Dheeraj – Patience and Fortitude

Patience is the means to tranquility and peace, those who adopt it will get lasting peace and become tranquil. Patience is the key to removing all obstacles, but one must remember that for whatever purpose we have adopted patience, we should stick to that work on a regular basis and we should set aside a time for the same. There was a wise man, who started writing a book. He used to call his student in the morning on a daily basis and give dictation for two hours, while his student wrote it down. One day the wise man had some work to do and asked his student to come early the next day. The student sacrificed his sleep in the morning and rushed to his place, but after dictating for only five minutes, the wise man said “son, this is it for today, your work is done”. Hearing this the student got angry that he had sacrificed his sleep and rushed to reach there early and he had just dictated for five minutes today, whereas normally he did so for two hours. The wise man said, “if you remember this lesson and adopt it in your life – whatever you want to do, do it regularly, never miss it even for once – you will turn to gold”.

Maharajji used to say, for instance a child who has passed 10th class and wants to become a doctor, it would take him many years to become one. He has to work hard on a regular basis and be patient. If he wants to become a doctor in one day, that is not possible. Then Maharajji used to say, first identify the purpose of your life. Our aim is to be one with the Lord, for which we need to meditate on a daily basis and should set aside a particular time for the same. Maharajji has said that the early morning time (at 3 am) is the best to meditate. One who does this, reaches his desired destination quickly. There was a Bengali gentleman who used to come to Maharajji and had this complaint that he was not advancing in his meditation. Maharajji told him that those who are engaged in thinking about worldly matters, their mind and soul’s flow is downwards and outwards and they cannot meditate. If one was to sit in meditation with sweet remembrance of the Lord, this same flow would become upwards and the inner vistas and views would open up to us. From that day the gentleman decided to meditate on a daily basis and when he next met Maharajji, he reported progress in his meditation. Maharajji asked him what changes had he affected? He said that when I used to come from the office, I had my tea and sat in meditation. I told my servant to put the food in a tiffin. For the first few days, I could not concentrate, but I told my mind that only if it let me connect in my meditation, will I give it food. Now I am progressing in my meditation. He firmly vowed to meditate daily and followed the same.  

‘Bahut padne se kya hoga, na hoga agar amal uspar

Ilam thoda hi kafi hai, agar woh baamal hoga’

(What will we achieve by listening to a lot of Satsangs, if we do not implement them. A small amount of knowledge is enough, if we implement it.)

If we hear a number of things about patience but do not implement them, what benefit will we reap? Even if we hear one good thing but implement it properly, we can achieve a lot. Maharajji used to say that even if we break our practice of meditation for one day, our level of meditation suffers for ninety days. For instance, if someone is very ill in our family and we do not get time to meditate, when we go for our daily ablution, we should take out ten-fifteen minutes and meditate there itself. When we see the light internally, our presence is marked in Sachkhand. This will ensure that our discipline of meditating does not get disturbed. Saints and enlightened ones tell us all kind of ways to ensure that we become disciplined.

The path of spirituality is a path of patience and the path of hurry is the devil’s path. From the time the Guru has initiated us and taught us to meditate, it is our duty to start walking the path lovingly. Sometimes even when we are following the path, the meditation does not seem fruitful. Maharajji says that the Lord sometimes stops the progress to increase the intensity of love for Him. When a Languor has to jump, it first goes back five-six steps and then jumps a great distance. Similarly, when our longing increases tremendously, we progress very quickly in our meditation. When my meditation was not fruitful, I used to pray thus: 

‘Guru de dware utte dhooni ramai javeen,

bhikh mile na mile alakh jagai javeen’

(Keep sitting at the door of the Guru, whether you get the alms or not keep knocking.)

There will come a time, when the Lord hears us. Like if there is a beggar who says that I will take alms only from the king. At some time or the other, the king will get to know that a beggar is waiting for him without food and water.

