Radiant Immortal Atman! Blessed children of the Divine! Beloved seekers! You are wisely seeking for true happiness, peace and satisfaction in that eternal, infinite and all-perfect Being wherein alone it can be experienced; wisely seeking That, the eternal, the immortal, the abiding, that which is not affected by time; wisely seeking That because you have enquired, observed life and observed people who pursue happiness in the outside world. You have reflected deeply and discriminated between mere sensation and true happiness, and you have found that the world has nothing to give except complications, restlessness and the loss of one’s peace of mind and happiness. Because happiness and peace are inseparable, you cannot have happiness unless you are at peace.
Worshipful and beloved Holy Master, wishing our highest welfare, lived his whole life in inner research into what will benefit mankind, what will take beyond sorrow and grant him true lasting happiness, a happiness that will not diminish or vanish. Because, any quest that moves in the wrong direction has to end in disillusionment, disappointment and frustration. Wanting us to avoid folly, he tells us what worldly life is. Our scriptures too, the Mahabharata, Ramayana, all the Puranas, are filled with descriptions of what the world is like, its worth, its true nature, giving us ready-made experience. Why should we spend our whole lives undergoing the same experiences and then by that time life is spent away? Why not benefit from the experience of the world since its creation?
One yielding to a desire, one disobeying of a divine law which was meant for their welfare, caused the first man and the first woman to be evicted from an ideal setting, a wonderful, perfect state of affairs. This one lesson, which is the foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is a lasting sign of what life will do to you if you become a slave to desire and disobey the great laws which have been made for your welfare.
Today is Sankranti and thousands and thousands of people from all over India, from different cultures, with different natures and habits, have come to take a dip in the Ganga. Why? What is it? What clicks inside and draws them irresistibly towards the Ganga on this day? It is what they have put into their mind, what they, their tradition, their family and others believe in. Though from different parts of India, they all have the same idea: “Sankranti is a sacred day. I must go and take bath; it is very meritorious, uplifting. God will be pleased, it will be a blessing to us.” So, whatever has been taken into the mind, believed in, held, that is the propelling force that makes people do things. Our actions depend upon the contents of our minds. Positive thoughts manifest as positive actions, negative thoughts as negative actions.
Now, ponder for a moment. From 5.15 to 5.45 all of you were in meditation. Each one must know the content of one’s mind at that time. What was the content? The content can only be what you have put into it, what you have allowed to enter it, to take rest and abide. It cannot be anything else. Therefore, you have to learn by studying, by being aware of the content of your mind during meditation, what has entered into your mind, whether you or someone else put it in, or whether the way you live gave easy access for it to enter and abide there. You have to think; it is worthwhile knowing.
And to help one in a positive way, to make the mind rich with the right type of thoughts and ideas—elevating, uplifting, at once purifying, sublime, noble—they made this provision of daily spiritual study and attentive listening in daily satsang. These powerful transforming thoughts then become the fresh new contents of the mind. And if this process is kept on logically, even if something of a contrary nature has already gone in, gradually it is pushed into a corner, is weakened and ultimately dies a natural death. No wonder that all great teachers have laid the greatest importance upon spiritual study and satsang, for they are channels of enriching our mind with the right type of sublime and elevating thoughts, noble thoughts, transforming thoughts.
And from these powerful thoughts Gurudev has selected four wonderful recipes, four wonderful mottoes and maxims for our guidance, each holding a world of meaning, a world of significance. These four words are meant to make our life full of peace and joy, free of restlessness, sorrow, clash and conflict. And these four are: Serve, Love, Meditate, Realise.
Serve: When you go out of yourself and seek to serve others, two great things happen: your ego becomes less important, and the off-shoot of the ego, selfishness, becomes gradually eliminated. Because where one is self-centred and egoistic, peace is not possible, happiness is not possible, neither for Oneself nor for others.
Love: Here it specifically means bhakti, love for the Supreme Reality. By bhakti we plug in, as it were, and make a contact or create a connection between ourselves and that which is profound and perfect peace, peace that passeth understanding, that which is the perfect joy, that which is the param ananda (supreme bliss). And naturally when you relate yourself, make a connection, with that which is the very embodiment, an infinite, limitless, immeasurable ocean of that very thing—then who in the world can prevent you from having that peace, that joy? So, Love, connect yourself with that supreme peace and joy, ocean of peace and joy. Then, what no one can get, you will get. What is nowhere available in this world is available to you, wherever you are. Whether you possess anything or not, whether you have anything or not, you will have peace, you will have joy, you will have a supreme state of fullness and satisfaction.
Meditate: Why be short of it? Once you have made this connection, take it to its logical conclusion and you yourself become the embodiment of peace. Instead of experiencing the peace and joy of the Divine, you yourself become the very ocean of peace and joy; you yourself become divine, for you are divine. Put an end to this forgetfulness once and for all, forever, and shine with divinity.
Realise: Keep what has just been said as the one supreme goal of your existence; never forget it even for one moment. Each day, when the sun rises and you begin a day, keep realisation as your supreme goal. Let that be the very meaning, the direction-giver, the propelling force of your life. Let your life be vibrant with the aspiration for realisation. Let this one principle, this one maxim and motto, this one factor of realisation enrich your entire life, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. Let it dominate your entire life, so that you live your life and direct your actions towards that great consummation of realisation, liberation.
Serve, Love, Meditate, Realise! These four significant words have a relevance to each one of us in our attempt to seek and find happiness while we live upon this earth, which is anityam, asukham, duhkhalayam, asasvatam (evanescent, without happiness, an abode of sorrow, impermanent), while we are seeking happiness upon this earth which is janma, mrityu, jara, vyadhi, duhkha (birth, death, old age, disease, sorrow). Yet you can fully succeed in attaining the highest happiness, highest bliss, highest peace and satisfaction, if you hold on to these four words, ponder their meaning, and manifest them in your life. They will lead you to peace and joy.
God bless you all! I wish you peace and joy of the highest quality, not second rate, third rate, fourth rate, petty, petty, petty peace. No! Peace and joy of the unparalleled, unique, supreme, highest quality, which is divine peace and joy, which is ever your birthright. To attain this you have come here into this world of pain and death. To attain this you have been blessed with human status, with the power to think, feel, reason, listen, receive and understand.
May today become the starting point of a vigorous onward ascent into that state of peace which is awaiting you, to ask for it and get it, to seek it and to find it. It is awaiting you. Let us not lose the opportunity!
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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