Beloved Immortal Atman! Blessed children of the Divine! Blessed are all of you who have entered into a life that leads to the realisation of the divinity inherent in you as your own essential nature. In all that you do in this life, day by day, morning till night, in all that you say and do, make sure that it springs from wisdom and not from wrong understanding or ignorance. Where there is wisdom as the basis of your life, as the basis of your action, there is no sorrow, there will be no sorrow for you. Where you allow wisdom to be thwarted by thoughtlessness, forgetfulness, heedlessness, the letting go of awareness, wisdom becomes clouded. Letting go of awareness makes for your sleep. Falling asleep means ceasing to know anything, being in the dark, and such darkness the great sages term as avidya, ignorance. Such a state of ignorance is due to letting go of the awareness, “I am divine, I am divine.”
All that is perceived through the senses is perishable. Nothing here is permanent, everything is impermanent. Therefore it is not wise to make these impermanent things our goal. Even though many teachers recognise their relative existence, they are not our goal. To forget this is unwisdom, and unwisdom is the cause of sorrow. In a state of unwisdom we take the impermanent to be both permanent and real in the absolute sense, and then we make them our goal. We superimpose a permanent value on them and then we get attached to them. Attachment is the cause of misery. Attachment is bondage. Attachment clouds one’s understanding. It has the power to cloud one’s intellect also, and when the intellect becomes thus overcome by such a cloud of attachment and lack of enquiry and discrimination, what happens? The Srimad Bhagavad Gita tells us clearly what happens.
Therefore, in your own highest self-interest, it is necessary to have wisdom firmly established in your heart, and from that state of wisdom you can act freely, go through life, extend your affection towards all, love all, be friendly to all, make use of things, but be detached within; do your duty, fulfil your obligations, behave normally, but be detached within. Be super-normal within. It may be a secret between you and God. Be apparently normal, but be, within yourself, super-normal. This is the key to succeed over the world, attain victory over circumstances. This is the key to go into the world in a state of serenity, in a state of absolute inner equanimity unaffected by inevitable things. This is the key message proclaimed by the Gita—anasakti (non-attachment).
Established in this wisdom, you see a vritti (thought), but you know that it is impermanent. We know ourselves, but we know that we are not what we superficially know ourselves to be, but that we are divine, eternal, imperishable, all-pervasive. Established in this awareness, firmly established in this detachment, anasakti, we go through life straight towards the Goal, not distracted, not overcome. Established in this state of awareness, this state of wisdom consciousness, nothing can touch you.
Lord Krishna says: “In this there is no loss of effort, nor is there any harm. Even a little of this knowledge protects one from great fear”—one of those assurances given by the great World Teacher. They are wonderful assurances; they are assurances that infuse strength into you. They have been the solace of sadhaks, the inner support of Yogis and the firm abiding place of bhaktas.
And such a state of awareness totally transforms your entire life and all that you are and you do. It brings about a total transformation in the very nature of your living of your life and brings about an inner alchemy. Your life is not what others think it to be or see it to be on the surface, but what, in the deeper depths, is known to One Who abides within you as your Eternal Companion.
This inner transformation is essential and indispensable if you are to pursue your spiritual journey towards the great goal of peace and joy unhampered and continuously. And all the scriptures, all the great saints have shown this as the one and the only way. There is no antidote for unwisdom except wisdom; there is no way of banishing darkness except with light.
“There is nothing more sanctifying than jnana,” Lord Krishna says. And in strong words Sankara says: “Not everything that you may try to do and do, even in a hundred births, will be of any avail unless you awaken within yourself jnana.” To cross the ocean of samsara, jnana is the great raft. To burn up and reduce to ashes all karmas, jnana is the great fire. It is jnana that brings about right understanding, and right understanding brings about detachment, and detachment brings about equanimity—sukhaduhkhe same kritva labhalabhau jayajayau (having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same).
This is the result of this inner anasakti (non-attachment), and through anasakti one crosses beyond sorrow and moves smoothly towards the Goal. May God bless you to reflect over this truth and understand it rightly! May God bless you to be established in awareness and triumph over life!
Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)
Diwali Prasad booklet - "Kanakdhara Stotram" ( Sanskrit/ Gujarati/ English)
Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
"Yoga and Health" - a complete book with Question & Answer section by Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
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