June 7, 2013 Comments Off on Self-Reliance
Pure reason urges a man to do what is the best. The asuric (lower) nature of man fights and struggles against the higher nature of the man. The impulses of a man who has not undergone the ethical disciplines run counter to his reason. All advice, all rebuke and exhortation, all admonition found in the scriptures of the world testify that the irrational part is not amenable to reason.
The basis of good manners is self-reliance. For this reason, the great founders and eminent teachers of all religions have repeatedly proclaimed the need for recognising the Godhead within and for self-reliance in the last resort, rather than texts, persons or customs.
Self-control is greatest in the man whose life is dominated by ideals and general principles of conduct. The final end of moral discipline is self-control. The whole nature of man must be disciplined. Each element requires its specific training. Discipline harmonises the opposing elements in him. Self-control will enable the aspirant to know the truth, to desire the good, and to win the right – and thus to realise the reality.
Discipline is the training of our faculties, through instructions and through exercise, in accordance with some settled principle of authority. You must discipline not only the intellect but also the will and the emotions.
A disciplined man controls his actions. He is no longer at the mercy of the moment. He ceases to be a slave of his impulses and senses (indriyas). Such mastery is not the result of one day’s effort. It is acquired only by protracted practice and daily self-discipline. You must learn to refuse the demands and impulses of your lower nature. A self-controlled man is able to resist wrong actions, towards which a worldly man is most strongly impelled.
Discipline yourself and grow strong. Stand unshaken. Rest in the Atman (the immortal blissful soul). Perfection is not impossible of achievement. It is within the easy reach of human endeavour. All desires are fulfilled after Self-realisation.
If you lack wisdom, ask God sincerely and he will give you wisdom. Physical health, intellectual understanding, moral integrity and spiritual wisdom lead to ultimate perfection. – Swami Sivananda