Once, a king went to a village and everyone gathered to see him. The rich were standing with gifts for him. When the king reached them, he shook their hands and asked them how they were. In the same crowd there was a poor boy, clothed in tatters, who got attracted by the scene and wanted to shake hands with the king. When the boy went home, he told his mother that he liked the king very much and wanted to shake hands with him. His mother said that we are very poor and do not have proper clothes to wear, why would the king shake hands with us. The boy had the desire to meet the king and whoever he met, he used to ask about it. One day a man told him to go and meet a saint and said that he will guide him as to how he could meet the king. When the boy reached the saint, he said that it is my heart’s desire that I meet the king and shake his hands. On this the saint said:

‘Sarv dukho ki aukhad Nam’

(Nam is the remedy for all sorrows.)

If you meditate, your bad Karmas, because of which you are poor will get over. You come here everyday and meditate. In a few days, news came that the king is getting a new palace constructed. The saint asked the boy to get work at the construction site and asked him not to charge any money to work there. For a number of days the boy used to go there to work and come back in the evening without taking any money. One day the supervisor at the site thought that there was something wrong with his accounts, everyday, he calculated the amount for labor payments, but at the end of the day, one labor’s payment was always left. He asked his men to keep an eye out for the person who does not take his wages in the evening and bring the person to him. Those men took the boy to the supervisor, who asked him, why don’t you take the money for your labor? To which the boy replied, that this is my own work and no one takes money for his own work. This incident got around to the minister of the king, who called the boy and gave him the entire responsibility of making the palace. When the palace got ready the king came to see it. When the minister told him about the boy, the king went to the boy and asked him “friend – how are you?” On this the boy said, o great king, my heart says that I should keep looking at you and keep listening to your sweet words. I do not have any other desire. The king was very happy to hear this. He did not have any children, looking at the boys love for him, he adopted him as a son. Thus, by meditating the past sins of the boy were destroyed and he became the king’s son. Every person can make their own destiny. Those who meditate, their destiny will be made. But we do not like to meditate and are engaged in the matters of the world the entire day. 

‘The abode which we will leave, is so close to our heart

Where we need to go and settle, we do not worry about’

Where we will go and settle permanently, we do not worry about that place and where we are only travelers for a few days, we are busy earning that wealth day in and day out. The boy who was adopted by the king used to meditate everyday early in the morning (3 am), it was his daily practice. One day the king saw him sitting in meditation, his face was glowing. The king asked him, what do you do everyday in the morning? He said, I have been initiated by a saint and I meditate in the morning. The king asked him to take him also to the saint. The same saint initiated the king as well and the king started indulging in devotion to the Lord. He asked his son to take care of the kingdom and devoted all his time to spiritual pursuits. Whoever we put our unadulterated attention to, we become like that person. Whatever we want to become, we can become through meditation.Nam is the remedy for all ills. Patience is a very soothing balm over all three kind of afflictions – physical, mental and spiritual. Patience removes all difficulties. Like a mother has two children, both get ill. One of them cries a lot and troubles everyone and the other lies peacefully. Such a child has forbearance, we should inculcate such a forbearance in ourselves.

Once, on the bank of Sarasvati river, there was a gathering of holy men and they conferred as to who is the greatest of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. To decide on this matter, they sent Rishi Bhrigu, son of Brahma, to test them. Rishi Bhrigu first went to Brahm Lok, he neither greeted Brahma nor bowed to him and went straight in. Seeing that he was being insulted, Brahma got very angry that what kind of a person is this, who has come to my court and has not even greeted me. When Rishi Bhrigu came a bit closer, he recognized him as his son and suppressed his anger, but Rishi Bhrigu had seen the anger on his face by then. He went away from there and then went to Kailash mountain (Shivji’s abode), where Shivji tried to welcome him with open arms. Bhriguji told him that I do not want to hug you as you go against the principles set by Vedas – Shivji had always followed the vow of chastity and refused to bear children, which was against the Vedas. Hearing this he got very angry and ran after him. Parvatiji held his feet and pleaded with him to calm down, then Bhriguji went away from there.

