Thought for the Day - As written at Prasanthi Nilayam
Thought for the Day Archive
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Thought for the Day Archive
March 1, 2005
The mind can be used as a bridge to lead one from the manifest to the
unmanifest, from the individual to the universal. Cleanse the mind and
mould it into an instrument for loving thoughts and expansive ideas.
Cleanse the tongue and use it for fostering fearlessness and friendship.
Cleanse the hands; let them desist from injury and violence. Let them
help, heal and guide. This is the highest sadhana (spiritual discipline).
March 2, 2005
You are all Sat-Chit-Ananda swarupa (embodiments of
Existence-Consciousness-Bliss); only, you are unaware of it and imagine
yourself to be an individual subject to limitations. This is the myth that
must be exploded in order that divine life may begin. It is the Divine
that inspires, that activates and is the fulfillment of the life of every
being. From the tiny atom to the vast Universe every single entity is
moving towards that consummation where it merges in the sea of Bliss.
March 3, 2005
Wisdom flashes like lightning amidst the clouds of the inner sky; one has
to foster the flash, and preserve the light. That is the true sign of the
learned person. Do not believe that mastery of many tomes makes you wise.
Wisdom can grow only where humility prevails. It thrives when man is
afraid of vice and sin, and is attached to the Divine present in himself
and in all beings in the universe.
March 4, 2005
Have faith that truth will save you in the long run; resolve to stick to
the truth regardless of what befalls you. For, if you are true, the sense
of guilt will not gnaw at your insides and cause pain. It is cowardice
that makes you hide the truth; it is hatred that sharpens the edge of
falsehood. Be courageous; and there will be no need to utter falsehood. Be
full of love and there will be no need for subterfuge. Holding on to the
truth is the safest and easiest way to live.
March 5, 2005
The sugarcane should welcome the cutting, the hacking, the crushing, the
boiling and the straining to which it is subjected; since without these
ordeals, the cane will dry up and make no tongue sweet. So too, man must
welcome suffering, for that fortitude alone brings sweetness to the spirit
within. If you wish to enjoy enduring happiness, you have to fill your
mind with pure thoughts and develop noble feelings in your heart. Through
good thoughts and kind actions, the heart becomes pure and sacred.
March 6, 2005
Seek and remain in good company; keep association with the holy. Being in
the midst of such spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with
greater chance of success. Being in the company of the holy is like the
bit and bridle for the wanton steed, the dam and canal for the raging
flood. The value of holy places consists in just this: kindred spirits
congregate there and contribute to the deepening of spiritual yearning.
You can take sweet and sustaining counsel in such places and strengthen
your faith and devotion.
March 7, 2005
The Upanishads declare that immortality can be experienced only through
Thyaga (renunciation or sacrifice). This renunciation does not mean giving
up hearth and home, kith and kin. It means giving up the transient and
impermanent things of the world. This calls for discrimination between
what is permanent and what is perishable, what is good and what is bad.
Only then can man discover the divine principle within him.
March 8, 2005
The remembrance of God and repetition of His name is the only means of
liberation that is easily accessible to all. People tend to treat the name
of the Lord casually, not realizing its potency. All the power of the
Cosmos is contained in it. You must understand the significance of the
name properly and use it in the right way. Bhajan (devotional singing) is
an effective activity by which Kama (desire) and Krodha (anger) can be
kept at bay.
March 9, 2005
The most important goal for man is to put into practice the doctrine of
divine love. The principle of love is the greatest unifying force; it
unites all spiritual practices, all creeds, all the goals of life and all
the scriptures. The foremost path for the spiritual aspirant is the path
of complete surrender to the Lord for earning His love and grace. The
devotee offers everything he has and approaches the Lord in the same
manner in which a bride in this country renounces all that was her's
before her marriage, when joining the household of her husband. God's love
cannot be gained without such renunciation by the devotee.
March 10, 2005
God has four attributes and it is only when you cultivate them that you
can truly understand Him. They are: Love, Beauty, Sweetness and Splendour.
Love is enough to add unto you the other three. When you are full of Love
for the Divine in all creation, that state is true Beauty; when you are
immersed in the sea of Universal Love, you reach the acme of Sweetness;
when your mind loses its identity and merges with the Universal Mind, then
there is Splendour indescribable.
