PRACTISE SELF-CONTROL WITH STEADY FAITH

Those who deny God are denying themselves and their glory. All have Love in their hearts, in some form of other, either towards the children or the poor or their work or goal. That Love is God, the spark of the Godly in them. They have Ananda however small or temporary and that is a spark of God and the Godly. They have Shanthi, Detachment, and Sympathy. All these are reflection of the Divine on the mirror of their minds. These are all mental Excellencies, revealed through an appreciation of the advantages of virtue. Shanthi or Calmness practiced through helplessness, as in the case of the thief in the story of Tenali Ramakrishna is no good. One thief exhibited great Shanthi and Sadhana, calm fortitude! Noticing that a thief had come into his garden at night and that he was hiding under a "snake-gourd bush" near the well. Ramakrishna called his wife to his presence. He asked her to bring a rope and bucket so that he may draw water from the well. The wife drew the water and gave the bucket to him.. The thief watched his movements and he crouched in the darkness, expecting that the man and his wife would go into the house soon. He planned that he should gain entry later and collect his loot without having caught. Meanwhile, Ramakrishna pretended that he had something in his throat. He poured the water into his mouth, gargled loud and spat underneath the "snake-gourd bush" right where the thief was crouching! He gets it right on his face, and that was Ramakrishna's intention too. The poor fellow could not run away, he could not protest, He was afraid to move he showed perfect fortitude. But, do you call it a virtue? Do you appreciate him for it? He was motivated by fear, not faith. Such Santa and Sadhana are of no use at all. Practice self-control, with steady faith. Then it is a source of strength.