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Moderation-A Great Lesson

Ma Gurupriya

16 August 2021

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Aim at a sense of moderation in every walk of life – in attaining purity, in giving concession to impurity, in getting nearer to God, in taking to the world, in accepting loneliness. In short, in everything that concerns you – BE MODERATE. Let there be some wrong in you – what of that?

…In one of his letters Swamiji wrote to me: “… Constant bliss cannot be had so easily. Have Ānanda (bliss) now and then, progressively, and that will be adequate for you. Aim at a sense of moderation in every walk of life – in attaining purity, in giving concession to impurity, in getting nearer to God, in taking to the world, in accepting loneliness. In short, in everything that concerns you – BE MODERATE. Let there be some wrong in you – what of that? Let some confusion also be there; not an excess of it, of course!

“In this way, you will start accepting yourself as you are, nevertheless trying patiently for improvement.”

What a great illumination! Did I ever look at life with this attitude? As I followed the advice, the secret of samatva (equal vision) started unfolding before me. I found myself becoming more and more light hearted towards events and situations, trying to accept equally – both good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant developments. Spells of disinterestedness did remain, alternating with enthusiastic days. The sense of deprivation of motherhood also frequented, though with reduced intensity. But, behind all these alternating moods, there was a growing acceptance and evenness towards everything.

Whenever confronted with depression, I used to remember Swamiji’s words:
“Suppose you have a little depression or disinterestedness today – what of that? Let it remain. Be at home even with that. Know that as it has come in so also will it pass off. If you keep this elevated attitude, soon you will find that the depressive moods will become less frequent. Even if they appear, they will not bother you much or for long.”

Already the mind had started craving for constant inwardness. To some extent, it had succeeded too. At least I was aware of its wandering and also alert to bring it back to the centre. Earlier, whenever the mind failed to remain quiet and sublime, whenever it would stray away to petty matters, I used to feel hopeless and depressed seeing my failure and imperfections. Now, the lesson in moderation started helping me. I learnt not to hold on to any idea rigidly, but to become flexible, to accept my imperfect self with detachment while spontaneously making effort for improvement and progress.

This pilgrimage to flexibility, moderation and acceptance, brought in me a new kind of lightness, cheerfulness and optimism, a new kind of detached enthusiasm in all my activities and interactions. In my notebook I used to pour out my heart telling about my success, failure and my consequent prayers. I would call out to my Lord again and again to lift me above all insufficiencies, to widen my outlook, to make me pure in thoughts and behaviour. Every time, I would add at the end: “Above all, O Lord, give me Your Company, always.”

I have found that keeping a diary has great benefits for a spiritual seeker. Not only the writings provide a vivid picture of the seeker’s growth, the very effort to express one’s mind openly constitutes an effective sadhana in itself. For this, of course, one must be able to face bravely, accept humbly and record freely all the thoughts and emotions prevailing in the mind. As we like to see the good emotions in us, so we must, without resistance, look straight into the unwanted traits too. And once detected, we must record them truthfully as they are, instead of trying to escape or justify oneself finding various excuses.

To be open before oneself is to be open before God. To do that, the seeker has to transcend his ego. When pursued sincerely the process bestows lightness, depth, clarity, power of truth, and above all, confidence…

– From the book “In the Company of My Lord”.

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“I have found that keeping a diary has great benefits for a spiritual seeker. Not only the writings provide a vivid picture of the seeker’s growth, the very effort to express one’s mind openly constitutes an effective sadhana in itself.”

“To be open before oneself is to be open before God. To do that, the seeker has to transcend his ego.”

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