“Be thrifty but do not be a miser.”
“Be bold but do not be a ruffian.”
These are popular sayings of Swami Gnanananda. In the same vein, let’s say someone asks, “Can you narrate the Bhagavatam?”
I answer, “Yes, I can narrate the Bhagavatam.”
This is self-confidence. Now, what if the answer given is, “No one else can narrate the Bhagavatam like I can!”
This is sheer conceit. Self-confidence is completely different from conceit.
Similarly, when a person, with all his greatness and in spite of his vast knowledge, bows down to proper people, it is humility. It is humility when one is reverential towards the aged, Vedic scholars and Mahans; when one knows and attributes the proper value to great qualities in other people. But one need not feel inferior while being humble. All bhakti grantas say “Be humble! One should be humble.” But this should not make you feel inferior in any way. All bhaktas like Mira, Thiagaraja, and others were humble. They did not nurture inferiority complex.
Humility is different from inferiority complex.
Likewise, a saatvic (calm) person is not a weak or lazy person. A saatvic person, despite being powerful, will not react to another’s harsh or abusive words. A saatvic person has the capability to punish anyone by way of his penance; yet, he will not do so. On the other hand, when a person is incapable of doing anything at all and is lethargic or if he does not act because he is afraid, then he is lazy and weak.
A saatvic mind is different from a weak or lazy mind.
If we fail to comprehend these terms properly it will lead to confusion and thus put us on the wrong track.
When you are not a serious sadhak (one performing intense spiritual practices under the guidance of a Guru), you should lead a proper family life also.
In the Ramayana, in the scene depicting Chitrakoota, where Rama and Sita lived for a time during their exile, we find Valmiki describing the way the divine couple spent their time there. Rama points to the beautiful scenery around to Sita. He tells her, “Dear Sita, look at these beautiful flowers, the birds, the peacock, the wonderful mountain and the river.”
Sita takes hold of his hand and takes him around. She shows the singing cuckoo and the dancing peacock to him. Finding Rama looking at her and not at the singing cuckoo or the dancing peacock, she asks shyly, “I have been showing the beauty of the singing cuckoo and the dancing peacock to you. Instead of looking at them your eyes are glued to me!”
Rama at once tells her softly, “My dear! The way you speak about them is more charming! The way you imitate the walk of the swan, the dance of the peacock, the singing of the cuckoo is much more attractive!”
The couple spend their daytime in such love-filled talk. But in the evening Rama takes Sita to the Mandakini river flowing nearby and tells her, “Sage Agastya has bathed here, Sage Bharadwaja has bathed here, innumerable saints have bathed here. Let us also bathe here.”
They enjoy both married life and bhagavat vishaya (divine matters) together. Immediately after the bath, Rama tells Sita, “Let us both do Brahmavichara.”
Only when we do not know how to lead our lives, will it lead to problems.
A life led properly poses no problem. We should live happily. LIFE IS A LYRIC.