Archive for the ‘Japa’ Category

Question 1: Everyone in spiritual life talks about ego, and that it is the greatest impediment when it comes to attaining God. What, actually, is ego? How does it cause trouble to us?

Answer 1: “Ego… is the self-asserting principle…born of ignorance…It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman, It is the ego which is the ROOT CAUSE of ALL human sufferings and births and deaths.” (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: How do we know whether we have ego? Or, whether we are acting out of egoistic tendencies? Are there are definite signs of the existence of ego?

Answer 2: “…ego identifies itself with the body, mind, prana, and the senses. Wherever there IS ego, there are mine-ness, SELFISHNESS, LIKES and DISLIKES, LUST, ANGER, greed, HYPOCRISY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, vasanas (=tendencies), trishnas (=cravings)…”   (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 3: How do we get rid of this ego that causes so much trouble?

Answer 3: “…destrouction of thought, DESIRES, cravings, mineness, selfishness, JEALOUSY, PRIDE, LUST is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of SENSES also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.” ( (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: Do people who are in spiritual life or who practise religions have ego?

Answer 4: “This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is NOT so dangerous as the subtle egoism.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 5: I have known people who claim that their religion is the truest and the rest are bogus, or they claim that their group, congregation, church, mosque or temple is genuine and the others, although they may belong to the same religion, do not belong to the true path of and to God. Are they actually working under the influence of ego?

Answer 5: “..Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets ATTACHED to the institution or cult. He has no broadmindedness or catholicity.”  (pgs. 44-45, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 6: How to easily detect ego as it is so subtle and abstruse?

Answer 6: “The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect its various ways of working. It NEEDS a SUBTLE and SHARP intellect to find out its operation. If you practise INTROSPECTION DAILY in silence, you WILL be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 7: In your answer to Question 2 you said if we identify ourselves with the body, mind, senses, etc., it is an indication that we have that lurking ego in us. If this is so, what about our feelings regarding foreigners, strangers and people who do not belong to our society, culture, etc. Is that feeling of seeing the difference between us and others in terms of nationality, attainment, class, status, etc., the work of ego too?

Answer 7: “The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi… This ego likes his own birth, place, and district, people of his district, own mother tongue, his own relations, and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilection and preferences, He dislikes others’ ways of eating, dressing, etc. (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda).

Question 8: You see, I have spiritual friends—great spiritual friends, who are excellent advisers, guide and counsels. They have the little tendencies that you have described. Does it mean they too have the ego?

Answer 8: “It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman… This ego wants to exercise POWER and INFLUENCE over others. He wants TITLES, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defect his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him he is elated. This ego says, ‘I know everything. He does not know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him.’ He forces others to follow his ways and views.”  (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 9: It, indeed, is subtle and dangerous. But how to destroy it?

Answer 9: “This ego lurks like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will ELUDE your grasp and understanding. You must be alert and vigilant. If you obtain the GRACE of the Lord through JAPA, kirtan, prayer and DEVOTION, you CAN EASILY kill this ego.”  (pg. 46, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda) 


Question 1: A high premium has been placed on Japa (=chanting). Isn’t chanting but incantation of a certain formula or a group of words? How could a mindless repetition of a set of words can become a life-saving instrument, or one that has the key to life mysteries?

“A SPIRITUAL mantra puts us in touch with the highest goal of human life, the Self. Such a mantra is NO ordinary combination of letters and syllables, but a living force. The Nam,e of God is not different from God.” (pg. 80, Where Are You Going? by Swami Muktananda)

Question 2: How is it different from other practices like meditation, yoga, ritualistic prayers, etc.?

“While other techniques are means of attaining Him, mantra (chanting) is His very being. That is why it is SO easy to experience God by repeating the mantra. Mantra repetition bears fruit very quickly.”  (pg. 80, Where Are You Going? by Swami Muktananda)

Saint Tukaram, “With the Name of God on your lips, the bliss of liberation is right in your hand.” (pg. 80, Where Are You Going?)

Question 3: Everyone about me is chanting but I do not see any difference in them or in their lives. They have not changed or changing. How come chanting isn’t working for them?

