Things to be Avoided by One who Practises Nama
Our thoughts should be free from selfishness, for it produces and pampers pride and vanity. A selfish person never can be happy. Observe the moral code. Look on another's wife as your mother. Householders who never think of other women except as a mother are virtually brahmacharis Covet not another's wealth, look on it with disgust. You have no idea how deeply harmful such covetousness is. Slandering others is the third major point which should be scrupulously avoided, because in discussing others' faults we concentrate our attention on them and thereby inculcate them in ourselves, and thus assist in our own fall. Take these major precautions, and love for nama is bound to arise. Never fail in doing your duty towards your parents, other elders, children, etc., without attachment to anything that you do. Duty is an act done without egoism or attachment, and without expecting any return. Never neglect your duty, observe the moral code meticulously, and carry on your worldly life in the remembrance of God; then your ordinary life itself will constitute a spiritual exercise, and love for God will arise in your mind; you may take this as a solemn promise from me.
Worldly life is like salt. How much of it do we add to the dough for bread? Only a pinch, for taste. If we reverse the proportion, how will the bread taste? But that is like what we do, treating worldly life as the main goal and spiritual duties as merely secondary. When a man realises true contentment, he treats family life like a game or diversion, caring nought whether he succeeds or fails, and quite willing to call a halt to the play at any time.
Worldly life demands and offers numerous things, but they never suffice, because obtaining one thing itself contains the seed of the requirement of another. Not so with God; when once we obtain Him, it is the end of the search. Suppose we go to a big store which stocks many things, except the one we need: then the store may be very big but not to our purpose. Similarly, if one possesses many faculties but God is not there, all the rest is of no avail. Instead of trying to drag God down for assistance in worldly pleasures and purposes, we should spiritualize our worldly life; it is in this that true ability lies.
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