Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
Either You Keep The Basket In The Boat Or On Your Shoulder
Once a man was sailing in a small boat with a few other
people. All of a sudden the boatman said, "The boat seems
to be overloaded. The water is coming up higher and higher,
and we are about to capsize. If we want to stay afloat, we have
to lighten the load in the boat."
Immediately the man said, "Oh, don't worry; I can take care
of it." He had a heavy basket in the bottom of the boat, so he picked it up and put it on his head. "Is it okay now?" It was a
heavy basket; so he thought, "I will just carry the basket
and reduce the weight in the boat."
Whenever you say, "I did it," you are carrying your basket while sitting in the boat.
The truth is, no matter where the basket is, all of the weight is being carried by the
boat. Whether you keep it in the bottom of the boat or on your head is immaterial.
As long as you feel that you are carrying it, you are responsible, you are
doing something, fine, then carry it. The Lord just smiles: "All right, let her carry it."
But, if you decide to put the weight on God's shoulder, God is ready and willing to
carry it. The freedom is there. You can either keep the basket in the boat, or on your
head. Sensible people will keep it in the boat; egoistic people will keep it on their
head, that's all. Ultimately, the whole weight is being carried by God.
Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi
Question: I have a growing desire to see God. It has become the thing I want most. But no matter how much I long for Him, my worldly duties and needs get in the way. Can you help me?
Sri Swami Satchidananda: How do you know that you have not seen Him? I heard Him saying, "I have been in front of this person so many times, but he never even recognized Me. He was calling, calling, calling for Me. So I went there many times, stood right in front of him, and he didn't even bother to look at Me. He just brushed Me aside and kept on saying, 'God, where are You? Where are You?'"
Before you look for God, you should know what He looks like, or at least what God is. God has no particular form, but He appears in all forms and names. It is with His consciousness that I am saying all these things; and with His consciousness, you are listening. To simplify it, we say that God is all consciousness - superconsciousness, cosmic consciousness - or peace. God is already there in you as peace, but you disturb your peace by searching for God. Stop searching and disturbing your peace, and you will experience God. A disturbed mind can never understand God. Looking for God is not our first and foremost duty. Our first and foremost duty is to take care not to let the mind lose its peace. You don't have to make the mind peaceful. If you leave it alone, it is peaceful. In our own lives we should see that we don't lose our peace due to our thoughts, words, actions.
Learn to remain undisturbed, unshakeable, as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar. You should treasure the peace of your mind so much that nothing, nothing, nothing would shake you. You should be ready to renounce anything and everything that is going to disturb your peace. Name, fame, money, power, position, relatives, friends - all should be secondary to maintaining your peace. Everything else is nothing compared to peace of mind. With that peace, you will easily see God.
Om shant. Om shanti. Om shanti.