By Life Positive
Swami Chinmayananda has played a major role in taking Vedanta to the world. The Chinmaya Mission is observing the year 2001 as the golden jubilee of his teaching, when he came down to the plains from the Himalayas. Here are excerpts from his popular book Vedanta Through Letters
14 March 1960
Yours. In sadhana (meditation) if a seeker in her early steps overdo things, her mind gets fatigued and a fatigued mind cannot easily be revived. Hence the caution not to overwork. Physical work is necessary; study is unavoidable; prayer and meditation must be regular. But we must so economize our activities that we should never have any sense of fatigue. To meditate lots of veerya—power is necessary. Hence my anxious warning. In these things you yourself must be the right guide of course. None else can understand how far you are tired.
On 16th morning at 6 a.m. both of you can come—I shall give the mantra at ‘Chinmaya‘—A.S. Menon’s place. Remind me of it on 15th evening when I come there please.
To be active always is the secret of quick spiritual progress. While the hand work, let the heart rise in the contemplation of the glory of the Lord, who as fertility helps the plants, as moonlight fills them with food-value, as heat in fire cooks them, as digestive power digests and assimilates it, who as the Consciousness gives his powers to our mind to intellect! In this chain of his manifestation, where can we be separate from Him. The ego in us is but the foolish creation of our thoughtlessness, indeed. To the discriminate (viveki) it is a false dreamy nothing.
Miss P.C. Vani,
Extremely glad to note that you are a seeker, who had been regular in your japa (prayer) for the past 4-10 months, and that you have slightly developed in your powers of concentration. Please continue. Regular and steady abhyas (practice) alone can reward us with more and more results.
Do you take part in the Satsang groups formed there? Go to some group and once you learn the methods, try to start one at home. Please meet Mrs Leela Chandrasekharan (c/o P.C. Menon, publication office, Tellicherry). She is conducting Bala vihar also. Write to her in a local card first that I had advised you to meet her. When should you come to the exact location of her place. She will reply you immediately.
Anger comes to us when our desires or expectations are disturbed, defeated. Anger is nothing but desire of attachments, expectations or hope is obstructed. Again when you meet such occasion, at least after the wave of anger has subsided, reconsider the entire situation and try to mentally live and relive a hundred times the same situation—all the time see that you keep yourself smiling. After all, another has an equal right to be bad, mischievous, foul-mouthed, dirty, undisciplined as you have right to be good, cheerful, clean and even peaceful. ‘Give the devil its due’, accept this as a policy—anger will not rise. Also flood the mind with unreserved love for all—always: you will have no occasion to be angry. Improve your health! never lend money to others, especially when you know that the demand comes from one who has been an unintelligent spender. Don’t destroy the other by your charity. It is indignity to help one, to destroy one self.
17 November 1972
Your note of 12th to hand today. Thanks. I am having a great time here discussing Geeta and Upanishads in the morning 5.30-6.30 a.m.—and some 300 persons are daily attending! Evenings we are having lectures in two of the biggest halls available here—in one I speak, in the other internal TV projection—and they are all sweetly and seriously at it all the time. This in an Islamic country would have been something unbelievable some 10 years ago! Even now it is nothing short of a miracle!
‘Detachment’ means ‘reflecting’. Cultivate first an ‘interest’ in the reality—enquiry. Have some love, interest, (enthusiastic anxiety to know) and devoted inquisitiveness in it. While practicing Devotion unto Him, ‘listen’ (directly to masters, or indirectly through serious study) about the glorious and divine nature of the truth. During the study group discussion try to ‘reflect’ and independently strive to digest or understand what you have ‘listened’ to or ‘read’ attentively. Thereafter apply it to your own life: Watch its play everywhere around you! Lo! Your ‘faith’ gushes out of yourself irresistibly: as in the case of our faith in a person. Try. This cannot fail you, but if I have no love or interest in the spiritual essence.
To start with then our ‘Study’ itself will be painful, and suffocating. If that be the personal experience of a student he must immediately stop the studies—plunge into his normal life of passionately seeking the ephemeral, empty, gilded, glistening joy-sparks of material life. Even there live intelligently. The repeated experiences would dig into you a hot rod of white-heat disappointment. The eagerness to seek the reality springs in such a heart. The ladder example is perfect. Once you start seeing the beginnings of Faith thereafter it shall grow with Sadhna. (from Kuwait)
Note: Ms Charlotte was the maiden name of Mrs Sheela Kripalani.
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