Books Written by Saints are their Testament
Saints do not write books out of fondness for writing; on the contrary they do so with great reluctance. Their knowledge is intuitive, and comes directly from the Lord. Do you think Samartha Ramdas and Eknath wrote their books after repeated reading and study of the Jnyaneshwari? It is inevitable, of course, that they express some thoughts already set forth by predecessors. The saints' works are their testament. Which father would bother to write a testament if he were sure that his sons would behave properly? It is only written by one who is not sure in that respect. Similarly, saints have written not because they liked to do it, but purely out of compassion for the well-being of suffering fallen souls like us. Such books are closely connected with our life; they set forth philosophical principles which are directly applicable in everyday life.
Shri Samartha Ramadas has in his Dasabodha raised doubts and queries on our behalf and answered them, too. A person who does not think of his lasting welfare is an obvious fool, but one who tenders gratuitous advice is doubly guilty. Saints accept even this blame and try to preach spiritualism, and it is in our interest to attend to it.
When reading a spiritual book we should carefully look for the sadhana advocated for attaining the goal. If we carefully select the most suitable sadhana we can be sure of success. We should read only books pertaining to spirituality, which we want to be proficient in. If we want to study mathematics but read only fiction, how can that lead us to success? To attain spiritual ideals, therefore, we should study only the saints' works, and ponder and meditate on them.
With the mind firmly fixed on God, we should let the body and its affairs drift on the current of fate; they may sometimes be in a pleasant state, sometimes otherwise; floating on a straight course for a time, nearly sinking at another. However, under any circumstances, our mind should be peaceful and blissful. We should learn to look objectively at ourselves; this we can do if we surrender ourselves mentally to God and physically to prarabdha or destiny. The feeling of pain of the body should be treated with indifference, and not allowed to affect the mind to any depth. Pursuit of nama helps us achieve this.
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