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The fourth principle of success is self-possession or cheerfulness . And how is self-possession or cheerfulness kept up ? It is very easy to say ,

" Be cheerful , be calm , be collected " .

But how difficult it is to remain cheerful , calm and collected under all circumstances !

By simply laying down the law you cannot be cheerful . You cannot do anything by artificial rules . How are we then to keep ourselves cheerful ? What is it that governs your mood ?

Vedanta points out that we become moody , cheerless or " in blues " , we become sad and melancholic , when we descend to the plane of the body , the little self and craving desires . Then only are we unbalanced .

We feel our stomach only when it is sick . We feel our nose only when we are suffering from cold . We feel our arm only when it is aching .

So we feel our personal ego , little self , or body only when we are spiritually out of order .

The engrossing regard for the body and care-creating attention to the personal little ego involves sad spiritual illness . We fall from " Eden " the moment our bodily weakness makes itself felt . Hurled are we from Heaven the instant we taste of the tree of distinction and difference .

But we can regain the " Paradise lost " by suffering the flesh to be crucified . You can recover your balance and be cheerful the moment you rise above the body , above the little selfish , sordid , paltry , petty clingings .

Thus in order to secure cheerfulness , self-possession , you will have to put into practice the central teaching of Vedanta , the eternal Truth that your true Atman , your real Self is the only rigid Reality .

The phenomenal worldly circumstances become mobile , malleable and volatile unto you when you are soaked in the stern fact , your true Atman .

I am not the body ; all the bodily concerns , connections and ties are mere playthings . They are simply the relations or offices in a theatrical performance .

I , as an actor , have one person for my enemy and one person for my friend , another is my parent , someone else my child , but in reality I am neither the child nor the parent ; the foes and friends are no foes and friends .

I am Absolute Divinity .

The worldly ties and connections do not concern me .

All relations are mere illusions .

Every actor should well perform one's role in the play ; but one who takes to heart and applies to the real Self the dramatic part of love or hatred is nothing short of insane .

Again the world being but a dramatic show , why should I attach undue importance to the outside forms of duty ? If one person is ruler , why envy ; another a beggar , why despise ?

Honour and disgrace from no condition rise ;
Act well your part , there all the honour lies .

Vedanta inculcates that you should not bother yourself about your surroundings and circumstances . Know the Law and shake off all fear .

Here is , suppose a magistrate , who comes into the court and takes the seat . The magistrate finds the parties , clerks , lawyers , servants and other people already waiting , and has not to send for the witnesses , invite the lawyers or go and call the plaintiffs and others .

The magistrate has not to dust the room , sweep the floor , and fix the table , etc . The very influence of the magistrate puts everything in order just as the very presence of the Sun wakes up all Nature , enlivens rivers , plants , birds , beasts and humans .

Similarly when you plant yourself firmly in the Truth , when you install yourself in the position of the disinterested Supreme Judge , your very Atman , when your glorious Self shines in its full splendour , all the circumstances , all your surroundings will take care of themselves , everything will be enlivened and put in order in the genial light of your presence .

It is related of Rama , the greatest hero of India , that when Rama started to regain Sita , which represents Divine Knowledge , all Nature offered Its services ; monkeys , geese , squirrels and even stones , air and water vied with one another to get enlisted on Rama's side .

Shine in the glory and majesty of your Self .

Away beyond grovelling attachment and degrading hatred , and woe unto the gods and angels if they do not serve you as abject slaves .

Why does everybody lackey a child ? The little tyrant rides on the strongest shoulders and pulls the hair of laurelled heads . How is that ? Why , because the child lives above the circumstances , in Divinity unconsciously .

If you go on doing your duty , if you are faithful to your work , bother not yourself about the outside aids and helps . They are bound to come to you , must come to you .

When you make a speech and have anything worth being preserved , bother not yourself about who will come and take it down or who will publish it , etc . Take the seat of a magistrate , be firm in your pristine dignity , never mar your cheerfulness by scruples about the outside matters and external aids .

If there be felt an itching sensation in any part of the body , the hand automatically reaches that region to scratch . The power or Self which underlies the hand is evidently the same as the power or Self which underlies the place of irritation .

Just so bear in mind that the Self in you is the same as the Self in all surroundings or environments and when your mind is in harmonious vibration with this underlying Self Supreme and to you has become the whole world your body , outside aids and helps must fly to you as naturally and spontaneously as the hand runs to the place of sensation .

When we run after our shadow to catch it , the shadow will never be caught ; the shadow will always outrun us . But if we run towards the Sun , turning our back on the shadow , it will dog us .

Similarly the moment you turn towards these outside matters and want to grasp them and keep them , they will elude your grasp , will outrun you .

The very moment you turn your back upon them and face the Light of lights , your inner Self , that very moment favourable circumstances will seek you . This is the Law .

Most people are turned pale , are driven into the corner by the word " Duty " . Duty like a bugbear haunts them , goes on thrashing them , leaves them no rest or time , is always upon them . Such hurrying slaves , nay , machines of " Duty " lose in power what they gain in speed .

Allow not the sense of Duty to throw you off the balance or damp your spirits .

Remember that all duty is after all imposed on you by yourself . Ultimately you are your own master .

You yourself chose your position , offered your services and created your superiors . Again if you need their money , they require your services just as much . The terms are of equality , the action and reaction being equal .

You serve your own will and of nobody else . Your present surroundings are created by yourself , the little world of relations is your own workership , your future will be your own doing . You are the master of your own destiny . Know that and rejoice , be cheerful .

We build our future thought by thought
For good or bad and know it not .
Thought is another name for fate ;
Choose , then , thy destiny , and wait .
Mind is the master of its sphere ;
Be calm , be steadfast and sincere ;
Fear is the only foe to fear
Let the GOD in thee rise and say
To adverse circumstance — " Obey "
And thy dear wish shall have its way .

Take to your work , not as a plodding labourer but like a noble ruler for pleasure's sake , as useful exercise , as happy play or merry game .

Never approach a task in a scared spirit . Be yourself . Realize that rulers and presidents are simply your servants .

Work as stars work —
Undismayed at all the things about them .
Unaffrighted at the things they see ,
These demand not that the things without them
Yield them love , amusement , sympathy .
The exquisite reward of song
Was sung — the self-same thrill and glow
Which to unfolding flowers belong .
And wrens and thrushes know .

Feel no responsibility , ask for no reward . All authority should be subservient to you . You are your own authority .

No sense of duty or outside authority should be to you an overshadowing cloud .

The order wrought by outside authority may at best be geometrical , but the order which you create yourself will be organic .

PART #1 : WORK &
PART #3 : LOVE &




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