Advice to the Aged
Blessed is he who gets a chance to worship and serve Rama continuously. There can be no greater good fortune than serving Rama selflessly. Speech devoted to nama, the body dedicated to serving the Lord, the mind ever engaged in contemplation of God; in brief, complete dedication to God; this is the most perfect way to serve Him. Whatever is perceptible is perishable; this is what the spiritually great always bear in mind. Be you like them. Take care of the members of the family; never feel dejected. And yet, be detached at heart. Be in the practical world but not of it. Hold Rama in the heart always. Verily, I tell you, there is no better path to your true welfare. Tell yourself that henceforth you live for Rama alone, that you relinquish all doership to Him. Harbour no thought except the divine name. Give up all desire for popular esteem, think of God alone. Keep the mind focussed on Rama, and remember nama always. Dedicate yourself to Rama wholeheartedly. Never be despondent; remember that you are backed by Rama.
In advanced age the body becomes weak and incapacitated, but the hankering for self-esteem continues to flourish; set this self-conceit away. Entrust family affairs to the younger generation; do not interfere with them much, and remain detached and contented. Take care about your regimen, but never be dejected or miserable. Physical capacities may get attenuated, but desires and tendencies continue unabated. 'Me' and 'mine' continue to dominate so long as the body lives. So dispossess the mind of all these desires and tendencies by surrendering them at the feet of Rama.
The body becomes weak and incapacitated, so look after it carefully. The body should not be allowed to lapse into indolence; at the same time, we should not ignore its present condition, and should adjust ourselves to its requirements and limitations. Yet, our faith in Rama need not, should not get attenuated. Continue to be happy in family life, with full contentment at heart, for contentment depends on no external factor. This can be done if you treat gain and loss with equanimity. None but we ourselves affect the state of contentedness; it can be maintained if we leave the body to its destiny. Ascribe all doership to Rama, and forsake all anxiety. This can be achieved by constantly repeating His name.
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