Sunday, April 2, 2017
The Present is Supreme
In order to attain success in yoga, sadhana (spiritual practice) is necessary. Have no patience with theoretical religion. By contemplating in a closed room for years, you may not advance more than a few steps. The effects of past actions can only be washed away by the fresh, virtuous actions in the present - that is, by service. There is no other way of purifying yourself. There is no other method of destroying impure impressions, and desires.
No one can achieve the ideals of karma yoga without destroying the ego. And the ego, the accumulated layers of egoism cannot be destroyed without the magic solvency of service. If one wishes to know, one must give and one must serve. To the self-centred, knowledge will ever be meaningless and empty.
God has no use for the so-called pandit who mechanically chants the scriptures, but who shuts his eyes to the sick man on the wayside. The self, the smaller self, of rajas (dynamism) and tamas (inertia), is always prompting one for one's own aggrandisement. It wishes to enjoy, it wishes to have bhoga (pleasure). But the bhoga of the three worlds cannot give a tenth, a hundredth, of the bliss of divine knowledge.
Karma yoga is very difficult in the beginning due to the ego-ridden impure mind. You have to be strict and firm with the mind. Do not listen to its selfish promptings. Draw inspiration and courage from communion with the Lord in the silent hours of prayer, and from studying the lives of saints and from the sacred scriptures.
Do not think too much about this method of niskamya yoga (the yoga of selfless service). Just begin somewhere. Work with the right intention, the right spirit. The way will open before you.
Do charity. Serve the sick. Serve the poor. Serve the country. Serve your parents. Serve any social or spiritual institution. Spiritualise all of your actions. Then every action becomes an offering unto the Lord, when it is performed in the right spirit.
Karma yoga is a great leveller. It removes all illusory distinctions and differences. It leads to unity and to a feeling of oneness. It removes idleness and inertia. It gives you good health.
Plunge yourself in the practice of karma yoga, the yoga of selfless service. Glory to karma yoga which elevates a man to divinity and unity.