THE IMPORTANCE OF A SPIRITUAL DIARY | SWAMI SIVANANDA
The keeping up of a daily spiritual diary is an indispensable requisite . It is certainly of paramount importance . Those who are already in the habit of keeping it know its incalculable advantages . A diary is a whip for goading the mind towards righteousness and GOD .
The diary is your teacher and guide . It is the eye-opener . It will help you to destroy all your evil qualities and to be regular in your spiritual practices . It shows the way to freedom and Eternal Bliss .
Those who wish to evolve rapidly must keep a daily record of their actions . If you regularly maintain a diary , you will get solace , peace of mind and quick progress in the spiritual path . Maintain daily diary and realize the marvelous results !
Mahatma Gandhi always advised students to keep a daily diary . I am always keen on this point .
My students keep five different kinds of notebooks .
[ 01 ] . They write their Ishta Mantra in a notebook for one hour daily observing the vow of silence . There is a great deal of concentration in writing a Mantra in a notebook . It forms Japa also at the same time .
[ 02 ] . They keep daily record of their actions .
[ 03 ] . They keep a notebook for synonyms . Whenever they come across difficult words , they write down in the notebook those words with their synonyms . They at once refer to the dictionary . This gives a fund of knowledge . They will have a rich vocabulary of words . They can have good command of the language .
Every week they go through their notebooks very carefully .
[ 04 ] . They keep another notebook wherein they take down important points of what they read daily .
[ 05 ] . They note down in another notebook my practical instructions which I give them casually . This develops their Manana Sakti or power of reflection .
One who regulates one's life on the above lines is sure to become a great person in a short time . There is no doubt of this . Do it practically and see how you grow .
All great people of the world keep diaries .
The life of Benjamin Franklin is known to you all . Franklin kept a daily diary , and noted down the number of untruths and wrong actions during the course of the day . In course of time Franklin became a perfect person , having perfect control over the mind .
You will have to record in your diary
[ 01 ] . the time you get up from the bed in the morning and retire to bed ,
[ 02 ] . the hours of sleep ,
[ 03 ] . the study of religious books ,
[ 04 ] . the number of Malas of Japa ,
[ 05 ] . how many hours you meditate daily ,
[ 06 ] . the nature of mistake you committed and the self-punishment you have given to rectify yourself in the form of fasting or increase in the number of Malas of Japa , etc ,
[ 07 ] . the lies you have uttered in the course of the day ,
[ 08 ] . how many times you became angry and how long it lasted ,
[ 09 ] . how many hours you spent in selfless service ,
[ 10 ] . how many times passion troubled you and how long it lasted , and the methods you adopted in checking it ,
[ 11 ] . the number of Pranayamas you did daily ,
[ 12 ] . how long you have practised Asanas and
[ 13 ] . how many hours you have wasted in useless company and talk , etc .
You can add also
[ 14 ] . how many hours did you observe Mouna daily .
[ 15 ] . Did you keep vigils on Sivaratri , Sri Krishna Janmashtami or any other days ?
[ 16 ] . How many days did you fast ?
[ 17 ] . How many times you failed in the control of evil habits ?
Prepare a similar diary as shown elsewhere in this book and verify whether you are really progressing . Please send a copy of the diary to me every month . Just keep the diary for six months and then watch the results .
If you want quick spiritual attainments , you should never neglect to record everything in your diary . To change the worldly nature it needs rigorous Sadhana .
You should not hide your weaknesses and defects while making out daily diaries . It is only to correct and mould oneself , to purge out all weaknesses , defects and errors , to develop the divine nature and to attain Self-realisation that this diary is maintained .
If the aspirant is sincere in one's jottings the diary itself will become one's silent master which will open one's eyes and direct GODward . All people keep Dhobi's diary and milk diary , but alas , they have neglected to keep up the most important diary ie , Spiritual Diary which will help to correct one's mistakes and to attain quickly Self-Realisation or the final beatitude of life .
A big thief is hiding itself in your brain , and has snatched away your Atmic pearl , giving you immense worries and troubles , deluding you .
The thief is your mind . You must not be lenient towards it . You must crush it . You must kill it ruthlessly . There is no other sword sharper than this diary to kill it . It checks happy-go-lucky ways and destroys it eventually .
All your daily mistakes will be corrected if you maintain daily spiritual diary . A good time will come when you will be entirely free from anger , untruth , lust , etc . You will become a perfect person .
Your parents gave you this body . They gave you food and clothing . But this diary is superior to your parents . It shows the way to freedom and eternal bliss . It is your Guru .
Turn the pages of your diary once a week . If you can record your actions every hour , your growth will be very rapid .
Happy is the one who keeps a daily diary because one is very near to GOD , and has a strong will and is free from defects and mistakes .
By keeping daily diary you can then and there rectify your mistakes . You can do more Sadhana and evolve quickly .
There is no other better friend and more faithful teacher or Guru than your diary . It will teach you the value of time .
At the end of every month calculate the total number of hours you have spent in Japa , study of religious books , Pranayama , Asanas , sleep , etc Then you will be able to know how much time you are spending for religious purposes . You have got every chance to increase the period of Japa , meditation , etc , gradually .
If you maintain a daily diary properly without any fault in any of the items you will not like to waste even a single minute unnecessarily . Then alone you will understand the value of time and how it slips away .
The Spiritual Diary is a whip for goading the mind towards righteousness and GOD . If you regularly maintain this diary you will get solace , peace of mind and make quick progress in the spiritual path . Maintain a daily diary and realize the marvelous results .
01 . When did you go to bed last night ?
02 . When did you get up from bed ?
03 . How many hours did you sleep ?
04 . How many Malas of Japa ?
05 . How long in Kirtan ?
06 . How many Pranayamas ?
07 . How long did you perform Asanas ?
08 . How long did you meditate in one Asana ?
09 . How many Gita Slokas did you read or get by heart ?
10 . How long in the company of the wise ( Satsanga ) ?
11 . How many hours did you observe Mouna ?
12 . How long in disinterested selfless service ?
13 . How much did you give in charity ?
14 . How many Mantras you wrote ?
15 . How long did you practice physical exercise ?
16 . How many lies did you tell and with what self-punishment ?
17 . How many times and how long of anger and with what self-punishment ?
18 . How many hours you spent in useless company ?
19 . How many times you failed in Brahmacharya ?
20 . How long in study of religious books ?
21 . How many times you failed in the control of evil habits and with what self-punishment ?
22 . How long you concentrated on your Ishta Devata ( Saguna or Nirguna Dhyana ) ?
23 . How many days did you observe fast and vigil ?
24 . Were you regular in your meditation ?
25 . What virtue are you developing ?
26 . What evil quality are you trying to eradicate ?
27 . What Indriya is troubling you most ?
One Mala of Japa is one full turn around the Japa Mala or rosary for a count of 108 repetitions of the Lord's Name or Mantra .
You can perform Kirtan in any language you wish .
SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.ORG