Radiant Immortal Atman! Beloved and blessed children of Light! Do not lose opportunities. Each day is a opportunity. Each moment of each day is an opportunity. Never stop moving towards the Goal. Ever keep on.
The river keeps flowing and reaches the ocean. Stone upon stone great forts are built. Stroke by stroke the sculptor keeps on hammering away. It is not in a single day he creates a masterpiece that people gaze at in admiration and wonderment; no, not in a single day. Rain falls only in drops, drop by drop, and soon the drains are filled to overflowing, streams become swollen and rush towards the river which is soon in flood. But rain has fallen only drop by drop. It is only stroke by stroke that the master painter brings about a miracle of art such as The Last Supper.
The rogue Ratnakar did not complete his purascharana in one day. He repeated Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram. He repeated each Name one by one, one by one, one by one. He kept on repeating and shone as the great sage Valmiki. He became a trikala jnani, a knower of the past, present and future, and even before the birth of Lord Rama, he wrote the entire story of His advent, from His birth to the completion of His divine mission.
What anyone else has done, you too can do, for nothing is impossible. And those great ones have done what they did in order to show the potential of man, the possibility of man. That is their great value to us. And therefore we are only to keep on sustained effort. That is life, ever in the right direction.
But there is one thing: we have to get along with the mind. We have to reckon with the mind. And if there is one quality which can help you, if there is one quality which can ensure and guarantee to you what is due to you by sustained effort, it is enthusiasm, the enthusiasm that brings about all achievement, all attainments. Enthusiasm, utsaha, is Lakshmi, it is all auspiciousness, all blessedness. It is a manifestation of Goddess Bhagavati’s vidya maya, the auspicious aspect of maya, the helpful aspect of maya—enthusiasm, utsaha, as well as viveka and vichara (discrimination and right enquiry).
Through viveka and vichara ever try to understand this world outside you, its hollowness, its transitory nature, its true essential emptiness. You cannot find anything that is worthwhile, precious, substantial here; everything is unsubstantial. Try to understand. And try to understand yourself; namely, that you have come here born to achieve, born to attain, born to regain the lost awareness of your divinity. And seek to understand God, your ever-ready helper, your never-failing support and guide, ever at hand, ever ready to help and ever helping in spite of yourself, never failing in spite of your occasional loss of faith, never, never failing. When He has taken you in hand, He will see to it that you attain the Supreme. He will not let go. Anything and everything may fail us, we may even fail ourselves, but God will not fail us. Believe me, God will not fail you. This is the truth and it is ever true; it is an eternal truth.
Therefore, with enthusiasm, keep on your effort day by day, with each breath, with each step, with each moment. Do not enter into forgetfulness, do not enter into heedlessness. That is something which you must always guard yourself against every moment. Again and again I say—heedlessness and forgetfulness—you must always be on the alert that these two do not assail you. Otherwise all effort will come to a stop.
There was a time many years ago when these motor-boats did not ply Mother Ganga. Boatmen had to row, and as we watched them, one thing we noticed: that if they stopped rowing, the current started taking them down the river. It was only the continuity of their rowing that took them in any direction they desired, to any point on the other bank that they wanted to reach.
A great truth is revealed here. Through sustained effort everything is achieved, but heedlessness and forgetfulness brings effort to a close, and if a moment passes, it goes into eternity, it is no longer yours. Therefore understand—through viveka and vichara—understand. Understand your inner content, how the mind can lapse into forgetfulness, lapse into indifference and lapse into a state of absence of enthusiasm. If the fire is not continuously fanned, it dies down. Enthusiasm is the great source of all strength and power, it is the great source of all activity, dynamism. It is your greatest friend.
Therefore remember, it is not without reason, it is not for nothing that God has drawn you to this great centre of spirituality, India and Rishikesh. It is because you deserved it that He has sought to bestow it upon you. Therefore, if you have deserved this, deserve something higher also, and that too will be given. Ask, and it will not be withheld.
You have been called because you have been found worthy and deserving. Therefore, realise your worth and keep on deserving more and more, not desiring more and more but deserving more and more. That is the key. Keep on sustained effort and back it up with a cheerful robust enthusiasm. God speed you. May you attain to the other shore of immortality and shine as a liberated sage, saint and Yogi! God bless you!
Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)
Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
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