In my childhood, I was very fond of reading the couplets (दोहे) by Sant Kabir Das, especially the one below.
दुःख में सुमिरन सब करे सुख में करै न कोय।
जो सुख में सुमिरन करे तो दुःख काहे को होय ॥
In anguish, everyone prays to Him,
in joy does none
To One who prays in happiness,
how can sorrow come
Don’t we all remember Swamiji when we are the most distressed? I am sure most of us do. But how many of us remember and apply his teachings in our everyday lives? We often take pride in claiming our proximity to Swamiji. Perhaps we may have also boasted about the number of books written by him that we have read. We have this extremely good feeling when we get to watch Swamiji’s discourses in person or in videos. But having done all that, how many of us have truly internalized his teachings?
If I am not wrong, I have heard Swamiji saying that the day we start applying his teachings in our lives we no longer would have any questions for him. Even if we apply just a fragment of what we have learnt from him, we would get to see significant improvements in our lives. It is often the feel-good factors and illusions that we fall for, but feel the inertia when it comes to putting to use what we have learned. We all wish for an instant or miracle cure to our problems. But we would not require any miracles, had we made some efforts towards leading a spiritual life.
I admit that I have been quite an abysmal student of Swamiji. I have failed to follow even the two simple instructions he had for me. Going through my blogs you might have understood that I do have the realizations but often a non-performer when it comes to practicing what I preach. Well, I am neither a holy preacher nor do I wish to sound like a hollow one. I wish that people take the cue from my realizations and at the same time take me as an example of how one ought not to be.
How would you react if I say that I have not learned much from Swamiji yet? He had given me the lessons but I didn’t learn them yet. Shocking, right?
Well, let me explain you this with a story from Mahabharata. Once Guru Dronacharya was teaching his students a lesson on truth and it’s significance. He asked the students to learn by heart the line “सदा सत्य बोलो” (Sada Satya Bolo translates to Always Tell The Truth) and repeat it for him the next day. The next day, when asked to repeat the lesson, learned the day before, everyone except Yudhishtira could recite the lines. Guru Drona, even though annoyed gave Yudhishtira another chance to learn the lesson. However, the next day Yudhishtira was quiet again. This time Guru Drona was furious. “Can’t you learn a simple lesson, a simple line?’, he reprimanded. Yudhishtira who was quiet all the while, finally spoke,” Guruji I have learned the line, but I have not learned the lesson. Unless I put into practice what I have learned in my life how can I claim to have learned the lesson? The day I start speaking nothing but the truth I shall inform you that I have truly learned the lesson.”
Similarly, that day I start putting into practice Swamiji’s teachings into my life and abide by them, only then I shall claim to be an apt disciple of Swamiji. The cardinal point of being his disciple is to internalize his teachings and abide by them. The lesson of “truth” begins by telling the truth to yourself first and then being true to yourself always. With every truth that you tell yourself, you would have a realization about your own potential and areas of improvement. That’s why, always tell the truth….at least to yourself.