Then Bhriguji went to vaikunth lok and when he put his feet in Shesh sagar, Vishnuji said water which has touched your feet has become a purifier, please purify this Baikunth Lok and please purify me. Hearing this Bhrigu kicked him with great force on his chest. Vishnuji started crying, saying son, I hope you are not hurt and started kissing his feet. My chest is strong as a rock and your feet are tender, you must have got hurt. He kept saying this again and again and while crying kept kissing his feet. Bhriguji had come to test the patience of the three deities and the conclusion which came out was that Vishnuji was the greatest. Hearing the sweet words from Vishnuji was very pleasing to him.

Sometimes people get flustered even when some small thing happens. Maharajji used to say that it is very essential to keep patience. We meditate but do not have patience. In one village there was a famine and people were starved for food. There was a couple and their two children who were very hard pressed. The husband asked the wife, if they could go to any of her relatives for a few days. The wife said, I do not have any relatives, we can go to some acquaintance of yours. The husband took the family to a childhood friend of his, with whom he had a very loving relationship. There he saw that his friend had warehouses full with ration. He told his friend about his situation and asked for help. The friend asked him if he had any money, with which he bought him some land. After purchasing the land, he got it cleared, tilled it and sowed the seeds. Seeing this the man felt very sad that his friend had wasted all his money into the dust. He did not have patience. But after sometime, small shoots sprang up and wheat started growing there. Then the the poor man, who did not have anything to eat, started having warehouses full of ration.

If a beggar goes to ask for alms and the master of the house gives him something, but he does not thank him and says that these people do not give anything, then the master will stop giving him even that which he was giving. In the same manner, when we thank God for what he has given us, he gives more. 

‘Dheere dheere re mana, dheere sab kuch hoye,

Mali seenche sau ghada, ritu aaye phal hoye’

 (By and by o mind, everything happens gradually, the gardener plants the trees, when the season comes it bears the fruits.)

Once there was an enlightened sage, who walked some way away from his ashram. He reached a new place, where he did not know where to ask for alms. There were children playing there, who told him to go some way ahead and ask for alms from an old woman who was very religious and would certainly give him alms. But that woman was actually very quarrelsome and used to dislike holy men. The enlightened man went there and called out for alms, the woman shouted at him, saying that he had come to beg, and could not earn on his own and eat. She asked him to go away from there. The sage used to go there everyday and listen to her shouting and come back. One day the woman was spreading the cow dung on her floor when the man reached there and asked for alms. She flung the cloth she was spreading cow dung with on his face. The sage took the cloth and went away. When he took his bath, he cleaned the cloth as well and made wicks for lamps from it and all the Sadhus lit their lamps that night with those wicks. The next day he went to see the old woman again and saw her standing with folded hands and crying aloud, o holy man please forgive me, I am a sinner, I have made a terrible mistake, I have insulted you. 

Khod Khadkhad dhart sahae, koot kat banrai

Kadve vachan Sadhu sahae, kisi aur se saha na jaaye 

{The earth endures being dug up and the forests endure being cut. Bitter words can be endured only by Sadhus, no one else can bear them.}

However bitter someone speaks to us, we should suffer it quietly. 

Sadh sang mein chandna, sakal andhera aur

Sahjo durlabh payiye, satsang mein thhor

{In the company of sages there is happiness and there is darkness everywhere else. Sahjo Bai says it is rare to find someone who remains in the company of a saint.}

Maharajji used to say that the thirsty go to the well to drink water and the gardener comes to water the plants himself. The woman was not one of those, who would have gone to a Satsang, so the enlightened one came to her. He told her that the tears flowing from her eyes had washed away sins of many lifetimes, but to get colored in devotion, she will need to come to the ashram, listen to Satsang and get initiated and practice meditation. She promised to come everyday and became a devotee. By going to Satsang we achieve the path to devotion. 

