>Swami Chidananda, “Beloved sadhakas (aspirants)! What spiritual life should mean to you, what spiritual sadhana (practices) should imply for you, what spiritual life and sadhana can do for you, what the Guru can do for you, how his wisdom teachings can enrich you, how spiritual books and scriptures can benefit and be of use to you depends entirely upon how and in what manner you relate yourself to all these factors.
“You have to probe deeply and know for yourself the answer: whether your relationship is merely sentimental, whether it is merely mental or intellectual, or whether your relationship to all these factors—spiritual life and sadhana, spiritual books, the Guru and his teachings—is a vital and living one.
“You have to ask, you have to find out: ‘How am I related to my spiritual life? How am I related to my Guru and his spiritual teachings? How am I related to the lofty ideals that have been placed before us in our scriptures-the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas? How am I relating myself to my Guru mantra?’
“For all these factors to mean anything to us-if they are to enrich us, elevate us, transform us-our relationship with these factors must be a vital and living one. It should mean to us our life itself. They should dominate our life. They should be overwhelmingly present in a pervasive manner, in every movement, in every aspect, in every activity of our life.
“Our life should reflect these ideals. Our life should reflect the living teachings of the Guru. Our life should reflect the scriptures in a vital way. Ideals are not meant to be worshipped; they are meant to be emulated, followed and lived.
“Scriptures are meant not only to be read and known, they are meant to be deeply studied and applied. They are meant to be entered into and practised. They should become our life, the very fabric of our life. The Guru is not meant merely to be revered, but to be obeyed.
“All these factors should constitute the very warp and woof of your daily life and thought. Thus and thus alone can you make these factors an enriching, dynamic, life-transforming process in your life. Our relationship with all these factors is not meant to stop in the plane of our human personality- nature only; it is not to stop upon the psycho-physical level. You can practise all the asanas with the body, but if the body does not transform itself into a vehicle of sattva (purity), of selflessness, of servicefulness, of sadhana, of tapasya (austerities), of samyama (meditation, concentration and superconsciousness practised at the same time), it has not become the vehicle for these important spiritual factors that it was meant to be.
“Your relationship with these factors should, therefore, be upon the innermost vital plane of your true personality. It should be a dynamic spiritual connection. Then and then alone our spiritual life will become an ever- progressive, dynamic factor of our being. Ideals should be emulated; Guru should be obeyed; scriptures should be absorbed and transformed into life. Sadhana should become the very breath of our day-to-day living.
“You should perpetually be a sadhaka and a Yogi, not only when you are sitting upon your asana in your puja (worship) room or meditation cell. After getting up, you become something else. That will not do. Unfortunately, that is the way it is, and that is why we fail to achieve great heights of spiritual experience and awareness, why we fail to progress.
“Everything pertaining to God should become a vital, living factor, a vital, living force in your being and through your being in all the movements and activities of your daily life-mental, verbal and spiritual. Everything that constitutes spiritual life and sadhana, everything that is related to God-realisation, should, therefore, become a vital thing. You have to relate yourself. We must be it. Relationship should be one of life itself, a vital, living thing.
“This is the secret in spiritual sadhana, in spiritual life. Mantra springs into dynamism and manifests God by abhyasa (practise), by japa. It is so with everything. It is not knowing that one attains spiritual perfection and God, it is by being and it is by doing that everything in spiritual life becomes a reality and a living experience. May God bless you to see this clearly, and may you reap rich benefits from this clear perception. God bless you!”