Saint Tukaram, “Everyone repeats the Name of Rama (=God), including cheats, thieves, and priests. But the way in which the great devotee repeats the Name is entirely different, because the Name redeems them.” (pg. 81, Where Are You Going?)

“The mantra has its own power. However, if we want to obtain the full fruit of the mantra, we have to repeat it with FULL AWARENESS of its meaning… Most of the time, we repeat the mantra with the WRONG understanding, thinking that the syllables of the mantra and the object of the mantra are different from each other and from ourselves. That is why the mantra does not bear immediate fruit for us.” (pg. 81, Where Are You Going? by Swami Muktananda

Question: What is the most efficacious way to attain God?

Swami Yatiswarananda: Japa—repetition of the divine Name is a most efficacious first step. (pg. 302, Meditation & Spiritual Life)

Question: I have been doing Japa but I do not see any evidence of my attaining God.

Swami Yatiswarananda: Japa is not to be done parrot-like. Patanjali says, “Tajjapastadartha-bhavanam” (Yoga Sutra 1:28). As you repeat the divine name, do the “arthabhavana“. What is “arthabhavana“? Dwelling on the meaning. You find trhat as you progress in spiritual life, you understand the deeper and deeper ‘meaning’ of the mantra. first of all, let us think of the luminous, blissful Form of the Ista Devata. Then, think of Him as an embodiment of infinite purity, knowledge, devotion, compassion, love and bliss. Then, think that He is no other than the Paramatman—the all pervading Spirit dwelling in all beings. (pg. 302, Meditation & Spiritual Life).

Question: I think, I am more into meditation (=dhyana) than chanting (=japa): Meditation appeals to me more.

Swami Yatiswarananda: We talk of dhyana or meditation. You say, ‘I am meditating.’ What are you meditating on? Going on brooding over something or other? That is not what is implied by that word…. (Meditation) will not come all of a sudden. Japa (=chanting) is a step towards that. Repeat the divine Name, thinking of Him; then, the mind becomes a little calmer, and even the sound drops off. As you  thus go on thinking of Him, the Ista Devata becomes more and more real than the things of the world. (Then, meditation takes place.) (pg. 302, Meditation & Spiritual Life).

Question: How often must I do Japa (=chanting) or all these that you have said before I see any results?

Swami Yatiswarananda: All this will happen if we undergo regular spiritual practice. (pg. 302, Meditation & Spiritual Life).

Question: What is meant by Japa (=Chanting)?

Ramana Maharshi: “Japa means clinging to one thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts,. That is the purpose (of Japa). It (should eventually) lead to dyana (=meditation), which (in turn) ends in Self-Realisation or jnana.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)

Question: How should I carry on Nama-japa (=chanting the holy name of God)?

Ramana Maharshi: “One should not use the Name of God mechanically and superficially without the feeling of devotion. To use the Name of God, one must call upon Him with yearning and unreservedly surrender oneself to Him. Only after such surrender is the Name of God (would) constantly (be) with the Man.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” [Deuteronomy 5:11] [NIV 2011]

Swami Sivananda: “These are the signs that indicate that you are growing in meditation and approaching God: You will have no attraction for the world. The sensual objects will no longer tempt you. You will become desireless, fearless, ‘I’-less and ‘mine’-less. Deha-adhyasa or attachment to the body will gradually dwindle. You will not entertain the ideas, “She is my wife; he is my son; this is my house.” You will feel that all are manifestations of the Lord. You will behold God in every object.

“The body and mind will become light. You will always be cheerful and happy. The name of the Lord will always be on your lips. The mind will be ever fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord. The mind will be ever producing the image of the Lord. It will be ever seeing the picture of the Lord. You will actually feel that Sattva or purity, light, bliss, knowledge and Prema are ever flowing from the Lord to you and filling up your heart.

“You will have no body-consciousness. Even if there be body-consciousness, it will be in the form of a mental retentum. A drunkard may not have full consciousness that he has a cloth round his body. He may feel that something is loosely hanging from his body. Even so, you have a feeling of the body. You will feel that something is sticking to you like a loose cloth or loose shoes.

