"Training the Mind is just like training a water buffalo."
The following is an excerpt from the book How to Seek God, by Swami Yatiswarananda, a devotee and lover of God within the lineage of the Ramakrishna Order.
In worldly life, misery comes to everyone. How are you going to face it? Sermonizing is not enough. We must turn to the real source of peace and joy who is the Parama-preme-rupa, Paramananda – svarupa. We have cut ourselves off form that, but the soul is longing for it. We see a little of it in the individual and turn to it. Along with that drop of joy we get a mass of misery. And then death stares us in the face. It may come now, it may come after a hundred years, but it has got to come. This does not mean that we should always dream of death. We have to fulfill our duties to our relations, but we have also the duty to the Supreme Being. Do your duties and at the same time come to that Reality which is Parama-preme-rupa, Paramananda – svarupa.
We have forgotten our real nature; we have to regain its awareness. Arjuna was Nara incarnate, but being embodied, he forgot his real nature. He was in great grief. A war had to be fought so that the power of right might destroy the evil. When there is trouble, we want to renounce the world. Face the realities of the world with dispassion, without identifying yourself with them.
See everything in its proper light in the light of the Self, and everything will be different. Not that there won't be problems, but a new vision will come. Make the Self more real than your problems. The more you go within, the less will be the outside dependence. There is everything within you; you have only to see. Infinite Bliss is our birthright. Fragrance is within, but we search for it outside. Running away is not the solution. Face problems and rise above them. Thinking of the Supreme Spirit who is ever free, assert yourself.
Mind's course should be upward, like the lotus bud arising from mud and water and keeping its head high up. Unless you are well established in the higher plane you are not safe. See the baby kangaroo. When it is frightened, it jumps into its mother's pouch and from there peeps out, quite safe and serene. So too, we should be firmly established in the Divine within. The source of joy and love is within you. Turn to Him for light, love, guidance, joy, and share them with everybody. Instead of always begging, learn to give. We cannot change the environment, but we can certainly develop a new attitude. Connect all your problems with the Lord. Develop your will awhile. Repeat the Lord's Name. Life, as it is, is misery, but if we have this attitude full of devotion, we accept everything, good and bad, as happening through His will. Great ones always have this view. You know Kunti's prayer – she prayed only for sorrow, so that she might remember the Lord always. Let us get over our fear complex, then you will have strength to rise above troubles. Kabir sings: “It is not a cloudy day when the heavens are cloudy. The cloudy day is that, O mind, when you do not repeat the Lord's Name.”
In the beginning, the environment may disturb us to a considerable extent and we complain about it. But if we attempt to change it drastically we may end in failure. There may be a tendency to go to a solitary place. Very often this is due to escapism. There is no such ideal place in the world which would be entirely free from all disturbances. Every place has its disadvantages and advantages. The environment may be calm and quiet, but if we go there with a troubled mind it may spoil our efforts. We should think: “The Lord has placed me here, in these surroundings, let me adjust myself to this environment.” In the case of disciples, they must adjust themselves to 'where they stand' and find interest in remembrance of the Lord (japa) and meditation. That is a good sign!
HOW TO FACE LIFE?
"We have forgotten our real nature; we have to regain its awareness. Arjuna was Nara incarnate, but being embodied, he forgot his real nature. He was in great grief. A war had to be fought so that the power of right might destroy the evil. When there is trouble, we want to renounce the world. Face the realities of the world with dispassion, without identifying yourself with them."