My words will not carry you, nor will the words of anyone else.
Therefore my last request before we end this series of lectures:
this journey can only be undertaken if you set out by yourself. If
the journey were possible through my words, it would be an easy
matter. Then everyone's journey would have long been over.
We have heard Buddha and also Mahavir but mere listening has not helped anyone. Those who think that by listening alone they can be transported to the realm of Truth are under an illusion. The road is to be traversed by each himself. No one can do anything for another, in the same way as I cannot breathe for you, or make love for you, or even walk for you, or die in your place. Then how can I attain Truth for you?
No one can attain anything for another. Many a time when we hear a person talk on truth, we are so carried away that we feel we have reached. We feel we have already reached our destination! This is a dangerous illusion. May God forbid that anyone of you should feel this after hearing me.
Many people are deluded for they write to me: "We heard you and felt we have attained serenity." Mere listening is entertainment and cannot give serenity. By only listening, words are gained and not Truth. Truth and tranquillity will only be obtained when you set out on the journey yourself.
Whatever I have said, was not for you to listen to only - but to practise. If something in my talk appeals to you, use your discretion and take the first step. A thousand scriptures are nothing compared to a single step taken on one's own.
Do not worry that the road is long, for the longest distance is gained only step by step. Gandhiji used to like a song - a wonderful song. He had it sung in his ashram every day. Its opening line is: "One step is enough for me. I do not long for the distant scene!"
But he who takes the initial step, reaches the distant scene! No one can walk more than one step at a time - be he great or small. We are all equal in this respect. Only one step is taken at one time, but all steps together complete a journey of thousands of miles.
A youth sat with a lantern on the outskirts of a village. He had to reach the distant mountain. The night was dark, and all he had to guide him was a hurricane lamp that barely lighted a distance of three feet. He calculated (some people are very clever at mathematics) the length of darkness up to the mountain to be ten miles, and the light of the lantern a distance of only three feet. So he divided ten miles by three feet - and gave up! Such massive darkness was impossible to overcome by so small a light.
He sat down, waiting for the dawn. And then, an old man came along. He had a smaller lantern in his hand. "Why are you sitting in this lonely place at this time of the night, son?" he asked the boy.
"What else can I do? The night is dark and I have to reach those distant mountains. All I have is this lamp that hardly lights three feet ahead. How can I cover so much darkness with so small a light?"
"You foolish boy!" said the old man, "You do not have to cross all the ten miles at one time! Cross the first three feet with the light of the lamp and the lamp will light another three feet ahead. Then cross the next three feet and the lamp will light another three. The lamp will light your way as you proceed. You can traverse not only ten miles but ten thousand miles with the aid of this small lamp."
Step by step, darkness is overcome. One small step and life reaches far-off scenes that are unseen by the eyes today; but one has to make a beginning. Then what seemed a mere web of words, becomes the truths of life that sound so melodious even as we hear them. Would that we reach there, so that we know how truly melodious they are.
You have heard me with such love and serenity during these last three days, for which I am grateful. Finally, I bow to the God within all. Accept my salutations.