Chapter IV

Self-Control and the Importance of Being self-centred

So the important thing is to first learn to handle your outer environment, consisting of your domestic and / or working life. We are to be judged by our actions and not by our words. It is from the abundance of our heart that all actions result, whether physical, emotional or intellectual. The mind is an index and reflecting mirror and it truly depicts one‘s Inner State.

A measure of success of how well you are succeeding in handling your outer environment will be a gradual awareness that you are becoming the master of your own thoughts. It is to achieve this success that I introduced the self-introspective diaries …

Unfortunately, few, if any, have any idea of what keeping the diary really means. As time passes, their entries become a mere matter of form, and the whole purpose behind keeping the diary is lost. We are asked to maintain the diary in thought, word and deed. How many of us really do so? The majority just react in thought, word, and deed to the stimulus of the moment, in other words, instinctively. The truth of the matter is that we must become consciously aware of every thought that passes through the mind; we must weigh our words before we speak and not speak idle words as a mere reaction to the situation that confronts us.

If we are able to make some progress in this regard, then we will be far on the way to controlling our self. This in essence, is the practice of Raja Yoga. Only when we have advanced far in the practice of living the life demanded of us – as implied in the keeping of the diary – ,will we be become fit enough to reap the fruits of the practices of the Surat Shabd Yoga.

One can gauge his or her Spiritual Progress by the measure of conscious control that he or she has over his or her thought patterns. One who has in some measure achieved this control will not be swayed or upset by outer conditions, stresses and strains that his environment may place on him. If one cannot rise above, be in full control of, and handle with ease the circumstances of his outer environment, he will never be able to succeed in the Way of Spirituality. To gain control of one‘s being, to bring one‘s whole life under that perfect control, to help oneself to cut away from outer attractions, requires self-introspection. Start by consciously controlling a small fraction of your life. You will be able to succeed if you are also enjoying a little Inner Intoxication of Naam. All Masters say there is no success without meditation.

It is we who give power to the mind. It is we who give power to the outgoing faculties. It is we who see good or bad outside. If we become self-centred, we may make the best use of our outgoing faculties however we like. Unless you become self-centred, you cannot avoid the influence of others. We derive effects from outside and wherever our attention goes, we are affected by the radiation of those with whom we come in contact. If they are pure, that‘s all right. If not, you get their radiation.

Victory over the mind is victory over the world. You have been granted the yardstick for measuring your Spiritual Attainments in the form of an introspective diary, and you can surely judge things for yourself and see how far you have advanced on the Path. Man-making precedes Spirituality. Unless and until you become the master of all the five senses, appreciable Inner Progress cannot be made. Control all desire, anger, greed, attachment; this play is loved by the Lord. Desire attacks through the eyes, anger through the ears. Attachments come through embracing. Rise above all these, and you will gain connection with the Truth.

The recurring failures in various columns of the diary shows that you remain too much engrossed in worldly affairs, which should be reduced by keeping yourself immersed in the Divine Grace. Silence, solitude and serenity should be cultivated by living a life full of Spiritual Discipline as enjoined by the Master. You can cut short unnecessary engagements and wild pursuits by keeping your Spiritual Goal in the forefront. A well regulated life earns rich dividends.

Every action has a reaction. Every act of omission or commission has an appropriate penalty. We cannot escape from sin as long as we consider ourselves as born of the flesh, for flesh is the root cause of all evils in the world. Until a spirit learns to leave the sensual plane at will, enjoyments and distractions do thrive like a bay tree.

Every day brings in a new life full of vast opportunities. You must not apprehend any fears whatsoever and instead try to harness your faculties for attaining the goal of Spiritual Perfection. Take and accept life with all its vissicitudes in easy terms of jay and buoyancy. Just face the situation bravely with mental equipoise and stability. The tree of life reared in storms yields more of cool shade and rich fruit. Failures should serve as stepping stones to success. It is persistent effort which overcomes all difficulties.