ON LEADING A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Until you fall asleep or until you die, devote yourself to Vedantic thought. Go on striving for the higher life. Do not give the slightest opportunity to your desires and passions for upsetting you and making your mind outgoing.
The greatest struggle is to maintain the steady flow of the undercurrent of thought, to keep one’s mind fixed on the goal. The undercurrent always protects you. We may crack harmless jokes and all that, but always this undercurrent is to be maintained. Our jokes must never be immoral or loose, or in any way of a doubtful nature, and we must never listen to such jokes when other people indulge in them. We must always be dignified and not allow others to make dirty jokes. In this, we must learn to impose our will on others or leave the place. Listening to a joke of a doubtful or loose nature is very bad for all aspirants and should be strictly avoided.
This gives us strength. Bad thoughts vitiate the air, and we must purify ourselves as well as others by good thoughts. This is never to be lost sight of. We have to shoulder that responsibility and cannot allow others to behave as they like so long as they are in our company. If they do not conform to our standards, we have to avoid them.
Is Brahman altogether out of touch with us? Is it a fact that we know nothing of It, get no glimpse of It? So long as there is false identification and false sense of personality, Brahman cannot be realized. There is this false identification, and during the time of this identification we see we are shifting our centre of consciousness continuously. Sometimes we identify ourselves with the body and say, “O, I am hurt. I feel such pain [physical].’ Sometimes, with the mind and say, ‘O, so-and-so was so rude to me. I feel so worried; I feel sorry. I feel interested.’ All this is wrong identification with men and things and the ‘I’ is the common factor in this identification. ‘I’ comes in different forms. As long this ‘I’ lasts, we cannot get a glimpse of Brahman. But there is one thing to note. Even at the time of this wrong identification, we have the consciousness of something that abides. At the back of this wrong ‘I’, there is something that does not change. And it is the task of the spiritual man to find out what that really is. Everybody wants to live eternally, even people trying to commit suicide do not want to get rid of life but of all the anxieties and worries of life. What they really want is a pleasant life, not no-life. We want to live eternally and happily. Nobody wants to live eternally like stocks and stones, but wants to lead an intelligent life. Nobody has before him the ideal of living among sorrows and miseries. Inordinate craving for the pleasures of life makes people commit suicide. In everybody there is always this yearning for peace, for blessedness, for freedom. And we all do not want to be disturbed by cares and anxieties.