Some time ago Overman Foundation had taken up the distribution of Sadguru Omkar’s book “Confessions, Upadesh and Talks” (ISBN 81-88643-25-4, Price: Rs. 180, pp. 305). Sadguru Omkar (1889—1978)—formerly known as Nilkantha Brahmnachari—was involved in national revolutionary activities from his school days. The group of which he was a part was closely connected with the Jugantar group of Bengal. Because of his revolutionary activities he had to take refuge in the French territory of Pondicherry. When Sri Aurobindo arrived at Pondicherry on 4 April 1910 Sadguru Omkar was among those who went to receive him. He was connected with the Mopla agrarian revolution in Kerala and imprisoned for more than eleven years for his involvement in the Ash murder case. In prison the transformation from a revolutionary to a spiritual Sadhaka took place as vividly described in his notes which he later collected as ‘Confessions on the way towards Peace’. After his release from prison he took the ‘Confessions’ to Sri Aurobindo who wrote a small foreword the next day. He settled down at the lower Nandi Hills in 1930 and built a small Ashram near a Shiva Temple.
For the benefit of the readers of our online forum, we are quoting some thought-provoking excerpts from Sadguru Omkar’s book.
With warm regards,
“Don’t attempt to reform life, my friend; you shall never succeed. You are a product of life and always influenced by it. Life knows when you soar high, how to bring you down to the normal level. Life always succeeds in reforming the reformers bringing them down to the normal level… understand life in all its grades of Satwa, rajas and tamas and all its aspects, give room to all, and live your own life, full, whole and perfect. Don’t try to become more virtuous than life. Life will take a terrible vengeance and inflict on you a corresponding vice for compensation and balance.
“Why do you fight shy of Atman? That it may lead you to religion and superstition? No, my friend. When Atman comes, religion goes. When truth comes, falsehood goes. When knowledge comes, superstition goes. Atman is personal experience and knowledge. What can be more truthful than personal experience? Discover Atman, my friend, by Sadhana; know the Atman and realize the Atman. By Sadhana you discovered and developed your mind potential including intellect. By Sadhana you can discover and develop your life potential, power potential, and joy potential. Say, “I am Atman of unlimited potential. I grow unlimited. I achieve unlimited. I enjoy unlimited.” Self-unlimited is Atman. Don’t be a mouse and say, “I am but body and mind tossed about by nature, subject to environment and end by becoming a nothing.” You are a master of nature, husband of the nature in you.”
“There is not one God, my friend, but many and mainly three. The first God resides in the imagination of men. He is creator, protector and destroyer. He gives his devotees all they want, forgives all sins, if penitent, provides them with heavenly joys after death and consigns their enemies to the blazing fires of hell. He is the most desirable, most agreeable and adaptable of all Gods. He is in demand by large sections of humanity. The second God resides in the reason of men. He may or may not be a person, but He is force, power, law and rhythm of the universe. His contact is neither possible nor necessary. Man has to do with the law and understand and adapt himself to it. The third God resides in the being of man. He is pure being out of which individual being arise, live and merge again. He is pure consciousness out of which individual consciousness arises. He is pure bliss out of which individual bliss arises. He is not personal or individual but cosmic, one without a second. No contact or knowledge of Him is possible. He is realized in the being of individual man as Atman. He is Brahman the whole.”
“The patriot turns into a politician for power and profit. The beloved leader of the people becomes a tyrant and plays havoc with people’s wealth and lives. The ardent lover becomes husband and master of body and mind of the wife. The wandering Sanyasi becomes Mahant with thrones and chariots and endless jagirs. The period of struggle brings out the best in man. The period of fruition the worst. Perpetual struggle keeps you ever in trim. Struggle for self, my friend, which is endless and ever progressive and the higher you reach the better you become.”
“Become yourself first the whole of yourself. That is Atma-Vidya; that is Atma-Sadhana; that is Atma-Shakti; that is Atma-Ananda; that is a spiritual person. The spiritual is the only whole, the mental is a part, the physical is a part. Become spiritual first with knowledge of your unlimited potential, in contact with your unlimited potential. How can any person maintain wholeness and fullness without the backing of unlimited potential? That is your Atman. Realize your Atman first and become whole. Then your life will become full, whole and perfect. Then begin your career. Your career will find fulfilment. Then begin your sex-life. Your sex-life will find fulfilment. Then begin your family life, social life, national life. Then you find fulfilment in each. You are part so long as you live in the body and in the mind. You are whole when you reach the Atman. Become whole first my friend.
