Good books are those that inspire the reader with love for God and wean him away from the mundane. Good books induce us to eschew immoral behaviour and to walk in God’s way. It is most important to read such books and meditate on them, act upon them. This gradually creates a liking, fondness, love for God. Of the different means advocated by Shree Samartha for the attainment of God, reading of such books is one.
Reading, however, is not merely browsing through idly, purposelessly, but making an earnest effort to understand and assimilate. One must make a serious effort to put into practice what one understands and agrees with. Mere voluminous or voracious reading without appropriate action to follow is futile. Not casual reading but rumination is required.
The pathway to God is straightforward; the way in prapancha is strewn with thorns and boulders. Prapancha should be treated as necessary for practice only and training in paramartha. On the contrary, we put them the other way round, and the hedge has overgrown the field instead of protecting it. The sooner we realize our folly the better.
One who carries on prapancha with an eye on the correct goal will undoubtedly attain to God, just as sugar moulded into the shape of even a bitter-tasting fruit will ever taste sweet. Similarly, even if we go through prapancha it will achieve paramartha provided we keep God as the target. Paramartha is definitely possible because that is what we are born for, and it is in our own interest that we never lose sight of this lodestar.
Just as the mouth is the venue for feeding ourselves, moral conduct is sine qua non for Paramartha. It is, in fact, the very foundation. It is true that mere morality is not paramartha; but evidently no edifice can stand without a proper foundation, and there can be no paramartha without the firm base of moral conduct.
We should think of paramartha with the same sincere care and affection with which we look upon our own child, and treat prapancha with the affection that we bestow casually and outwardly on another’s child. Paramartha, in the ultimate analysis, is nothing else but going merrily through prapancha remembering God.
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