March 11, 2005
The Grace of God cannot be won through the gymnastics of reason, the
contortions of yoga or the denials of asceticism. Love alone can win it -
love that needs no requital, love that knows no bargaining, love that is
given gladly as a tribute to the all loving, love that is unwavering. Love
alone can overcome obstacles, however numerous or formidable. There is no
strength more effective than purity, no bliss more satisfying than love,
no joy more restoring than Bhakti (devotion), no triumph more praiseworthy
March 12, 2005
Man's life is like a garland, with birth at one end and death at the
other. Between the two ends are strung together flowers of all kinds -
troubles, worries, joys, sorrows and dreams. Few are aware of the string
that runs through all the flowers. Without the string there can be no
garland. Only the person who recognizes the string can be called a true
man. This string is called Brahma-Sutra (The Divine String). The Divine
Atmic principle is the string which is found in all human beings and which
is the source of all potencies in them.
March 13, 2005
Reduce the luggage you carry when you are on the journey of life.
Remember, all that is not 'you' is luggage! You are not the body. So, the
body is an item of luggage. The mind, the senses, the intelligence, the
desires, the plans, the prejudices, the discontent, the distress, all
these are items of luggage. Jettison them soon to make your travel
lighter, safer and more comfortable.
March 14, 2005
Without the sanction of the Lord, man cannot achieve anything in the
world. The Divine is the basis for everything. Man, however, is filled
with conceit that he is the one who is doing everything. This pride is the
cause of his ruin. It is the cause of his frustration and disappointment.
Man today is basing his life on reliance on Nature and is hence forgetting
God. This is a grievous mistake. You must place your faith in God, the
Creator of the universe, and then enjoy what Nature provides. Faith in God
is the primary requisite for man.
March 15, 2005
The mind is the cause of bondage or liberation. The mind is like a lock
and the heart is like the key. When the key is turned towards God, there
is detachment. When it is turned towards the world, there is attachment.
Therefore, the mind has to be directed towards what is holy and pure.
Then, you will lead a free, joyous, blissful life. The man who has
developed such an attitude will be in a permanent state of bliss. Indeed,
he will be the embodiment of bliss.
March 16, 2005
We become what we contemplate. When we fix our thoughts all the time on
the evil that others do, our mind gets polluted by evil. When, on the
contrary, we fix our mind on the virtues and well-being of others, our
mind is cleansed of wrong and entertains only good thoughts. No evil
thought can penetrate the mind of a person wholly given to love and
compassion. Thus, our thoughts shape our nature.
March 17, 2005
March on with your eyes on the goal. Do not brood over the mistakes
committed and failures suffered in the past. Do not follow the whims and
fancies of the mind any longer. They will fill the ear with praise or
blame and drag you away from the spiritual path. Follow the call of the
Divine arising from the hearts of all living beings. Serve them in an
attitude of worship, without expecting anything in return. Do not accept
even gratitude, having dedicated all your acts to the indwelling God. This
will purify you so that you will be able to listen to the sound of 'Soham'
that you repeat with your every breath.
March 18, 2005
No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you. You hold on to the
nettle of worldly pleasures and you weep in pain. The kite is pursued by
crows so long as it carries the fish in its beak; it twists and turns in
the sky trying to dodge the crows that seek to snatch the fish; tired at
last, it drops the fish. That moment it is free. So, give up attachment to
the senses, then grief and worry can harass you no more.
March 19, 2005
When in difficulty, pray for guidance before making a decision. Men can
give you advice only as far as their intelligence can reach, but the Lord
who illumines the intellect will reveal to you the way out of the
difficulty. Have patience and wait prayerfully. Prayer can bring about the
impossible. Sing the glory of the Lord and repeat His name. That will
March 20, 2005
Nature is a preacher; life is a teacher. Knowledge is not to be derived
from books alone. Nature is to be accepted as a better instructor. By its
forbearance, unselfish bounty, patience and serenity, Nature is
continually proclaiming its inherent and true role of the preacher of
spiritual truths. Consider, for instance, a tree. It offers shade and
distributes fruits to whoever approaches it. It bears no feelings of
hatred or vengeance towards those who cause injury to it. It seeks no
reward from those who benefit from it. Everyone should learn this lesson
in selfless service from the tree.
March 21, 2005
When the surface of the pond is agitated, the reflection of the moon in it
appears wavy. But on a calm surface, the moon's reflection is clear and
steady. Likewise if man's mind is confused and agitated, his love also
gets distorted. When the mind is pure, unselfish and unwavering, the
Divine manifests in all His purity and fullness. It is because of the
contamination of his mind through obsession with multifarious external
objects, man today is unable to experience the Divine that is present in
March 22, 2005
The Lord has endowed man with the body and so, every limb and organ is
worthy of reverent attention. The body must be sanctified by the
contemplation of His Glory. The ear must exult when it gets the
opportunity to hear the wonderful story of His Life. The tongue must exult
when it can praise Him. Or else, the tongue of man is as ineffective as
that of frogs which croak day and night, sitting on the marshy bank. The
human body has been given to you for a grand purpose - realizing the Lord
within. Learn how to use the faculties of the body, the senses, the
intellect and the mind for achieving the goal and march on.