Sarvar, tarvar, sant jan, chothe bares meh

Parmarath ke karan, charo dhaaro deh 

{Streams, trees and saints, fourth are rainy clouds. They all take their forms to serve others.}

An enlightened one while doing Satsang reached a mango grove, which had walls on all four sides. The king and his subjects were listening to the Satsang, when from nowhere a stone stuck him on the head. His head started bleeding. The king asked his guards to check who had thrown the stone. The guards brought a boy, who was the culprit. The enlightened one asked the boy to come towards him and enquired if he had thrown the stone. The boy said, yes I had thrown it, but it is my misfortune that it struck you. I had thrown it to hit the mango tree. The enlightened one asked him what the tree would have done if the stone had hit it. He replied, it would have given me a mango, which I would have eaten. The enlightened one looked at the king and asked, o king, do you consider me even worse than this mango tree, which would have given a mango when hit. He asked the king to give something to the boy. But the boy seeing such a sweet nature of the enlightened one, such a patient nature, fell on his feet and said, please have mercy on me and keep me in your service. The boy after seeing his patient nature started loving the enlightened one. 

‘Sant or Paras mein bado antaro jaan,

va loha kanchan kare, ye kar le aap samaan’ 

(There is a big difference between saints and alchemists stone, one turns iron into gold, the other turns everything to itself.)

The alchemists stone turns iron into gold, but does not turn it to another alchemists stone. But saints make saints of whoever they touch. Patience is a kind of wealth. We can do all our work through it and overcome all our troubles.

Kabirdasji explains in beautiful words: 

Dheera hoye, dhamak sahe, so ahran sir ghav

Megha parvat hein raho, it ut kahoo na jaap 

{Have Patience and endure whatever you have to. Like the ironsmith’s block endures being struck and the mountain endures the rain}.

Someone may say anything to you, hit you, swear at you, endure everything. Kabirdasji says that we have to increase our endurance. When iron is made, it is hit repeatedly and very hard, it even sparks but endures it all. In the same way to walk on the path of spirituality we need to adopt patience.

Sawan Singh Maharaj says that we do not recognize what meditation is. When we sit in remembrance, first our feet go numb and we see atleast a faint light through the third eye. Someone’s attention collects in the eye center and goes upwards, that is part of meditation. If we hear internal sound of even some birds then we should be grateful as this is the Anhad Vani (internal sound), one day we will also listen to the sound of the gong inside. Whatever the Lord gives us, we should be grateful to Him at all times.

One day, Jaidev who was a devotee and used to sing beautifully, was invited by the king to sing in his court. When he sang, the king’s heart melted and everyone praised him. The king gave him bagsful of jewels. Jaidev tried to refuse saying that he did not need them, but the king forced him to take them. There were three thieves sitting in the audience, who followed him from there and caught hold of him. Jaidev told them to take whatever the king had given him. The thieves consulted each other on whether they should kill him but one of them said, we should cut his hands off and throw him in a well.

“One who is saved by the Lord, cannot be killed by anyone”. There was another king passing by after hunting, who felt thirsty and looked around to find this well. When they looked inside, they realized there was man there. The king instructed his men to get him out of there. When Jaidev was rescued, the king asked, who threw you down there, in reply Jaidev said, my fate. I must have done something good that I was rescued from this well. 

Dosh na kahu dijiye, dosh karma aapne

{Do not blame anyone for your condition as that has been brought about by your own deeds.}

Whatever suffering we undergo, it is because of our Karmas, but we blame others for it that they have done such a thing to me. We meet good or bad people according to our past deeds. The king was very happy to hear what Jaidev said and took him to his palace and kept a servant for his care. When Jaidev used to sing the king was so elated that he did not let him go anywhere. Once there was a celebration in the king’s court. Along with a number of people present, the three thieves, who had cut his hands, were also present. While singing, when Jaidev saw them, they started running away for the fear of being recognized. Jaidev requested the king to give them a reward and provide an escort till their homes. When the celebrations were over, the king sent them with a lot of rewards and an escort. On the way, the soldiers asked them as to why Jaidev had done them such a favor out of so many other who were sitting there? The three thieves told them that Jaidev was a thief and had stolen goods from a king’s palace. He was caught and the king cut his hands off and threw him in a well. We knew his secret, that is why he got us these rewards so that we keep quiet. As they said so, the earth split open and they were subsumed inside. When the soldiers reached back and narrated what had happened, the king started wondering if Jaidev was a thief. While, the king was thinking this, by God’s grace both his hands grew back.

