Principles for Success

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Real life is in religion, and religion is virtue. The irreligious or vicious person will have to face a fall; the religious or virtuous person will be saved even at the brink of every pitfall.

One might be worshipping, fasting, paying homage to gods or goddesses and saying beads, yet he might be a terrible rogue. You please rule out his name from the register of religious code.

One may not make a clownish demonstration of his religion yet he may be doing some sadhana, if he is sweet in speech, fair in his dealings, amicable with all, forgiving in nature, sacrificing in spirit and courageous, not violent at all in initiative and fair enterprises, please take if for truth that he is going to surpass all skills, excel all heads, overcome every obstacle that he has to tackle in his path.

You may just do only one thing in order to reform others – you have to effect the reforms in your own life first. Unless you do it, you are never going to reform others. This is a practical wisdom of sages.

Satyam speaks

Satyam has observed that there is no one either good or bad, but our feeling makes it so. Your conclusions are not quite unbiased, not totally free from prejudices, hence you perceive your own personality projected in the person whom you call either good or bad.

Satyam says, it is not too late, you are young, full of energy and future. You have infinite capacities. You can reform your entire life in a fashion which will give you a strong mind, a psychic personality and bring success in every good endeavour.

Why do you feel pessimistic? Why are you brooding over demoralisation? Believe me that morality is a rare commodity, it does not come merely by talking and brooding. To bring about the era of morality please train your mind and activities.

Satyam is quite aware where society stands today. Yet he has hope, hence he has been working without any stop. If everyone gives me his little bit of cooperation, I am bound to effect the evolution in society which will bring home peace, unity and a proper sense of understanding.

Satyam knows that men want shanti or peace very badly. What is this ‘restlessness’ due to? Restlessness is a psychological term which represents the physical errors and gross mistakes in our day-to-day life. Change your aspirations, refine and refashion your speech. Evolve your ambitions. You are sure to annihilate this restlessness.

Need for principles

No man who has no principle can hope for peace and prosperity. Principles are of paramount importance to any householder. South Indians work upon certain principles, and you know, they are marvellously successful in any avocation they enter in. We have practically no principles which would successfully regulate our life movements. We eat whatever we want, speak whatever bombs forth, move wherever we like, meet every sundry we come across, sleep whenever we feel. We have no set principles at all.

To be a successful businessman one needs sweet and pleasant speech, a sacrificing and cooperating set of friends. Simplicity and nobility towards life, regularity and punctuality in one’s daily routine, a balanced habit in diet, restraints in sexual matters, a timely program for yogasanas, freedom from ‘chubbish’ or rubbish. And most important of all sincere dynamism in discharging the business functions.

If you have plenty of leisure and if you are not working dynamically, if not the whole time then for eight hours at least, please do a bit of positive effort to counteract inertia and utilize the hours which have no engagement whatsoever. What is this effort I term as positive?

Free hours should be used in:

  1. Studying life-inspiring books of Gandhi, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Sivananda, Aurobindo, publications of Kalyan (Gorakhpur) and journals of Bharitya Vidya Bhawan. Novels and news papers not only waste time and money, they darken the future also by enveloping the will-power and dynamism of positive value.
  2. Doing japa of your Ishta mantra, meditation on its hidden meaning and upasana of the deity directly connected with the mantra;
  3. Making positive and concrete determination for the business you are handling;
  4. Writing your Ishta mantra with love and concentration, so that your mind might get a proper focus of ideals. Mantra writing is a perfect practical science of ‘mental culture’.
  5. Reviewing your accomplishments and commitments which need a reform and refinement. This must be done simply, without any prejudice and partiality. Criticize, scrutinize and analyse your motives and intentions. Let holiness prevail.
  6. Discussing matters not mundane and exciting with your family, and reading out a few passages from any great book and explaining them.

This will refill your leisure and lazy hours with positive dynamism and bestow upon you tranquillity of mind, richness of ideals, successful determination and a life full of hope and cheer, light and lightness.

The essential items of a person’s program are:

  1. Repetition of the Lord’s name
  2. Prayer; spontaneous, sincere and unselfish
  3. Yogasanas
  4. Meditation and upasana
  5. Study of life-inspiring books
  6. Mantra writing
  7. Family discussions and instructions
  8. Business transactions
  9. Company of good and cultured friends
  10. Meditation on day-to-day, already done and to be done accomplishments.

The non-essential, non-profiting and devastating programs of a person’s life, as all greatly successful business magnets have said:

  1. Being late in leaving the bed;
  2. Idly gossiping with uncultured people;
  3. Wasting time in horror comics and perilous literature;
  4. Abusing, scolding, criticizing, condemning and avoiding others;
  5. Wasting money, time, energy and talent on baubles;
  6. Saying, ’It can’t be done’;
  7. Excitement, passion, far-sightedlessness;
  8. Argumentative, demolishing speech;
  9. Meat eating, drinks, gambling, illegitimate connections and secret doctrines of fat and flesh;
  10. Extravagancy and spend-thriftiness, showy standard of life, hypo critical personality through dress and other non-essential, unnecessary and extra-vital commitments just to satisfy the base, vice, corrupt and corruptible passion in us;
  11. Carelessness in business dealing. Carelessness includes fraud also since fraud is a hotchpotch of dynamic carelessness while laziness is negative;
  12. Taking the business as a means to earn just to ‘lose’ and considering it just a bundle of dishonesty, unfairness, fraudulence and a way to ‘block the way’.

These twelve points which I have just reproduced, not for the first time, are mighty systems of regulation which determine the destiny of a failing businessman and give a fillip to an already established businessman and tremendous success to a flourishing business man.

Then again you should try to meet at least once in a week under the influential environment of a holy congregation. Call outsiders too, those known to you and to your relatives as well. Have kirtan, bhajan, discourses and reading of healthy and interesting stories. All will cooper ate in this holy initiative of yours. Later on this sacred and unbiased inauguration will culminate into an integral cooperation among you and your family members.

At the same time keep yourself in touch with great saints and sages. They are mighty spiritual personalities, their grace works wonders, they are very loving, they radiate real joy, impart real knowledge, and give wonderful direction to everyone. Their personality is powerful and guidance unfailing.

May the ever-present blessing of all saints and realized souls enlighten you.

May they give you strength to start the sadhana in right earnest.

May the teachers of mankind whose memories millions cherish in their hearts, whose blessings lead the stars of mankind, infuse blessings in you and your near and dear ones, and in the generations to come.

Published in YOGA Vol. 5 No.7 (July 1967)