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CONTENTMENT & COURAGE

16-favorite-contentment-quotes-14-728Contentment

There is no greater gain than contentment. A man who is fully endowed with this important virtue is the richest man in all the three worlds.

Contentment is one of the important items in the Niyamas of the Raja Yoga philosophy. The Gita also says: “Be contented with whatever you get by chance and apply yourself to meditation with a dispassionate mind.”

Greed is the Chief Officer of Passion. Wherever there is greed, there is passion and wherever there is passion there is greed almost invariably. The understanding gets clouded, the intellect gets perverted and the memory gets confused by passion and greed. Therefore people find it difficult to develop the virtue of contentment.

An objector says: “I quite realise that contentment gives peace. But I have a doubt. lf I become contented, all my ambitions will die. I will become lethargic and lazy. On account of my various sorts of ambitions, I move about hither and tithel I exert and I am energetic.” My reply is simply this: “Contentment can never make you idle. lt is a Sattvic virtue that propels man towards God. lt gives strength of mind and peace. lt checks unnecessary and selfish exertions. lt transmutes the gross energy viz., greed that is forcing man towards selfish exertions into spiritual energy, Ojas. That man who is contented is full of Sattva. He is more energetic now. He is inward. He is always peaceful. He turns out more work calmly and with one-pointed mind. All the dissipated rays of the mind are collected now.

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world. lt has a beneficial influence on the soul of man. lt destroys all inordinate ambitions, all murmuring, repining, and makes one serene, happy and rich. lt is a pearl of inestimable value. Contentment is the best tonic. lt is the best medicine. lt gives best health and peace of mind.

A contented man is never poor. The discontented man is never rich. Be always contented with what happens. Know that what God chooses is better than what you choose.
lf you are not contented with what you have, you will not be contented with what you like to have.
Contentment is natural wealth. Luxury is artificial poverty.
Abandon all desires. Desire only the will of God. Seek Him alone. You will find perfect contentment, peace and bliss.
lf you increase your wealth, you increase your cares, worries ahd anxietes. But a contented mind is a hidden, supreme treasure. A man of contented mind knows not cares and anxieties.
A contented man is easy in mind. He does not repine. He is satisfled with things as they are. He never complains.

Contentment is the best virtue; contentment is called the true enjoyment; and the contented man gets the best repose. He derives happiness from within. lt is a panacea forthe cure of the dire disease-avarice or greed.

O man! Lead a life of perfect contentment and be happy forever. Live in God who is Nitya Triptior Supreme satisfaction or Contentment.

images (3)COURAGE

It is the quality that enables men to meet dangers without fear. Courage enlarges your resources but cowardice diminishes them.

No spiritual progress is possible without courage. courage is an essential of high character. There cannot be truth without courage, you cannot do anything in this world without courage.

Physical courage depends upon bodily strength and intrepidity. Moral courage is that quality which enables one to pursue a course deemed right through which one may incur contempt, disapproval or opprobrium.

True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve oivirtue and reason.

Have the courage of your convictions. Have the courage to act up to or consistently with your views or opinions.

lf you have courage and confidence, you can accomplish anything in this world. Courage is the source of all success. You have strength in proportion to courage. Your abirity to perform deeds is in accordance with your courage and confidence.

You may have courage when everything is going right; but it is difficult to have courage in times of panic and danger. The really courageous man is one who knows no fear when danger is on his heels and helps others with a calm attitude of mind.

Meditate ceaselessly on the absolutely fearless Atman or the lmmortal soul that dwells in the chambers of your heart. You will become an embodiment of courage.

Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda

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Obstacles in God-realization #5

Aimless Wandering

Swami Sivananda

Some aspirants have got a habit of wandering aimlessly. They cannot stick to one place even for a week. The wandering habit must be checked. They want to see new places, new faces and want to talk with new people. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A Sadhaka should stick to one place at least for a period of twelve years (one Tapah period). If his health is delicate, he can stay for six months in one place during summer and rainy season and in another place for six months during winter. Sadhana suffers if one wanders constantly. Those who want to do rigorous Tapas and Sadhana must stay in one place. Too much walking produces weakness and fatigue.

Lingual Diarrhea

Much energy is wasted by too much talking. The energy that is spent in talking must be conserved and utilized for divine contemplation. talkative man is unfit for the spiritual path. Practise Mauna (Silence) daily for two hours and especially during meals. On Sundays observe full Mauna for 24 hours. Do a lot of Japa and meditation during Mauna. The Mauna that is observed during meditation cannot be taken as Mauna. Mauna should be observed by householders at such a time when there are great opportunities for talking and when visitors come to meet. Now only the impulses of speech can be checked. Ladies are very talkative. They create troubles in the house by idle talk and gossiping. They should observe Mauna particularly. You should speak measured words only. Too much talking is Rajasic nature.

