It is Love that pays
Nothing else is necessary but these--Love, sincerity, and patience. What is life but growth,i.e. expansion, i.e. love? Therefore all love is life, it is the only law of life; all selfishness is death, and this is true here or hereafter. It is life to do good, it is death not to do good to others. Ninety percent of human brutes you see are dead, are ghosts--for none lives, my boys, but he who loves. Feel,my children, feel; feel for the poor, the ignorant, the down-trodden; feel till the heart stops and the brain reels and you think you will go mad--then pour the soul out at the feet of the Lord, and then will come power, help, and indomitable energy...Be not afraid, my children.Look not up in that attitude of fear towards that infinite starry vault as if it would crush you. Wit! In a few hours more, the whole of it will be under your feet. Wait, money does not pay, nor name; fame does not pay, nor learning. It is Love that pays; it is character that cleaves its way through adamantine walls of difficulties.
Love What You Do
Those who are men and yet have no feeling in the heart for man, well, are such to be counted as men at all?
Duty is seldom sweet. It is only when love greases its wheels that it runs smoothly; it is a continuous friction otherwise. How else could parents do their duties to their children, husbands to their wives, and vice versa? Do we not meet with cases of friction every day in our lives? Duty is sweet only through love, and love shines in freedom alone. Yet is it freedom to be a slave to the senses, to anger, to jealousies and a hundred other petty things that must occur every day in human life? In all these little roughnesses that we meet with in life, the highest expression of freedom is to forbear. Women, slaves to their own irritable, jealous tempers, are apt to blame their husbands, and assert their own "freedom", as they think, not knowing that thereby they only prove that they are slaves.So it is with husbands who eternally find fault with their wives.

Love never fails, my son; today or tomorrow or ages after, truth will conquer. Love shall win the victory. Do you love your fellow-men? Where should you go to seek for God--are not all the poor, the miserable, the weak, Gods? Why not worship them first? Why go to dig a well on the shores of the Ganga? Believe in the omnipotent. Are you perfectly unselfish? If so, you are irresistible. It is character that pays everywhere. It is Lord who protects His children in the depths of the sea.

The individual's life is in the life of the whole, the individual's happiness is in the happiness of the whole; apart from the whole, the individual's existence is inconceivable-- this is an eternal truth and is the bed-rock on which the universe is built. To move slowly towards the infinite whole, bearing a constant feelings of intense sympathy and sameness with it, being distressed in its affliction, is the individual's sole duty.Not only is it his duty, but in its transgression is his death, while compliance with this great truth leads to life immortal.

If in this hell of a world one can bring a little joy and peace even for a day into the heart of a single person, that much alone is true; I have learnt after suffering all my life; all else is mere moonshine...
Weakness is Death
The weak have no place here, in this life or in any other life. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery, physical and mental. Weakness is death. There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they can't harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them. There may be a million microbes of misery, floating about us. Never mind! They dare not get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened. This is the great fact: strength is life, weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery; weakness is death.

See how we flying like hunted hares from all that is terrible, and like them, hiding our heads and thinking we are safe. See how the whole world is flying from everything terrible. Once when I was in Varanasi, I Was passing through a place where there was a large tank of water on one side and a high wall on the other. It was in the grounds where there were many monkeys. The monkeys of Varanasi are huge brutes and are sometimes surly. They now took it into their heads not it allow me to pass through their street, so they howled and shrieked and clutched at my feet as I passed. As they pressed closer, I began to run, but the faster I ran, the faster came the monkeys and they began to bite at me. It seemed impossible to escape, but just then I met a stranger who called out to me," Face the brutes." I turned and faced the monkeys, and they fell back and finally fled. That is lesson for all life--face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them. If we are ever to gain freedom, it must be by conquering nature, never by running away. Cowards never win victories. We have to fight fear and troubles and ignorance if we expect them to flee before us.

Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance, and with ignorance misery. It will make us strong. Then miseries will be laughed at, then the violence of the vile will be smiled at, and the ferocious tiger will reveal, behind its tiger's nature, my own Self.

Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men.

Do not talk of the wickedness of the world and all its sins. Weep that you are bound to see sin everywhere, and if you want to help the world, do not condemn it. Do not weaken it more. For what is sin and what is misery, and what are all these, but the results of weakness? The world is made weaker and weaker every day by such teaching. Men are taught from childhood that they are weak and sinners. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation. Let positive, strong, helpful thought enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralyzing ones. Say to your own minds," I am He." Let it ring day night in your minds like a song, and at the point of death declare," I am He." That is the Truth; the infinite strength of the world is yours. Drive out the superstition that has covered your minds. Let us be brave. Know the Truth and practice the Truth. The goal may be distant, but awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached.

