Dear Reader

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The vast majority of persons, even the so-called educated people, have no definite aim in life. They drift here and there like logs in an ocean. They do not know what to do.

Some students complete the BA and MA degrees but they do not know how to proceed further. They do not have the power of judgment to select a good vocation that is suitable to their temperament, that can bring them prosperity and success in life. They become lazy. They are unfit for adventurous enterprises, for any kind of speculative business, or any kind of activity that demands knack, pluck and skill. They waste their time and finish their career in gloom, despair and sorrow.

The energy is there, the intellect is there, but they have no definite aim or purpose. They have no ideal. They have no program of life. Hence they meet with failure. Everyone of you should clearly determine the aim of your life. Then you should chalk out a line of work that is congenial to your aim. You should have your ideal and try every second to live up to that ideal. You can realize the ideal right now through determination or after ten years by walking with faltering steps. It does not matter much. The ideal and the aim must be there. Then you can develop your will.

When one has successfully finished one’s duties as a householder, when the sons are settled in life, when all the daughters have been given in marriage, one should devote the remaining years of one’s life to spiritual pursuits, to study of religious literature and to divine contemplation. Many have no definite ideas as to what they are going to do. Even after retirement from active service they take to some other vocation. They are still greedy. Till the end of life they count money and entertain thoughts of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Pitiable indeed is the lot of these people! Blessed is he who spends his whole time in study and meditation in a solitary place after serving humanity and fulfilling all his obligations!

Man spends a great deal of his time in acquiring material wealth. This only gives him pain and sorrow. He should at least spend the last years of his life in prayer and in the service of mankind, and thus do something for the purification and evolution of his soul.

Tat Tvam Asi

Dear readers, I want to place before you one important point. I have no such words as ‘cannot’, ‘difficult’, ‘impossible’ and ‘weakness’ in my dictionary. Those who attempt to develop their will should remove these words from their dictionary also. They are expression of a weakling. Become a lion. Become a spiritual hero. Become a champion on a spiritual field.

By mere willing or chanting of Om, mountains should be crushed to powder. By mere willing, all the waves of the ocean should subside. Lord Jesus did this and you also can do the same. Whatever one person has achieved others can also achieve, if they only will. This is the grand law of nature. Mother Prakriti is unbiased. She looks at all her children with equal vision.

Therefore, never entertain negative thoughts. Understand the glory, splendour and power of the Self, which is at the back of your mind, thought and will. Understand the magnanimity and immortal nature of that hidden, interpenetrating essence. Know that this Self is the storehouse of all bliss, knowledge, power, peace and joy. Feel that the sun, the moon, the stars and fire perform their respective functions at your command. Feel that the air moves, the rain falls, the fire burns, the river flows, the sun shines, the stars glitter, and the gods, Indra, Agni and Yama do their respective functions at your bidding.

You are the glory of glories, sun of suns, light of lights, divinity of divinities, emperor of emperors, God of gods! You are truth, you are Brahman, you are the pure, imperishable, undecaying atman that pervades this whole universe!

Realize your eternal freedom and satchidananda nature, your centre, ideal, goal and heritage. Rest in that ocean of light, knowledge, love, peace, joy and bliss. Realize the significance of the great sentence of the glorious Upanishads – Tat Twam Asi – That Thou Art.