A person who does his work with patience and commitment, the God power is with him in full force. Now, the king was perplexed and asked him to clarify what the matter was. After a lot of insistence, he gave him an indication of what had transpired. The point is that he had fortitude and even after hearing harsh words and wrong allegations about him, he kept quiet. Even if we get to know something bad about someone, we should behave as if we have thrown that information away. “Put a curtain on other people’s unseemly actions and do not help to reveal those to others”. Even if we get to know a small negative thing about someone, we declare it to the world. However, unworthy someone may be, we should not talk bad about anyone with others.

Farid Sahib’s father had died when he was young, but his mother was an enlightened person. She used to tell him that son whoever worships the Lord, He gives him sweets. He started worshiping the Lord with vigor and she used to keep some sweets for him whenever he worshiped. When he grew up she wanted that he should become a saint. Most mothers want their children to to earn well and share it with them, but she did not have such a thought for him. She sent him to the jungles to worship in solitude and he spent thirty six years in worship, braving hunger and thirst.

He used to come back to meet her after every twelve years. When he was coming back the third time, he was tired and stopped to rest in the shade of a large tree. He was feeling rested and sleepy but there were birds there making a lot of noise, so he told them to go and die and to his surprise and dismay they all fell dead. He immediately regretted what he had done but thought that if they have died by my saying so, maybe I can make them live again. He said birds fly away and they all became alive and flew away. He thought that the Lord has blessed me with His powers because of my devotion and penances – let me go and tell my mother.

He came further ahead from there and found a woman filling water from a well. He was thirsty and asked he for some water, but the woman said I am done filling my bucket you can draw water on your own and drink it. He started looking at her with eyes filled with anger, on which the woman retorted that I am not a bird that I will die with your anger. He was taken by surprise that what had happened was so distant from here, how did this woman come to know of it. He requested her that it is okay if you do not give me any water but please tell me how did you come to know of the incident. She replied that I am a disciple of a learned Guru and could see what happened sitting here. She further told him that by doing penances you have got some powers within you but you have not met a fully enlightened saint. He asked where can I find a saint, so she directed him to go to an ashram.

When he reached there, he met the saint and found peace and joy, as if he had found his home after eons of search. He took initiation and started meditating, while staying there. He used to serve his master in every way, including getting hot water for him in winters. One day the saint decided to test him – in those days there were no match boxes, fire used to be kept alive through burning coals – he put water over the coals so the fire was lost. God helps His devotees, that day Farid got up earlier than usual and saw that the fire was out. He filled the water and then went out looking for a source for the fire. Everyone was asleep and it was dark everywhere, but he saw light in one house. He knocked on the door and called out “o lady, o lady”. It was a prostitute’s house and she wondered who was calling her a lady. She asked who was it and what did he want. Farid replied that he wanted a coal of fire. The prostitute was delighted as she found Farid very attractive but he had never even looked at her before. Trying to take advantage of the situation, she asked what will you pay me for the coals. He replied, anything you ask. She said, the cost for my two coals in your two eyes, meaning that you should look an eyeful at me. Farid replied that I cannot afford two coals but I will take one and gauged out his eye and handed over to her – to her utter shock.

He took the coal and put a bandage on his eye. He came back and lit the fire to heat up the water. He did not give both his eyes as then he could not have carried out his duties successfully, nor could he have seen his beloved guru. His guru asked him to bathe him that day and he was delighted to get the honor. The guru then enquired what has happened to your eye? He replied “my eye has come”, meaning in the colloquial that it is diseased. The guru replied that if it has come open the bandage and lo behold, his eyes were fine. This is nothing to be surprised about as the Lord helps his devotees. One who has taken a firm resolve to walk on this path, God does all his work. All my work has been done by the Lord.

“He does away with perilous moments of His devotees”. But first we have to become a devotee – a true devotee. The Lord resides within us and nowhere outside. On seeing Farid’s commitment and fortitude, his Guru embraced him and made him his successor. Then he went back to his mother, who had wanted him to become a saint and a saint he had become. We need to understand what is to be done if we want to become someone. Farid had patience and forbearance, he remained calm in the wake of adversity. We get flustered when small troubles come our way, those who have patience bear any amount of troubles quietly. We should adopt patience in our lives.

