In individual and collective life, obstacles are created by the force of ignorance (Avidya). During the struggle against ignorance, if the feeling of the Supreme be kept in the mind constantly, continuously, then the ignorance will be overcome. There are different effects of this force of ignorance:
(1) Lack of discrimination: When people are blinded by the desire for wordly objects and lose their discrimination, they forget the infinite and start busying themselves with the limited world. At that time they start thinking relative to be absolute and become confused. They start misutilizing their energy. They forget that nothing has come into this world forever. This greediness, this narrowness, this confusion of taking pain for pleasure, is nothing but the play of ignorance. For example, a dog takes a bone and chews on it. From his gums comes blood and, thinking that the blood is from the bone, he thinks the bone is more delicious and so he chews even harder – the more blood, the more he thinks he is getting pleasure.
If human beings think some created thing to be their own, it is nothing but ignorance. Someone thinks “my” money, “my” son, “my” house, etc. – they think they will become infinite by accumulating all these things. In actual fact one day everything will go far, far away from them. There will be nothing left which they can call their own. To remember this fact, to understand this effect of the force of ignorance correctly, they will have to do spiritual practices, otherwise they will be unable to escape from the grip of this dangerous force of ignorance.
(2) Ego of doership: This means to take the entire responsibility of an action on oneself. Whatever one does with the help of the motor organs, the action does not belong to the organs – without the witnessing Soul, the entire energy of the organs will be nowhere. If the eyes of a dead man look at an elephant, still he will not see, because the action of seeing has not been witnessed by the Soul. But human beings, due to their ego, think that they are the doers and get confused. The spiritual aspirant will have to remember that the light of the Infinite is reflected on his or her mind – due to this, their organs are able to function.
(3) Desire for worldly pleasure: Due to the influence of the force of ignorance, people think that by eating something they will feel comfort, by wearing something they will feel comfort, by acting in a certain way they will feel comfort. Through many different objects, they desire and hope for pleasure. Humans live to achieve Bliss and that is why they run after different objects. They do not want to understand that, except the infinite Supreme Consciousness, no object can give them endless bliss.
(4) Aversion: This is the opposite of attachment. Whenever people find an object painful, they try to substitute it with another. Many fights in the world are due to this cause.
(5) Lack of determination: One day a man, knowing that drinking is a very bad habit, made a promise that he would stop drinking and live his life in a very self-controlled manner. That day he also went, as he had been accustomed before, to the bar. With great determination, he passed the pub and then he told his mind, “Oh, mind, you are so great! I will now give you a good prize. I will drink up to the neck!”
“Brahmabháva and Human Life”
War is the black spot of human character. In individual or collective life one can struggle, but war is based on hatred and on divisive tendencies. Is it not black?
Struggle and war are not synonymous. While war springs from hatred, struggle is a part and parcel of life. War blackens everything; it darkens the future. Let life be bright both individually and collectively. Let us fight these divisive tendencies which want to make our life dark. Light is beautiful because it is luminous. When there was no creation, there was only one colour – black. Lack of life is black. After creation we see this beautiful play of colours. Why shall we be lost in darkness? All human beings want light. One individual human is more luminous and more throbbing than that universal darkness. So human beings should always be optimistic. The cimmerian darkness cannot retard your progress, cannot cover the light of the human heart. The spirit of your heart must move on and on against obstacles. Kick away your obstacles like pebbles from your feet – you are stronger than your obstacles.
Baba in Fiesch, 43
There are three categories of people: lower, middle and highest. The lower category of people are those who do not undertake any work. They think that they are ordinary people and cannot do any work. They are always afraid of the probable obstacles they might encounter in their work, so they do not undertake any work.
The middle category of people are those who undertake some work but throw up their hands when any problem crops up. They presume that any obstacle that comes in their way is a Himalayan obstacle, and hence they give up their work. They think they will not be able to tackle the problem they face. They are not confident of their abilities.
The highest category of people are those who take up a task and are determined to fulfill it. They go on struggling against all odds till they achieve their goal. No problem can defy solution. No difficulty can be greater than their capacity to solve it. They go on fighting against all obstacles. They can face any challenge and meet any predicament. They are determined to achieve their objective, come what may.
I want you to be persons of the highest category. You must always think of the goal. Always look to your ideal. By spiritual ideation you can get inspiration to adhere to your principles.
Ánanda Vacanámrtam, 40
The firmness of a person’s resolve makes one great. However lowly a person may be, one can become great by one’s determination. If you have a firm resolve to realize your goal, you shall become great. Without a firm resoution, you cannot achieve anything.
Ánanda Vacanámrtam, 52
You must not develop the psychology of inferiority complex – “I am illiterate. I am a fool.” Complexes like this make a person weak – mentally weak. Suppose you want to do something and you say, “I will try to do it.” If you grant this slackness to yourself, you will never be successful. Don’t say, “I’ll try!” Say, “I will do!” If you say, “I will try”, it may take more than a thousand years to develop the proper psychology to reach the required standard. So there is no question of trying. The question is of being. To be, not to try.
Baba in Fiesch, 192
Marching ahead is life. Crushing the pebbles of hindrances and obstacles with a stroke of your feet, disdaining the frowns of winds, tornadoes, meteors and roaring thunder, and rendering all superstitions to ashes without any second thought – march on and on. The Supreme Consciousness is with you. Victory is yours.
Ánanda Váńii, May 1968
We should always respect our ideology if we are to become true human beings. The ideologist is a person who always acts according to one’s ideology. If by following an ideology, I die and die again, let it be. I will not care. I will stick to my ideology.
“Iśt́a and Ádarsha”
Fight for your ideology. Be one with your ideology. Live for your ideology. Die for your ideology.
Ananda Vanii, May 1961