Effective Life Management (Part I)

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Item Code: IDH264
Author: Swami Vivekananda
Publisher: Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama
Edition: 2005
Pages: 96
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 6.9" X 5"
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Book Description
Publisher's Note

Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi was the ideal Indian woman. Her life was dedicated to manifesting the divine power of the Motherhood of God. She was silent testimony to the truth of the Hindu scriptures. Her divine husband moulded her life so that she became a 'spiritual dynamo' to bless humanity. Even now her power over the minds and hearts of women all over the world is growing. The current of her spiritual energy is transforming the lives of ordinary people even in far off lands Sri Ramakrishna said to her, 'After my passing you will have to do many things. You will do much more than I have done.'

Holy Mother's spiritual power has been attested to by innumerable people who experienced it. Her chief attendant, Swami Saradananda, who was also the first Secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, avowed he had never seen a mind so great as hers, nor did her ever expect to see in his lifetime another person like her in respect of intelligence and depth of understanding of all problems.

What was it about Holy Mother which made her so great as a Guru?

First, she was divinely commissioned by Yugavatar Sri Ramakrishna and she was a knower of god in her own right. Her mind was subtle and could see into the heart of all things

Second, Holy Mother was not a pundit of the Holy Scriptures like the Gita and Upanishads, but she knew the spirit of the holy books and how to apply their principles to the problems of life. For example she stressed the importance of 'Introspection', the need to look within, to resolve spiritual and mental problems. Particularly, regarding the mental problems of young people - like what to do with anger, obsessive desire, and jealousy, she was and is a real guide.

What is the way to manage those enemies of our mind so that we can enjoy peace and a prosperous life? The way, Holy Mother emphasized, lies first in regarding them lightly, not taking them too seriously, because they are natural human emotions and come to everyone. But, she said, one must constantly practice restraining the mind from going too far a field. The sense organs - eyes, ears, the organs of taste and touch and smell - must be restrained from going out to enjoy their natural objects. Then peace comes. Just as the Gita (3.7) says: 'He who restrains his senses with his mind and directs his organs of action to work, with no feeling of attachment he is indeed superior.

So Holy Mother also stressed that one should always keep busy with some useful work to prevent unwanted thoughts from conquering our mind. Anger., lust and jealousy are the greatest enemies of spiritual life - 'all-devouring and the cause of all sin' as Gita says (3.37). Jealousy is the root of all since it is nothing but thwarted desire to possess and enjoy sense objects., sometimes those objects belong to other people and sometimes they are simply beyond our power to get. Jealousy is the natural reaction of mind when we cannot get some wanted object. We cannot get that thing for some reason or other and feel frustrated and angry.

Thirdly, Sri Sarada Devi was our real Mother, such a mother who really felt the sorrows of her children and wanted with her whole heart to remove the thorns in our life. She never opposed the wishes of her children by force, but she would warn them of the consequences of their dangerous actions. At last she always gave perfect freedom to all.

To some therefore who could not practice self control she would grant freedom to enjoy life - even all its poisons - for she saw that there was no other way for that person to get educated about what was right and wrong. A disciple wanted to know if all people can get fid of desires. Holy Mother was a real, loving, intelligent mother and guide, she replied: 'How can they? If they could, then the creation would come to an end. The world is going on because not all can be free of desires.' So to them she remarked: 'why do you worry so much? Fulfil all your worldly desires; afterwards you will enjoy abiding peace with Sri Ramakrishna. For you he has created a new heaven.

To he spiritual children Holy Mother would say, these feelings of desire, are in everybody, they will always remain as long as the body is there. So far as possible we should take no regard of innocent desires that come and go in our minds daily. As the Lord says in the Gita (2.14) ' Notions of heat and could, of pain and pleasure, arise only from the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and go; they and impermanent. Endure them, O Bharata! But the more dangerous desires like lust and anger however, we should control so they will not express themselves in out Behaviour with others. Otherwise we will create bad relations with Mother always emphasized 'to be detached' from all fleeting emotions so they do not get overly important. Her instruction to the devotees also always took into account their special cases. A disciple asked how to get rid of insignificant desires which cropped up in his mind. Mother said, 'In your case these are not real desires. They are only fancies that appear and disappear. The more they do so, the better for you.'

So Holy Mother used to say, that along with practice and nonattachment, we should always exercise our God-given power of endurance: 'Sa, Sa. Sa! (Bengali), she used to say to say, one who can endure all the good and bad that comes and keeps his faith in God will succeed in the end and survive all the problems of life with flying colours.

Mother's message has immense meaning for the people of today who find themselves in a state of permanent unhappiness and dissatisfaction in spite of rapid progress in wealth and facilities. It is seen that people have become increasingly effective in managing their careers and social lives, but are equally ineffective in managing the most fundamental aspect of their lives-which is the ability to have peace of mind. Accordingly, this book is intended to provide some guiding tips on how one's life may be managed effectively in light of Holy Mother's teachings and is being released as a special publication to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Holy Mother.

May all be blessed by the love and guidance of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Master Sri Thakur, and Swami Vivekananda. May the holy three, with the Lord of the Gita, bless the readers, protect them, and save them forever!

Preface i
Publisher's Noteiv
Meet Your Ideal: Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi10
Introspect to Improve19
Manage Your Thoughts29
Practice! Practice! Practice! 55
Control Your Anger63
Curb Your Jealousy73
Appendix I - What is SDM81
Appendix II - Watching Thought Flow 83
Appendix III - Inspiring Words from Holy Mother85
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