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Follow the Wise

by Swami Sivananda

The Rishis and the Seers tapped the source through living the Truth. They had deep penetration into the Truth through the eye of wisdom or intuition in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. They did rigorous Tapas and intense meditation. They disciplined the outgoing senses and led a virtuous life. They were absolutely moral and righteous. They developed all the qualities of the heart. They practised dispassion and renunciation. They had no attachment for mundane things. They kicked off ruthlessly all wealth, relatives, wife, family, children, position and status. They embraced poverty, purity and austerity. They lived in forests. They ate fruits and roots. They breathed pure air. They lived on the banks of the Ganga amidst Himalayan scenery, which had, and has, high spiritual vibrations. They did not live in Mount Road or the Mall.

Desirelessness is the flower-bunch in the tree of contentment and quiescence. Desirelessness is the axe with which the forest of this Samsara is cut down. A desireless man is totally free from all weakness of the heart. For a man of absolute desirelessness the whole universe is but a straw.
You cannot practise Yoga living in the Wall Street or Piccadilly or Esplanade, Mount Road or the Mall, breathing the contaminated air of these places, eating unnatural, heavy foods, attending cinemas, theatres and ball-rooms, wasting much vital energy, with nerves under high tension and with ears dinned by the sounds of motor cars and machinery.

In enjoyment there is fear of disease; in social position, the fear of falling off; in wealth, the fear of enemies; in honour, the fear of humiliation; in power, the fear of foes; in beauty, the fear of old age; in scriptural erudition, the fear of opponents; in virtue the fear of traducers; in body, the fear of death. All the things of this world pertaining to men are attended with fear; renunciation alone stands for fearlessness.

Shun honour, respect, degrees, name, fame, power, position and titles. They are absolutely worth less. They will not give you eternal satisfaction. They will only intensify your vanity. They are all intoxicants of the mind. They bring misery and mental disturbance. That is the reason why Raja Bhartrihari, Raja Gopichand and Lord Buddha gave up kingdoms, riches, honour and fame.

In the Bhagavadgita you will find: Humility, unpretentiousness, harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control, dispassion towards the objects of the senses, and also absence of egoism, insight into the pain and evil of birth, death, old age and sickness, unattachment, absence of self-identification with son, wife, or home, and constant balance of mind in wished-for and unwished-for events, unflinching devotion to Me by Yoga, without other objects, resort to sequestered places, absence of enjoyment in the company of men, constancy in the wisdom of the Self, understanding the object of essential wisdom; that is declared to be real Wisdom; all else is ignorance (Ch. XIII: 8-12).

Demoniacal men know neither right energy, nor right abstinence; nor purity, nor even propriety; nor is truth in them. 'The whole universe is without Truth, without basis,' they say, 'without a God, brought about by mutual union, and caused by lust and nothing else.' Holding this view, these ruined selves of small understanding, of fierce deeds, come forth as enemies for the destruction of the world. Surrendering themselves to insatiable desires, possessed with vanity, conceit and arrogance, holding evil ideas through delusion, they engage in action with impure resolves. Giving themselves over to unmeasured thought whose end is death, regarding the gratification of desires as the highest, feeling sure that this is all, held in bondage by a hundred ties of expectation, given over to lust and anger, they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyments (Ch. XVI: 7-12).

In the Vishnupurana it is said: If the deluded fool loves the body, a mere collection of flesh, blood, pus, faeces, urine, muscles, fat and bones, he will verily love hell itself! To him who is not disgusted with the nasty smell from his body, what other argument need be abduced for detachment? It is need less and useless to say more.

All men and all buildings will be destroyed in the twinkling of an eye if only a dreadful epidemic is to break out or an earthquake to shake up the earth without mercy. Yet people want to build bungalows in Simla and Mussoorie and attain Immortality there! How foolish these people are! Poor self-deluded souls! Pitiable is their lot! They are earthworms only as they revel in filth. I pray for them. May God bestow on all Viveka, Vairagya and devotion! May all attain soon Eternal Bliss and Perennial Joy!

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