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Author Topic: THE SCIENCE OF RELIGION By : Swami Chinmayananda  (Read 4675 times)

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THE SCIENCE OF RELIGION By : Swami Chinmayananda
« on: February 24, 2007, 12:35:40 AM »
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  • Few Succeed, Many Fail——Why?

    The simple  technique in all  success was  already given  out. "Surrender to a great ideal, and centering your heart at the ideal, act   well".    The   bosom   gets   flooded  with   a   gushing,   gurgling spring of   dynamism.    This should   not be   allowed to   get  dissi¬pated either in the   regrets of the past, or in the   anxieties of the future, or with the   excitements in the present.    Bring the  entire dynamism  to express   itself in the   field   of   endeavour   and   thus fight the battle of life.
    This philosophy and vvay-of-life sounds so simple and so completely satisfactory to the rational intellect in us that we wonder why so few people live this perfect life.

    In order to drive home this philosophy, Krishna even pleads, (111-31) "Those persons who constantly practise this teaching with full faith and without cavilling, they too, are freed from all bondages of actions." And conversely, Krishna says, (111-32) "Those who decry this teaching of the technique of success, understand those fools to be deluded of all knowledge and lost."

    When   Krishna   thus   again   and again   guarantees the effec¬tiveness of his   philosophy  of success, the   intelligent sceptic may find a doubt  arising  in his  mind.   If there  be such  an  assured way to   success,   which seems  to be quite  acceptable,   and  even simple to practise, why is it that we find, even among the children of the Hindu   culture   so   few who climb and   reach the peak of material or spiritual, success?

    Anticipating this probable question, we find Krishna answer¬ing   it  here   with utter   honesty,   (111-33)   "All   living   creatures follow their   own tendencies (Vasanas);   even a wise-man   acts according to the tendencies of his own nature.    What can res¬traint do?"    All creatures during their life-time   think according to their   Vasanas,   and act as they powerfully think.    The source of all activity in every creature is thus its tendencies, or Vasanas. Krishna,   therefore,   announces  here,   "All living creatures follow their   own   tendencies;   even   a   wise-man   acts   according  to  the tendencies of his nature."    (sadrusam cheshtathe swasyaa'a prakru-therjnaanavaanapi).    More pithily   the Lord   pronounces,   "Beings follow nature" (prakrithim yaanthi bhuthaani).

    "Even a wise-man" (jnaanavaanapi) follows his tendencies— here, "wise-man" means not a Man-of-Perfection. but an erudite scholar —- one who has understood intellectually the implications of the technique of sure success.

    Here then is the answer to the unexpressed doubt — why do men not generally follow such a simple 'art of success in life? Even one who has intellectually understood this technique, seems to fail to live it — why? "Beings follow their own nature" (prakrithim yaanthi bhuthaani).
    The truth of this paradox is experienced by everyone of us in life. A doctor can be a drunkard, although he has full knowledge of the adverse effects of alcohol, and may come to die of cirrhosis of the liver! A lawyer who knows law may, under provocation even commit a murder That we know is not sufficient for us to live what we know.

    Intellectually we may applaud and appreciate a certain moral value of life, but by the time it has to be expressed as action, we act as lowly as though we had no education at all. Strange is the enchantment of this paradox!

    Just because I can appreciate music or painting, it does not mean I can sing tunefully or produce a masterpiece! Know¬ledge is needed; but to express the knowledge we need a lot of laborious training. By merely restraining, all of a sudden nothing can happen The question,- "What can restraint do?" (nigrahah kim karishyathi) along with the admission, "creatures follow their own nature", sounds as though it is a statement of despair But Krishna is not a cynic — he has the greatest hope for the highest possibilities in man Yet he has to state the truth — it is the honest diagnosis of life. It explains why even the educa¬ted and the cultured behave sometimes worse than the uneducated and the uncultured.

    So then,   "Even the   wise   act   according   to   their   nature", (sadrisam   cheshtathe   swasyaah   prakritherjnanavaanapi).    Let  me take an example.    A morose man, tired from work returns home. He feels   like picking on   someone to let off  steam,   but can find nothing on which he can blow up.    Then his cup of coffee comes. He   sips it —   here is   his chance —- he howls   and  roars, curses all, complaining that   there is no sugar in   his coffee.    His loving wife calls out from the kitchen,   "I have put sugar.    It is in the cup."    This   enrages the man more.    At last she again calls out, "The   spoon   is in   the   saucer."    The man   still   murmuring   and complaining   at his fate   stirs his  coffee   and lifts  the  cup to his lips.    There ....  no more   complaints.    In all   silence  he   drinks his coffee and goes out.    The wife smiles.

    Now the cup of coffee had sugar : the erudite scholar has knowledge. But the coffee was not stirred properly, and so it was not sweet. When book-knowledge is well-digested with reflection and practised for some time, the knowledge can come to add a fresh glow to our actions. Instructions do not cons¬titute education : instruction is necessary : and it is easily avai¬lable. But education is the goal to be reached : and it is to be gained by one's own reflection. Instructions are given : education is achieved.    Instruction   is   objective;   education   is   a   subjec phenomenon kindled in the student and maintained by the teach.

    In modern times we have Instructional Institutes, no edu¬cational schools! Therefore, we have many instructors but hardly any teachers!!

    It is mainly the duty of each one of us to get educated. Teachers should instruct and inspire students to digest indepen¬dently — even here, real teachers can, by their example and nobility, help to maintain the inspiration kindled in the student.

    "What can a mere self-restraint do?" (nigrahah kim karish-yati). Restraint must spring from our own understanding, that what we are now indulging in is a shameful waste of life's vitality and chances.
    (Courtesy : Geeta Office, Powai)

    Donation to Sainath Hospital

    Shri Laxmikant, the son of Shri Vyankatrao Mule, the Proprietor of Pla¬za Tailors at Dadar, expired on the 25th of February 1974, after an operation of kidney. Shri Vyankatrao Mule has gi¬ven a liberal donation of Rupees Twenty five Thousand, as a fixed deposit, in memory of his late son, Shri Laxmikant. The amount of the interest on the fixed deposit, will be utilized for giving treat¬ment to the patients at the Sainath Hospital, Shirdi.
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