We want the best food for the body, but we do not care about all the base thoughts and ideas with which we feed our mind. We want to remove all the corns, pimples and blemishes from our skin, but we are not perturbed in the least over the thorns and weeds of jealousy, anger, lust and other vices in the ground of our heart. We are worried about the whitening hair on our head, but we develop no concern if our finer feelings and sentiments get blurred and blunted as we go through life.
We care for the superficial outside and not for the real inside. The real self is the inner Self. True culture is the culture of thoughts, feelings, sentiments, motivations. Culturing of the Bhava is the greatest culture. Bhava is one’s feeling, one’s attitude, one’s inclination towards the world and fellow-beings. The man with the noblest Bhava is the best man in the world. But the, ordinary man who is choosy in so far as material objects are concerned is quite indifferent when it comes to higher values.
The student who passes out of school seeks admission in the most prestigious college in town. The grownup youth wants the best girl for his marriage partner and the young lady pines for the best boy in her area. When a person goes shopping, his eyes naturally alight on the best suit-length, the best sari, the latest camera, the most fanciful sun-glasses. You always want to eat the most delicious food, read the most interesting novel and see the most exciting picture. Whether you can afford it or not, all your desires are coloured by this strong yearning for the highest and the best...in so far as material and down-to-earth objects are concerned.
But talk about finer sentiments, noble thoughts, higher feelings, ethical and spiritual values. Only a few in a thousand care for these richer values, because only a few in a thousand have that introspective vision capable of comprehending and appreciating these extramundane values.
All the material objects of this world are but the shell; the kernel is God. The kernel is the Spirit. The average man of the world may think that he has done the wisest thing in buying the best car or acquiring the best cottage. But the car and the cottage are only the best among the shell pieces. They are shell, after all. They are the husk.
The kernel, the grain, the substance is elsewhere. This the ignorant man does not realise. The Substance, the Spirit, lies deep within man. It can be attained only by removing all the dross that keeps It buried. Removing the dross is Sadhana. Sadhana is nothing but the exercise of inner purification. But, before a person commences Sadhana, he should know the purpose of doing Sadhana.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan