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Thus, everything has been placed before you-the possibilities, the risks, the dangers. They say: "Forewarned is forearmed." All the scriptures tell us of all the dangers upon the path and warn of the pitfalls and risks to the human questing soul. Lord Krishna Himself says it in the Bhagavad Gita: "Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the self-lust, anger and greed. Therefore, one should abandon these three." And in the eighteenth chapter, He tells us: "Now I have told you everything that is to be known. I have given you all the facts, without reservation. Now it is for you to decide. It is up to you.".

Therefore, deeply dive within yourself and be clear as to what you are committed to. What are you living for? For what are you prepared to face anything? What are you even prepared to die for? That is the acid test.

Are you committed to something very definite, very clear, very unmistakable? Ask yourself this question. Keep on asking until you are clear, until you are absolutely certain about your answer to this question. For according to your commitment, that will be your life.

We have to start somewhere. What does Gurudev Swami Sivananda have to say about our commitment? First, be committed to a life where we put service before self. "Not I, but all Your creation, O Lord, and Yourself too." As Gurudev has said, "God first, world next, yourself last." Because, getting caught in the net of selfishness will nullify all spiritual aspiration. In that blindness, we will not at all see what we are doing. And there we will get stuck. There is no more dangerous pitfall than selfishness.

Ask, "What can I do for others? In what way can I be helpful, in what way can I benefit other people with whom I am. living, with whom God has put me, be they young or old, healthy or ailing? In what way can I be useful? In what way can I help to benefit this planet Earth which is our Great Mother and gives us life? How can I help to preserve her beauty and resources and rectify the callousness of modern man?" Selflessness and a spirit of service is one principle and objective to which we may be committed in our day-to-day living.

Then, commit yourself to devotion to God and daily worship. Commit yourself to discipline, self-control, control of the senses, conquest of the desires of the mind, and unfailing daily meditation upon the Supreme.

Lastly, but not leastly, be committed to discrimination, asking: "Who am I? What is this world? Am I this perishable cage of flesh and bones? Am I this nonsense of a mind that is ever bothering me, ever making me restless creating complication? Am I this unreliable intellect? No! As scriptures say, "Neither am I the mind, nor the intellect, nor egoism, nor mind-stuff. I am Consciousness-Bliss, part of God." Thus, through discrimination between the real and unreal, through self analysis and investigation, attain Self- ealization.

So, therefore, commit yourself to all of these as part of your day-to-day living. And commit yourself to the triple principles of non-injury, truthfulness, and purity of conduct and character. Cherish these three great principles: compassion and kindness to all creatures; self-control and purity in thought, word and deed; and truthfulness. "Let even death overtake me, but I will not leave these three principles." In this way, pledge yourself to abide by these great principles. Then there is no power on earth that can stop you from attaining the highest, the Supreme Good, that can stop you from becoming a perfect gem, a rare and unique phenomenon in this world able to bless your own times and benefit your contemporary human society. May God bless you in this noble endeavour.

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