By Acharya Balkrishna
Seva (Selfless service)
The citta (mind) can never become pure without doing selfless service to others. An impure citta is never ideal and therefore unable to experience the Supreme-essence. Hence, one must always seek opportunities to do selfless service.
One must perform selfless service to one’s parents, the downtrodden and others.
The quantity of our personal happiness in life is not important. Rather, how many people are happy because of us is more important.
The following story reflects the same thought :
A boy from a village went missing for 3-4 days. Many villagers were searching for him. They made inquiries at all the possible locations, but it was all in vain. The boy’s mother was deeply distressed and suffered from anxiety. Suddenly, somebody covered her eyes with little hands. The mother was able to identify the child by the touch of his hands. She pulled him into her lap and enquired- ‘Where have you been my son! for the last four days? “Mother, there was an epidemic of cholera in the nearby village. The patients needed personal care, therefore I was at their service for the last four days due to which I was not able to infom you” The little boy said with a smile.
The spirit of her son in offering selfless service to the needy overwhelmed the mother, so she said to the son- “Good job, my son! I feel honoured to have a son like you.”
The boy later went on to become Netaj Subhacandra Bose : the great freedom fighter of his motherland ‘Bharata’.
The Power of Conviction
We should always lead our life with the following spirits :
I am agni (fire); wisdom, effulgence, motion, a leader and a commander.
Agnirasmi janmana jatavedh
It means, the fire of sankalpa – conviction is always ignited in my heart, and the path of my life is always illuminated.
The greatest pleasure and challenge in life is in accomplishing the task that people often said ‘You cannot do it.’ Hence, one should attempt to achieve the set goal with conviction and determination.
Relaxation is nothing but replacing one work with another. In fact, leisure is considered a taboo. An inspirational illustration:
Once there was a contest between two wood-cutters regarding wood-cutting abilities. It was decided the wood-cutter who chopped the maximum amount of wood in eight hours, would be declared the winner. The first wood-cutter began to chop wood continously without a pause, whereas the second wood-cutter rested for five minutes after every two hours and resumed the chopping. The first wood-cutter, having observed the second wood-cutter’s pattern of chopping of wood, accelerated his pace and thought ‘I will rest only once and that too for only ten minutes in the alloted quota of eight hours. As I am cutting at a much faster pace and also taking rest for only ten minutes as compared to the twenty minutes of the other person, I am surely going to be the winner.’ The contest came to an end and the second wood-cutter was declared the winner.
“How could he be the winner?” thought the first wood-cutter and having approached the second one asked, “You were cutting leisurely with breaks, that too with enjoyment, how did you then manage to chop more wood than me?” “Whenever I took pause, I was actually sharpening my axe and was relaxing a bit as well and hence was able to cut more wood”, the second person said in reply. The first person was now able to understand that relaxtion does not mean complete abstinence from actions, rather taking up different work in between the same action is ‘relaxation’.
Unhampered by obstacles, without yielding in the face of difficulties and undeterred by the criticism of others, one should march ahead continuously with the sole aim of reaching the goal :
Caraiveti–caraiveti, caran vai madhu vindati.
The courage to take the first step is enough to begin the journey of a thousand miles. Journey of thousand miles starts with a single step and ends with a single step.
Do not hesitate to be a part of any great objective or resolution, notwithstanding, if that objective or resolution had germinated in your bosom or in the tranquil mind of any divine soul, because it is meant for the betterment of everyone and everyone includes each and every individual of the world.
Sakalpa (determination) is that which either culminates into the objective or ends in death. There is no ‘alternative’ to ‘determination’.
A determined person who has resolute belief in his chosen objective, can alter the flow of history.
A person living for a great objective and divine resolution never tires, nor does he sit idle in dejection. He assiduously and tirelessly puts in tremendous efforts and struggles hard to achieve the goal. Those people who accept defeat are the unlucky ones who are not commited to any great purpose and sacred resolve. The following excerpt from the life of Mahamana Madanamohana Malavya showcases the power of determination:
Madanamohana Malavya once went to Hyderabad to raise funds needed to the establish the Ka Hindu Vivavidyalaya. He presented the detailed scheme of the unversity to the Nijama of Hydrabad and also requested him to support the cause by contributing financially for its completion. To his surprise, the Nijama cleary turned down the request of giving any financial assistance for the university.
Malavyaji walked out onto the road from there. He saw the funeral procession of a hindu seha (an extremely wealthy businessman), where people were showering money on that dead man. Some people, including small children, were busy in gattering the money scattered here and there on the road. Malavya j joined them and began collectins money. Everybody watched him with astonishment, untill somebody from the crowd gathered enough courage and asked Malavya j, “Your highness! what are you doing?”
“I have taken a pledge not to return empty handed from any of the places that I visit without raising any fund. The Nijama didn’t support me, and that is the reason why I thought it would be wise enough to collect some money from funeral for the fulfillment of my pledge,” the mahamana replied with enthusiasim.
This incident came to the Nijama’s notice and he was embarrased. He called up Malavya j and provided him with funds for the university. Malavya j later earned famous ephithet as a royal begger for his resolute determination.
Giving up hope even before attempting something tantamounts to accepting defeat before attaining victory. Hence, always strive in life.
¡Ri’s have coined the term ºvarya-yojana (the scheme of the Supreme soul)– for all those incidents that occur in the path of attaining the divine and lofty goal, and have used the term ‘viparta buddhi ka parinama’ (consequence of a diseased intellect)– for all those unfavourable incidents that occur with those persons who compromise on their resolutions. Man alone, not the supreme soul, is responsible for his own fate. God has regulated us to abandon everything else and to be firm in our resolutions.’
There are many shortcuts for acheiving materialistic success, but there is no shortcut for attaining spiritual awakening. Spiritual success can be achieved only, when we follow the path of honesty, gratitude and intense perseverance with strong and firm determination to achieve it.
We should at least have the requisite viveka (wisdom) not to be mislead by others. We must possess the requisite inner strength to counter pressures from others. We must have the self-confidence to prove our discoveries as authentic. We must have the courage to fight against injustice. We must be perseverant enough to stick to our chosen ideal path. Struggle not escapism; hardwork and vigour and not compulsion, is the true definition of a man.
Arise, awake and stop not, till the goal is achieved.
If determination is strong, then the journey does not stop until the goal is achieved even if the path leading to the desired goal is strewn with thorns, instead it (the journey) is accomplished sooner as the thorns promote the pace of one’s strides.
(Extracted from “Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Enlightened Life, Ideal Nation and Peaceful World”.)