The shastras describe four aspects of sadhana. The first is, discrimination between the eternal and the terminable. One should be apathetic toward the terminable, and solicitous about the eternal, that is, God. Next, one should empty the mind of all desire for enjoyment of sensuous pleasures of the world or even of heaven. The mind has a vagrant nature and seeks one worldly pleasure after another; it should be forcibly restrained and applied to God. We should bear with patience even undeserved trouble, trust in the word of the sadguru, keep calm contentment towards both pleasant and unpleasant happenings in life; this is the third aspect of sadhana. Lastly, there should be an intense yearning for God. If a seeker is equipped with this fourfold approach, then and then alone can he realize the Ultimate Truth. What is required is complete detachment from all expectation, complete apathy, passionless, non-expectant outlook on existence. Avarice for money, lust and temptation of any kind, should be foreign to the mind.
To lead worldly life with efficiency and success is not the goal of human life; this is, after all, what animals, too, may achieve. The true goal is to realize God, the Ultimate Reality. All the toilsome labours of life can only be called truly fructified if man succeeds in realizing God. In the present times no means are so practicable and effective as nama-smarana. Nama, indeed, is all-powerful, and one who has it at heart, while he may not always succeed materially, will ever find himself backed by God. Success and failure in worldly life have only passing value and effect; what really matters is the extent and continuity of awareness of God.
The pleasure and pain that comes to one’s lot are, in the ultimate analysis, apportioned to us by Rama; we, however, realize this only at the end, after having gone through and been affected by the vicissitudes of life. Let us bear this in mind right from the start; this can be achieved by nama-smarana.
It is the way of life that, even as we are heaving a sigh of relief at a pleasing occurrence, the moment of despair is in the formation. A wise man should therefore keep his mind engrossed in nama-smarana and equably accept the thick with the thin. Remember that Rama never fails to back one who keeps himself engrossed in nama-smarana.
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