Be A Spiritual Hero!
A New Year’s Message by Swami Jyotirmayananda
Blessed Self, Adorations!
Happy New Year Greetings!
Turn your mind to the essential question of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the purpose of my existence? and How can I attain the goal of life?
The scriptures declared that you are not the mortal body, the mind, or the senses. You have proceeded from God – the Divine Self. At the deepest level, you are essentially Sat Chit Ananda – Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss Absolute. The central purpose for which you exist and for which you have passed through numerous embodiments, is the attainment of Self-realization (nirvana or moksha). The method of attaining this goal is to follow the path of Integral Yoga, which combines selfless action, devotion, meditation, and wisdom in your daily life.
This world is like a dream that has evolved by the operation of karma. As your karmas change, the world-process changes for you. You have passed through many embodiments and have encountered numerous parents, family members, wives, husbands, and friends. You have also rejoiced and been sorrowful many a time in each and every embodiment. You have sought the same pleasures of the senses from incarnation to incarnation, and have groped in the dark night of ignorance from one life to the next.
How long will you continue to exist in the world of “dreams,” running after the illusory pleasures of the world? How long will you subject yourself to the experiences of birth and death? How long will you keep yourself in a state of humiliation, craving from passing pleasures from the shifting shadows of the unreal? How long will you allow yourself to be shackled by the feathers of karma?
Develop intense vairagya (dispassion). Behold the illusoriness of the pleasures of the senses, and the emptiness of the desires of the ego-ridden mind. Behold how men of great accomplishment do not exist among us anymore. Behold how everyone must die, whether great or small, young or old, rich or poor. Observe the illusion that pervades all human relations.
“Atmanastu Kamaya Sarvam Priyam Bhavati” –“It is for the sake of the Self that everything becomes dear.” Such is the declaration of the Upanishads. Nothing is dear, for its own sake; no person is dear for his or her own sake. All is dear for the sake of the Self. Let the fire of aspiration blaze within your heart and aspire for Self-realization. Just as a mother loves her child, or a greedy person loves his wealth, or a passionate young man loves his beloved, so too let your heart flow towards God, with increasing spiritual love. You exist attain realization of the Divine Self.
Convert your life into a song of divine communion. You are not a petty personality or a slave to numerous desires, merrily a puppet of the blind forces of nature. You are the non-dual Self – the reality that underlies all names and forms. You are the Spirit that dominates nature, and compels it to flow into creation. You are the Truth that shines brighter than millions of suns. You are the ocean of fullness in which numerous creations are like surging waves.
Give up faint-heartedness and become a spiritual hero. While the masses are unable to withdraw their senses from the glittering values of various objects, you must have indomitable will, a subtle and sharp intellect, and penetrating vision. You should continuously strive to turn your mind to the Self. Even in the midst of the changing conditions of life and the ravages brought by time, continue to march towards the blessed goal of liberation, never thwarted by the externalities of the world.
Do not slumber under the thick blanket of ignorance – Wake up! Arise! Be a hero! Resume the fight against the forces of darkness, and dispel the gloom of inertia. Let your mind become an in exhaustible quiver containing arrows of light and wisdom. Let your Spirit triumph over the evil forces of the lower self. Your life is a battle; you must attain victory and your victory lies in realization of the Divine Self.
Study the scriptures and take recourse to Satsanga (good association). Learn the secrets of controlling the mind and senses. Strive to detach from the trifles of the world and while performing your duties, do not allow your mind to be attached to the fruits of action. Be like a boat that floats and does not allow water to seep into it through the holes of weak will, attachment, and illusions of the mind.
Life, without the goal of Self-realization is like an arid desert. Attainment of the goal however, transforms this desert into a grand festivity. You are led through the lush gardens of spiritual virtues, ascend the mystic heights of meditation, and behold the glorious vista of the transcendental bliss of the Self. While the wealth of this world perishes and proud possessions evaporate like shining dew in the morning hours, your efforts to attain the goal of life will not simply disappear. Instead, such efforts will continue to amass a treasure of spiritual impressions that shine brighter and brighter with each passing day.
Remember the four gatekeepers at the Palace of Liberation: Shama (serenity), Satsanga (good association), Vichar (inquiry and reflection), and Santosh (contentment). Befriend any of these four qualities, and the others will follow, leading you onto the glorious state of moksha or liberation.
May you attain liberation in this very life and thus become an endless source of strength, joy, and inspiration for others. May you bloom like a celestial flower with an enchanting fragrance which permeates the earth for all of eternity. May you embody the eternal flame of spiritual Light, and guide humanity across the encircling gloom of illusion to the shining abode of liberation!
May God Bless You! Hari OM Tat Sat!