Guruji on Will Power

Will-power is one of the pillars on which the building of spirituality stands. However good one may be, one cannot attain the heights of spirituality without will-power. No matter how humble one is, one should also have the courage to face the odds along the spiritual path. Gandhiji led a spiritual life despite the innumerable hurdles he encountered on his path. As our national leader and freedom fighter, he ceaselessly fought against the injustices of the British Empire. Yet, he never missed his daily meditation sessions, whether at home or in jail or with friends. During these meditation hours, many others joined him for group meditation sessions. Gandhiji’s remarkable discipline and extraordinary will-power enabled him to achieve the desired goal for himself as well as for our nation.

Saints and spiritual leaders are known to lead rigorous lives in order to attain their chosen goals. Discipline in everyday life, determination and hard work are the keys to achieving success on the spiritual path. Most of us, however, fail to cultivate these much-needed qualities. For example, you will observe that waking up in the early morning hours is tough for most of us. We set the alarm for a wake-up call at (say) 4:30 a.m. but most often than not we fail to rise from bed at the ring of the alarm, especially during winter, as our mind coaxes us to continue with our pleasant sleep. It is only discipline and determination that will enable us to wake up at the set time.

Abraham Lincoln, one of the most outstanding personalities of this world, grew up untutored and poor. Yet despite his humble beginnings and being self-taught, he qualified himself as a lawyer and went on to become the 16th President of the United States. A brave and honest man with tremendous will-power, he had suffered many defeats in his life. Nevertheless, he struggled undeterred and achieved the highest office in the land. An outstanding achievement indeed, which only proves that a man with tremendous will-power shall definitely attain the goal of his life.

There is also the classic example of sacrifice and will-power of a royal prince, perhaps for the first time in the history of our country. Prince Siddharth, who abandoned the comforts of a palace life and adopted the severe life of an ascetic, who followed the path of self-realisation and ultimately came to be known as Bhagawan Buddha.

It is said that once Buddha was taking bath in the river Yamuna while his disciple Anand waited for him on the banks of the river. After bath, as Buddha was returning to the banks, a man sitting on a rock with his mouth full of sputum, spat on the face of Buddha. Without a word or any feeling of distress, Buddha turned back to the river and took a dip in its waters to wash off the spit. Feeling fresh and clean, he stepped out of the water. But as he turned back, the mad man once again spat on his face. Without a word, and once again with a smile on his face, Buddha returned to the river and took a dip again. This activity continued innumerable times. The mad man continued his action of spitting and Buddha continued to wash and clean himself in the river Yamuna until he did it for the thirteenth time. Now tired of his actions, the mad man got up and ran away.

Buddha’s disciple Anand, who had been watching the entire scene from afar, was terribly upset with his Guru. He thought to himself “I never knew my Guru was so weak and stupid. He should have had the discrimination to educate the mad man and stop him from committing such a gross action again and again. I shall leave my Guru today itself, no more shall I stay with such a Guru.” With anger in his eyes, he approached Buddha and questioned him, “Why you are so weak and insensitive? You could have educated the mad man, you could have stopped his unclean activity of spitting on your face again and again. I never thought that you were stupid to such an extent. I do not want such a Guru. I shall leave this very moment.”

Buddha replied, “I have no objection to your leaving me. But you ought to know that the mad man was in effect my Guru. Since my childhood, I have had a wish to take 12 dips in the river Yamuna. My wish was fulfilled today. I am so very happy that he assisted me in taking the 13 dips in river Yamuna. Also, he has taught me that this human body is an appropriate instrument for spitting. After death, people will spit upon the burial ground. Dust and dirt will be thrown upon it. In reality, the mad man has helped me by testing my will-power. I think, I have not failed in the test.”

So saying, Buddha moved on. Anand was astonished by his Guru’s answer. He immediately fell at Buddha’s feet and begged forgiveness for being rude and failing to understand his Guru.

This is an excellent example of will-power of a yogi who always conquers the odds of life and reaches his goal, smilingly.

As we stand at the threshold of spirituality, let us try and emulate some of these great men and follow their examples so that we may develop our own will-power.

O! my dear meditators it is not too late for you to wake-up from your deep slumber and walk towards the goals of your lives, through meditation. If you continue to sleep today, you shall sleep forever. Today is the only truth, now is the only reality. Develop this quality within you, for will-power alone shall make a man perfect.

Wake-up, walk towards your goal, now, and you will find that success is yours!

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