How One should Conduct Oneself in Daily Life
Truly speaking, one is one's own best friend or worst enemy. So long as one feels 'I am the doer,' the desire for the fruit of the action is bound to persist. Man desires that he should be free of illness or sorrow of any kind; and yet he cannot avoid or escape them. Obviously, then, the idea 'I am the doer' is baseless, untenable. This is the inevitable result of claiming authority which one does not possess. This is precisely what the ordinary man does, whereas the saints ascribe the doership to God, to whom it properly belongs. When we say 'Rama (or God) is the doer,' we automatically get bliss and all welfare. So let us do that and live happily.
If we give sweet things to eat to a patient who has been forbidden to eat them, the indulgence harms him. Similarly, we only harm ourselves when we yield to passion or lust of any kind. A sick person has to observe three things: to avoid what is contraindicated; to adhere to the prescribed regimen; and to take the medicine meticulously. Likewise, one who desires liberation has three things to do. One is to abandon bad company, improper behaviour, hate, jealousy, etc. The second is to maintain good reading, good thoughts, righteous behaviour, and good company. The third and the most important thing, like medicine, is nama-smarana.
Sadhana is entirely unrelated to a person's age. Since the day of the 'final exit' is unknown and unknowable, every day must be considered 'ripe age' for sadhana. Let us therefore make nama-smarana a habit. In the beginning we are apt to forget it frequently; but it will become a habit by repeated utterance, and will create an enduring awareness of God.
Sadhana naturally calls for discipline, some compulsion, to begin with. Start with a little, but see that there is no slackening. If we start with a tall resolution, the mind starts inventing excuses and loop-holes. To utter nama is to advance towards God. Watch to see that there is no retrogression in sadhana. Many are the external hindrances that tend to reduce earnestness for nama; the day-to-day family life and professional as well as social dealings and influences, past memories and recollections, worries about the future, and a myriad such things. Persist in nama-smarana resolutely and perseveringly, for nama will itself generate love for God.
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