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It Is What You Are And Do That Counts

It is what you are that counts in the eyes of God. It is what you do that bears fruit, not what you know. You are possibly familiar with the story of Narada who did not have peace of mind even though he knew everything that was to be known. He took his problem to Sanatkumara: "I have learned everything that is to be learned. I have vast knowledge, but nevertheless, I am suffering, I have no rest or inner peace." Sanatkumara replied, "What have you studied? What have you learned? What knowledge have you acquired?" Narada's reply was a narration of all the sacred books that then existed. Then Narada was told, "Your studies are admirable, your knowledge is praiseworthy, but the Supreme is attained by living the life indicated by the scriptures." The Atman cannot be learned through discourses, or by listening to a great deal of expositions. Therefore, if we really want highest blessedness, if we really want that supreme, indescribable experience that at once grants you peace, joy and bliss, then may we live the life as the great ones have lived and taught us. Walk the footsteps of the great ones; live even as they have lived, and you will attain the same state of blessedness and divine perfection, and liberation. Thus we have been told.

Sometimes the thought comes: 'what is the use of much discourse and much talk. Dakshinamurti taught in silence; the great master Jesus did not address large audiences-all His recorded words will fit into a booklet; Lord Buddha lived longer and many words were written about His life and movements, but His actual teachings will only fill a small volume.' But then, their teachings were stored in human hearts and they have been revived afresh, filled with new power as time goes on. For their teachings were practices. New life has been continuously put into their teachings, infused into them, by those who knew that it is what we are and what we do that yields results. It is those who did take the step of making themselves personifications of these great teachings, practising them in all their fullness in their own active, day-to-day life, who have made their words a living reality for us even today.

Reflect well! The Upanishads are very slim volumes-some with eighteen verses, some with twenty-four. But they comprise the quintessence of the ancient, ageless wisdom that has been our heritage. When we consider these realities, one begins to rightly feel that to say much is superfluous, and to do even a little is the essence of the spiritual life. Being and doing, therefore, count in the spiritual life over and above all things known. Erudition is admirable. A great deal of learning and knowledge is not bad. But certainly one must see that it is not enough. May this perception, this understanding drive us onward to greater action, to practical spiritual life, to the active living of the teachings of the great masters. This is the one thing needful. May the grace of the Divine enable us to attain supreme blessedness through a practical spiritual life-through divine life in daily practice!


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