BANGALORE: 491. To the soul that has hold of the highest beatitude, life cannot be an evil or a sorrowful illusion; rather all life becomes the rippling love and laughter of a divine Lover and playfellow.
492. Canst thou see God as the bodiless Infinite and yet love Him as a man loves his mistress? Then has the highest truth of the Infinite been revealed to thee. Canst thou also clothe the Infinite in one secret embraceable body and see Him seated in each and all of these bodies that are visible and sensible? Then has its widest and profoundest truth come also into thy possession.
493. Divine Love has simultaneously a double play, and universal movement, deep, calm and bottomless like the nether Ocean, which broods upon the whole world and each thing that is in it as upon a level bed with an equal pressure, and a personal movement, forceful, intense and ecstatic like the dancing surface of the same Ocean, which varies the height and force of its billows and chooses the objects it shall fall upon with the kiss of its foam and spray and the clasp of its engulfing waters.
494. I used to hate and avoid pain and resent its infliction; but now I find that had I not so suffered, I would not now possess, trained and perfected, this infinitely and multitudinously sensible capacity of delight in my mind, heart and body. God justifies himself in the end even He has masked Himself as a bully and a tyrant.
495. I swore that I would not suffer from the world’s grief and the world’s stupidity and cruelty and injustice and I made my heart as hard in endurance as hard in endurance as the nether millstone and my mind as a polished surface of steel. I no longer suffered, but enjoyment had passed away from me. Then God broke my heart and ploughed up my mind. I rose through cruel and incessant anguish to a blissful painlessness and through sorrow and indignation and revolt to an infinite knowledge and a settled peace.
496. When I found that pain was the reverse side and the training of delight, I sought to heap blows on myself and multiply suffering in all my members; for even God’s tortures seemed to me slow and slight and inefficient. Then my Lover had to stay my hand and cry, “Cease; for my stripes are enough for thee.”
497. The self-torture of the old monks and penitents was perverse and stupid; yet there was a secret soul of knowledge behind their perversities.
498. God is our wise and perfect Friend; because he knows when to smite as well as when to fondle, when to slay us no less than when to save and to succour.
499. The divine Friend of all creatures conceals His friendliness in the mask of an enemy till He has made us ready for the highest heavens; then, as in Kurukshetra, the terrible form of the Master of strife, suffering and destruction in withdrawn and the sweet face, the tender arm, the oft-clasped body of Krishna shine out on the shaken soul and purified eyes of his eternal comrade and playmate.
500. Suffering makes us capable of the full force of the Master of Delight; makes us capable also to bear the utter play of Master of Power. Pain is the key that opens the gates of strength; it is the high-road that leads to the city of beatitude.