In the Vision of God,
Volume 1, by Swami Ramdas, pp 171-172
THE TEST OF SELF-SURRENDER
Another day, a sannyasi [one who has renounced worldly
possesions] from Kashi took Ramdas out for a walk round the famous hill. On
going some distance both sat on a raised stone platform beneath a tree. Here the
sannyasi confided to Ramdas his condition.
"Maharaj," he said, "I have been for nearly thirty years in this line of
sannyas, but still my mind is perfectly hopeless. Lust, greed and wrath are as
rampant in it as ever. What shall I do?"
"The only way to control the mind and free it from the evils you mention is
always to take the Name of God, meditate upon His great attributes and surrender
all your actions to Him," Ramdas replied suggestively.
"I have done all that and I have failed," he said.
"You ought to practice in solitude," Ramdas put in.
"Oh!" he cried out, "don't speak of solitude. I have a terror for solitude. When
I am left alone, my mind goes into a whirl of most unholy desires. So I am
running after saints. In their society I have peace. But I know I should not
solely depend upon external aids for attaining peace, as such peace cannot be
permanent." He stopped and looked at Ramdas for the solution of his problem.
"What you say is right," Ramdas now spoke at length; "God, who is absolute
existence, consciousness and bliss, is within you -- nay, you and He are not
different. Unless you realize Him, there can be no true liberation and lasting
peace. Please note that the first qualification necessary for the seeker of God
is fearlessness. Neither the terror of solitude nor the terror of the crowd
should daunt you. But solitude is a great help. Know that God, who dwells in
you, is almighty. Seek His assistance by constant remembrance, meditation and
prayer. Then the mind is bound to come under control. The evil passions must
depart from it.
"Forget not the central truth that God is seated in your own heart. Don't be
disheartened by failures at initial stages. Cultivate the spirit of surrender to
the workings of His will in you and outside you, until you have completely
surrendered up your ego-sense and have known He is in all and He is all, and you
and He are one. Be patient. The path of self-discipline that leads to
God-realization is not an easy path. Obstacles and sufferings are on the path;
the latter you must bear and the former overcome - all by His help. His help
comes only through concentration. Repetition of God's Name helps concentration."
In the Vision of God, Vol I - The Continuing Saga of an Extraordinary Pilgrimage