“You will have no attraction for the sex. You will have no sex-idea. Woman will appear to you as manifestation of the Lord. Money and gold will appear to you as pieces of stone. You will have intense love for all creatures. You will be absolutely free from lust, greed, anger, jealousy, pride, delusion, etc. You will have peace of mind even when people insult you, beat you and persecute you. The reason why you are not perturbed is that you get immense spiritual strength from the Indweller or the Lord. Pain and pleasure, success or failure, honour or dishonour, respect or disrespect, gain or loss are alike to you.

“Even in dreams, you are in communion with the Lord. You will not behold any worldly pictures.
You will converse with the Lord in the beginning. You will see Him in physical form. When your consciousness becomes cosmic, conversation will stop. You will enjoy the language of the silence or the language of the heart. From Vaikhari (vocal speech), you will pass on to Madhyama, Pasyanti and Para (subtle forms of sounds) and eventually you will rest in soundless Omkara or soundless Brahman. 

Dispassion and discrimination, serenity, self-restraint, one-pointedness of mind, Ahimsa, Satyam, purity, forbearance, fortitude, patience, forgiveness, absence of anger, spirit of service, sacrifice, love for all, will be your habitual qualities. You will be a cosmic friend and benefactor.

“During meditation you will have no idea of time. You will not hear any sound. You will have no idea of the environments. You will forget your name and all sorts of relationship with others. You will enjoy perfect peace and bliss. Gradually you will rest in Samadhi.

“Samadhi is an indescribable state. It is beyond the reach of mind and speech. In Samadhi or the superconscious state the meditator loses his individuality and becomes identical with the Supreme Self. He becomes an embodiment of bliss, peace and knowledge. So much only can be said. You have to experience this yourself through constant meditation.

“Contentment, unruffled state of the mind, cheerfulness, patience, decrease in the excretions, sweet voice, eagerness and steadiness in the practice of meditation, disgust for worldly prosperity or success and company, desire to remain alone in a quiet room or in seclusion, desire for association with Sadhus and Sannyasins, Ekagrata or one-pointedness of mind are some of the signs which indicate that you are growing in purity, that you are prospering in the spiritual path.

“You will hear various kinds of Anahata sounds, of a bell, a kettle drum, thunder, conch, Veena or flute, the humming sound of a bee, etc., during meditation. The mind can be fixed in any of these sounds. This also will lead to Samadhi. You will behold various kinds of colours and lights during meditation. This is not the goal. You will have to merge the mind in that which is the source of these lights and colours.

“A student in the path of Vedanta ignores these sounds and lights. He meditates on the significance of the Mahavakyas of the Upanishads by negating all forms. “The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor does this lightning shine and much less this fire. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His light all these shine.” He meditates, also like this: “The air does not blow there. The fire does not burn there. There is neither sound nor touch, neither smell nor colour, neither mind nor Prana in the homogeneous essence. Asabda, Asparsa, Arupa, Agandha, Aprana, Amana, Atindriya, Adrishya, Chidanandarupa Sivoham, Sivoham. I am blissful Siva, I am blissful Siva.”

“Be a spiritual hero in the Adhyatmic battlefield. Be a brave, undaunted, spiritual soldier. The inner war with the mind, senses, Vasanas and Samskaras is more terrible than the external war. Fight against the mind, senses, evil Vasanas, Trishnas, Vrittis and Samskaras boldly. Use the machine-gun of Brahma-Vichara to explode the mind efficiently. Dive deep and destroy the undercurrents of passion, greed, hatred, pride and jealousy, through the submarine or torpedo of Japa of OM or Soham. Soar high in the higher regions of bliss of the Self with the help of the aeroplane of Brahmakara Vritti. Use the ‘mines’ of chanting of OM to explode the Vasanas that are hidden in the sea of subconscious mind. Sometimes move the ‘tanks’ of discrimination to crush your ten enemies, the ten turbulent senses.

