Right Attitude In Spiritual Practices by Swami Chidananda

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Dedicate to God, God's Love, God-consciousness, Prayer, Spiritual Life, Spiritual Practice, Spiritual Progress, Spirituality, Surrender

We should have an intense sense of the pervasiveness of the ever-present Lord. That ever-present Spirit, the Supreme Being, should make all our actions spiritually fragrant. Our actions may be prosaic, secular, but we should feel that we are moving in the ocean of Satchidananda which pervades everywhere. Feel the presence of the Lord wherever you go for He is everywhere. See Him in every action that you do during your daily round of duties in the world. If we do our actions in this peaceful, blissful awareness of His presence, then our actions become spiritualised, and this is the supreme necessity.

One should have the right spirit or Bhava that whatever one does is an offering and a worship to this ever-present Deity which alone is visible to us through all names and forms. Animate and inanimate is all the One Self. With this Bhava one should do all actions.

This Bhava is illustrated in a wonderful manner in the life of Guru Maharaj Swami Sivanandaji. He saw the one Divine Essence in everyone who came to him. He served the poor and the sick with this Bhava. He saw the living Narayana in every one. For him, every one was the visible manifestation of the Lord. He practised this Bhava until the very end of his life.

Even when we have this Bhava, activity usually throws the mind outward and it externalises the mind. And the Bhava can be held only if the mind is introspective. When the mind is externalised, it at once goes out and contacts the sense-objects and every one of them has got its inevitable effect upon the mind. The Bhava or correct attitude is weakened and in its trail other emotions are evoked. What is the remedy? Only deep earnestness, genuine sincerity, patient and persevering practice or Abhyasa.

Every time the mind gets externalised, try to keep one small portion of the mind cling to the Centre, just as the mariner’s compass-needle always points to the north in whatever direction the vessel is moving. By this the undercurrent of the mind always holds the central essential Bhava. That is to be developed by gradual practice. Then however much the Upadhis or superimpositions may come and dash against it and try to shake it, it will always be fixed in its central Bhava. A stage will be reached when this Bhava will never be entirely shaken or broken and thus the central thought of our divine attitude will not be lost. Then our entire life becomes transformed from mere living into real worship, Sadhana, Tapascharya and real Yoga. This is the aim of life.

For this, a few practical pointers are there to keep up and intensify day by day this Bhava of oneness of all life. We start our day by waking and we end it by entering into sleep. So, the first idea to be impressed upon the mind when we wake up fresh from a period of sleep, should be a prayer: “O Lord, I awaken to worship Thee in all names and forms”. The feeling that you are a Pujari (worshipper) of the cosmic form of the Lord should be impressed upon the fresh mind when you get up from sleep. Devise your own prayer: “O Lord, whatever actions I may do, during the course of my waking hours of this day, by thought, by word or by action, may it all be a continuous worship of Thee.” With this idea in your mind commence your daily activities. If you perform your daily activities. If you perform your daily tasks with this spirit, then the work will not bind you any more; instead it will become a binding factor with the Lord.

At intervals during the course of your activities, for brief moments try to collect yourself and say: “This is all worship, whatever I do is worship of the Lord.”

Try to behold the Lord in every being. Every now and then try to remind yourself that this is your Bhava: Sarvam Brahmamayam. And, in the end, when you retire to sleep, offer up all actions of the day at the feet of the Lord. Say unto the Lord: “O Lord, I am Thine, all is Thine, Thy will be done.” Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord and that the Lord works through your mind, body and senses. Offer all your actions and the fruits of the actions unto the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.

Be a Nimitta. Feel that the place where you dwell is the temple of the Lord, every action as service of the Lord, the light that you burn as waving lights to the Lord and every word that you utter as the Japa of the Lord’s Name. Feet His Presence wherever you go. He is in you. He dwells in the chambers of your heart. He is nearer to you than your friends and relatives. Behold Him in every face.

Make it a daily habit to pray to the Lord before you retire to sleep. Say, “What all I have done through hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or mind, I offer up unto the Lord as my worship.” Then go to sleep with this idea impressed upon the unconscious mind. This helps you in your achievement in spirituality and this is practical spiritualisation of your life. Further, when you do certain special actions during the day, try to see that at the beginning and at the end of each individual distinct activity, this process is gone through. For example, it may be done when you sit for food. You offer up every thing to the Lord and then start eating and again before you get up say: Brahmarpanam. When you sit to write a letter mentally pray: “O Lord, may it be a worship of Thee,” and when you complete it, say: Brahmarpanam. Every complete act that you perform should thus start with a prayer and end with the offering to the Lord.

This is the simple secret and is a most effective and powerful way of transforming all activities of the day into Puja, worship and sacrifice. This is also what our ancient seers and saints have discovered and given to us as our priceless heritage. We have also the beautiful Sloka in the Gita which should be constantly remembered by aspirants: Brahmarpanam Brahmahavih Brahmagnou Brahmana Hutam; Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam Brahmakarma-samadhina—He who thinks that the act of offering as Brahman, the sacrificer as Brahman, the fire into which the sacrifice is made as Brahman and is thus fully engrossed in Consciousness obtains Brahman Itself. This is the supreme fruit which he attains by virtue of his having correct and pure Bhava or right attitude of mind in all his thoughts, speech and actions.
(pgs. 120-126, Guidelines to Illumination)

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