Weak men, when they lose everything and feel themselves weak, try all sorts of uncanny methods of making money, and come to astrology and all these things," It is the coward and the fool who says," I will make my fate." It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology. We may be under planetary influence, but it should not matter much to us...

Let stars come, what harm is there? If a star disturbs my life, it would not be worth a cent. You will find that astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind: therefore as soon as they are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food and rest.

This I lay down as the first essential in all I teach: anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet. Religion is the manifestation of the natural strength that is in man. A spring of infinite power is coiled up and is inside this little body, and that spring is spreading itself. And as it goes on spreading, body after body is found insufficient: it throws them off and takes higher bodies. This is history of man, of religion, civilization, or progress. That giant Prometheus, who is bound, is getting himself unbound. It is always a manifestation of strength, and all theses ideas such as astrology, although there may be a grain of truth in them, should be avoided.
Be Brave
I once read a story about some ships that were caught in a cyclone in the South Sea.Islands, and there was a picture of it in the Illustrated London News. All of them were wrecked except one English vessel, which weathered the storm. The picture showed the men who were going to be drowned, standing on the decks and cheering the people who were sailing through the storm. Be brave and generous like that.

Whenever darkness comes, assert the reality and everything adverse must vanish. For,after all, it is but a dream. Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things all things seem, they are but delusions. Fear not--it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies. Be not afraid. Think not how many times you fail. Never mind. Time is infinite. Go forward; assert yourself again and again, and light must come. You may pray to everyone that was ever born, but who will come to help you? And what of the way of death from which none knows escape? Help thyself out by thyself. None else can help thee, friend. For thou alone art thy greatest enemy, thou alone art thy greatest friend. Get hold of the Self,then. Stand up. Don't be afraid.

Go on bravely. Do not expect success in a day or a year. Always hold on to the highest. Be steady. Avoid jealousy and selfishness. Be obedient and eternally faithful to the cause of truth, humanity, and your country, and you will move the world. Remember it is the person, the life, which is the secret of power--nothing else...Jealousy is the bane of all slaves. It is the bane of our nation. Avoid that always. All blessings attend you and all success.
Be a Man first, my friend, and you will see how all those things and the rest will follow of themselves after you. Give up that hateful malice, that dog-like bickering and barking at one another, and take your stand on good purpose, right means, righteous courage, and be brave. When you are born a man, leave some indelible mark behind you."When you first came to this world, O Tulsi, the world rejoiced and you cried; now live your life in doing such acts that when you will leave this world, the world will cry for you and you will leave it laughing." If you can do that, then you are a man; otherwise, what good are you?

Let the world say what it chooses, I shall tread the path of duty-- Know this to be the line of action for a hero. Otherwise, if one has to attend day and night to what this man says or that man writes, no great work is achieved in this world. Do you know this Sanskrit Sholka:" Let those who are versed in the ethical codes praise or blame, let Lakshmi, the goddess of Fortune, come or go wherever she wish, let death overtake him today or after a century, the wise man never swerves from the path of rectitude," Let people praise you or blame you, let your body fall today or after a Yuga,see that you do not deviate from the path of Truth. How much of tempest and waves one has to weather, before one reaches the haven of Peace! The greater a man has become, the fiercer ordeal he has had to pass through. Their lives have been tested true by the touchstone of practical life, and only then have they been acknowledged great by the world. Those who is a hero never casts a glance at these. Come what may, I must attain my ideal first--this Purushakara, manly endeavour; without such manly endeavour no amount of Divine help will be of any avail to banish your inertia.

Those who are always down-hearted and dispirited in his life can do no work; from life to life they come and go wailing and moaning." The earth is enjoyed by heroes" --this is the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say," I have no fear." Tell this to everybody--" Have no fear". Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in this world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear. This fear alone has kept the sun, air and death in their respective places and functions, allowing none to escape from their bounds..

In this embodied existence, you will be tossed again and again on the waves of happiness and misery, prosperity and adversity--but know them all to be of momentary duration. Never care for them.

Article Credit - Ramakrishna Mission.

Books by Surendra Nath

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