“Start the Divine League and make friendship with your powerful allies viz., dispassion, fortitude, endurance, serenity, self-restraint, to attack your enemy-mind. Throw the bomb of “Sivoham Bhavana” to destroy the big mansion of body and the idea “I am the body,” “I am the doer” and “I am the enjoyer.” Spread profusely the gas of “Sattva” to destroy your internal enemies viz., Rajas and Tamas quickly. “Black-out” the mind by destroying the Vrittis or Sankalpas by putting out all the lights or bulbs of sensual objects so that the enemy ‘mind’ will not be able to attack you.

“Fight closely against your enemy ‘mind’ with the bayonet of one-pointedness (Samadhana) to get hold of the priceless treasure or Atmic pearl. The joy of Samadhi, the bliss of Moksha, the peace of Nirvana are now yours, whoever you may be, in whatever clime you are born. Whatever might be your past life or history, work out your salvation. O beloved Rama, with the help of these means come out victorious right now, this very second.”


Q: What is the difference between Japa and meditation?
A: Japa is the silent repetition of the Name of the Lord. Meditation is the constant flow of one idea of God. When you repeat ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ it is Japa of Vishnu Mantra. When you think of conch, discus, mace and lotus-flower in the hands of Vishnu, His earrings, crown on His head, His yellow silk Pitambara, etc., it is meditation. When you think of the attributes of God such as Omniscience, Omnipotence, etc., it is also meditation.

Q: Give me practical instructions as to how to meditate.
A: Sit in Padma or Siddha Asana in a solitary room, keep the head, neck and trunk in one straight line. Close your eyes. Imagine that a big effulgent sun is shining in the chambers of your heart. Place the picture of Lord Vishnu in the centre of a lotus flower. Locate the picture now in the centre of the blazing sun. Repeat His Mantra “Om Namo Narayanaya” mentally and see His image in your heart mentally from foot to head, His weapons in the hands, etc. Shut off all other worldly ideas.

Q: When I meditate, my head becomes heavy. How to remove this?
A: Apply Amalaka oil to the head and take cold bath. Dash some cold water on the head before you sit for meditation. You will be all right. Do not wrestle with the mind.

Q: Is seclusion necessary?
A: Absolutely necessary. It is indispensable.

Q: How long should I remain in seclusion?
A: For full three years.

(Source: pgs. 136-137, Concentration and Meditation)

(8 May ’03)
“Mental purity will come through constant chanting of the divine name. This is the simplest way. You are trying to cross the ocean of transmigration, the cycle of birth and death. The mantra is the oar of the boat; it is the instrument you use to cross the samsara of your restless mind, with its unending thought waves. The mantra can also be compared to a ladder that you climb to reach the heights of God-realization.”

Question: “Amma, long ago, a spiritual master would put a potential disciple through rigorous tests before giving him a mantra. Amma, You don’t do that. Why do you give us mantras without first testing our competency?”

Amma: “Simply because Amma loves you! How can a mother not want to help her children! However incompetent her children may be, a mother can only be compassionate towards them. Children, you are Amma’s own, and Amma wants all Her children to reach the ultimate goal. This is why She gives you a mantra. You don’t need to analyse the reason; just make use of the mantra by constantly chanting it, and it will take you to the state of realisation.”

“Children, do not forget to always repeat your mantra. In the beginning japa should be done in a low voice. Later it can be done moving the lips slightly. Finally it should be done mentally. Thus japa should be practised constantly with each breath. Then japa will go on even if we don’t attend to it, even in sleep.”
“The period of sadhana is like climbing a high mountain. You need a lot of strength and energy. Mountain climbers use a rope to pull themselves up. For you, the only rope is japa. Therefore, children, try to repeat your mantra constantly. Once you reach the peak, you can relax and rest forever.

“It is always advisable to obtain a mantra from a Self-realized master. Until then we may use one of the mantras of our beloved deity like ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’, ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’, ‘Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’, ‘Hari Om’, ‘Om Parashaktyai Namaha’, ‘Om Shivashaktyaikya Rupinyai Namaha’ or even the names of Christ, Allah or Buddha.

“Deciding to chant the mantra a certain number of times daily will help foster the japa habit. We should always keep a mala (rosary) with us for doing japa. A rosary can be made of 108, 54, 27, or 18 beads of rudraksha, tulasi, crystals, sandal, gems, etc., with one Guru (main) bead. We should resolve to chant a certain number of rosaries daily. Children, we should always chant the mantra in our minds while walking, travelling or working.

