6. Austerity

Austerity is firm resolve to take a particular course of action or to contemplate on the same or to do the same. It means having a firm determination to do some act. Unless there is firm determination, it is not possible to accomplish an act. The key to accomplish a task lies in a firm will to do it. This is the main principle. Work done without performing austerity is generally not accomplished. If you wish to do an act, do it with a firm resolve and determination. In order to make spiritual progress, seekers have resorted to various austerities and have undergone physical and mental suffering. The object was to purge the mind of lust, anger, attachment, greed and egoism and to realise the Lord, but they got entangled in external practices. (see chapter on Repetition and Austerities)