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What gives courage and confidence

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

17 November 2021

Let me therefore, contemplate upon the Soul. Doing so, perceiving the inner brilliance, getting more and more imbued with its supremacy and sovereignty, I shall overcome all kinds of weakness, diffidence and fear. I shall sing the ancient poetry, time and again for this purpose.

Connecting the earliest primitive human with the modern civilized man persists one uniform thread, which makes them alike beggars and seekers in one sphere. Be resourceful with family, wealth, poverty and friends. Let there be a variety of comforts around. Yet the heart and mind within, will remain weak, impoverished and fearful. That is why the Upanishadic thinkers sang in clear, loud tone:

ātmanā vindate veeryam
vidyayā vindate amritam

Yugas have passed since. In religion, morality, ethics and philosophy, numerous thinkers and writers have come up and departed. None of them could alter a syllable of this most ancient dictum. It said, and says for all times, that veeryam can be gained only from Atma, the Soul. How true!

The earth is very vast before us. Vaster than the water, and still more so is surrounding air. To see anything else of the world, we have to look up to endless heights. When the same eyes are then turned to your body for a survey, how small, insignificant, trifling is it, in size, weight and capacities! Where reigns the range of the world, and where breathes our little body on earth? How can a trifling possession like body instill courage? Ever since birth, it has been growing. In two decades, its growth is nearly over. Next comes the phase of decline.

All those born will die, have died. Every year, day and even hour is a movement towards this climax. That is why we call the body naswara, mortal. How can the sight and gift of body give us anything more than the message of mortality?

But we want courage, heroism, valour, to such dimension that the huge, endless world, its terrors and challenges will not unsettle our mind. There will be cyclones, droughts, floods, fire and many other threats. World has never been free of these. Modes of travel have changed, or advanced, let us agree. This has made accidents more probable and widespread. We hear of them, often see them regularly. Every such instance tends to dim our spirits despite the natural feelings of hope and joy, inevitable gifts of life.

Wherefrom will then courage, we so much need to meet the challenges of life, no matter where you are- in the work spot, at home or in any professional or ambitious venture- dawn or flow? The question is not new. It is the oldest. Our thinkers knew that it will ever remain fresh and alive. They answered it in the most chosen words, which by their intrinsic worth, remain precious and unalterable.

Look outside into the world, no doubt, but only for gaining knowledge to be used for outward work, that will fetch the means to make both ends meet. For gaining courage in increasing and resourceful measures, you have to look, however, to your own within. Break through the mortal sheaths of your body. Rise above the mind-sheath. Penetrate the intellectual one also. You can do so. Try. Strive, by thoughts, through strong aspiration, by means of introspection, if not by meditation. You have the power to do it.

As shines the body outside, so will you find glowing inside a transparence, a serene brilliance and power, which on being glimpsed will instantly make you murmur: “Ah, no more am I mortal. My body will not be other than mortal. But inside it, here reigns the Soul, which is immortal.

“Can darkness reign before sun? Will fire become cold? How can body’s nature extend to Soul? I am the Soul, and therefore supremely immortal. My fear is, in fact, that I shall cease to be; that either I will be hurt, or wounded, or finished. Ah, all this is wrong, baseless. There is no greater foolhardiness than to think of my destruction.

“This perishable body is able to exist and function because of the imperishable Soul. In the Soul’s brilliance alone is seen and felt everything else. How well have the Upanishads affirmed: Tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvam tasya bhāsā sarvam idam vibhāti. It is not that the body enables the Soul to be. It is the Soul that enables the body to be. To fall into delusion is easy. To get out of it is hard.

“Knowledge, vidyā, alone will help. The power which vidyā has, no external possession can have. As is food nourishing to the body, so is vidyā to the heart and intelligence. Where vidyā has its reign, how can material things reach?

“Let me therefore, contemplate upon the Soul. Doing so, perceiving the inner brilliance, getting more and more imbued with its supremacy and sovereignty, I shall overcome all kinds of weakness, diffidence and fear. I shall sing the ancient poetry, time and again for this purpose.

“Ah, I am relieved: I am at peace, in harmony, with my body, the mind within it, and the wide world which interact ceaselessly with these. The release, the great relaxation, the nirvāna our scriptures speak of, is hidden within me, as a sacred treasure. Great is spiritual wisdom. Great is its wholesome effect. May as many as possible benefit by these.”

– Vicharasethu–Aug 1985

“ As shines the body outside, so will you find glowing inside a transparence, a serene brilliance and power, which on being glimpsed will instantly make you murmur: “Ah, no more am I mortal. My body will not be other than mortal. But inside it, here reigns the Soul, which is immortal. ”

“This perishable body is able to exist and function because of the imperishable Soul. In the Soul’s brilliance alone is seen and felt everything else. ”

“Knowledge, vidyā, alone will help. The power which vidyā has, no external possession can have. As is food nourishing to the body, so is vidyā to the heart and intelligence.”

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