Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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In his discourse, Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal said just as wealth, health and creature comforts were important to human beings so too was spiritual knowledge crucial to realising lasting happiness. Many a time man feels disappointed and frustrated when he is unable to achieve the chimerical goals he sets for himself. Such self-binding shackles can be cast off if one learns to be happy with what one possesses. Getting rid of addictive bad habits and cultivating the company of people who are noble in thought, word and deed are the means of self-empowerment in spiritual life.
Discrimination between right and wrong is feasible only when the mind is evolved. Only a preceptor can guide an aspirant in his spiritual quest. The Katha Upanishad recommends one to "learn wisdom at the Master's feet, since the path is hard to tread as the edge of a knife." While God's incarnated primarily with the mission of establishing righteousness in the world, He also manifests from time to time as preceptors with the aim of showing humanity the path to everlasting happiness.
It is for this purpose that great saints such as Adi Sankara have appeared on the Earth, with the twin objective of kindling the latent devotion in man and to spread His message of virtuous living through hymns and texts, which will help to dispel ignorance and also to overcome ego. While the lectures and guidelines are universal, every person has to achieve this objective only on the basis of self-effort. Once the foundations of good conduct become a way of life, a devotee will learn to discriminate between worldly pursuits, which are temporal in nature and the spiritual goal, which will give eternal joy.
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