Hello and welcome to episode 66 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the one trick that can get you started with anything, including spirituality.
Today’s question comes from Davika. Davika says “the most frustrating thing for me is practice. I read so many wonderful books on spirituality but I get stuck when I have to implement it. I’m tired and I really need a change.”
You’ve come to the right place. I’m sure I can help you with some tips and suggestions. By the end of this article your mind will be wired to benefit from spirituality.
One is knowledge
All of the great one say that to know many things is ignorance but to know one thing is knowledge. Ram Krishna speaks about this very simply but very beautifully. He said an Ant was going from place to another where there was sugar. It went and took one grain of sugar back with it. The ant said to itself that the next time it would take a whole mound of sugar with it.
Our minds are the same. We really only have the capacity for one grain of sugar yet we want to carry the whole mound. Our mind has the tendency to blow things out of proportion and it also has the tendency to try and take in many things at once but when it comes to doing you can only do one thing at a time if you want to do it properly.
The most important thing to know is the battle is not between knowledge and practice. This is the first step. The real challenge is between one and many. People consider knowledge as knowing many things but this is wrong. True knowledge is knowing one thing really well. We all know many things but we can only implement one thing at one time.
The mind has the ability to absorb and store vast amounts of data. It’s like the waves in the ocean. There are many but you can only see one at a time. The challenge is not between knowledge and practice. You need to get rid of that idea. The only challenge is between one and many. One is the real knowledge.
Do one thing at a time
From this we learn that multi taking is useless. You can l know ten million things but when it comes to doing we can only do one thing at a time. No one really teaches this but it’s really important. Keep it simple and just know that one is knowledge and many is ignorance. Reinforce this by writing it down and sticking it up on the mirror where you will see it at the start of every day.
Whatever is on the surface of our minds will dictate how our day is going to be. If on your surface is a challenge between one and many then go with one and keep reinforcing that.
The internet is a good example of this. Let’s say you want to do some research on the internet. You turn on your computer and type in what you need. Then while you are waiting you might open another window and check your emails. At the same time you might open another window and check your social media. Before you know it you’ve wasted an hour and you still haven’t done what you originally set out to do. When you try to do many things at once you end up doing nothing. The ant wanted the whole mound of sugar without considering how he was going to carry it all.
I want to share my story with you and how I got started with the Bhagavad Gita. In this book there are 18 chapters and roughly 730 verses. I had read 13 bestselling books and I felt like I had done well on my journey towards spirituality but when I read the works of Ram Krishna and Vivekananda I felt like I still had not reached their level. I wasn’t even close.
I knew I had to keep going so I kept doing all the basic things right. One day as I was leaving my office Krishna told me to read chapter 11. At that stage I had the Bhagavad Gita but I had never opened it. He told me to read that chapter and start with that one verse. It was as if God himself had told me to do this. I went home and immediately opened it. I read every verse of a chapter and the next day I did the same thing. I read another chapter. Within 3 months I had completed the whole thing and Krishna explained every verse to me.
Listen to the voice
It can be hard to understand the verses without a great teacher and Krishna became my teacher. The reality is I always wanted the one. I had faith in that one and Krishna taught me everything. After a while I could recite any verse without looking. It was a fantastic gift. It was incredible. An insignificant person like me can be able to recite every single verse by heart. By taking action on that simple profound voice I was able to do such a great thing. Sometimes we need to just trust that voice inside us and do that one small thing. Have faith in that one thing.
Secondly we have to realise that this is a journey not a destination. The minute you say the word destination your mind starts to focus on the many rather than the one. When you think of it as a destination then the first thing that will happen is that the mind will go out. If we focus on the journey the mind will be drawn in. These words are processed very differently in the brain. So make sure you focus on the journey to keep your mind in.
Thirdly. Do not look at things as either success or failure. This is a distraction and again the mind will go out. You will find that there will be a lot more pressure on you and you will start to fear things. Failure is an illusion and focusing on it will only set you back.
All of the great ones say that desperately needing something is the worst place to begin. No matter what that thing is you shouldn’t be desperate for it. If you are then I guarantee that when you get it you will lose interest I it quickly. This is because desperation is tamas. All of the really great things in life will automatically come to you. If it is scripted for you it will come to you.
Go for what you want but never be desperate. If you get something through desperation you still won’t be happy so it would be pointless. All of your hard work will have been wasted.
A lifelong goal
Your journey is not between failure and success. It is between a lifelong goal and a commitment in loyalty. There is no destination. There is no failure and success. Let go of that pressure and just be happy on your journey. Be committed to a lifelong goal.
When you do this you will have an abundance of sattvic gunas. You will be in touch with your consciousness. When you do all of this an execution will happen. This is the ten million dollar word.
I want to share a beautiful verse from the Bhagavad Gita with you. Krishna says “to work you have the right but not to the fruits thereof. Relinquish your desire for fruits but at the same time do not surrender from work. With the senses controlled, mind controlled with evenness of mind perform work. This evenness is yoga. Running after fruits is an unhealthy trait. Evenness of mind is a healthy trait. With intelligence of mind discard the merits and un-merits of work”
So do what you need to do with evenness of mind and stop worrying about the merits and un-merits. Keep drawing your mind in while you are on your journey and always focus on the one.
I hope this answers your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.