Thought For The Day
Related Link: Thought for the day yearly archive - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006
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December 1: Be equal-minded in fortune and
misfortune, in happiness and sorrow, loss and gain. The ups and downs of
life have lessons to teach us. In fact, without reverses in our life, we
will not be able to experience Divinity. Without darkness, we cannot
appreciate light. Without experiencing difficulties, we will not value the
pleasures we enjoy. It is lack of peace of mind which compels us to seek
the means to realize everlasting peace. The Upanishads have declared that
through renunciation alone can immortality be attained. Man should learn
to practise renunciation so as to discover the secret of enduring peace
December 2: Consider the reality of the objects from which one derives joy. Each one of them is saturated with the Divine Essence. The rain that falls, the Sun that shines, the Moon that cools, the rivers that flow are equally available to all. Therefore, no one has the right to claim them exclusively for themselves or to prevent others from enjoying these gifts. The Divine is the basis for everything. The eye cannot see nor the ears hear unless the life-principle is active through the grace of the Divine Atma or Brahman. Man can become aware of the Atmic truth when he casts off the trammels of egotism and possessiveness.
December 3: Bliss has to be sought not through accumulation of material wealth, but through sacrifice and promotion of the welfare of one's fellowbeings. Thyaga (sacrifice) is recommended by the Vedas as the only path to immortality. Give in plenty, give gladly, and with gratitude to God. Selfishness is the canker that destroys charity. Though one is aware that a certain act is wrong, selfishness does not allow him to desist. But, this weakness can be overcome by steady determination. Share with others the knowledge and skills you have earned, the ideas and ideals you have benefited by and the joy you have won by discipline and dedication. Sharing will not diminish them or devalue them. On the other hand, they will shine with added splendour.
December 4: The joy and pleasure earned by activity are only temporary. Nevertheless, one should not desist from karma (action). How, then, is one to act? One should practice detachment and desirelessness towards the results of one's actions. That is to say, one should treat all actions as yagnas (sacrifices) performed for the glory of God and not for selfish ends; for earning lasting merit and not for temporary benefits. Action done in this spirit will engender neither greed nor grief. Indeed, it will endow one with a sense of fulfillment at having discharged one's duty.
5th December 2005
Whatever learning one may acquire, whatever positions of authority one may occupy, however great one may be, if one lacks human values, one cannot be called a human being at all. What is humanness? Essentially, it means unity of thought, word and deed. When one's thoughts are at variance with what one says or does, one ceases to be human. Today, what men have to cultivate is unity and purity in thought, word and deed. True human qualities can grow only in a heart filled with spiritual aspirations; seeds should be sown in fertile soil and not on a piece of rock. Hence, to develop these qualities, men have to develop compassion and equanimity amidst the vicissitudes of life.
6th December 2005
The dominion of God is horizonless; it envelops space and goes even beyond it. So, do not allow the needs of worship to put blinkers on your eyes. Do not hate other names or manifestations of the one Supreme Being, the Purushotthama. For, hate breeds fear, hate is the seedbed of anxiety, scandal and falsehood. It drains your mind of peace. Unless you are at peace with yourself and with those around you, your mind will be agitated and your blood will be boiling in rage and rancour. Love alone can alleviate anxiety and allay fear.
7th December 2005
A 'Manishi' (ordinary man) gets transformed into a 'Maharishi' (sage) by engaging in selfless service. Truly speaking, the merit that can be obtained from service cannot be acquired even by the practice of rigorous austerities. Service brings human beings closer to each other and promotes affection and friendship. Without this feeling of friendship and love towards one's fellowmen, one cannot attain intimacy with the Lord. Install in your heart the feeling that the service you render to your fellowmen is service to God.
8th December 2005
There are two things that draw man's mind: hitha and priya - the
beneficial and the pleasant. Prefer the beneficial over the pleasant, for,
the pleasant might lead you down into a bottomless abyss. The true doctor
is interested in curing you of all illness and so, he advises hitha to
restore your health. The Guru is a such a doctor. Obey him, even when his
prescription is unpalatable, for, you can be cured only by him.
9th December 2005
Love is Divine. To render an act fit to be offered to God and pure enough
to win His Grace, it has to be a manifestation of love. Love is not
affected or modified by considerations of caste, creed, or religion; it
cannot be tarnished by envy, malice or hate. Preserve love from being
poisoned by these evils; endeavour to cultivate a broad mind,
uncontaminated by feelings of hatred and parochialism. The root of all
religions, the substance of all scriptures, the destination of all paths,
the inspiration of all individuals is the Principle of Prema (Love). It is
the firmest foundation for man's mission of Life. It is the Light that
ensures peace and prosperity in the world.
10th December 2005
Man is burdened with the delusion that the temporary objective world is eternal. This delusion has arisen out of long identification with this illusory world. So, man has to be re-educated into the right understanding. The absolute reality that persists unchanged is this ' I '. All else is unreal parading as real. The ' I ' in you is Paramatma (God) Himself. The waves play with the wind for a moment over the deep waters of the sea. It gives you the impression that it is separate from the ocean below, but it is just an appearance - a creation of the ideas of Name and Form. Get rid of this misconception, and the wave disappears into the sea; its true nature flashes upon you and you realize that God is present in man as Love.
11th December 2005
The senses have to be controlled, primarily because they pursue deleterious influences that harass man and lead him into ruin. Inner peace is lost when the senses feed man on inciting wants and infructuous desires. For the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant), what the senses imbibe must always be pure and saathwic in nature. The sounds, the sights, the impressions, the ideas, the contacts, the impacts - all must promote reverence, humility, balance, equanimity and simplicity. If the impressions are raajasic (inducing passion) , the mind will get agitated and vengeful. If they are thamasic (inducing dullness of mind), the mind will not even be aroused into the awareness of its own shortcomings. It is only the saathwik impulses that will keep the mind on an even keel, fully concentrated on the Atma on which one must contemplate in order to attain peace.
12th December 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 hers before her marriage, when joining the household of her husband. God's love cannot be gained without such renunciation by the devotee.
13th December 2005
Bhakthi (devotion) is defined as a means of discovering the Divine
reality within each being. Four steps are laid down in the scriptures
to help man succeed in this effort - discrimination between the
permanent and the ephemeral; desisting from pandering to the senses;
control over one's feelings, thoughts and pursuits, and incessant
yearning for liberation from all bonds. Bhakthi is the urge which
manifests as all these four endeavours. It directs man to have God
ever in mind and to cultivate love for God within him.
14th December 2005
Through spiritual practices, discard the attachment to the sense of
individuality and physical pleasures. Welcome the aspiration to expand
the heart into the Universal. Do not cloud your mind with base
desires, transitory hungers and thirsts that need but morsels or
mouthfuls to be satiated. Yearn for the enthronement of your Soul as
the unquestioned Monarch of the Universe. When you merge in the
Universal, celebrate your triumph over the inner foes that hampered
your march to victory. Acquire Me as your charioteer and I shall lead
you to that consummation. Earn that unfailing grace by your sincerity,
simplicity and sadhana (spiritual practice).