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The little way

The dawn, in russet mantle clad, descended on the hill and the master’s heart was filled with joy. Five of us were with him and in the silence of his soul he prayed, and he communed with the spirit within him and spirit of nature. And we gazed at his beauteous face, calm, radiant, awake with the freedom of the river and the stream.

And when he opened his eyes, we saw them shining with a strange unearthly light: and one of us said: “master! Tell us the way of wisdom.” And the master said: wisdom is never told, is never taught. The teacher teacheth not, but he reflects the light, and lets his followers see the light as it shineth upon him: and the teacher leads them, step by step, to the threshold of the temple of their souls where shineth the light within them. The teacher teacheth not: his vision is incommunicable: for each must walk alone the way until he stands in the presence of the wisdom that is above all words and above mind!

But the little of the way of wisdom may be told to the few who aspire and are ready to wander through the flames and in every thought and in every act sing the song of love.

Bring to him a little flower. Offer him little acts of service and love!

The way of wisdom is the way of self-surrender to love. Rigid formulas of prayer must give way to wordless prayer, to inward prayer. Books and theologies are unavailing.

The way is the hidden way. If you will truly know, keep away from the shouts and shows of life. Be hidden in the hidden God!

The way is the small way, the childway. Be a little child! Practice surrender to the lord in little things, the insignificant things of everyday life. In the practice of small things, the practice of the divine in the midst of daily duties, is the secret of him who would truly know. Big things the lord asketh not of you. Bring to him little things. “A leaf, a flower, a fruit, a little water”—offered in love are by him accepted in joy. Bring to him a little flower. Offer him little acts of service and love!

Read in that little book, A Saint of the Twentieth Century, the story of a girl—only eight years old—who is ill, her fever developing into consumption: but she smiles on! “I will smile even when I fall ill.” She smiles, and she serves. She goes to a neighbouring hospital and she passes on flowers to children and she speaks of a few words of comfort to some of the men and women lying ill in the hospital. Herself ill, she smiles on! Her joy is in little things. So, smiling, so serving, she walks the little way. She vanishes as vanisheth a drop of water in the wide sea. She is hidden in the hidden one. She, her ego, vanishes: only the one remains.

The little way—is the Gita’s way to perfect life.


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