Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Venkatesa Daily Readings (Vol 1) - What Do We Want?

August 16, 2022

What Do We Want?

     Why do we go to these holy men and what do we get from them? We can talk to them and say,

"Swamiji, I smoke."
"You smoke - what do you want me to do, manufacture some cigarettes for you?"
"You know, Swamiji, I would very much like to give it up."
"Ah yes, then what stops you?"
"But I like smoking, Swamiji."

     When you go to a holy man, look at yourself, why do you go? You have some problem, you say you want to give it up, then why don't you? After you light the cigarette, put it down, then sit watching it. The cigarette smokes, you don't smoke. Does the cigarette jump into your mouth and say, "Please smoke me?" It does not. So, why must you give up your smoking? Why must you take up smoking to start with?

    You have never asked that question. I don't need anyone to come and tell me how I should stop fighting with you - I don't want to fight with you, and if I don't want to, can anyone make me? So if you say, "I want to give up smoking, but I like it," then smoke, please go ahead. It is a terrible sin to give up something that you love, whether it is your wife or cigarettes. Smoke until it burns your lips and burns your lungs, because until you decide not to take up the next cigarette, nobody on earth can help you.

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