We carefully water, manure, and take other care of a plant that we particularly wish to grow. Conversely, we disregard the plant about which we care little. Similarly, we should carefully nurture the precious plant of firm faith in God, ignoring the mortal body and thoughts pertaining to worldly matters. We put a guard round a tree to protect it from cattle; our efforts for attaining God should similarly be protected from being noticed, lest they be affected by an evil eye. Our search for God should be sincere but unseen as far as possible. A seed we have planted is not to be dug up every day to see how much it has grown; similarly, hanker not after mystic ‘experience’ or ‘realization;’ it will only hamper and retard your progress.
In a way I do not dislike stubborn people and even addicts, for if their stubbornness and addiction are turned towards God, such persons undertake this pursuit also with vigour and determination. In our spiritual effort, we may make only a small rule, but it should relate to the Eternal, and be kept up sedulously. It should be maintained with the care with which we seek to protect our very life.
Dhyana, or concentrated meditation, is fit only for persons of a high order of capacity. In such meditation, the person becomes oblivious of the world and of one’s own existence, of time and space. One may remain in that state not only for days but even for years, and yet his physical body may remain entirely unaffected.
For the common man, however, repeating the Lord’s Name is the most convenient and fruitful sadhana; food is the best gift we can give; and of all upasanas, saguna upasana, the worship of God considered as having attributes, the best. These three eventually lead to oblivion of the physical body and the mind. So pursue these three means assiduously.
It is the natural tendency of life to go on expanding its field of activity, and then discover the unity that underlies the apparent diversity. Take the common bee-hive. The bees collect nectar from diverse flowers and convert it into what we call honey. So, too, we should see the unity in the multiplicity of life, the one God who pervades everything. One should treat everything and everyone as a manifestation of the one all-pervading God, and realize that the same God animates us too.
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