Upliftment of soul – Swami Sivananda

UPLIFTMENT OF THE SOUL: A correspondent placed before the Master his pathetic story.

“All of a sudden my superior dismissed me from service without any cause. I was drawing Rs. 300 per month. I have a debt of Rs. 6,000 on account of the marriage of my daughters. I have four daughters and five sons. My planet is unfavourable. I am really helpless, hopeless and penniless. Kindly help me, O Swamiji! Guide me. Give me strength to tide over this difficulty and problem. We are all starving. Give me spiritual instructions. I have wasted my life in worldly pursuits and am therefore spiritually bankrupt. Kindly open my eyes and show me the way of escape from my present troubles.”

The Master’s most illuminating reply read: “Do not be discouraged when sorrows, difficulties, tribulations and trials manifest in the daily battle of life You are the master of your destiny. You are divine. Live up to it. Feel and realise your divine nature. Draw courage and spiritual strength from within. Learn how to tap the source. Dive deep within. Plunge into the sacred waters of immortality—the Triveni within. You will be refreshed.

“Do not murmur or grumble when troubles and sorrows descend upon you. Every difficulty is an opportunity to develop your will and grow strong. Welcome it. Difficulties strengthen your will, augment your power of endurance and turn your mind towards God. Face them with a smile. In your weakness lies your real strength. You are invincible, so nothing can really harm you. Conquer all your difficulties one by one. This is the beginning of a new spiritual life, a life of purity, expansion, glory and divine splendour. Develop positive virtuous qualities such as fortitude, patience, courage, etc., that are dormant in you.

“Destiny is your own creation. You have created your destiny through your thoughts and actions, and you can undo it by right thought and action. Even if there is an evil or dark, antagonistic force to attack you, you can still diminish its force by resolutely denying its existence or resolutely turning your mind away from it. You can thus disarm destiny. The thought: ‘I am the immortal Self’ will easily neutralise all evil forces and the evil influences of malevolent planets. It will infuse in you great courage and inner strength. Wrong thinking is the root cause of all suffering; therefore, cultivate right thinking. Always work unselfishly and without any motive. This is right action. Right thinking is the constant feeling of ‘I am the immortal Self.’

“Do not say, ‘Karma, Karma, my Karma has brought me this.’ Exert. Struggle. Practise austerities. Purify and concentrate. Meditate. Do not become fatalistic, do not yield to inertia, do not bleat like a lamb. Roar, ‘Om, Om, Om’ like a lion of Vedanta. See how the boy, Markandeya, who was destined to die at the age of sixteen, became immortal at that age on account of his austerities. You also can do wonders and perform miracles if you apply yourself seriously and earnestly to spiritual practices, austerities and meditation.

“Read the book, Poverty to Power with attention. It will inspire you. Apply yourself with zeal and enthusiasm to Sadhana. You have enough children. Therefore, become a Brahmachari from this moment. Be steady and systematic in your daily spiritual practices. Shine in your native, pristine, Brahmic glory Become a liberated sage. Feel that you are the immortal Self.

“Develop a new angle of vision. Arm yourself with dispassion, discrimination, cheerfulness, discernment and an undaunted spirit. Let the past be buried. Do not give up hope. You can work wonders now. You can destroy the harmful effects of unfavourable planets through your will-force. You can command the elements and Nature. You can change unfavourable circumstances into favourable ones. You can nullify destiny. Many have done this and so can you. Claim your birthright and feel, ‘I am the immortal Self.’

“You have good education and a lot of experience. So try to get a footing in a reputable firm. Through your sincere, hard and honest labour you can easily please your superior and earn a decent income. Only an incapable person will weep if he loses his employment. The whole world is yours. If you are sincere you can get a good job anywhere. Many firms require capable people. Try to settle your debt completely, for, only then will you be peaceful. See that your children are well educated and provide them with decent jobs. Ask your wife also to tread the spiritual path.

“Hey Saumya! Beloved immortal Self, be ever bold and cheerful. Though you are unemployed and have been ousted from service, though you have nothing to eat and are clad in rags, your essential nature is Satchidananda. The outer cloak, this mortal physical sheath, is an illusory product of Maya. Smile, whistle, laugh, jump and dance in joy and ecstasy. You are not this perishable body Come out of this cage of flesh and bones and realise that you are the immortal Self.

“March forward on the spiritual path. The light is within you. Fix the mind on the Lord. Pray fervently with intense faith and sincerity. Have an unshakeable conviction in the existence of God and in the efficacy of spiritual practices “My dear Rama, feel that you are the immortal Self.”

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