Essential Ingredients of a Victorious Spiritual Life
Sri Swami Chidananda
Message from the book Awake! Realise Your Divinity!.
When the forces of the celestials were unable to overcome the dark and gross forces of the demoniacal hosts, they appealed to the supreme grace that God is to grant them a leader, a commander, so that they might once again rally their forces, give battle in a decisive manner, and thus triumph over the forces of darkness. The battle represents the eternal struggle, the eternal tension within the field of consciousness of each individual psyche, the two-way pull between the positive and the negative, between the gross and the subtle, between light and darkness, between Spirit and that which holds it bound to its present state–a situation, a state of being that is inexplicable, and, therefore, is termed as the cosmic illusion of the eternal enchantress or the great power of Brahman, maya. It is this tension that is enacted and resolved in the six-day worship of Lord Karthikeya.
Karthikeya has as His banner the emblem of a cock, the cock that crows in the morning waking you up from the deep slumber of the night’s darkness and calling you towards the dawn that is about to break over the hilltops. Uttishthata jagrata–arise, awake, and gather all your forces together by patient and diligent effort. Gather together the scattered rays of your entire personality potential–your physical activity, your sentiments, attachments, affections, emotions, love–gather them together and let them become concentrated towards one goal, one attainment, one supreme experience, one realisation.
Ekagrata (one-pointedness) is the hallmark of the true seeker, aspirant, yogi, sadhaka–the unification of your entire being and directing it towards the Supreme Reality. It is the alpha and omega of all spiritual life, of the science of yoga and attainment. It is the practical inner aspect of the outer framework and structure of the phenomenon called the religion of man.
It is the gathering together of your entire personality potential, of the scattered rays of your mind that are divided amongst the innumerable objects of your senses, withdrawing them from all the things that keep on distracting your mind, gathering the mind together by patient discipline, by continued, unremitting effort, taking keen interest in this process–not doing it half-heartedly or unwillingly, but with great enthusiasm, patience and diligence.
It takes a long period of time, for it is the reversal of your nature as was created by the Creator or the Powers that be. It is a renewal of your entire consciousness. It is a rebirth in purity, and a spiritual awareness of your eternal linkage with the cosmic Spirit Divine. It is a total unification of your entire being into one keen single point and directing it towards the great Goal.
Thus Karthikeya is a wielder, not of a sword, not of a mace or a discuss or a trident, He is the wielder of a single, sharp one-pointed spear, indicating to us: Come, be unified in toto, by patience and diligence, through abhyasa (practice)–never again allowing a reversal of this unification, never allowing the scattered rays of your physical activity to be dispersed among the trivia of this daily life, not allowing the mind to become dispersed towards sense objects, not allowing the affections of your heart to become diversified, distracted and drawn outside, not allowing the intellect to pursue mere intellectual, hair-splitting processes in this temporary, universal appearance, which is a long dream. And support your abhyasa with vairagya (dispassion). Support your yoga with the rock of self-restraint, of samyama. Make samyama the bedrock, the foundation stone to build up the structure of yoga, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Make your life a grand and glorious edifice whose pinnacle point is the Supreme Reality.
This unification, Karthikeya stands for. This wakefulness, Karthikeya stands for. This alertness and vigilance, Karthikeya stands for. And these are the essential ingredients of a successful sadhaka. They are the essential ingredients of a victorious life spiritual. Thus may your efforts be directed–physical, mental, intellectual, emotional. May all your efforts be unified and directed towards the attainment of the divine destiny for which you have come on earth, by attaining which alone your life becomes fulfilled, your life becomes complete. Otherwise, it is incomplete. Even if you have the wealth of the three worlds, yet your life remains incomplete.
Towards this completion, towards this fulfilment, may you live every moment of your wakeful life, and in this effort may Lord Karthikeya bless you with success!”