts within your mind, and then you start scheming how to acquire these things that are born of your desire.

There is a difference here. I do not say be desireless. To have the desire and to crave are two different things altogether. You can desire something within your limitations. People try to demand things in life. They demand from their mothers, fathers, wives, and brothers. They demand from the guru, and when they fail, they require from God. But you do not get what you demand; you will only get what you need. That is what you will get: what you need, not what you demand. Because ordering is a mental projection, you request this, and you demand that, and if you examine your minds most of the time, you will start demanding the impossible. But the theory is that in the word “impossible”, put an apostrophe and say, “I’m possible.” Then striving disappears. You do not need to seek things, just act for the sake of action, and all required items will come to you.


Eastern philosophers have different ideas. They become very fatalistic. They say, “Oh, God gives me this, or God gives me that, or if he does not give it is alright.” Through all my travels in the Himalayas, I met a family in India, and they had seven children like a stepladder. They were an impoverished family; they could hardly support the children. So, I said, “Why do you have so many children?” The man replied to me, “Oh, God gives. What can I do?” I said, “Do you sleep in separate bedrooms? So why blame it on God?”

Here we have two polarities. One is striving, and one is total acceptance of things. Both are wrong, wrong in the sense that both can be reconciled. You have to seek your needs, and that is necessary. You need bread, butter, and sometimes a bit of jam. But that does not mean I will sit on my backside and expect that bread to fall on my lap. I must strive to get that bread, but I must also be satisfied at the same time that if it is a dry piece of bread, okay. If there is some butter or peanut butter on it, okay.

Striving and acceptance must work hand in hand to make life prosperous and peaceful. For that is the only way you will find peace. To be totally in favour of whatever there be has brought India down to its poverty, famines, and hunger. Extreme poverty because they say, “Okay, God gives.” And yet thousands and thousands and thousands of square miles are lying barren. Go and till those fields and find your food instead of being in famine or hungry.

While in the Western world, you keep on striving and striving for more excellent material gain. You are externalizing yourself all the time: just externality. You are just looking outwardly at things. Acquisition. Mrs Jones has a specific home, so Mrs Thomas will say, “Oh, Mrs Jones has this kind of home, so I must make my home better.” Then she will get into debt by getting a mortgage loan. To pay off that mortgage, she has to go through a lot of problems. Perhaps her husband loses his job; then the mortgage is not paid. The instalments are not paid, and the home is lost. Is it not a form of greed for trying to do better than the next-door neighbour? And if you try to do one better than your next-door neighbour, how can you love your neighbour? You cannot. You cannot love your neighbour because you are too self-centred. I must do better than Mrs Jones. That is the one wrong extreme.

The other extreme of the East is also wrong, where they say, oh, karma rules my life, and things will fall in my lap. That is also wrong. But if a combination is formed between the two, effort and acceptance, it could very easily be reconciled, combined, consolidated, and then what happens is this: there is no polarity.


From opposite ends, you try to reach the centre, which is nowhere else, but within yourself; that is where the centre lies. Your centre lies within yourself, and find that centre through spiritual and meditational practices which we prescribe on an individual, personal basis so that all polarities of life cease.

Do not be on the seesaw. You stand on one end, and the other goes up, but move to the centre, and the seesaw stands still. That is what you need, the stillness within. “Man know thyself.” How can you know yourself if your mind is in total turmoil? So through meditational practices, you bring serenity to mind to penetrate deep within yourself, and then you start knowing yourself. Then all the greed of the West, avarice, and covetousness will disappear, and when you learn to accept yourself, everything else comes to you. Every wish, every desire, is fulfilled. Because you are fullness, you become that fullness yourself.


Yet the Easterners cannot understand this. They blame everything on samskaras and karmas and all that. But who in the first place has created those karmas? You, no one else. Whatever you sow, you will reap; that is a universal principle. You have sown the seeds of your present condition, and I am sure you know that if you bake or fry the roots and then plant them, they will not grow. So have fresh seeds to plant in your mind. Do your spiritual practices, and then you will find that clarity and freshness that will lead you deep within for the peace you seek. And what does peace mean? Peace means to be at ease, and to be at ease means to be happy, and is there anyone in the world who does not want to be satisfied? Everyone wants to be happy. But the methods that they employ are so wrong. They are so guided by these various kinds of theologies, of do’s and don’ts and what have you that brings you greater bondage.

