Penelope was the beautiful wife of Odysseus, the wise king of Ithaca in Greece. Since Odysseus was morally committed to help fight the Trojan war, he was away for years from his home. His beautiful wife attracted a lot of suitors who now boldly housed themselves in Odysseus’ house and insisted that Penelope should marry one of them . Penelope kept them at bay by promising marriage after she completed knitting of a shroud for her father-in -law. She knitted away during the day, but night after night she unravelled the day’s work. Isn’t this what we do with our Sadhana daily? This undoing of our meditative hours is disastrous. We become harsh and dishonest, we forget our true nature, we criticise people and fly into a temper! Harsh speech and action is the undoing of all our hard earned poise and meditative peace. Chinmayanandaji used to say , “carry that peace in your heart through out the day”. This practise alone can take us forward. Consciously guard your mind like a jailer guarding a dangerous convict. The quiet hours of the puja room should divinise all your actions Going on filling the pot daily is hard ,wasteful work ,if the pot is leaking!
Swami Chidanandaji used to tell us of two sadhus who had left their homes and lived in the harsh climes of Uttarkashi for serious Sadhana. They slept on straw beds which often got wet in the rain. In sunlight they dried them. One of them carelessly walked over the other’s bed one day. Oh! What a storm this little act generated. The temper ,the language used and the arguments that followed belied their sadhu status! Such hard won mental poise, ruined in a second by their egos. Must have been a labour intensive climb back to their composure. Doesn’t this sound familiar?
Prarthna Saran, President, Chinmaya Mission Delhi.