Recognition of the mind's existence, and the total identification with it, are the play of the "spiritual ignorance" (ajnanam), consisting of (a) the non- apprehension of Reality and (b) the consequent misapprehension of it. When we fail to apprehend the way-side post, we misunderstand it as a ghost, and the ghost-vision gives rise to fear, confusion and a raised pulse rate! To deny mind and its out-going thoughts (chittam) and to recognize them as fiickerings of the Self, the Consciousness, is to annihilate the mind. End of the mind is the dawn of "wisdom" (jnanam).
Our spiritual teachers with paternal kindness chalk out for us the entire route of our pilgrimage to the Self in us. "When the sense-organs are not engaged in the seeking of the indulging in the sense-objects, they remain in their own nature and they would not then drag the thoughts out into the field of sense-gratifications." Again, "When this 'self withdrawal' (pratyahara) from the theatres of sense-gratifications, is practiced, all sense-organs come under the will and total control of the seeker."
"Thereafter the meditator, through 'faith' built upon right knowledge (shraddha), self-control' (brahmacharya), devoted concentration' (vidya, otherwise called as upasana), and intelligent, self-disciplining austerities' (tapas), cultivates 'quietude of mind' (chittanirodha) which steadily grows in him under these spiritual practices (satkara-vasaat)."
"Devotion for Narayana, worship of Him and dedication of all activities unto Him, ensures to the meditator His Grace, and the Lord blesses him soon with the supreme experience of the Self-Divine."
No one can ever have any chance to complain of difficulties enroute, if he is following this grand road to the Temple of Effulgence Supreme. Problems arise, progress gets choked, confusions beset, faith departs, despair strangles, and the seeker gets hurled down on the path only because of his own inner unpreparedness. Deepseated urges and inclinations (vasanas) have to be thrown up from the "unconscious" to the level of the "conscious" mind. They may play for a while in us, and then will depart, never to return……..if we have developed the necessary stamina and discovered sufficient guts to stand apart from them as a disinterested Witness during their threatening upsurge. Such frequent explosions are unavoidable in any seeker on the "march".
Let not those who are practicing meditation even feel aghast at what they have to accomplish. When they enter the spiritual field and courageously start their honest efforts at hastening the fulfillment of their evolution, a great divine Power comes to help the seeker at every turn. The teacher laughs at our enexplicable fears: "Even a mountain can be slowly, slowly reduced to powder; even a rocky hillock can be blasted by repeatedly shooting arrows at it: that is the glory of continuous practice (abhyasa)- even an 'ignorant' one can gain 'wisdom". This is the unfailing reward of steady, daily practice, sincerely undertaken for a long, continuous period of time.
Be regular. Be sincere. Get involved in your sadhana. Keep cheerful, carefree and inspired all through your study, during your reflection and in your devotion. Forget to worry over the future. Refuse to have regrets over the past. Surrender the present problems to His care. "Narayana-Narayana." Live in the confidence of His guiding support. Quietly, sincerely, continuously strive on, as best as you can, to live in the awareness of the infinite Self.
Let your life in the world be no more than a minor disturbance in You, the Infinite Self, who is not contained in a mere body, who cannot be tantalized by the frolicsome dancings of the mind, or the unpredictable mad fancies of the intellect. Be firm, steady, undisturbed in all conditions. Nothing in this world is permanently with you to give you perpetual disturbance. They too are finite. Then why worry? In spite of them, be regular. Be determined to pursue in unabated joy your daily meditation.
In life we all silently suffer a thousand horrid pains and impossible disturbances, and still we pursue with gusto our wordly activities. Why not, then, suffer with a heart filled with self-confidence and held in an attitude of dignified indifference towards all the tyrannies of the flesh, the rising of passions, the storms of sentiments. etc., and still continue our pursuit of the goal divine? Let no situation in life stand between us and our attempts at exploring the subtler spheres of the higher Consciousness.
Asks a rishi in utter amazement, "We suffer silently wounds inflicted by weapons suffer the pains of diseases, yet, to suffer the thought 'I am not the ego', why such dread? Is it so tiring and terrible, terrifying and trying?"
Let not any seeker throw up his efforts in despair and run away from his meditation seat, even after his millionth failure to quieten his mind! These very attempts, though apparently unrewarding, are slowly eating up the delusions and widening the gateway to Realization. Never give up: never despair. Strive on! on and on! Every effort you put forth is a step taken towards the Truth. When tired...smile! When exhausted...rest! And then strive again!! When dispirited surrender to Him. Help comes! Help surely comes!!
The path of spiritual unfoldment is reserved for the wise heroes and not for simple-minded, foolish cowards. You must, now and then, assume a get-tough stance with the mind. Don't yield! Continuously fight.
Even when you are losing, retreat still fighting for every inch. Call up reinforcements from the Lord, through your devotion and surrender.
The sadhana must be continued till the achievement of realization of the "Flameless Light" (Nirvana) of Consciousness. Say the Guru: "To gain the Supreme experience, through a total quietude of the entire mind intellect-equipment, O! Sin-less One! strive one, till you reach the Abode of Peace, Brahman."
Having thus set the student on the path and having equipped the pilgrim with all knowledge, the teacher in the Upanishad says to the seeker: God-speed. Good luck enroute. May you go pleasantly beyond the Kingdom of Darkness," into the Light-of- Lights, by whose Light alone all other lights are lit up ever.
Never hurry. Have faith in the Lord and your Teacher. And hasten slowly. "Hari Om…Hari Om…Hari Om."