March 2014

A beautiful life does not just happen; it is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and hard work. – Chinmaya

In life, there are no accidents, but only incidences.

A house is built brick by brick; so too life is built thought by thought. Thoughts – we can choose, and life is what happens to us once the choice is made. The above quote gives us the guidelines to make our life beautiful.

A person went to a Mahatma and asked, “Swamiji, I find you cheerful and happy throughout the day. How is it that you are able to remain totally contented even with the bare minimum?”

“What do you do?” enquired the saint.

“I do farming”, replied the visitor.

“You don’t have to change your profession,” said the saint smilingly. “Cultivate your mind the way you cultivate your farm. Let sufferings in life do the spadework of preparing the soil of your mind. Let the lessons learnt from the past mistakes be the manure. Protect the mental land by the fence of Satsang (constant association with the noble). Procure good quality thought-seeds by studying the scriptures and listening to the enlightened discourses of the wise. Sow these seeds of noble thoughts in the fertile mind and water them regularly with the tears of love and devotion overflowing unto the Lord. “

“Never give room to despair”, the saint continued. “Work hard. Remain vigilant. Eliminate without mercy the weeds and pests of evil thoughts. Protect the crop by chasing away the birds of evil company. With the grace of God as rain and sunshine, wait patiently for the right season. Soon you will have a rich harvest of peace, happiness and contentment!”

It is said, when it comes to hard work, some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, while most don’t turn up at all!

This story is of the Mahabharata period. After the war, when Bheeshma Pitamaha was lying on the bed of arrows, many seekers of knowledge would come to him to learn from the rich experiences of his life, and Bheeshma Pitamaha would meet their queries. Someone asked, “Revered Sir, Kauravas were a hundred in number, while the Pandavas were only five. How then

did the Pandavas win the battle, even though both the parties had a common Guru – Guru Dronacharya?”

Bheeshma gave three reasons. Firstly, the Pandavas always followed the path of Dharma (righteousness). Secondly, Guru Dronacharya was engaged on a salary basis. And thirdly, Kauravas did their education enjoying all luxuries of life in a palace. The Pandavas, on the other hand, lived in the ashrams and forests, working hard, and living a life of discipline, exercising control over the mind and the senses. It is the result of their hard work, sincerity and honesty that they, despite being only five in number, turned out to be more powerful than the Kauravas, and ultimately won the battle.

There is a Sanskrit subhashitam which says you cannot be a Vidyarthi (seeker of knowledge) and at the same time be a Sukharti (seeker of comforts). One has to be given up for the sake of the other.

Once Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda was conducting a Jnana Yajna in Delhi. One restless and impatient youngster, named Suresh Pant, an M.B.A graduate, got inspired by Swamiji and wanted to join Chinmaya Mission as a monk. He decided to join Swamiji

on his way to the Siddhabari ashram in Himachal Pradesh.

At about 30 km from the Ashram, Swamiji got down from the car and said, “Suresh, let us walk!” Suresh also got down and asked, “Gurudev, but where?” Swamiji said, “To the Ashram at Siddhabari.” Suresh argued, “But why? You said the road goes up to the Ashram. Why not we proceed in the car itself? We will reach the destination quickly and I can start my course with you without wasting time!”

Gurudev insisted, and hence Suresh gave up his arguments and started walking along. Swamiji was 65 years old, frail but energetic. He was enjoying every step. Suresh got bored after some time with endless walking. They stopped near a tree. “Swamiji, still how long to go?”

enquired Suresh. Swamiji exclaimed, “Look at those beautiful white flowers on these trees! How nice they look!”

They walked on and on. As they were crossing a rivulet, the tired young man asked again, “Gurudev, at what time are we expected to reach the Ashram?” Swamiji smiled broadly and said, “Suresh! Do you hear the music of the waterfall? How melodious!!”

They continued walking. It was nearing sunset. Exhausted and fatigued, the impatient youth, unable to resist himself, enquired again, “Swamiji, are we near?” Gurudev said with a twinkle in his eyes, “Dear! Look at the sunset. How magnificent!!”

Suresh stopped. Irritated, he looked at Gurudev and said, “Swamiji, either there is something wrong with me or there is something wrong with you. I am asking you something and you are saying something else!”

Gurudev smiled. He replied in words honeyed with all love and compassion, “My son! I am trying to make you enjoy the journey, while you are constantly worrying about the destination.”

Ups or downs – let us learn to cherish every moment of our inner awakening while traversing the path of Self-discovery. After all, what is the hurry – the time is infinite, and the Self is immortal!

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