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Law of Resistance

by Swami Sivananda

If you eat a mango, if you do any kind of work, it produces an impression in the subconscious mind or Chitta. This impression is called Samskara or tendency. Whatever you see, hear, feel, smell or taste causes Samskaras. The acts of breathing, thinking, feeling, and willing produce impressions. These impressions are indestructible. They can only be fried in toto by Asamprajnata Samadhi. Man is a bundle of Samskaras. Mind is a bundle of impressions. It is these Samskaras that bring a man again and again to this physical plane. They are the cause for rebirths. These Samskaras assume the form of very big waves through memory, internal or external stimulus. The sum-total of these impressions constitutes the character of a man. If you do virtuous actions, the Chitta will contain good impressions and you will possess a good character. If you do evil deeds there will be evil impressions in the subconscious mind, and you will have a bad character. Good Samskaras force a man to do good actions and vice versa. If you have a great asset of good Samskaras, you will not do any evil action at all. You will have an established good character. Mara or Satan can have no influence upon you.

Actions produce Samskaras or impressions or potencies. The impressions coalesce together through repetition and form habits. Tendencies develop into habits and character. The sum-total of the tendencies of a man is his character. Karmas manufacture character and character manufactures will. If the character is pure and strong, the will also will be pure and strong, and vice versa.

It is said that habit is second nature. I always say that habit is all nature. Control of habits is control of nature. Old, evil habits can be changed into healthy and desirable habits through the force of the pure irresistible will. A weak, impotent man is a slave of habits. He always imagines that habits are innate and that they cannot be changed in one's lifetime. This is a mistake. If you want to change the old, morbid evil habits and establish new, healthy and good habits, you will have to struggle hard. The old habits will try to return, resist, persist and recur. Internal fight will go on between the old and new Samskaras, between old and new habits. You will have to be very vigilant, careful and circumspect. You will have to be on the alert like a soldier who is on patrol duty at a magazine in a military cantonment. The old habit asserts itself and says: "O friend! You gave me a seat in your body and mind for twenty long years. You enjoyed several things through me. Why do you try to drive me off now? You are very cruel. I have every right and privilege from Nature, my kind mother, to remain here. Maya works through me only. The entire world runs through habits only. Man clings to tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, smoking, cinema, novels, gambling and playing cards through the force of habits. The whole world will dwindle into airy nothing but for me. The Lila of the Lord will stop had it not been for my presence in your system. I will not leave my seat in your body." This is the law of resistance. If the man who is attempting to eradicate an evil habit is careless, the old habit will recur again. In the beginning it may recur less frequently and last for a long time. Or it may recur less frequently and last for a short time. But you will gain strength and gradually it will perish altogether and the new good habits will gain supremacy eventually.

If a new healthy habit is introduced even once and if you make even a single attempt in planting a new good habit, the good habit will grow gradually. It will also assert itself to gain a seat in the body and mind. It will work itself till it gets perfect success and defeats the old, morbid habit. This is also another law of Nature. There is always a double life in Nature, the Asuric and Daivic. The fight between the Asuras and the Devas is always going on in the body and the mind. If you struggle very hard, the new good habits will establish themselves quickly. You will have rapid progress in the spiritual path. The pure, strong, irresistible will is bound to succeed ultimately. It can do anything. Its powers are ineffable and wonderful.


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