Aspire Fervently, Apply Tenaciously
Sri Swami Sivananda
This article is a chapter from the book Every Man’s Yoga.
Spiritual life is not an idle talk. It is actual living in God-consciousness. It is a transcendental experience. It is a life of fullness and perfection.
Be rooted in ethics. Be just. Know what is right. Keep your promise. Be noble and impartial. Be like the ocean in depth of devotion and like the Himalayas in firmness. Cultivate peace in the garden of your heart by removing the weeds of lust, hatred, greed, selfishness and jealousy. Know and feel always that you are a child of the all-pervading, immortal consciousness, the Father in heaven, the Lord in your heart.
Rely on your own self. Be courageous, candid and modest. Respect your superiors. Be ever vigilant. Have perfect control over anger and lust. Act according to the words of sages and saints. Endure suffering patiently. Be patient and persevering. Be devoted to the Lord. Purify your mind through Japa. Sit in a solitary place for sometime daily. Withdraw the senses from the external objects. Bring the mind under your control. Turn it towards God.
Supply and Demand
God-realisation is a question of supply and demand. Do you really want God? Do you really thirst for His grace? Have you got real spiritual hunger? Only he who thirsts for God will develop real love. Unto him alone He will reveal his real nature.
Pray fervently like child Prahlada. Sing like Mira. Repeat His Name like Valmiki, Tukaram and Tulasi Das. Do Kirtan like Gauranga. God is love. Through the cultivation of pure love you can realise Him quickly. Have Satsanga with Sadhus, Sannyasins and devotees. This will give you Viveka, Vichara and Vairagya, as well as spiritual strength and peace of mind. By regular Satsanga your mind will be saturated with thoughts of God, with divine glory, with divine presence, with sublime, soul-awakening spiritual ideals. Thus, only will you be established in the divine consciousness.
The Name of the Lord is a potent, unfailing antidote for those who are bitten by the serpent of Samsara. It is the nectar that can confer immortality and perennial peace. Repeat the Name of the Lord always and attain the fearless state. You can repeat any divine Name you like. All names of the Lord are equally potent.
Sing the Lord’s glory. Worship the Lord with all your heart and with all your mind. Remember Him always. All your miseries will come to an end. Your heart will be purified. The Lord will soon reveal Himself to you. You will truly feel His presence everywhere. Pray fervently to the Lord for the descent of His light and grace. Crave for His mercy. Yearn for communion with Him. Melt the mind in divine love. Burn the lower nature in the fire of devotion.
Man is not a helpless being. He has a free will of his own. Self-effort ensures divine grace. Therefore, overcome all your unfavourable circumstances by right aspiration and application. Have courage. Be bold. Never despair. You will surely succeed. There is nothing in this world which cannot be achieved by a man of determination, perseverance and the right kind of effort.