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A true devotee will not give up his faith, whatever may befall him. The basis of that faith is not reason but instinctive conviction like the child's love for its mother. Students and young men who profess devotion to God, must be prepared to declare openly that they adore and love Bhagavan for no reason except that He is God. "My experience is the basis of my faith," should be their answer. For devotion to God, only two things are needed: faith and experience. Both these are rooted in love.

Everything is a worry so long as we do not understand nature. Every thing is bliss when you understand every thing. So how to understand? Know the divinity first. You will be away from all anxiety when you understand God.

In this world we feel as if something affects us. But everything is a reaction, reflection and resound. You should gradually give up the body feeling in order to be away from reaction, reflection and resound.

Young people do not realise that there is this Divine spirit in human beings. They consider human existence as nothing more than living like birds and beasts. This they consider as the primary purpose of life. This is wrong. They should realise that beyond the Annamaya, Praanamaya, Manomaya and Vijnaanamaya koshas (the physical, the vital, the mental and the supramental sheaths associated with the body), there is the Aanandhamaya Kosha (the Sheath of Supreme Bliss). 

Have high ideals. Strive to elevate yourselves. Make for the Highest Goal, God. Whatever the obstacle or opposition, do not be disheartened. Give up the animal in you, stablise yourselves in human virtues and proceed boldly towards the achievements, of Divinity. Do not waver, going today to bhakthi (devotion), tomorrow to sensual gratification and the day after again to bhakthi. When everything is successful you are all for devotion; when something goes wrong you are filled with despair; when discipline is enforced you start, holding back and when love is showered, you are foremost. This dual attitude must be given up.

We become what we contemplate. By constant thought an ideal gets imprinted on our heart. When we fix our thoughts all the time on the evil that others do, our mind gets polluted by the evil. When, on the contrary, we fix our mind on the virtues or well-being of others, our mind is cleansed of wrong and entertains only good thoughts. No evil thought can penetrate the mind of a person wholly given to love and compassion. The thoughts we indulge in, shape our nature; along with others, they affect us too.

There are three types of men-the multi-centred, the uni-centred and the non-centred. The first group, who allow their senses, mind and intelligence to wander where they will, is a very populous group. So also is the third group, which comprises people who flit from one object to another, hop around from one thing to another in listless flippancy. For earning the concentration and single-centredness characteristic of the second group, the festival of Shivaraathri is very propitious. The bhajans and the ceaseless flow of keerthans (songs) and naamasmaran (remembering God's name) on this occasion help in the attainment of single-centredness. You must realise that bhajan, naamasmaran and puuja (ritualistic worship) are not for pleasing or propitiating God, but for our own spiritual progress. Frequently people flatter the rich and the powerful---especially when they are in their employment or are beholden to them for some precious help---in order to induce them to shower gifts on them. But God does not shower Grace on people because they sing His praises. Nor does He come down upon them because they do not deify Him. Recitation of the Divine attributes only enables us to dwell on elevating ideals and approximate ourselves more and more to the Divinity that is our nature.

Discover for yourself your stage of spiritual development, to which class in the school you would fit in. Then determine to proceed from that class to the next higher one. Strive your best and you will win the Grace of God. Do not bargain or despair. One step at a time is enough, provided it is towards the goal, not away from it. Beware of the pride of wealth, of scholarship, of status, that drag you into egoism. Do not seek the faults of others; seek your own. Be happy when you see others prosper; share your joy with others.

You are Manuja, born of Manu, the person who laid down the moral code which is your property. You have the Lord installed in your heart and so, you are essentially Divine. All this wealth you deny and you go about poor and weak. To see your own eyes, you need a mirror; to see yourself in your native grandeur, you need a guru (preceptor).

Forgetting God and immersing yourself in worldly concerns, what do you achieve? Have firm faith in God. Don't give room for differences of caste, creed and nationality. All names and forms belong to the Divine. All that you see is a manifestation of the Cosmic Form of the Lord. With firm faith in the Divine, chanting the Lord's name, redeem your lives.    


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