Patience is of three kinds, physical, mental and spiritual. Now there is a story of Kalidas. There was a princess named Vidyotma, who was very learned. She had studied a number of religious texts. When she was to be married, she put a condition that I will marry that person who will defeat me in a Shasthrarth (contest on expounding the meaning of religious texts). A number of princes came and seeing her beauty, wanted to marry her, but they had not read the religious texts so went away dejected. Then sons of learned ones came but they were all defeated by Vidyotma. The pride of the learned ones was injured and they decided to teach her a lesson. They thought she has neither married a prince nor any of our sons, we should make her marry the biggest fool around. So they looked around for such a person.

A boy was sitting on a tree branch, cutting the same branch, they thought they could not find any more foolish person. They called out to him to come down and that they would get him married to a princess. He asked, why would a princess marry him. They told him your job is just to keep quiet and not speak. He agreed not speak anything. They told everyone that our guru has taken a vow of silence. They also sent a message to Vidyotma that their guru will do the Shasthrarth with her in sign language. The princess accepted the challenge and they sat down for the Shasthrarth.

Vidyotma raised one finger, so thinking that she wants to gauge my one eye, in response he thought he will gauge both her eyes out and raised two fingers. The learned ones explained that you had raised one finger to denote that Lord is one but our Gurudev raised two fingers to denote that God and nature combine to create this world. Then Vidyotma raised her hand, thinking that she wanted to slap him, he responded by raising his fist to hit her. The learned ones explained that you raised five fingers denoting the five subtle senses, in response our guru is showing that it is in our interest to withdraw the senses and control them. When Vidyotma was convinced, they got them married quickly.

When they came back to the palace and she asked him a simple question in Sanskrit, but from his reply she understood that he did not know the language. She asked him to leave immediately and not to show her his face till he became learned. In those times people did not get divorced. The fool was really hurt and left for the jungles. He met a saint there and was taught by him. Then he went to Kashi and wrote masterpieces like Raghuvansham and Shakuntalam. Only then did he return back to Vidyotma. He adopted patience and spent so much time becoming a learned man.

There is a story about Ranjit Singh, who was son of Raja Man Singh, ruler ofPunjab. Once the family was looking at some jewelry brought by a jeweler, small Ranjit Singh came running in and asked his father to get a diamond ring made for him. Man Singh said that I will not get such an ordinary ring made for my son, but one with the Kohinoor diamond engraved. The Kohinoor was with a rich man inAfghanistan, he said I will only wear that ring and one day he did so. The point is that his father created in him a desire for a worldly thing but with perseverance he got it – if he had created a spiritual desire he would have got that. He would have been able to control his mind. It is our mind that takes us into this cycle of life and death. 

Mann musa pingal bhaya, pee para Hari naam

{The mind has loosened its grip after drinking the nectar of Naam.}

In meditation, even if we see the light for a second, we have controlled the mind for that one second. If it remains there for five to ten minutes, we should feel very fortunate and if it remains still for hours they are really blessed. Only by drinking the nectar of the Lord can this mind be stilled. Ram tells Rishi Vashisht, if someone claims that he has drunk the sea, I could believe it, that the Lord has created a person with such strength. If someone claims that I have controlled the air, I might believe that as well, but if someone says I have controlled the mind, it is utterly unbelievable. Only saints can control the mind, no one else can do so.

 There is a story about Vinoba Bhave. When he was a child, he was playing with other children. While playing they started counting the saints in their ancestors. Someone said, Kabirdasji was my ancestor, someone said I am a descendent of Rehdasji, someone said Valmiki and another said Tulsidasji. When Vinoba Bhave’s turn came, he started thinking that he had no ancestor who was a saint. He said, I have no ancestor who was a saint but I will become one. He set this as a goal for his life. Taking initiation from his guru and through his hard work, one day he became a saint. I also pray to you to choose a similar goal and work towards it with determined resolve.

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