But your fundamental duty, your goal in life, is to find that freedom. Freedom does not mean that you go about murdering, raping, or stealing. That is not freedom. Freedom is that which is within. That peace within that resides there does not require any development at all; it only involves unfoldment. Because the Kingdom of Heaven is forever within you, it is to unfold oneself to that force, to tap the energy of that reservoir that is there all the time, and that reservoir is not stagnant, like the river it is flowing all the time. It is the same at the beginning, the same in the middle, and it is the same at the end. So, swim, but do not swim against the current. Swim with the current, and so much less effort would be required.

So, at first, it might be a bit strenuous in action, but through meditational practices, the strain would be gone from the action where you perform inaction in action and action in idleness. I am sitting here talking to you; I am not doing any work. There is inaction in action performed, and that is how you become relaxed. That is how you lose the stresses and strains of life, and that is what the world needs today.


So striving is good: seek, strive. Work but take the irk out of work, which is easily attained; it is not impossible. It is the greatest possibility because it is inborn within you. The only thing is that you have made life strenuous because of your mental patterning, and that very strenuousness is interpreted as striving. Everyone has to work; no denial. But work can become a play. That mightily striving could be arriving at that joy that is within. So, strive. Why not improve your position? If you have a two thousand-dollar-a-month job, why not work harder and get three thousand dollars monthly? But make it pleasurable!

This is where the Easterners have failed. They are some of the laziest bums on earth. You will find them sitting around smoking their hookahs. That is that Indian pipe you get, hookah, and saying, “Oh, God will provide.” Nonsense. He provides nothing, and you provide for yourself. Divinity is just an energy that empowers you. But how much of that energy are you using?


If you use the real energy within you, you will find that life becomes effortless. All your ailments, all your troubles, all your stresses, and all your strains come from the effort. Make an effort but make that effort into a play where it becomes a joy and effortless. I would sit in my office doing people’s meditations and working out their practices, and it is such a joy to me. Through meditation, I am communicating with another human mind, looking at another human mind and analyzing and seeing the problems there are. I would feel their pains, problems, pleasures, and joys, but I do not allow them to affect me, although I think of them. But I become an observer of the issues of others, and becoming an observer of the problems of others, does not affect me.

This is the secret of life: to be non-attached. Even in the striving, if you are non-attached to the striving, the striving will not affect you. And then, of course, the Easterners do not want to strive, which is why there is so much poverty. For example, Bombay’s most outstanding business is how to beg. It is said that the beggars in the streets of Bombay earn more than the judges of the high courts. They have an art of begging. Little maimed children get maimed from infancy, and they take advantage of people’s good feelings.


Do not go to India; go within yourself. That is the greatest pilgrimage you can do. You do not need to go to Jerusalem; you do not need to go to Mecca; go within yourself. And the path of going within is through spiritual practices and meditation, which a genuine spiritual master must personally prescribe. It is no use doing things from books; it does not help you. Because when a spiritual master gives you practices, remember that in those practices, there is a great spiritual force that is imparted and that very spiritual force creates the awakening that makes greater awareness within yourself. That is what you need.


You are fully developed, and you just require unfolding. You just need to remove veils that cloud your mind. The unawareness, the ignorance, has to be removed. The mind cannot remove it; it needs another force. The reason will analyze, and today you might have one thought; tomorrow, that same thought might change into a different thought, and then the third day, a different one. So, you are switching from philosophy to philosophy to philosophy and becoming increasingly confused.

What you need to clarify the mind is that inner force, that inner energy that can be tapped, which will automatically clear the mind, get rid of the stresses, the strains and all the wrong thinking. And when the bad review is removed, your actions will become better. Then spontaneously, you will just act right. When you come to a fork in the road, you will spontaneously and intuitively take the right fork instead of the wrong one to reach your destination. That is the secret of life, and I do not want you to become religious. No. Forget all the dogmas in the world, for every dogma changes. Every religion has its particular ideology. I teach you to get to the basis of yourself, and you will spontaneously find the right path. I never tell my chelas, my disciples, to stick to me. You cannot move. I say no, come and go as you please, for my heart’s doors are forever open. Come. If you feel thirsty, this reservoir has plenty of water. Drink to your fill.


Study everything; why not. But regard it to be just mental gymnastics. It is going to lead you nowhere. It will lead you to confusion instead of the fusion that is required in your mind, and once you have that fusion, once you have that inner contact, the entire universe is in the palm of your hand because you are the universe. The whole universe is contained within you, and you are included within the universe. Once you are in contact with that Divinity, you will find everything is yours; the entire universe is yours. You can hold it in your arms. That is the secret of life.

It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1985 – 46