This article is a chapter from the book Seek the Beyond.
Loving adorations to revered and beloved Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, who taught us about the transitory nature of all names and forms that go to make up this world appearance, who taught us the permanent nature of the Eternal Reality that is beyond all ever-changing names and forms, that is eternal and absolute, imperishable and everlasting.
If we wish to attain enlightenment, illumination, divine perfection and liberation, we should channelise all our thoughts in the direction of this great, all-transcendental, absolute Reality. In making our mind move continuously and constantly in an unbroken thought stream towards that one Being lies the guarantee of attaining the true fulfilment of our life. In that lies the guarantee of attaining our own highest good and supreme blessedness.
Therefore, this is the type of mind you should pray for—a mind in which there is no inclination to turn in the direction of this temporary, perishable world of vanishing names and forms; there is no inclination to move outwards towards the objects that give a momentary, superficial, gross sense-pleasure, but at the same time are capable of inflicting upon us much disease, much sorrow.
Wise people do not revel in these attractive but deceptive sense-objects. The wise do not revel in objects of superficial temporary satisfaction. You have to decide. Do you want to be wise, or do you want to prove yourself to be foolish. In spite of so much of spiritual reading, so much satsanga, viveka, vichara, if you are still foolish, that means that your foolishness goes very deep.
We should also ask for a mind that remains balanced in pleasure and pain, honour and dishonour. Bear insult and injury. If anyone pleases you, if anyone blames you or speaks insultingly about you, remain the same. Do not be moved by it. Because in this world insult and injury are unavoidable. All types of people are there. If we are upset by little negative feelings people have towards us, then there will be no end to our being upset. You will never be at peace.
The world is made up of all types of people. Sattvic people will talk to you respectfully. They will talk respectfully about you behind your back also. They will not say one thing in front of you, another thing behind your back. They will talk respectfully about you always, even to strangers. They want even strangers to know that such and such a person is worthy of respect. They project an image of you that draws forth respect from others.
Thus, a sattvic person always shows reverence, speaks respectfully about others, feelingly, not caring how others speak about them. An honouring manner or insulting manner are the same to the sattvic person, because both have no value in their estimation. They are the same because fickle humanity is fickle. It is ever changing its moods and sentiments. The same people who will praise you to the skies one moment will talk very badly of you another time, if at that moment they are not pleased with you.
Therefore, you must pray to God for a mind that is always the same no matter what kind of treatment is meted out by people. There is a Parsi saying that goes, “Give me such a heart, O Lord, that I may pass over even a period of utmost sorrow and suffering with a serene, cheerful mind. As I am cheerful when all things are running smoothly with me, even so may I always be cheerful when they are not running smoothly.” This is the sign of a true devotee, a sattvic devotee.
A yogi who is united with God inwardly is always enjoying a feast. And what is that feast? The feast of contentment, santosh. There is an English saying, “Contentment is a continuous feast.”
Let us, therefore, cultivate this type of interior—always cheerful, always balanced, always taking pleasure and pain as the same, always taking insult and injury or honour and respect in the same way—living always in a state of inner balance, contentment and cheerfulness. This we may ask of the Supreme Being, and this we may pray for from Holy Master.