Discussing too much

Too much discussions end in enmity and hostility. Much energy is wasted in useless discussions. Intellect is a help if it is used in the right direction of Atmic Vichara. Intellect is a hindrance if it is used in unnecessary discussions. Intellect takes the aspirant to the threshold of intuition. Thus far and no further. Reason helps in inferring the existence of God and finding out suitable methods for Self-realisation. Intuition transcends reason but does not contradict reason. Intuition is direct perception of Truth. There is no reasoning here. Reasoning concerns matters of the physical plane. Wherever there is ‘Why’ and ‘Wherefore’, there is reasoning. In transcendental matters which are beyond the reach of reason, reason is of no use.

Intellect helps a lot in reflection and ratiocination. But people in whom reasoning has highly developed become skeptical. Their reason becomes perverted also. They lose faith in Vedas and in the teachings of Mahatmas.

Irregularity of Sadhana

Just as a man is regular in taking his food, so also he must be strictly regular in his Sadhana. One can get the meditative mood quite easily without effort if he does his Sadhana at fixed hours, both morning and night. In winter one can have four sittings. One should have the same pose, the same room, the same seat, the same Bhava or the same mental attitude, the same hours for meditation.

One should meditate regularly. He should do the spiritual Sadhana untiringly with indefatigable energy, asinine patience, adamantine will and iron determination. Then only sure success is possible. Meals should be taken at regular hours. One should go to sleep at fixed time. See how the sun is very regular in its rising and daily work!

Sometimes the mind gets disgusted with one particular kind of Sadhana. It wants some new kind of Sadhana. Just as mind wants some variety in food and other things, so also it wants variety in the mode of Sadhana also. It rebels against monotonous practice.

Do not expect anything. Be sincere and regular in your daily routine, Tapas and meditation. The Sadhana will take care of itself. You mind your own daily business. The fruit will come by itself. Let me repeat here the words of Lord Krishna: “Thy business is with the action (Tapas, Sadhana and meditation) only, never with its fruit; so let not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor be thou to inaction attached.” (Gita: ll-47.) Your efforts will be crowned with sanguine success by the Lord. It takes a long time for purification of the mind and getting a one-pointed mind. Be cool and patience. Continue your Sadhana regularly.

Fault-finding

This is a detestable old habit of man. If you spend even a fraction of the time that you waste in finding your own faults you would have become a great saint by this time. He who applies himself diligently to his spiritual practices cannot find even a single second to look into the affairs of others. Much time is wasted in back-biting, scandal-mongering etc. Time is most precious.

Fear

This is a very great obstacle in the path of God-realisation. A timid aspirant is absolutely unfit for the spiritual path. One must risk the life, if he wants to attain immortality. The spiritual wealth cannot be gained without self-sacrifice, self-denial or self-abnegation. A fearless dacoit who has no Deha-Adhyasa is fit for God-realisation. Only his current will have to be changed. Fear is not an imaginary non-entity. It assumes solid forms and troubles the aspirant in various ways. If one conquers fear, he is on the road to success. He has almost reached the goal. Tantrik Sadhana makes the student fearless.

Fear assumes various forms. Some are not afraid of tigers in the forests. They are not afraid of gun shots in the battlefield. But they are awfully afraid of public criticism. Fear of public criticism stands in the way of an aspirant in his spiritual progress. He should stick to his own principles, and own convictions, even though he is persecuted and even though he is at the point of being blown up at the mouth of a machine-gun. Then only he will grow and realise. Fear of all sorts should be totally eradicated by Atma-Chintana, Vichara, devotion and cultivation of the opposite quality, courage. Positive overcomes negative. Courage overpowers fear and timidity.

Force of Old Samskaras

When the aspirant does intense Sadhana to obliterate the old Samskaras, they try to rebound upon him with a vengeance and with redoubled force. They take forms and come before him as stumbling-blocks. The old Samskaras of hatred, enmity, jealousy, feeling of shame, respect, honour, fear etc., assume grave forms. Samskaras are not imaginary non-entities. They turn into actualities when opportunities crop up. The aspirant should not be discouraged. They will lose their force after some time and die by themselves. Just as the dying wick burns with intensity just before it gets extinguished, so also those old Samskaras show their teeth and force before they are eradicated. The aspirant should not get unnecessarily alarmed. He will have to increase the force or momentum of spiritual Samskaras by doing Japa, Dhyana, Svadhyaya, virtuous actions, Satsanga and cultivation of Sattvic virtues. These new spiritual Samskaras will neutralise the old vicious Samskaras. He should plunge himself into his spiritual practices. This is his Kartavya or duty.

Excerpts from “Practice of Bhakti Yoga” by Swami Sivananda