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Philosophy and Vedanta

by Swami Sivananda

YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOUR DESTINY

Courage is thy birthright, but not fear; peace is thy divine heritage, but not restlessness. Immortality is thy birthright, but not mortality; strength, but not weakness; health, but not disease; bliss, but not sorrow; knowledge, but not ignorance.

Pain, sorrow and ignorance are illusory; these cannot live. Bliss, joy and knowledge are true; these cannot die.

You are the architect of your own fate. You are the master of your own destiny. You can do and undo things. You sow an action and reap a tendency. You sow a tendency and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap your character. You sow your character and reap your destiny. Therefore, destiny is your own creation. You can undo it if you like-destiny is a bundle of habits.

Purushartha is self-exertion. Purushartha can give you anything. Change your habits. Change the mode of thinking. You can conquer destiny. You are now thinking: "I am the body." Start the spiritual anti-current and think: "I am immortal, diseaseless, sexless Atman." You can conquer death and attain the immortal seat of supreme splendour.

By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny. You have a free-will to act. By self-exertion, Ratnakar became Valmiki. By self-exertion, Markandeya conquered death. By self-exertion alone did Uddalaka attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (higher realisation). By self-exertion, Savitri brought back her husband (Satyavan) to life.

Therefore, apply yourself tenaciously, O Prema, to Atmic enquiry and meditation. Be vigilant and diligent. Kill the thoughts and desires. Overcome tomorrow's evil by today's self-exertion. Destroy unholy desires (Asubha Vasanas) through holy desires (Subha Vasanas). Slay unholy thoughts by holy thoughts, and gain victory over your destiny.

Do not yield to fatalism. Do not become impotent. Stand like a lion. Exert and attain independence or Atma Svarajya. There is a magazine of power within you. There is a vast ocean of knowledge within you. All faculties are latent in you. Unfold them and become a Jivanmukta (liberated soul).

Positive overcomes the negative. This is the immutable law of nature. Purushartha (self-exertion) is a mightier power. Purushartha is the lion or the elephant. Prarabdha (destiny) is the cat or the jackal. God helps those who help themselves. Vasishtha asked Rama to do Purushartha. Fatalism will certainly induce inertia and laziness. Therefore, gird up your loins and exert yourself to the utmost, O Prema.

May you all attain Self-realisation or Brahma Jnana in this very birth! May you all live immersed in the ocean of bliss in an illumined state! May you shine as liberated sages!

KNOW THYSELF

That 'Being' who is described in the Upanishads is Brahman or Atman or the Absolute. He is the fountain-head of all scriptural knowledge. He is the source or womb for everything. He is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. He is indivisible, all-pervading, self-contained, eternal and immortal. He is beyond time, space and causation. He is beginningless and endless. He is the indweller of all beings. He is the witness of the activities of all the minds.

What on earth can cause fear in you when you have realised identity with Brahman? What on earth can generate hatred, delusion, difference and sorrow in you when you behold one in all, and all in one? What on earth can cause agitation in you when you have transcended the mind and when you rest peacefully in your own Sat Chit Ananda Svarupa—that magnanimous ocean of bliss and stupendous silence?

You experience disharmony and discord when Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia) prevail in the mind. Annihilate Tamas by increasing Rajas and destroy Rajas increasing Sattva. There will be harmony and concord when Sattva prevails in the mind. Go beyond Sattva and hear the celestial music of the Soul-music that you never heard before. It is the music of the meeting of the soul with Soul. It is the wonderful music that transcends all Ragas and Raginis. It is the unstruck music of the Infinite-that celestial melody which helps the aspirant to merge himself in Brahman. It is the music of Om or Pranava Dhvani. It is transcendental Anahata sound. It is the divine music of Krishna's flute. It is silence itself. Drown yourself in the bliss of the inner music of the soul. Its melody and sweetness are beyond description. You should experience it yourself.

You are the real master or governor of the universe. You are bound to none. Feel the majesty of yourself. Whatever your circumstances and environments may be, keep peaceful and happy. Abandon all anxiety, fear and worry. Rest in your centre. Be self-poised, self-pleased and self-contained. Sing Om. Chant Om. Meditate on Om. Realise the Self. Know the Self and be free. Now the whole world will be a heaven or a paradise for you. You are the Lord of lords, the God of all gods, the Emperor of emperors. You are in possession of the inexhaustible spiritual wealth. The sum total of the pleasures of the whole world is but a mere drop when compared to the bliss you enjoy now. You are the ocean of bliss now. What a magnificent state! Even the thousand-tongued Adisesha cannot describe it.

Abandon all anxiety, fear and worry. Rest in your centre. Be self-poised, self-pleased and self-contained. Sing Om. Chant Om. Meditate on Om. Realise the Self. Know the Self and be free. Now the whole world will be a heaven or a paradise for you. You are the Lord of lords, the God of all gods, the Emperor of emperors. You are in possession of the inexhaustible spiritual wealth. The sum total of the pleasures of the whole world is but a mere drop when compared to the bliss you enjoy now. You are the ocean of bliss now. What a magnificent state! Even the thousand-tongued Adisesha cannot describe it.


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