Study Circle: 06/10/18 – Vol 6. Chapter 7: The Inner Wheel
Virtue is strength; vice is weakness:
Life is a campaign against foes, it is a battle with obstacles, temptations, hardships, hesitations. These foes are within man and so, the battle has to be incessant and perpetual. Like the virus that thrives on the bloodstream, the vices of lust, greed, hate, malice, pride and envy sap the energy and faith of man and reduce him to untimely fall. Raavana had scholarship, strength, wealth, power, authority, the Grace of God—but, the virus of lust and pride which lodged in his mind brought about his destruction, despite all his attainments. He could not dwell in peace and joy for a moment after the virus started work. Virtue is strength vice is weakness. Man differs man, in this struggle against the inner foes. Each gets the result that his saadhana deserves, that his acts in this and previous births deserve. Life is not a mechanical formula, where 2 plus 2 always make 4. To some, it may be 3, .to others, 5. It depends on how each values the 2. Moreover, in the spiritual path, each one has to move forward from where he already is, according to his own pace, m the light of the lamp which each one holds in his own hand. The demons were too conceited to bend before the Lord; they put too much trust in arms and number; they ignored the subtler and stronger forces of the spirit, which could carry mountains, bridges, oceans and annihilate the anger of the elements. You must strive to diagnose your own character and discover the faults that are infesting it; do not try to analyze the character of others and seek to spot their defects. from This self-examination is very necessary to bring to light the defects that might undermine one’s spiritual career. People buy clothes with deep colour, so that they may not reveal dust or dirt; they do not prefer white clothes, for they show plainly their soiled condition. But, do not try to hide your dirt in darkness; be ashamed of soiled natures and endeavour to cleanse them fast.
1. Swami says that life is not a mechanical formula where 2 plus 2 always makes 4. To some, it may be 3, .to others, 5. It depends on how each values the 2. What do you understand by this statement and what do you think Swami means when He says that it depends on how each values the 2? Please share your thoughts.
Man Suffers from fever of the senses
Cultivate quietness, simplicity and humility Now this country is pursuing priya instead of hitha and that is the reason for all this distress and discontent. Indian Culture has always emphasised the hard way, the beneficial way; but, people are now after cultures that cater to the senses—the outer, the external, the frill and the fancies, the mirages and the momentaries. Indian culture advises the control of the senses, not catering to them. The car is driven by means of a wheel which is inside it; when that wheel is turned, the outer wheels move. So also, the inner wheel has to be turned in man, so that he may progress. Trying to move the outer wheels is a sign of ignorance; it is waste of precious energy. Inner concentration is to be developed in preference to outer distraction. Cultivate quietness, simplicity, humility, instead of noise, complexity, conceit. Of the twenty-four hours which comprise a day, use six for earning and spending, six for contemplation of God, six for sleep and six for service to others. You are now spending not even five minutes in the contemplation of God and you are not ashamed. What a tragedy!
2. Swami says that we should cultivate quietness, simplicity, humility, instead of noise, complexity, and conceit. Reflect a little. How does one create noise, complexity, and conceit? Please share your thoughts.
Best course to develop taste for liberation
Ponder over your sthithi (present condition), gathi (direction of movement, sakthi (capabilities) and mathi (inclinations). Then, enter upon the path of saadhana step by step, so that you approach the goal faster every day, every hour, every minute. Arjuna became entitled to the Geetha Upadesh (spiritual instruction) from the Lord Himself, because he evinced the vishaada, the vairaagya, the sharanaagathi and the ekaagratha—essential to assimilate the Great Message. When the yearning for Liberation has become intense beyond expression, man can set aside all social conventions, worldly norms and codes of conduct, that do not subserve that high purpose. Then, Prahlaadha can give up his father, Bheeshma can counter his Guru, Meera can desert her husband and Shankaraachaarya can play subterfuge with his mother. To develop that taste for liberation Naamasmarana (rolling the sweet Name of the Lord saturated with sugar of His splendour on the tongue and in the mind) is the best course. This is an exercise that can be practiced at all times and places by all, irrespective of creed or caste or sex or age or economic and social status. It will keep you in constant touch with the Infinite and so, it will transmit to you something of the Wisdom and Power of the Infinite.
3. Swami says that when the yearning of liberation has become intense, beyond expression, man can set aside all social conventions, worldly norms and codes of conduct, that do not subserve that high purpose. Reflect a little. How do you think one knows that he/she has reached this stage so that he/she can set aside worldly norms that do not serve a higher purpose?
Affirmation: I am virtuous.
Life Application Skill: Please come up with one based on today’s reading.