This article is from the book Walk in This Light.
You are verily blessed and favoured that you have been chosen. Out of countless beings, only a few strive to attain a state of perfection which takes one beyond sorrow and which bestows eternal blessedness and supreme peace. To have come into such a Path is itself a great grace. You may be a Sannyasin, a householder, a businessman or a student, but if you have chosen to walk the path of goodness and righteousness, know that you are supremely blessed.
In this world of hatred, conflict, unrighteousness, dishonesty, warfare, old age, suffering and death, the Jivatma–having taken birth as a mortal, human individual, a physical, biological and psychological being–is suffering from the threefold afflictions: afflictions caused by natural forces beyond our control, afflictions caused by other forms of living beings, and afflictions created by us from within. From within and without, the individual soul embodied as a human individual upon this earth journey is subject to these three-fold afflictions.
Inner afflictions arise out of Raga-Dwesha and the six-fold enemies that are lingering in our own lower nature: desire, anger, greed, infatuated delusion and haughtiness which is intoxicated by ego, envy and jealousy. They are six inner negative trends which keep a person always in a state of restlessness and agitation and without peace. Thus subjected to inner and outer afflictions, the human individual wanders about in the waking state with no peace of mind. For this reason some people seek relief in sleep, and if they do not get sleep they are very much upset. Sleep is nature’s little mercy, a temporary withdrawal from the state of affliction.
In such a world which causes further restlessness by invading your mind through radio, TV, newspapers and gossip, you have been chosen to come into the path of righteousness that leads beyond sorrow, into peace and into supreme happiness. It is not a small grace; it is a great grace. It is not an ordinary blessing; it is a rare and extraordinary blessing. You are supremely fortunate, supremely blessed.
Amongst the blessed souls, you are specially blessed to be involved in a great way of life expounded by an enlightened perfect soul. It transforms your earth nature into purity and godliness, thus bringing a quality of divinity to your feelings, your attitude and principles of living. It elevates your life to a very high level of spirituality and into a sublime plane of beauty and blessedness. That is the special gift granted to modern mankind, throwing open the possibility of a life that is like gold when compared to the normal life of people steeped in ignorance.
Gurudev threw open the gates to supreme blessedness for us even while we are upon this earth plane working out our Prarabdha Karma and enjoying petty pleasures and undergoing petty sufferings. He has shown the way for an upward ascent to Divinity through a certain way of life, which is meant for every human individual–in all walks of life, living anywhere and without making any extreme change in place, activity or pattern of life. This way of life brings about a subtle but definite change in one’s angle of vision, in the understanding of oneself and how life is meant to be. It brings about a change in one’s approach, understanding, attitude and angle of vision. It also brings about a change of Bhav, which is the most important thing. Thus, he gave us a key to transform life into a divine way to God experience.
By changing the angle of vision and by a transformation of Bhav, your life begins to take on a new meaning, without any change in your outward circumstances needing to take place. You become a different being from within. You now look at life and things in this world with a new vision. You behold something which you never beheld before. You begin to engage in the same activities, but with a new outlook and a new feeling. Life changes its meaning, and it starts yielding spiritual results never before obtained.
Gurudev taught us how to make the ordinary life divine, which means bringing God’s quality into it, bringing God-Realisation into it, bringing a Godward movement called Sadhana into it. It means bringing a Godward ascent and progress, called Yoga Abhyasa, into it. He coined the term “Yoga in daily life”–the ordinary daily life of the taxi driver, the schoolteacher and the shopkeeper. He brought Yoga to you where you are. He said Yoga is possible for every person. This was the extraordinary gift of divine living that beloved Holy Master gave, and it is important from time to time to come to the source of this new way of life and recharge your batteries. You once again enter into this experience and go back to your home feeling renewed, refreshed and invigorated. To have one’s vision clarified is no small blessing.
You are a fortunate few; therefore, you should cooperate with this blessing that has been showered upon you by the Divine. You should joyfully seize that opportunity, take it into your hand and fully enter into the spirit of it with great sincerity, determination and enthusiasm. This is the secret of success. It is the inner master key for utilising to the fullest what has been freely given to you by God.
Be constantly aware of this blessedness so that you do not forget. The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ means that a thing which is available in plenty loses its value, or a thing about which one constantly keeps speaking loses its significance and soon becomes ordinary and commonplace and does not receive any more attention. This is a misfortune created by a certain lack within; it is a blind spot in the seeker himself which in no way diminishes the great gift bestowed by God and the great saints.
So, if one wishes to avoid this pitfall and wishes to keep alive the awareness of the value of what has been bestowed, one should engage in constantly reminding oneself day-after-day. The method granted to us by our ancients for this constant awareness is Svadhyaya–study of the Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani or any inspiring book of Gurudev. This study opens our eyes and keeps us constantly awake to the worth of what surrounds us everywhere and which has come into our life–the awareness of the significance of life and the grandeur of the goal.
Daily Svadhyaya of these great scriptures–Gita, Upanishads, Puranas–remind us of how precious human life is, how glorious is the goal and how extremely fortunate is the one who turns towards that goal. All the great Yoga systems insisted upon Svadhyaya, and so with unfailing regularity and great eagerness you must approach Svadhyaya day-after-day with the keen eagerness of a scientific researcher getting to know more and more. Hari Om.