"In acquiring material wealth all are not equally blessed. But in gaining mental and spiritual wealth, every one has an equal chance. Beginning from character and disciplines and ending with supreme kindness and goodness, the wealth of the mind is displayed in abundance before all. The question is only who wants, and, to which measure !"

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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The mind by nature is given to thinking about whatever attracts or affects the mind. But the intelligence has the scope to introduce a subject of its choice into the thinking mind. And then it can give instructions to the mind accordingly. The choice – whether the mind should follow its own involuntary thinking or whether it should obey the intelligence – this choice has to be made by you. There comes the will. The mind must be able to take up the choice without undue resistance.

There are many people who wish to take up and perform many things but they do not have the necessary will to follow the wish. So, this 'will' is a very special virtue. Normally people don't understand the intricacies of the will. The development of mind, intelligence and will – all three take place in parallel, almost unawares. 

If you want to develop this will, it can be done. But, do you really want it? Are you sincerely interested in this icchasakti?

[Poojya Swamiji speaks a few words of guidance at the conclusion of the daily morning Pushpasamarpana (flower offering) at the Narayanashrama Tapovanam. These profound words on saadhana, like the effulgent morning rays, would illuminate many a dark corner in the listeners' minds. This series is titled “Prabhaata-rasmih” (Morning rays). The following is the text of one such talk on 29 Aug 2001 by Poojya Swamiji.]

Last night Krishnan was asking me about will power – what it is and how to develop it.

Generally people talk about only two factors – the mind which is given to thinking and feeling, and secondly about the intelligence which is given to analyzing and deciding. In between these two there is a third factor – the nature and intricacy of which many do not know – it is called dhrti.

What is dhrti? Dhrti is the ability, readiness and the potential to exert oneself, to make efforts. You have a mind. You also have intelligence. But if you don't have the necessary will power, these faculties will remain unutilized. And however good and great they may be, you will not be benefited by them!

First of all understand that there is something called 'will'. Every one has it. That is what I was telling Krishnan when we went out for a walk after dinner. During your daily chores you all have to walk here and there. Tell me, how do you walk? While walking every time, what are you doing? You are lifting the hind foot and placing it in front. Following it again, you are taking another step. What is that power or readiness in you by which you are lifting the hind foot and placing it in front so that you are able to cover the distance? That is will power.

Many functions are going on in the body. Of these, some do not require will. They are called involuntary functions. Taking food is an act of will. But the alimentary canal digesting the food does not depend upon your will or wish! It is not voluntary. In the case of the mind, the play can be due to either voluntary response or will power. The mind thinking by itself is an involuntary function. But if you want to intercept or enter into the functions of thinking by choice, it becomes a role for the will. Understand this significance well.

The mind by nature is given to thinking about whatever attracts or affects the mind. But the intelligence has the scope to introduce a subject of its choice into the thinking mind. And then it can give instructions to the mind accordingly. The choice – whether the mind should follow its own involuntary thinking or whether it should obey the intelligence – this choice has to be made by you. There comes the will. The mind must be able to take up the choice without undue resistance.

There are many people who wish to take up and perform many things but they do not have the necessary will to follow the wish. So, this 'will' is a very special virtue. Normally people don't understand the intricacies of the will. The development of mind, intelligence and will – all three take place in parallel, almost unawares. 

If you want to develop this will, it can be done. But, do you really want it? Are you sincerely interested in this icchasakti?

Generally, human beings are categorized into three:

prArabhyate na khalu vighnabhayena mandah
prArabhya vighnanihatA viramanti madhyAh |
vighnairmuhurmuhurapi pratihanyamAnAh
prArabdhamuttamajanA na parityajanti ||  
                                                                                                 (Neetisatakam - sloka 73) 

Out of the three categories of people the usual run consists of those who never take up any undertaking, foreseeing only difficulties and obstacles. People of the second category may have the will and courage to start, but faced with obstacles they get thwarted. The best and the rarest group of people are those who, though assailed repeatedly by severe obstacles, carry on with whatever has been taken up, to the best of their abilities. They don't lose heart. They complete the undertaking. Actually they don't complete it – they only persist in their task and in the process, by virtue of their very persistence, the task gets done. 

Now, dear Krishnan, do you have that persistence and do you want it? That is the question. 

I am now in the process of replying to a letter and in my reply I am emphasizing a point. The person writes that theirs is a small and compact home. The complaint is that guests come frequently! Guests from the wife's side or guests from the husband's side. And therefore, “I am getting cut away from you Swamiji. At one point I sit and start talking to you whatever I want; and I feel relieved. The spirituality seems to be vanishing from my mind in the middle of all these people.” 

So, I am explaining that a home is not merely for the residents to live. It is, of course, primarily for them. But at the same time, it must also entertain guests – relatives and friends. Only when you have a liberal mind and a hosting attitude, people will come. Otherwise they will avoid your home. When they come, you do not get additional hands or additional hours in the day. But you have to accommodate. You should treat this as an opportunity to expand your mind, to develop loftier virtues. The third and superior purpose of a house is served when you are able to invite Saints and welcome seekers and devotees for getting the benefit of Satsang. The house should be ready to host a number of people and the occasion should be celebrated as a festival. 

I am thinking of asking this person: What do you want? Do you want to be a silk worm in a cocoon? The expansion means liberality of the mind. The secret lies in the mind! So, with a constricted mind, if the person starts thinking negatively and starts saying, 'No, no, no, ...' then he or she is disallowing the mind to grow or expand. The growth is always in the mind. It is in the feelings. 

Why am I saying all this? We are talking about willpower. This person should overcome the constrictions of the mind when so instructed by the Guru. In order to overcome the likes and dislikes, 'will' is required. Gradually, the person should make efforts and develop inner expansion. 

Dear children, the same applies to all of you. Start exercising the will. Do small things first – start walking one pace, two paces, and three and finally you take a resolution that 'I will cover one lakh paces!' May be it will take days. You can even go upto a few crores! 

The question is of persistence. First of all, understand that infinite possibilities are there for the mind and also for your will. And where are these possibilities? Are they up in the heavens or in your poorva-karma? No, they are within you! But unless you exert yourself in small things and take small steps first, you will not grow to undertake bigger things. The secret of expansion lies within you. 

But, do you really want it?
 
Harih Om Tat Sat.
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