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Thus Awakens the Awakened One

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Part 4: Subtle Secrets of Sadhana

  • “Do the best and leave the rest” is the key motto in Karma Yoga. The ‘doing of the best’, of course, does not mean being foolhardy or going headlong without thought on consequences, but the harnessing of one’s full resources to the execution of a noble ideal which is calculated to aid one in the attainment of God-realisation. To ‘leave the rest’ is to resign the results of the work to God, for, when even the best that one can do falls short of the effort needed to achieve a desired result, the mind is likely to get upset, which is not the spirit of Karma Yoga.
  • The more we try to depend on God, the more He seems to test us with the pleasures of sense and the delights of the ego. Finally, the last kick He gives is, indeed, unbearable. Those who bear it are themselves gods.
  • Every moment of life should be regarded as the last moment, as there is no knowing when this moment will come. When it is said that the last thought of a person should be God’s thought, we are impliedly admonished to remember God every day and every moment.
  • The energy that leaks through the senses by way of excitation and pleasure-seeking diminishes the psychic force that is necessary for meditation. Hence before any attempt at successful meditation this energy-leakage has to be blocked, and the direction of the flow of this energy turned inward.
  • We should not try to be more strict on others than we are on ourselves. Our task is not so much to change the world as to change ourselves.
  • The prarabdha karma is like an extortioner who will not let loose the victim until the last vestige of dues is cleared out. It cannot be exhausted without being worked out through experience, and the role of spiritual sadhana in relation to prarabdha is not one of negating or counteracting it, but of bringing about a transformation in the vision that evaluates and judges experience, pleasurable or miserable.
  • Mostly, the mind is where the eyes are. Look not at anything which may stimulate desire, or rouse egoistic ambition. The eyes have to be carefully guarded.
  • The importance of sadhana in spiritual life is great enough to compel the attention of anyone wishing to be freed from botherations. The vexations of life are due to entanglement in externalised forms, while freedom at once manifests itself when the universal nature of these forms is beheld. Sadhana is nothing but an attempt to withdraw from the particulars and sink into the Universal.
  • Doubts on the path of sadhana indicate that the spirit of sadhana has not been properly grasped. When there is enough conviction about the correctness of the method adopted, sadhana quickly bears fruit.
  • The highest fulfilment is the result of the highest renunciation. The less you want, the more you get. He who wants nothing from the world finds the world falling at his feet. Even the gods are afraid of him who wants nothing for himself.
  • Space, time and gravitation divide and pull the body by isolating it from other bodies. With this division and pull of the body, consciousness also appears to be affected due to its association with the body through the mind, Prana and the nervous system. The overcoming of this distracting effect of space, time and gravitation in one’s consciousness is yoga.
  • The establishment of oneself in a state of consciousness which stabilises one’s being in a non- externalised Universal Pure Subjectivity of Selfhood is the final panacea for the sorrow of mortal existence. This is the great meditation in which every soul has to engage itself throughout its career in life. This is the final duty inseparable from man’s aspiration, nay, the only duty in life.
  • There are three grades of Self: The real, secondary and false. The real is the Atman which is universal; the secondary is the person or thing which one likes or dislikes; the false is the aggregate of the five sheaths. Meditation disentangles the real from the secondary and the false.
  • Buddha and Sankaracharya represent two sides in the picture of life. The purely phenomenal approach of Buddha implies the so-called solid content of the appearance called the world, and the spiritual doctrine of Sankara fills this emptiness with Soul, and completes the picture.
  • It may be that we try to remember God when we are comfortably placed. But the test as to whether He has really entered our hearts is whether we remember Him in sickness, suffering, opposition and times of temptation.
  • The pain generally felt at death is due to the nature of the intensity of the desires with which one continued to live in the physical body. The more is the love for the Universal Being entertained in life, the less would be the pain and agony of departing from the body.
  • Who is a fool? He who thinks that the world has any regard for him and is really in need of him.
  • He it is that, as an old man, totters with a stick, thus deceiving the human eye, for He is all things.
  • Ishvara , jiva and jagat are not three entities standing apart like father, son and their house. They are three presentations of reality or view-points of the Absolute from the level of the jiva.
  • sadhana is a sort of constant remembering a thing against heavy odds, and pulling up oneself from sinking into deep mires. To retain the thought of God in a world of colours and sounds that dazzle the eyes and din the ears is hard enough. This is sadhana, a feat of will and understanding.
  • Avoid contact with such things as are likely to stimulate sense desire or excite the ego. This is necessary until strength is gained to withstand the forces of the world.
  • The test of spiritual advancement is a gradual attainment of freedom from doubts of all kinds and a conviction of having reached a settled understanding in regard to one’s true aim of life. It is this conviction that brings inner strength and power to face all opposition.
  • The strength to bear suffering comes not merely from a determination of the will, but the discovery that a vast treasure is awaiting one who practises such endurance. Students lose sleep and comfort, a lover undergoes untold pains, and an employee tolerates the unpleasantness of work, not because of a mere determination of will but due to the sure promise of an enjoyment which is known to exceed the pains which pave its way. So it is with spiritual sadhana.
  • Spiritual sadhana is ultimately an effort to cease from all effort. This is the highest effort, because no one normally can be without exerting oneself in some direction. All activity is a process of moving away from the Centre. The activity to cease from such activity is sadhana.
  • No saint has been able to maintain the spiritual balance throughout his life. There have been occasional reversals though these might not have left any impression on their minds any more than the mark left by a stick drawn on water. But the mark is there when it appears. Such is the difficulty of leading the spiritual life. The case of immature seekers is much more precarious, indeed.
  • Just as when we touch a live wire the electric force infuses itself into our body, when we deeply meditate on God the power of the whole universe seeks entry into our personality.
  • The sadhana that one does should speak through the actions and the words which manifest themselves through one’s personality. The personality is the vehicle of the aspiration that wells up within. And the face is the index of the mind.
  • The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are two great epics of the forces of lust and greed, respectively. The passion of Ravana and the greed of Duryodhana caused the wars of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These are the twin forces of the devil which can be faced only with Divine Help.