January 14

In this ocean of samsara (worldly existence) desires are like crocodiles. Kill them as soon as they arise on the surface of the mind. Do not yield to them, do not become despondent about all the trials that beset you. Make friends with the pure (satvic) mind and destroy the impure mind with the help of the pure mind. Make the mind rest in the ever-blissful atman.

When a desire arises in your mind, consult your discrimination. That will tell you, at once, that desire is attended with pain, that only vairagya (dispassion) and tyaga (renunciation) will bring you satisfaction and peace of mind. It will advise you to renounce desire immediately. It will advise you to take up the study of the Upanishads, to repeat OM and to meditate in a solitary place. Think deeply whether this new desire will give you happiness or spiritual gain. You must starve out the obnoxious desires by not allowing the mind to dwell on such desires.

You have no desire for a thing until you know what it is like. Only after you have seen it, tasted it, or touched it, will you know what it is like, will you have a longing for it. Therefore do not touch, taste or see anything that is likely to taint the imagination. Put down vicious desires through virtuous desires. Then give up virtuous desires, through one strong desire. And that is the desire for God. In the long run you will even have to abandon this desire for God. Kill the thoughts, practise thoughtlessness. In this way you destroy desire.

Free yourself from the crocodile of desires. Do not be disheartened. Cheer yourself up. Stand like a lion. Destroy the impure mind with the pure mind. Make friends with the satvic (pure) mind and rest peacefully in the atman.

The Inner Battle

The soldier fights for a few hours only, but the aspirant’s battle goes on day and night. It is verily a hard battle, a fierce battle and it lasts till the end of his life. This battle is raging in the field of the mind. Satva (purity) fights with rajas (impurity) and tamas (inertia).

Higher mind wages war with the lower mind. Contentment fights with greed. Patience fights with anger. Brahmacarya (celibacy) fights with lust, humility fights with pride. Fight, my brother, valiantly. Raise the sword of Ram Nam (the divine name).

Swami Sivananda

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