Archive for the ‘Chapter 07’ Category

192/7: Necessity Of Patience

February 1, 2007

Summary: Quite often we find spiritual aspirant unsatisfied with his/her progress. The main cause of this uneasyness is lack of understanding about efforts required to make even a small change in our mental set-up. The reasons of our present way of thinking are so subtle and so deeply ingrained that to remove them is not an easy task. Therefore, we must have a certain amount of patience about expecting any visible change in our behaviour. Without this patience, either we will lose our sense of self-worth or lose faith in the efficacy of our chosen path.


झडकरी अनुमानाचेनि करतळें । घेऊनि तियें वाक्य फळें ।

प्रतीतिमुखीं एके वेळे । घालूं पाहे ॥ १९२: ७ ॥


Verse 192: Jhadakari Anumanacheni Karatale, Gheuni Tiye Vakyaphale, pratitimukhi Eke Vele, Ghalu Pahe.


Translation of Verse 192: (Arjuna) immediately tried to understand the words (of Shree Krishna) and attempted to see how its import can be implemented (in his life).


This verse occurs at the end of the seventh chapter of Dnyaneshwari. The remaining verses of this chapter recount the fate of Arjuna in this endeavour. It says: Arjuna realises that though the words sound so endearing and charming, they are really difficult to comprehend and even more difficult is their practical implementation in life. With this realisation, Arjuna becomes despondent and says to Krishna that I am not able to see how your advice can be put to use. So kindly explain your teaching to me in a different way. The eight chapter of Gita thus starts by Shree Krishna’s further explanation of previous points.


When we embark on achieving certain thing in `real world’, the difficulty in reaching our goal is known to us. For example, we know that to get an academic degree, we would have to spend at least 15 years in giving various examinations and only at the end of that period we will be able get a Bachelor’s degree. Similarly, we are more or less aware of the degree of efforts required to achieve most of our aims in life. Of course, despite our best efforts, due to causes beyong our control, we may not get what we set out for. But that is another story all together! Compared to this, in the spiritual world, we find that most of us do not have a clear idea about how much effort is required to attain progress. Some of us think that the ultimate aim of our sadhana will be obtained the moment we find right guru, or others may give up even before starting by having an inflated idea of the efforts required in a ‘proper sadhana’ (like standing on one leg for an extended period of time! Or giving up the physical comforts and staying in an austere way in a jungle etc. etc.) Arjuna’s above mentioned confusion has occured becuase he has incorrectly guessed the amount of efforts needed to put spiritual advice in practice and also the time required to fructify our efforts. Not only the sadhak is confused about it but those people around such an aspirant too have strange ideas about spiritual progress. Becuase they do not understand the effort and time required to make even small progress, spiritual aspirant has to listen to comments like ` you call yourself a spiritual aspirant, then how can you get angry? Or Even now you feel craving for such an such thing in life, then how can you say that you are interested in realising God?’ etc. etc. The very same people wont ask a person going to Gym that how come your physique is not like Arnold Schwarzeneggar yet?! In this case they know that the physical improvement can only be gradual and it is useless to expect a sudden transformation. However, in the mental realm, things appear very close. After losing our temper, how many time have not thought that if only I had kept my cool, things would be better. We forget that the mental effort required to keep cool under stress is presently as much beyond our capacity as lifting a 200Lb dumbbell. This confusion comes about because we are cool by nature when stressful conditions do not exist. It is like being able to lift 200Lb dumbbell for most of the time of our life! This mental calm is ours by nature. What is not with us right now is the sense of balance which allows us to see the transitory nature of all the things around us constantly. Becuase of this lack of balance, the mental peace we have right now is as difficult to maintain as keeping still a drop of mercury on a hot plate. To develop this sense of balance, this sense of proportion in every day life is the most tricky thing to achieve and requires years of intelligent practice. It is therefore necessary for every spiritual aspirant to develop patience about spiritual progress.

Without this patience, either we would get frustrated about the efficacy of the spiritual doctrine or get depressed about our own spiritual capabilities.


If we look at the history and see how much efforts are made even by great souls like Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Swamy Vivekananda, Gautam Buddha etc. to attain spiritual awakening, we woud be convinced about necessity of long term efforts in achieving our goals. Even the most simple sounding goals like ‘my mind should become calm’ ‘I should lead a less stressful life’ etc. are goals that are high up in spiritual progress and takes time to achieve. However, it is also necessary to have a certain positive outlook about our own capability in the spiritual realm. Without this sense of self-worth we would not be put efforts consistently. Especially when we think that our progress is slow.

To have a realistic value of our capability, we should try and enjoy whatever little improvement we have made in our sadhana. Even if we manage to keep cool under pressure for a fraction of a second once in a while, we should treat it as a progress and feel that we are on the right track in our sadhana. Giving importance to small gains in our mental make-up is important becuase this boosts the level of patience in us. Armed with patience, we can walk the long path towards spiritual advancement.