You experience in yourself the feeling of superior or inferior in view of things that are subject to formation and destruction - This is a big mistake. e.g. Certain people regard themselves as superior in view of the wealth they own, few consider themselves great because of big homes that they possess. Others feel great by wearing fine clothes, while still others proclaim their superiority owing to the high position they hold, one of dignity and respect; there are however few that regard themselves as quite inferior or lowly or insignificant in view of the non-availability of these things. This is a very big mistake. You are yourself an inalienable, sparkling part of God and are consciousness! And you hold yourself superior or inferior in relation to inert gross material things only – this is nothing but inferiority in your attitude! You are the acquirer and enjoyer of these things, knower of their beginning and their end as well. Why yet should you be a slave of such things? Riches come and go, friends meet and part in life. Knowing this simple truth, we commit a mistake by feeling superior or inferior only on their count! Think a little, please, and immediately it would strike your intelligence that if you are great merely because you occupy a high or significant rank or position, then you are really small as you hold dignity and importance only in the office. If we are great on acquiring wealth, then the greatness lies not in us but only in the wealth. We are not great. Sooner we realize this, better it is that we should never feel superior or inferior on the strength of things which are mere transitory or of fleeting nature.Your are yourself immensely great. Ordinarily you are part and parcel of the Supreme Divine Being i.e. God, but in case you ascend to sublimely devotional heights, you are the crest-jewel of Divinity. God himself says :“I am the Servant of my devotees.Devotees my Crest-jewel ! „“Mein to hu bhagatanakaa daas,bhagata mere mukutamani”You are really that whom God calls his crest jewel! When does one become a devotee? The moment one is released from the affinity with grossness (jadataa), that very moment you are a devotee! Therefore you should from this very moment hold in your mind the firm resolve that you would not view yourself in high or low esteem on the basis of petty things that have an origin and ending. You do earn and own these perishables, use and enjoy them, but not weigh your being great or otherwise on their count. The balloon of your ego is pumped full-blown on their airy strength and there lies the rub! What is the difficulty in understanding this simple truth! Tell me! If there is none, then accept the wisdom of this reality just now. It brooks no delay. It demands no preparation, expects no special intelligence, no extra power or stamina, nor any uncommon ability on your part. Accept for God’s sake that you will not consider yourself great because of the belongings of mutable and ephemeral nature. For, such an orientation is nothing but mere subjection or slavery. A slave can never be happy even in dreams - “paradheena sapanehu sukhu naahim” (Manasa, Bala. 102/3). We are God’s and God is ours – if you firmly believe this, then alone you will be truly great in the real sense.Being in body finite (jiva) is faction divine of God eternal! Conscious, pious, ocean of happiness and bliss natural !!” (Manasa, Uttara. 117/1)When does he become really unhappy though being the fount eternal of happiness? Only when he accepts the slavish subjugation of the objects perishable and transitory, he grows sad, morose and sorrowful. You don‟t want sorrow at all, but you systematically pile up the materials of unhappiness only and willfully slip into the slavery of perishable goods. There is no happiness in slavishness, not even in dreams!Listener: More people flock to him who is virtuous? Is that the sign of people’s greatness?Swamiji: If very many go to one because he is a man of virtues, then too you must be clear that virtues are not his real nature. These have also been acquired. If he is emptied of good qualities or virtues, then people will not go to him at all. Please think how can man be great because people happen to go to him. Is not then his greatness dependent on external factors? Does a person become superior or inferior, big or small because many people go to him or do not go to him? This is dependence on others - how can this be greatness?This is nothing but all dependence on others - “Paradheenata” – if we view ourselves as great because of virtues we possess, or because of our better learning and education, or because more people give us more and more honor and hold us in high esteem! Of what avail shall it ever be whether we have or don‟t have virtues or whether or not more people pay regards to us? We remain what we are! For, how can one be really great or otherwise only because more people regard him so? Do people become inferior or small because people treat them so? Can greatness ever be given or taken away by people? How can anyone be happy who regards his greatness or dignity dependent on other ones‟ opinions? Opinions are never stable. A slavery to opinions is no test of greatness. You collect money, pile up bank balances, create a rich store of precious stones, pearls, rubies etc., and begin to think that you are a big man enjoying a high social status! If that be the case, you are certainly mistaken. Make the best use of your riches and put your prosperity in the service and welfare of people. It will be mere humiliation if you are big only by belongings of virtues or wealth you own!God is not subject to coming and going. He is ever present. If you sincerely begin belonging to God, you will be “really” great. If you really grow great, you will never be touched by the pride of greatness, or by the fear of smallness. You lose nothing if others hold you low in esteem. Nor do you gain anything by the praise of others. If you be yourself, identify yourself with the eternal. He the great over lording spirit of the universe, and acknowledge your relationship with God in right perspective, then you will be truly great, great in the real sense. Then you will not be swayed by the so called greatness showered on you or withdrawn from you by other one‟s opinion!It is verily a bondage to hold oneself high or great merely on the strength of things and opinions of ephemeral or transitory nature. Bondage is not an animal! Redemption from this very thralldom is liberation. You are free the moment this bind is cast off. Tell me: don‟t you be self-reliant, free and liberated when you do not depend for your being on fleeting opinions and belongings, that endure not?Listener: You are right, holy sire!Swamiji: If it is all right, then why should we remain dependent? Please, be merciful and from this very moment thoughtfully accept that you will not regard yourself big or high simply because of the chair or the official position you occupy; not even by virtue of wealth are you going to feel yourself great. Neither we are big because very many people praise and honor us nor we shall feel low because people denounce or decry us. Can you in essence accept and believe this truth or not? Tell me.Listener: yes, we can do so.Swamiji: Then why delay at all? For whom are you waiting? For what sort of circumstance are you waiting, for whose particular power or might are you waiting? Which time, whose support or succor, whose instructions you are awaiting now? For whom are you awaiting? Tell me. I pray unto you that from just now you resolve that you would never regard yourself big or small, high or low on the count of petty things of transitory nature. The Lord has said:
“Agamaapayino „nityaastaamstitiksasva bhaarata” (Gita 2/14)
i.e. Things and beings which are perishable and impermanent – bear or brook them. To tolerate them is to be free from the totality of impact, their coming and going out of existence might otherwise cause. In such a state of freedom, there is bound to be a boundless peace of mind and blissful blessedness of heart. Do it and see it for yourself. True it is ! I cast no deception! You will feel extremely unburdened and enjoy supreme bliss as if you have escaped from sinking into death dealing morass.
From "Be Good” by Swami Ramsukhdasji
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