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Date Posted: 07:26
Author: Om - 13 June 2002
Subject: Self Effort

Our progress on the spiritual path will be commensurate with the
efforts applied, as with any other endeavor. Many aspirants
hope for some kind of "divine intervention" with regard to their
path towards Self-Realization, but this hope is vain, and runs
contrary to our experience.

"The Concise Yoga Vasistha," written by Swami Venkatasananda (a
disciple of Sri Swami Sivananda), is a great book. The original
work, The Yoga Vasistha, is a massive work, containing over
29,000 verses, and in it's complete translation composes several
volumes. It's premise is that the "external world" is unreal, a
mere projection of the mind:

"Whatever is in the mind
is like a city in the clouds.
The emergence of this world is no more
than thoughts manifesting themselves." (III:84:30)

In the chapter entitled "Self-Effort," the sage Vasistha in
talking to his disciple, Rama, underscores the need for
aspirants to engage in self-effort:

"The lazy man is worse than a donkey. One should never yield to
laziness but strive to attain liberation, seeing that life is
ebbing away every moment."

Vasistha goes on to say that self-effort is of two categories:
that of previous births and that of our present birth. There is
a constant conflict between the two, and that which is stronger
ultimately triumphs. Vasistha does, however, tell Rama that
there is nothing stronger than right action in the present. We
all have a mixture of different qualities, some are qualities of
light (sattvic), some of dynamism (rajas) and some of inertia
(tamas). The qualites of light, the sattvic qualities, are
those that propel us towards enlightenment. Practising
spiritual disciplines, (especially from a young age), are an
example of sattvic qualities cultivated in a previous birth, and
our efforts to strengthen such qualities should be ongoing.

Let us "persistently tread the path that leads to the eternal
good," and so realize God in this very lifetime.

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