Satsang on Kutir Lawn

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Suppose a householder doesn't or cannot wake up easily, then how can he do his sadhana or how can he manage to work hard?

Sometimes sadhana is necessary, but up to a certain level. Some people consider worship as sadhana or meditation as sadhana or karma as sadhana or seva as sadhana; some even consider suffering as sadhana and some the sensual pleasures. What is the interpretation of sadhana?

Another fact is that you cannot proceed with sadhana unless you are familiar with your mind. Are not kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya the characteristics of mind? If you have no experience of these then how will you be able to discriminate maya? People say anger is no good, but have they the experience of it? They all say 'Do not desire, desires are bad!' but have they experienced them? All preachers of religion talk in this way and that's why you and we repeat it.

Until and unless you have experienced the different characteristics or patterns of mind you have absolutely no right to say this is bad or that is bad. You can't say that anger, desire or greed are bad because you don't know it, nor did you have to suffer on its account. Has anger caused you some harm or has desire caused you unhappiness or frustration or have you received some sort of knowledge or something different still?

You cannot renounce anything you consider insignificant or about which you have no experience at all. You get knocks and blows in your daily battle of life on account of your anger, on account of your passion, on account of your greed, ego or some other experience. That is why the life of a householder is known as grihastha ashrama. It is an ashrama, it is a place where you are making certain efforts in order to clear the passage for self-realization.

Grihastha ashrama is a way to self-knowledge, of which kama, krodha, etc. are necessary components which keep on harassing you; you try to overcome them and at the same time you try to enjoy them. Every effort to enjoy them results in bitter experiences and you say 'This is the last time; I won't have it anymore!' But the next time you become aware of this fact all of a sudden is when you find yourself in the same situation once again. You may get angry fifty times and still be thinking it is bad or harmful or makes you restless and causes the family relationships to deteriorate. No, until you realize this will continue; the same with passions, greed, ego, etc. — you need to realize them too. You will have to be able to realize that these things are not able to give you either peace or happiness in life; then only will you be able to quit them, otherwise it is very difficult to leave these experiences. To renounce passion is very difficult.

Therefore every man should spend his life with religious love. Fulfil your wishes and desires, but within the framework only. Some people go beyond the framework of dharma to fulfil their desires; overcome greed, anger, passion within the framework of righteousness. If you go beyond its limits then you will spill your inner rubbish. If, one by one, all of us go on spilling our rubbish beyond the framework of virtue then what will become of your society? This is exactly the situation which is faced by society today. Everything can be achieved within the framework of virtue, righteousness and dharma.

—19 November 1985, Ganga Darshan, Munger