Be Committed to Your Mantra

“When Amma gives you a mantra, She sows a seed of spirituality within you. She transmits a part of Herself into your heart. But you have to nurture that seed by meditating, praying and chanting your mantra regularly, without fail. You have to be totally committed. The natural way to get yoghurt is by adding a spoonful of yoghurt to warm milk. Having added the culture, you let it stand for some time, and thus, all the milk is transformed into yoghurt. In the same way, Amma has transmitted part of Herself into you. Now you have to let the milk stand; you have to attain a state of inward stillness by constantly repeating your mantra and doing other spiritual practices. Your entire being will thus be transformed and you will then realise your divine nature.

“First of all, all of us must have love and respect for our mantra, the mantra that was given to us by our master. Always repeat the mantra that was given to you wherever you are, whatever work you are doing irrespective of time and place. Without talking unnecessarily, chant your mantra. Have love for your mantra. These mantras will help us to purify the mind and are vehicles to take us to the Supreme.

“Children, don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results in spite of all your effort. Each chant of the mantra has an effect. You are just not aware of it. Even if you are not achieving one-pointed concentration, you will still benefit by meditating at a regular time. Through constant japa, the impurities in your mind will disappear, without you even being aware of it, and your concentration will increase during meditation.

Write the Mantra Daily

“It is a good practice to write at least one page of mantra daily. Many people get better concentration by writing than by chanting. Try also to inculcate in children the habit of chanting and neatly writing the mantra. This will help to improve their handwriting, too. The book in which the mantra is written should not be thrown around; it should be carefully kept in our meditation or shrine room. Perform Mantra Japa with Alertness, never Mechanically

“Do japa with alertness, never mechanically. Each repetition should be like savouring a sweet. In the end, you will reach a state where even if you let go of the mantra, the mantra won’t let go of you.

“The mantra should be chanted with great attention. Focus either on the sound of the mantra or on the meaning; or you can visualise each syllable of the mantra as you chant. You can also visualise the form of your beloved deity while chanting. Decide the total number of times you will chant the mantra each day. This will help you to do japa with determination. But do not chant heedlessly, just to reach a certain target number. The most important thing is that your mind is one-pointed. Using a mala will help you to count and also to maintain your concentration.

The Power of Mantra Japa

“Both sitting 10 hours with eyes closed and chanting the divine names with concentration for one hour are equal.”

Question: “Mother, is it beneficial if one chants mantras even without knowing the meaning?”

Amma: “If you chant your mantra without knowing its meaning, it has its own power. Even then, it is better if it is chanted with shraddha (loving faith) and love. Concentration also is necessary. A mantra will have a special power if it is received from a Satguru, rather than choosing it oneself. Once you get into a bus or train, it will take you to the destination even if you don’t know who the driver is or which company manufactured the bus or train or from where the spare parts are available. It will drop you at the nearest bus or railway station, and from there it will be only a short distance to your home. Similarly, a mantra will carry you to the threshold of God-realization. From there you can easily reach the ultimate goal.”


Swami Sivananda: “Why is it that in spite of the clarion call of very many great seers, the confident assurance of the scriptures, the repeated experiences of man himself in failing miserably to attain happiness amidst external physical world, man is again and again being deceived? Why is it that man has not yet learnt to take to Sadhana?

“We read hundreds of spiritual books; we attend discourses; we convene gatherings as during the Sadhana Week. After years of intense study of spiritual books, contact with saints, after hearing these things again and again, yet man does not actually do anything. Because he does not have a deep and abiding faith in the admonitions of saints, in the scriptures, in the words of those who have trodden the path and attained bliss. His faith in external objects is something more real to him. If only man did really believe in these great ones he would certainly be induced to act up to their words. It is this basic lack of faith in man that is at the root of his failure to do Sadhana.

“Sadhana is necessary; but man will not do it because he does not really believe in its necessity. Man believes that for his happiness, money is required. Man believes that if only he will get a good job he will get money. Man believes that if he has good college education he will get this job; and through that money; and through that, happiness that he desires. Believing in it every arent sends his child to school and from a young age he is taught to believe that if he passes his examinations creditably he will get a good job, salary, motor cars, etc.

