17858Words of Wisdom by Swami Chidananda
- Sep 4, 2011The Power of Persistence
Come out of the cage of your little, egoistical,
selfish personality. Renounce and sacrifice
this selfish personality at the altar of humanity.
Where there is no "I", where there is no mind,
where there is no selfishness, there is ideal
karma yoga. It becomes upasana (worship).
You can be established in a state where even
though acting, you are no more acting. Karma or
work cannot bind you because you are acting without
sense of doership. The feeling "I am doing" is not
there; rather, "He is getting it done through me."
You are a witness of your own activity, a witness
of your own actions, and the poison of kartritva
or sense of doer-ship is removed from the activity;
it becomes sublime activity. Then it is God's will
that manifests itself through you.
To be established in this state of inner absence
of self, one has to diligently pursue a method of
sadhana (daily spiritual practice) and persist in
it, diligently continue to negate the ego, negate
the self. It does not come in a day, but it comes
if you are persistent.
In his "Song of Eighteen Ities," Gurudev has used
two expressions that seem more or less similar in
their meaning. He used the expression "fixity": being
firm, firmly fixed in your vow, in your pratijna
(resolve), in your determination. Be firmly fixed,
let nothing shake you. Become so established in
your niyama (observance) that nothing can move you.
Fixity indicates a certain attitude, a state that
you have achieved or attained in your interior.
You have become strong within, unshakable within,
While fixity involves a certain inner state you
have reached after much diligence and struggle,
the second expression, "tenacity," indicates an
attitude, a certain inner attitude with which you
live your life, engage in your sadhana. And that
attitude is a firm resolution not to give up no
matter what obstacles come, no matter what setbacks,
no matter what disappointments or discouragements.
"I will not leave my pursuit until and unless I
get complete success in it. I shall not give up
this sadhana, I shall continue with this abhyasa
(practice), I will not give up"this attitude is
called tenacity. Having taken up something wise,
something good, never to abandon it, never to leave
it, to be determined to come out victoriousthis
attitude is called tenacity.
Tenacity is different from obstinacy. Obstinacy
is a negative, tamasic quality. You should not have
tenacity with regard to some wrong things that you
might have taken up in a state of folly. Tenacity
is a positive quality, sattvic: never to swerve from
your purpose, from your determination. In this way,
there should be in the heart of the sadhak (one who
is getting or trying to get realization)the
determined adherence to one's ideals, and one must
be established in an inner state which is unassailable,
not affected by anything.
A person of a very negative nature does not commence
any serious undertaking due to hesitancy. "Oh, if
I undertake this, who knows, afterwards this difficulty
may come, that obstacle may come." So thinking,
even though he intends to have a good life and do
good things, because of this nervousness and fear
of obstacles, he never does them. This is not good.
There are others who no doubt start doing something
good, but when obstacles and troubles come in their
way, they give it up. But the real spiritual seeker,
the real sadhak, once having taken up something,
no matter how many obstacles or difficulties come,
how many adverse circumstances face him, he always
thinks, "No, I'll never leave it! I have taken this
up, I will see it through, I shall not be deterred
by anything." This is the uttama adhikari (best
That is the thing needful in your spiritual life.
Fixity of principles, and tenacitynever to let go.
It leads to success. Lord Krishna says in His Gita
jnana upades (wisdom teaching): "Never leave your
abhyasa, never give up your abhyasa. Because that
is the secret of success and attainment. You may
fail, that does not matter. If you are persistent
in your abhyasa you will attain Me." A seemingly
impossible thing becomes possible in the face of
sheer persistent abhyasa, regular, unfailing, unbroken
abhyasa. It breaks down all barriers; it breaks down
all obstacles on the way; it overcomes all hurdles
and reaches the goal. This is the type of nature that
the sadhak should seek to develop within himself.
In that lies the guarantee of his success.
May the grace of the Supreme Lord be upon you, be
upon your spiritual life, be upon your spiritual
striving, so that casting aside any doubt, any
misgivings like, "whether I shall attain or not,
whether I shall succeed or not, whether I have
chosen the right thing or not," and not allowing
any such misgivings or doubts to come into the mind,
with determination and tenacity, be firmly
established in sadhana. Let your sadhana, your
abhyasa be akhanda (unbroken). And with firm faith
and determination, may you through such unbroken
sadhana enter into that supreme state which is
beyond sorrow and suffering, which is peace and
joy! For that is your birthright. For that attainment
alone you have been born as a human being and with
good samskaras (mental impressions) and good vasanas
(subtle desires). May you not be indifferent to your
own highest welfare. May you be serious in your
sadhana. May God shower grace upon you!
Much more by and about Swami Chidananda can be
found on this spiritual treasure:
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