Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
The Spiritual Master tells us that a spiritual aspirant’s life is similar to that of a soldier. The soldier’s aim is to defend his country and even die for his motherland. He says, “I will fight for my motherland till my last breath.” Similarly, the aim of a spiritual aspirant is to live for the service of humanity and achieve his highest aim Godhood or Krishna consciousness.
In Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna in the shlok 3/19
तस्मादसक्तः सततं कार्यं कर्म समाचर ।
असक्तो ह्याचरन्कर्म परमाप्नोति पुरुषः ॥
भावार्थ : इसलिए तू निरन्तर आसक्ति से रहित होकर सदा कर्तव्यकर्म को भलीभाँति करता रह क्योंकि आसक्ति से रहित होकर कर्म करता हुआ मनुष्य परमात्मा को प्राप्त हो जाता है ॥3/19॥
QUALITIES OF A SOLDIER
1. RESILIENCE [meaning strong, tough, hardy, titiksha] – A soldier should be such that he can tolerate the extremes of climate, day and night, rain and snow laden mountains, tough times and pain. Similarly a spiritual aspirant must attain the quality of equanimity. Under his Spiritual Master’s guidance he learns to tolerate the opposites of life such as happiness and sorrows, life and death, achievements and misfortunes, praise and reprimands.
In Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna in the shlok 2/38
सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ॥
भावार्थ : जय-पराजय, लाभ-हानि और सुख-दुख को समान समझकर, उसके बाद युद्ध के लिए तैयार हो जा, इस प्रकार युद्ध करने से तू पाप को नहीं प्राप्त होगा ॥2/38॥
2. DEDICATION [meaning commitment, diligence, sustaining power, nishtha] –
- Self discipline is required when a soldier has to operate in a jungle and there is no commander over him while patrolling, it is the time to see his integrity and loyalty towards the task appointed to him. He should also know how to take decisions on his own at that time.
E.g. a lot of leeches are found in the jungle which stick to the skin and suck the blood. A soldier must carry his alum and salt to get rid of this blood sucking insect. A soldier cannot remove his socks and shoes while on duty how so ever worst the climatic conditions are.
Similarly, a spiritual disciple requires discipline in his life. He must be sincere to his work and spiritual practices. Performing regular exercises, pranayam, doing naam jap, reading a holy book regularly all require dedication and commitment. Laziness and procrastination is escapism from life. Those who do not have any drive and dream to do something in life are lethargic. Passionate and energetic people never sleep too much. They work passionately towards their goal. To start is easy, to end is easy but to maintain anything requires effort.
- Being judicious- Everyone carries his food, clothing, first aid kit and ammunition with him. There is no food available in the jungle. They eat whatever they carry. A soldier has to be judicious about the ammunition he carries and when to use them. If his bullets are finished then he cannot ask for more from his colleague. He has to go on a self contained basis. Obedience to orders and training to use ammunition is required.
Similarly, a disciple must be judicious to keep a balance between his work and his bhajan. How much to eat, sleep, speak, work is to be decided such that a balance is maintained.
- Preserve yourself because you are a trained manpower. Trained manpower is a big resource of our country. A lot of money is spent to train each soldier. He is taught to take action and extricate. “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”
The spiritual master devotes his time, energy and money on a disciple for many years in order to make him. The spiritual disciple must feel obliged and not drift away from Guru’s abode. Each disciple is precious. So, he should not betray or dessert his Guru on small pretexts, small excuses or emotional turmoil of mind. He must learn to watch his monster mind and overcome it.
3. PUNCTUALITY – The work should be done timely. If you are late, you are late. I was late “because”, such excuses are not accepted. Punctuality is an important part of the life of both the soldier and the spiritual disciple.
4. TEAM WORK – One man cannot win the battle. Everyone’s talent is used in the team. The slogan ‘ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL’ explains us that we will complete the task with togetherness and will not leave any member of our group in times of crises. If a soldier has been injured in a group, he should be attended and brought back along with the team. He cannot be left alone to die.
Similarly, a group of spiritual aspirants should march ahead as a team and not singularly. There should not be any feeling of jealousy, insecurity, attachment or hatred. Develop the virtues of compassion, care, kindness and love. Human nature is that we are interdependent. Unless we stick together we cannot win.
The concept of BUDDY TEAM is that in a section of ten people, pairs are made such that there are 5 groups. The two people will take care of one another and at the same time they will all be looked after by each other. When one is on guard the other can rest or cook food for him.
Similarly, Spiritual Master guides us that all members of the team should segregate and do their respective duties. If one serves food, the others can have their meal so that group 2 can replace group 1 for serving. When group 1 rests, group 2 works and vice versa.
5. MENTAL RESILIENCE [being strong and balanced mentally] – If the senior or commander scolds or punishes the soldier, he should not lose his balance and become intolerant. He must remember that his aim is to serve the nation.
Similarly, when Spiritual Master scolds or becomes strict with the disciple, he must remember that the Master is guided by the Divine providence and whatever he says is for his growth and development only. Things may appear to be harsh but they have a meaning. The spiritual aspirant must remember his aim- “My Master is my highest well wisher under whose guidance my aim is to be one with God or God realization”.
‘Aadar vyarth ka aadambar , anadar koi maainey nahi rakhta’
6. OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS OF THE ONE WHO IS ABOVE YOU – Whatever is commanded has to be done. There are no if’s or but’s. Similarly, disciple must learn to say Yes to Guru and No to his mind.
7. DISCIPLINE, ORDERLINESS AND TEAM SPIRIT are required.
8. PHYSICAL FITNESS is a very important aspect of a soldier’s as well as a spiritual aspirant’s life. Only if we are healthy can we serve the nation and Guru makes the disciple a sant sipahi.
Guru Bhagwan ke Anant Shukrane hain !!