March 23, 2005
The desires that cling to the mind are the blemishes that tarnish man's
inner consciousness. Control the senses, do not yield to their insistent
demands for satisfaction. When a corpse is placed on a pyre, and when the
pyre is lit, both the corpse and the pyre are reduced to ashes. So too,
when the senses are negated, the mind too disappears. When the mind
disappears, delusion dies and liberation is achieved.
March 24, 2005
If you are not moved at the sight of distress, disease or injustice, how
can you muster the determination and dedication necessary to serve the
unseen, inscrutable mysterious God? When you do not love man, your heart
will not love God. Despising your fellowman, you cannot, at the same time,
worship God; even if you do worship Him, God will not accept that
hypocrisy. God is the resident in every heart; so if you serve anyone,
that service reaches the God within him: it draws upon you the shower of
March 25, 2005
You ignore the divinity you have as the core of your being; at the same
time, you seek it in others. This is the tragedy. You insult yourself by
feeling helpless, weak and inferior; cowardice and self-condemnation,
these do not become a spark of the Divine flame. Once the ego is
suppressed, that very moment two consequences follow: Freedom from grief
and Freedom from joy. To achieve this great consummation, you must take
one step after another. Good deeds like puja (worship), dhyana
(meditation) and the observance of vows etc. are steps on the way; good
thoughts like prayer for greater discrimination, more chance to help
others - also help. Slowly, steadily, cleanse the mind; sharpen the
intellect; purify the senses and win His Grace.
March 26, 2005
You must realize that the same Divine current flows and functions in every
living being. When you desire to enter the mansion of God, you are
confronted by two closed doors - the desire to praise yourself and the
desire to defame others. The doors are bolted by envy; and there is also
the huge lock of egoism preventing entry; so if you are earnest, you have
to resort to the key of Prema (Love) and open the locks of egoism, remove
the bolt of envy and only then will the doors be thrown open to you.
March 27, 2005
The Bhagavad Gita advises 'Karmasanyaasa', that is to say, performance of
action without attachment to the fruits thereof. There are karmas
(actions) which have to be performed as one's duties, according to one's
status in the society. And if these are done in the proper spirit, they
will not bind one at all. Undertake all deeds as actors would in a play,
keeping your identity separate without getting attached to your role.
Remember that the whole thing is just a play and the Lord has assigned to
you a part; act out your part well; there your duty ends.
March 28, 2005
Life is a pilgrimage to God. The road lies before you; but unless you take
the first step forward and move further on, how can you reach your
destination? Start with courage, faith, joy and steadiness. You are bound
to succeed. The mind and the intellect are the two bullocks tied to the
cart of the inner man. The bullocks are not used to the road of Sathya
(Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanti (Peace) and Prema (Love) and so
they drag the cart along the road familiar to them, namely, falsehood,
injustice, worry and hatred. You have to train them to take the better
road so that they may not bring disaster upon themselves, the cart or the
passengers traveling in it.
March 29, 2005
Man always seeks happiness by trying to satisfy his desires. If a desire
is fulfilled, he feels joyous and when it is not, he feels disheartened.
But the trouble is, desire is a bonfire that burns with greater fury
asking for more fuel every time. One desire leads to ten more; and man
exhausts himself in trying to fulfill his desires. He has to be turned
back from this path of never-ending desire, to the path of inner
contentment and joy.
March 30, 2005
Carry on your legitimate duties, discharge your obligation, but do not
allow attachment to grow. The wise man performs the duties given to him
with discrimination, diligence and detachment. Play the role, but keep
your identity unaffected. Remain detached, unaffected by the aimlessly
rushing world. But, it is your duty which you cannot escape, to fully
engage yourself in your work, unconcerned with loss or gain, failure or
success, slander or praise. God is but a witness to man's activities; He
is above hate and anger. Man gets punished or rewarded by his own actions
and not by God.
March 31, 2005
Man in his ignorance finds contentment in separating himself from the
rest, for the search of his own happiness, forgetting that he cannot be
happy unless all are happy. He pollutes himself through the cultivation of
pride. He uses time for degrading himself to the bestial level. The thirst
of sensual greed can be prevented by keeping good company and putting into
practice the axioms of good conduct that one can imbibe from it.
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