“Effort is the real joy my friend, not realization. Man is a creative and working being in his core and nothing gives him more satisfaction than work and more work and always work. Looked at deeply, there is always an element of disappointment in consummation and seizing of the fruits of work. For, it robs you though for the time being, of the enthusiasm, pride and satisfaction, which work alone can generate in you.
Again the purpose of work does not stop with the enjoyment of its fruits. Enjoyment is not a dead end. All enjoyments and experience have a purpose within, that is, knowledge. The child not only enjoys the toy, but knows all about it and then throws it away demanding a better one. Knowledge is the purpose and result of all experience. Enjoyment is only incidental. Therefore it is said that desire, effort and knowledge—Ichcha, Kriya and Gnana—are the three constituent elements of human personality.”
“God sends equally noble souls with noble ideals to destroy a Nation as He does to construct one, for destruction is as much a planned and phased programme with GOD as construction.”
“You are seeing through your eyes. But you are not consciously seeing. Become conscious of your sight, bring your sight into the focus of your consciousness and your eyes sparkle. Bring your chest into the focus of your consciousness and your chest heaves and your heart becomes strong. Bring your belly into the focus of your consciousness and your digestion becomes stronger. Affirm and repeat again and again, countless times, “I am Atman, I am all energy. I am full of energy. I am made of energy. I am nothing but energy. I cannot lack energy.””
“When you feel frustrated and depressed as it happens to all of us some time or other, what do you do? You sit quiet and endure it till the mood passes and a brighter mood appears and you argue and argue within yourself as to the cause and remedy for the event which brought in the depression. Not so, the Atma-Vetta. When he feels the depression is likely to come upon him, he seeks a quiet place or room and sits comfortably in his usual Asana posture, does some breathing and then repeats: “I am Atman. I am all power. I am all success. I am all joy.” A practised Sadhaka gets over the mood very quickly and regains his brightness and cheer. And a perfected Sadhaka never gets depressed.”
“By the time you have learnt all the lessons of a virtuous and happy life you become old and will have to quit. By the time you master all the lessons of the fifth class your term comes to an end. You quit and go to the 6th. Life is a school where you are not allowed to stay after learning.”
“Why do you introduce problems where no problems are felt? To the young man who just begins to enjoy life, you may go and say that life is all sorrow; seek your remedy in Mukti. Allow him to carry on and discover the sorrow part of life himself and seek his own remedy in due course of his ripeness and maturity. Dharma, Artha, Kama and then Moksha is the correct order.”
“Troubles and sorrows. They keep you from falling; they keep you from being blown away. Troubles and sorrows are counter weights in life to keep balance.
Troubles and sorrows are like soap and water, without which you don’t keep pure and fresh. The baby dislikes soap and water-bath, resists and kicks. And so you do with troubles and sorrows.
Troubles and sorrows are a tonic. They provoke thought, provoke action and promote further growth. The will of destiny is not that we should be free from troubles and sorrows, but be clean, fresh, active and ever growing.”
“You are going to solve all problems of yours. Good. But do you realise that you are yourself a grand problem. You came as a problem, you grow as a problem, you proceed as a problem and you end as a problem. Your whole life is nothing but a series of problems. Existence is an ocean of problems on which you float for a while and you hug your two and a half problems and think of solving them once for all.
Problems are not such tame things for you to handle quietly in your laboratory. They are live forces and mightily complicated. Each is connected with many and the many are but parts and patterns of the whole and the whole is one mighty problem appearing, proceeding and solving itself. When you thus perceive the whole in the part and the part in the whole, then may you exclaim, “it is a grand leela, Brahman and Maya disport themselves eternally. Shiva and Shakti woo and unite and separate themselves eternally.” Then you may enter into the spirit of the game and lose your lonesome burden. Then may you say as I do, “I have no problems to solve.””
“Your faith does not depend on temples. Temples depend on your faith. You can make and unmake temples.”
“You think you are unlucky. You think again and again about your ill-luck, you fill your mind with ill-luck, your talks are always about ill-luck and you have smeared your looks deep with the colour of ill-luck. Where is the good luck going to come from? Good luck does not come near an unlucky face and front.
Forget your present ill-luck my friend and think and dwell more and more on the good luck you want and create and store a mass of good luck in your thought, word and looks and you see that good luck is at your command and service.”
“Pain and pleasure are not the criterion for good and bad in life. What is pain may be good and pleasure bad. Till you accept that pain is not an intruder but as necessary and legitimate a part of life as pleasure, your philosophy is not complete. Night and darkness are as much necessary and legitimate part of life as day and light. The world is well built, well balanced and well run my friend. Accept it as it is, as it was and as it is moving. Then you are in tune and happy, never otherwise.”