The Struggle for Perfection
by Swami Krishnananda


All endeavour, of any kind, involves three stages: theory, practice and attainment. The Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita are systematic treatises on these three processes of consciousness, the latter particularly being designated under this scheme as the science of reality (Brahmavidya), the practice of self-discipline and meditation (Yogasastra) and the union of the individual and temporal with the universal and eternal (Krishna-Arjuna-samvada). The seeker of Truth should not be in a haste. He has, first of all, to conceive and arrange his ideas of the principles on which the efforts are to be built up. Secondly, he has to plant these systematised principles in his own personal life as the central constituents of his very existence and activity, thereby transforming his day-to-day life into an embodiment of the fundamental principles contemplated earlier and established in consciousness. Thirdly, there should be a patient waiting for the result to follow, whatever be the time this fructification of effort may take. Care, however, has to be taken to see that the practice is flawless, dispassionate, free from all ulterior motives unconnected with the aim, and that the principles underlying the practical process have really got soaked into one's being. With these conditions fulfilled, the goal is certain to be attained, like the ripening of the fruit in a tree that has slowly grown into maturity.