Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) — The River

May 21, 2022

The River 

 Swami Venkatesananda     Life is full of surprises. The unexpected always happens, but it is not the fault of happening. We are part of a game called life. You often ask, "Swamiji, when will you come back?" In order to come back, I have to go. In order to go, I have to come. Though we realize the inevitability of change, change changes something within us which needs not to change. When we come together we are naturally happy, but then we are afraid to part. And when we do part, we hope that we will meet again. Meeting and parting are inevitable parts of life; yet they give rise to happiness and sorrow, hope and fear. Is that also inevitable?

      The body has infinite potential to adjust and readjust ... but never to anticipate. The intelligence reacts to stimuli, but that intelligence does not anticipate any reaction. Intelligence (not brain or mind) does not anticipate anything. And therefore it is free from hope and fear. Intelligence can act only in the present. It is mind that functions in the field of memory or imagination. All thought relates to past or future.

      How to live in the present? Again, ask your body. Its infinite potential to adjust without the interference of hope or fear is intelligent life. If joy is to rise, it has its own counterpart, sorrow. Everything in the world has two sides. We cannot have only one side of anything. If we want pleasure only and try to avoid all pain, we discover we have one pleasure and three pains!

      Hope and fear are not based on truth or fact. Can we face truth or reality and avoid imagination? Can we live our life in truth and not in imagination? The body indulges in neither hope nor imagination, but only pure life. See life as it is, not what it was or should be.

      Pleasure and pain are one - not two separate things. Cause and effect are one, cause being the extension of effect and vice versa. If I can see this truth, then instantly change comes to a stop. I see a river - the unchanging in all this change. What appeared to be many and fearfully contradictory phenomena are suddenly seen as complementary. Night follows day; death is the other side of what we call life. But these different sides are only my invention. The river keeps flowing on.


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