“The child believes in the words; he studies, passes the examinations and the remuneration he expects comes. Because he had a feeling, because he thought all these things were necessary he desired them. But ultimately, of course, it is the unfortunate experience of all men that this happiness they get is mixed up more than tenfold with pain. Man gets an anna of happiness and with it fifteen annas of pain, suffering, for which he did not bargain when he first set about searching for this happiness. Thus if man has faith in spiritual course of action he will act up to it. Lacking this faith, he does not do Sadhana. 

“If a man has to take up to Sadhana, if he really wants to obtain this bliss which is not mixed with pain, he will certainly have to repose faith. It may be called blind faith; but there is nothing like blind faith because all things on this earth go upon faith only and if man lives today it is on account of mutual trust and faith. A ten rupee note is a piece of paper and it is because you have the Asoka Chakra ensign on it, it will immediately get you whatever you want if presented at the bazaar. Because you have the faith in this piece of paper. If you do not have faith upon this paper, you would not have the confidence to start from the house; you would never be sure of reaching your destination.

“The doctor gives you a prescription on a piece of paper. If you do not have faith you will not take it from him. But the faith upon which all society is based makes you take his word, pay him money for his advice, take it to the chemist, get the medicine and you are cured. The entire social structure and order upon which mankind smoothly runs is based upon faith and trust. When you are prepared to put faith in mankind which is but a passing phenomena-those in whom you put your faith are dying before your eyes-when you are prepared to put faith upon these passing entities like mankind, why should you not put faith upon the very Creator of these things?

“Having first of all full faith in the words of the seers and known the necessity of Sadhana, what is the procedure, what is to be done next? You may have faith. Thousands of well-wishers may suggest good lines of action for your welfare and you may believe in them fully. If you do not put them into practice—if you do not begin to translate them into function—they will ever remain plans in the blue-print stage.

“If you don’t set about procuring money, cement, bricks, various other building materials and labour, the whole construction will remain in blue-print only. It will not see the light of the day. After faith in Sadhana comes practice. You must set about doing. No question of believing. A belief must become an act. One must set about doing. Having reposed faith in the words of sages, you begin doing Sadhana. Once you commence Sadhana, the next important thing you should bear in mind is you should not easily give it up. Perseverance is of the utmost importance. All processes in this universe are gradual. They have got stages. Agriculture is gradual; it takes twelve months.

“You have to sow, water the field, cut out the weeds, and in course of time you will be able to take the grain. If you are impatient—if you sow the seed and as soon as it sprouts forth, you take it out—it will perish. If you want to go through all the stages and attain the end you must have patience and perseverance. A man who wants to lift a vessel from the well-water when the vessel is full, he begins to draw up the water upon the wheel; suddenly if he stops pulling, the vessel will fall back into the well. He will have to proceed with the drawing motion until the vessel is at the top. Persevere till the ultimate fruit is obtained. You must not give up. There is another important point that in spiritual Sadhana, man does not merely have to contend with the positive force.

“There are active forces that oppose him, that actually assail him and pull him down. Herein comes the necessity of the fourth important weapon in the hand-that is fortitude. While persevering, man has to have a little courage not to be easily shaken by the obstacles that assail him. He will have to brave the storm and proceed in spite of the difficulties and adverse conditions trying to cow him down, to push him off from the path of Sadhana. It is with fortitude he refuses to be discouraged and, relying upon the inner Self, he proceeds with the Sadhana. Ultimately he will attain the ideal for which he has been born upon earth; and while going through this process he will have to see that he keeps in mind the necessity of giving minute attention to all the small details upon the path because in every process all such small details of the process are to be attended to carefully. If any small detail is left out, thinking that it is superfluous he will find that ultimately he has lost valuable time and labour. This delays progress. It is the conglomeration of small things that go up to achieve high ideals.

“Therefore with firm faith, practical application, perseverance, careful attention to even small details and fortitude in trials, you must set foot and proceed on the path of Sadhana.”

(pgs. 24-27, Sadhana)