Sadhana for Week 27
Mind Level: Keep Smiling
Keep Smiling throughout the day. Do not get disturbed, come what may.
No true seeker has to right to be pessimistic,
He should be ever constantly optimistic.
To train ourselves to endure meekly
The little pinpricks of life with magnanimous joy-
Heat and cold, pain and pleasure, success and failure-
Is itself the highest sadhana.
There is nothing at any time, in any circumstance, to worry over:
“Why this to me?”
What you have is all His gift to you.
What you do with what you have is your gift to him.
Anecdote 1 (body level):
In 1970 Poojya Gurudev suffered a heart attack when he is was Mysore. After recuperating he was moved to Bangalore. Devotes awaited him at the new Chinmaya Hospital; Poojya Gurudev would be the first patient. He greeted everyone with his characteristic sense of humor, “I inaugurated the out-patient ward in Mysore, and today I inaugurated the in-patient ward here!”
Many people came to the hospital to visit him. He always maintained a jovial mood and would make a joke of the inconveniences he had to put up with. Someone noticed a bedbug and flicked it away. “Isn’t that my luck. Lord Vishnu is sleeping on that wonderful snake in the milky ocean, and all I get is a few stray bugs!” Poojya Gurudev jested.
At the physical plane even enlightened masters are subjected to the laws of nature – birth, growth, decay, death. Poojya Gurudev explained:
Illness and pain are the nature of the body. Whoever has a body will experience them. We must have the courage to suffer them with peaceful joy. Never pray for a cure. The Lord will never give anyone - even His enemy – more pain than he deserves. Pray for the strength and courage to suffer and pray ardently to the Lord for His love. Keep on smiling, always, at all times, under all conditions.
Anecdote 2 (body level):
In the early 1950s once when Poojya Gurudev was walking up to the stage during the yagna there was a nail protruding on one of the steps leading to the stage. No one had noticed it and Poojya Gurudev walked onto the stage, sat down cross legged and gave his talk for an hour and a half.
Usually Poojya Gurudev would get up and walk out after his talk and only then the audience would begin to leave. This time Poojya Gurudev remained seated and said, “Hari Om, you all can disperse.”
Everyone was surprised, but they did as he bid. All the listeners prostrated and went out. Poojya Gurudev remained seated on the stage until someone went up and asked, “Swamiji, what happened?”
Poojya Gurudev said, “I want to get up but I cannot.”
All the organizers walked up to him to see what was wrong.
The whole side of his left leg was covered in blood! With support from others he got up and said, “I don’t know what it is, its paining.”
The attendees had to pry open the cloth of his garment which was stuck to his leg and then they discovered the blood had been oozing out since the beginning of the talk! It was from the nail in the steps. No one had noticed any change in Poojya Gurudev’s talk nor any sign of pain!
Many years later Poojya Gurudev wrote in a letter to a devotee:
I am a young fifty-five, not an old fifty-five. Age has no meaning for a seeker. You diligently learn to put your mind where your heart is, not where your body is. This is laying the foundation for the temple of your spiritual life.
Anecdote 3 (speech level)
A devotee at a spiritual camp asked Poojya Gurudev, “Swamiji, why in your presence is meditation so easy, but when are no longer near you, our ability to be still and dive deep fades away?”
“Because when you are in my presence, I hold you with my mind, and my mind is much stronger than yours now” replied Poojya Gurudev.
“To make the mind strong,” he said, “You need to integrate the personality. You cannot have one thought pushing you in one direction and another thought yanking you back in another.”
“When you say one thing and do another, you dissipate energy,” he said, “when you say one thing and then do it, you build inner strength.”
Anecdote 4 (mind level):
While in USA a devotee was waiting in the car with Poojya Gurudev until it was time for him to enter the lecture hall for his morning talks.
They saw a man sitting on the curb with an open Upanishad book in front of him, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. Poojya Gurudev gave a running commentary of what was going through the reader’s mind, “Rama, Rama”….”Coffee, coffee”…”Rama, Rama”….”Cigarette, cigarette”…..”Rama, Rama”….
Just then a beautiful young lady walked past. Poojya Gurudev burst out laughing, “Oh, oh….! More distractions for the poor mind!”
A few words from Poojya Gurudev, but the learning is deep – we keep on helplessly suffer the onslaught of desires in our mind and often get swayed from our goal. The sadhana is to be alert, vigilant, silently rise above the raging desires and remain firm on our path.
Anecdote 5 (intellect level)
There was a time when there was a major crisis in running the Mission, dissent amongst members.
A devotee was discussing the difficulties the Mission was facing with Poojya Gurudev and finally managed to say, “Swamiji, but your life’s work, Chinmaya Mission, is itself in danger of being destroyed!”
“So what?” was Poojya Gurudev’s reply. “The mission was established to serve a purpose. If that purpose has now been served, what’s to cry about? If it’s His will, the Lord will provide us with another vehicle for work.”
These few words of wisdom were a reminder about the absolute nature of Vedanta and the purity of the selfless Teacher who lives in detachment from all temporal events.
As Pooyjagurudev said Chinmaya Mission did survive the tests it passed through at that time and has emerged even stronger every passing year!
Why do we suffer?
Suffering depends, not upon the factual happenings, but upon the texture of each one’s mind. Things happening around us are interpreted by our mind and we label them and come to experience them as great tragedies or wonderful blessings.
- Swami Chinmayananda
How to Keep Smiling through the day?
1. Take charge of your life
Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. Don’t blame anyone else or condemn anyone else and victimize yourself.
2. Develop a positive outlook
Train the mind. Feed it with happy and positive thought currents. No true seeker has the right to be pessimistic. He should be ever optimistic.
Always try and see the positive of any situation. Let the focus ever be on the good and positive.
3. Adversity is the best teacher, welcome it.
In all adversities there is always in its depth a treasure of spiritual blessings secretly hidden. When the world kicks you, use it as an experience to grow.
4. Develop detachment
Enjoy, but do not become attached, for when we have attachments, We cannot enjoy; We only suffer.
5. Cultivate result acceptance
Do the best and leave the rest. You must be ready to accept all things as natural, with quiet cheer.
6. Use a support
Whenever the mind is disturbed, fall back on a support system like a mantra-japa, breath observation, chanting, music etc.
Everything will straighten itself in time. Only we need patience, faith and self-surrender. Patience always elevates and strengthens our character. We need patience not only with others, but with ourselves. Now and then in everyone’s life comes a small crisis. Face it bravely. The Lord looks after everyone
8. Understand the temporary nature of everything
Remember : Even this will pass away
9. Have faith
Daily prayer and meditation are all wonderful therapeutic agencies in building up peace and happiness within an individual.
10. Be a rubber ball! Bounce back!
The glory of life is not in “never falling”; The true glory consists in “rising each time we fall”.
1. Happy Mind is a calm, creative, concentrated, efficient, loving and spiritual.
2. We cannot control what we meet but how we meet it is our choice. We can be masters of our life.
Beginners and Advanced:
1. Begin the day with a smile as soon as you wake up. Feel positive and resolve to spend the whole day smiling and with enthusiasm.
2. Through the day notice when do you get disturbed and identify the cause for it within you.
3. Invoke any of the 10 points mentioned above and get back to a smile
4. Even if it seems difficult, try and smile.
5. Before going to bed, thank the Lord for a great day full of happiness and joy. Invoke Gratitude, smile at the Lord and sleep.
1. Do as advised above
2. Contemplate on the Self. We are essentially divine, infinitely blissful, extremely content.
- Swami Chinmayananda
UNTO HIM OUR BEST