Golden Tips for Living a
(Translation of Excerpts from
Poojya Gurudev's discourses on “Jivana Sadhana")
The refinement and sublimation of personality depends upon cultivation of virtuous qualities. All of you can shape your personality in a better way and transform it into a glorious one. Eminence and nobility of personality is an invaluable asset which leads to success in all domains of the physical (worldly) and spiritual life. Wealth, materialistic tools or support and cooperation of others alone is not sufficient for worthwhile achievements. These resources are useful and could be necessary, but above all this, the master key is sublimity of one's own personality. How to refine the talents? How to develop an elevated personality? How to endow it with virtuous qualities and potentials? This is the paramount question, the central focus of the "Art of Living". Finding its methodology and proceeding accordingly – is indeed like achieving at least half the goal towards a brilliant and fulfilling life.
From crudity to chiseled refinement:-
Jivan Sadhana means – transmutation and enhancement of potentials, abilities and conduct by self-endeavor. The subtle mental imprints of the previous lives in the chain of eighty- four hundred thousands yonis (different life-forms) continue to influence one's tendencies in the human life as well. As a result, in the crude state of human life, one's cravings, behavior and actions are often driven by beastly instincts and negative mental tendencies. Until uprooted and thrown out, these kusansakras (evil impressions on the mind) hinder the refinement of personality. Elimination of these untoward, negative and pernicious instincts, habits and desires by untiring efforts and simultaneous cultivation of ennobling character and deeds is the real sadhana of human life. This sadhana is no less exacting than taming and training a wild animal and to engage it in constructive activities as per our will.
As crude metal from the mines is melted and refined in the fire before it could be processed to make shining ornaments, likewise the impurities of the kusanskaras need to be burnt out in the 'fire' of devout ascetic practices (tapa) of self- restraint and penance. The endeavors towards self- refinement are simultaneously accompanied by those of self- development through cultivation of noble qualities, upright conduct and character, values of human life and promotion of the worthy potentials and talents. This is how we can 'manufacture and design' the precious jewels from the 'gold- mine' of capabilities gifted to us by Nature. We should root out– from the field of our life – all the thorny weeds of evil tendencies and weaknesses of our nature and remold ourselves as civilized and cultured human beings.
True success possible only through single pointed sadhana:-
Sadhana is the key to paranormal attainments and preeminent success in human life. Jivan-sadhana should be an integral part of our lives. For this, we should introspect and analyze our thoughts, our conduct and our activities impartially and thoroughly. We should also develop positive attitude and sincerely endeavor to uproot the infirmities, untoward and evil tendencies lying dormant within us. This process of constant self effort of gradual refinement and upliftment also implies conscious self- development, widening of outlook and altruistic involvement in the sorrows and joys of others. Self- development is achieved by substitution of selfishness by selflessness. This is what leads to super normal attainments and awakening of divinity in the human heart.
Positive transformation of attitude:-
The corner stone of overall self-transformation is transformation of the attitude. Change your outlook towards yourself; think and feel yourself not as the gross body, the immortal soul, for which this life and the body is only a sojourn in the infinite journey. You are born for the self-realization, for enlightenment, unbounded spiritual progress. No doubt, you should take care of healthy sustenance of the body. But don't confine the goal of your life only to blindly pursue after the possession of its comforts and pleasures. Your attitude should be – "eating to survive" and not "surviving to eat"; take proper care of the body as an instrument for the optimum use of the faculties of your sense organs and the mind. Change your views and behavior on the personal, familial and social fronts of life accordingly. Once you turn your attention inward and look at yourself as the soul, you will find marvellous solutions to all your problems and worries; the door of immense joy and progress will be wide open before you.
Life is a precious gift. Don't let worldly allurements and attachments overpower and overshadow the beatitude and sublimity of your real self and the pristine dignity of your life. Look at the life of Goswami Tulsidas, for example! When he was blindly driven by sensual attractions and attachments, he received nothing but disdain, scorn and agony. But once his inner self was lit by the light of devotion to God, the same man (Rambola) became the great, venerable saint Tulsidas – the author of the holy Ramcharit Manas of immortal glory! But see…, his devotion was not like ours…; we chant the mantras, rotate the rosary, but our minds remain restive and unstable - roving around our tensions, desires, and what not. His was a total self-surrender. Nothing mattered to him except the devotion to Lord Ram. Such was the potency of his inner fervor for his Deity that it could compel Lord Ram Himself to appear before him and bless him in His Embodied Form.
Fight the Mahabharata within yourself:-
Mahabharata is said to be the greatest war ever fought on this earth. Friends! You should know that the first step towards spiritual upliftment is to fight this gigantic war yourself in the battlefield of your own psyche, to wipe out its accumulated vices and tendencies. Our lives remain enslaved to the insane appetites and tendencies of the mind until and unless we are able to win this perpetual war against hostile hordes of Kauravas entrenched within us. Winning this war means attaining ultimate victory; becoming omnipotent. Those who conquer their minds are called manaswi. Success lies at their feet; they are the ones
who become truly great personalities, saints, divine beings. If you care and aspire for elevation to higher domains in life, join the great battle against the evils lodged within you. The first step towards triumph in this battle is the adoption of the principle of "simple living and high thinking".
Rise and march towards higher goals:-
If you adopt the principle of "simple living and high thinking" you would soon start attaining rapid progress in life. Simplicity of life-style will automatically eliminate your sense of scarcity. This together with the positive and constructive transformation of your thinking and feelings will enable you to make constructive use of whatever resources you have. You would be happier with the same set of tools, facilities and resources you had earlier. Not only that, by prudent use of your potentials you will also be able to help others. Even if you are not able to go out and work for social service or offer visible help to others, you must keep your thoughts open for that; think good, think high; think like the great, the wise. Your imaginations, your aspirations must now be directed towards better, brighter and nobler objectives.
Leave the slippery path of decline; come out of the hell and look at beauty of the heaven; live for ultimate salvation. Salvation implies –– emancipation from all evils, sensual attractions, selfish attachments, illusions and sufferings. Moving towards the heaven (divine paradise) means –– pursuing those ideals and principles which bestow everlasting peace, unalloyed joy, pure knowledge and soul-contentment. Start bringing about the needed change
in your thinking, living, behavior, actions from this very moment, so that you could march ahead towards the attainment of the preeminent goal of life.