It was a few years ago when I embarked on a sincere journey of personal growth.  I also  started reflecting through journaling and often thought to myself that looking back I wish I had made certain decisions differently or that I wish I had certain discernment at a particular point in time.  At the same time I don’t have regrets because we can only learn from the past, we cannot live in the past. Few years ago I started reading and learning few of the thousand names of divine mother in Lalita Sahasranama and sharing one of them here.

In the LSN , the 372nd name of mother divine is bhakta manasa hamsika – meaning the swan of discernment in the devotee’s mind. 

Often there are difficult situations where we just can’t decide what to do. Sometimes it will make one person happy and disappoint the other – so many situations like these sometimes on a daily basis. Often we look back and think, I should have done this and that and that would have been better or I shouldn’t have done this or that. That’s what discernment is, according to me, to know at that moment in time what is the best thing to do or not to do. 

Should I continue this relationship or is it better to move on?

Should I be compassionate and kind to this person or does this person deserve so and so for karma?

Should I ask for help or continue on my own or give up?

If I do this will it make a difference or it won’t really matter?

There are a thousand permutations and combinations of similar situations, who really knows what is the best thing to do. It’s not like there is a magic formula or algorithm that will give us the answer. Two people can choose to do two different things for the same situation and yet it might be the right one. 

What is the benefit of walking the spiritual path, what have you gained so far? Personally I feel I have gained tremendous benefits. The challenge is that it’s difficult to quantify. I have certainly been able to keep my ego in check to a certain extent and that has helped me cultivate devotion and surrender – things that were alien to me just a few years ago. It’s important because discernment isn’t really possible without devotion and surrender. I must add learning about Self Enquiry through Ramana Maharshi’s teachings a few years ago has been instrumental in understanding myself and my relationship with ego. 

The Serenity Prayers sums this up perfectly. 

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.”