Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) — Vigilance Is the Answer

April 3, 2024

Vigilance Is The Answer

Question: I meditate and practice yoga daily, but often get strange, unpleasant, and even cruel thoughts. How do I deal with is evil which comes out of myself?

Swami Venkatesananda in AustraliaSwamiji: it is good you realize that they come out of yourself. If you want immediate but temporary relief, you may substitute some holy, pleasant thoughts. But these are all thoughts, and hence they offer no permanent solution. The key to the answer is indeed yoga, the path to perfection which is total integration. But can one clearly understand what is meant by the word 'integration'?

      When we talk of integration of the personality, we should not commit the error of assuming that the personality is somehow broken into pieces. As Christian Scientists will tell you, that disruption is but an illusion. Those who have experienced nightmares, however, will assure you that the illusion is real so long as it lasts. 'Integration" refers to the disappearance of the illusion.

      The violent thoughts are obviously you own; they are from you, they are part of you, they are you. Can you run away from yourself? Can you throw yourself away? If, for instance, you eat some bitter fruit, the moment you realize it is so, you can spit it out. But you cannot spit out your tongue or a sore stomach. If your tongue or your stomach hurts, have you watched yourself, what you do? You have to live with it; yet it hurts, it is unpleasant. Therefore, you are extremely vigilant and cautious to ensure that you do not let it hurt you now.

     In the same way, if you realize that the evil thoughts are in you, part of you, you, and you realize that they are unpleasant and disturbing, you will be ever vigilant to ensure that they do not arise in your mind.

      This vigilance makes you extremely strong.  Perhaps that is why our Gurudev Swami Sivananda used to say, "in your weakness lies your real strength."

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      To try to avoid war is foolish. People will die in any case, and everything will be destroyed war or no war.

      To wage war and kill is more foolish. Why kill something which will die a little later?

      The problem is how to live.

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