The Light of Your Confidence

From On the Wings of the Swan, Volume I, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The journey looks difficult and lonesome, the goal very far away; what do we do at times like this?

There should be only one principle in life. Anything and everything may look difficult at times, but you should never lose confidence in yourself and feel that you have no motivation and drive. As long as you are confident of your own abilities to achieve what you wish in life, I do not think that you will ever feel lonely.

We are constantly under the sway of our mind, performing and desiring according to our likes and dislikes, but we should realize that our likes and dislikes are not the final destination in the journey of life. Many times we have to go against the current of our likes and dislikes. This is known as the awakening of viveka, the ability to discriminate between what is just, proper and correct, and what is wrong. If we have this power of discrimination, and if we are confident of our own abilities, then that tiny spark will eventually become a torch. There is a song:

When the day is dark and dreary
and the way is hard to find,
don’t let your heart be weary,
just keep this thought in mind:
‘It is better to light one little candle
than to stumble in the dark;
it is better to light one little candle,
all you need is a tiny spark.

When we are confronted by darkness, we get nervous and tense, not realizing that the spark can be produced by many methods. We can use a lighter, match, flint, wood, anything, because everything which surrounds us in this universe has the power to assist us in our evolution. Every situation, every circumstance, no matter how difficult it may seem, can help in the growth of the individual. What is essential is confidence in one’s self.

Can yoga change our destiny?

It definitely can. First, we have to understand what our destiny is and what we mean by destiny. If we know ourselves, our mind, our personality, behaviour, actions and reactions; if we direct our actions and transform our negative tendencies into positive ones by having a clear mind, inner tranquillity and inner vitality; if we go beyond the normal frame of mind, emotions and behaviour and develop a better perspective, then we can definitely direct our own lives and thus create a certain change in our destiny.

There are two paths: one is the path of ignorance; the other is the path of knowledge. Usually human beings live in the area of ignorance. When I say ignorance I mean a lack of total knowledge. We may be sharp intellectually, we may be brilliant in our career, but we do not know our mind, we do not know our personality, we do not really know anything about ourselves. One can be a scientist, a great mathematician or a great philosopher, but when it comes to the human personality there is a lack of understanding. We do not know what we think, what we believe, what we experience or how to understand these experiences, and we do not know what to rationalize and what not to rationalize. There are so many things which we can and cannot understand.

When we walk the path of knowledge, our awareness and our consciousness bloom fully. We see everything clearly. We develop a different perspective altogether. It is like sitting in a room which is in total darkness and looking around, and then sitting in a room filled with bright light and looking around. There are two viewpoints here. When we are in the lit up room we can see every detail; when we are in the dark room we cannot see much. So definitely, through the growth of awareness, the development of consciousness, and the awakening of our inner faculties, we can reconstruct our life and personality.