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
- Watch your mind. Watch your breath. Become an observer, which is the key to Jnana Yoga. Don’t worry about particular techniques. Just sit back and observe the breath, mind, and thoughts. Just see what’s happening within you. Become a witness, which is a wonderful form of meditation. Be still and watch what is happening in your mind and in your body. Maybe you have been repeating a mantra or focusing on one object for a time. You may then relax and sit calmly and watch the mind; observe the peaceful vibrations that come. Listen to the silence completely. Observe your own brain. See how peaceful you are. The mind seems to be totally at rest. You might think the mind is almost asleep, yet you are still conscious of the whole thing. The body is resting. The breath has very much slowed. The mind is almost sleeping but you are aware of everything.
Ask yourself, “Who is aware of them? What is this awareness? Who knows all these things? That is You, the Knower. You are totally different from your body, from your mind. You are the witness—what you call the Self, the pure Self—the witness of the body and mind. If you could maintain this witnessing constantly, still knowing you are the witness all the time, you would reach Self-awareness or
Self-realization. Keep up this awareness, even in your day-to-day activities. When you are eating, when you are walking, and especially when you are distressed, you can still witness. You will constantly enjoy supreme peace. Through this practice you become the master of your own body and mind. You’ll walk through life like an undisturbed sage.