Swami Rama Tirtha (photo left), a mathematician and a contemporary of Swami Vivekananda, made an equation about contentment: Peace is always based on your desire and contentment; your wants, and don’t wants. If your want increases, the peace goes down. If your want decreases, the peace comes up. No want, full peace, but full of want, no peace. This is very true. That’s why the scriptures say that even wanting to have peace will disturb your peace. Because if you want peace, that means you don’t have it. Even wanting peace should not be there, because you have peace already. The moment you forget it then you want it.

There are two Tamil sayings. One is: “Even with God, do not have desires.” The other is: “Wanting liberation itself is a bondage.” Why? Because you are already liberated, but when you forget that and you want to be liberated, you are binding yourself by that want. See how delicate it is? It’s a very thin line. That’s why the spiritual path is called a razor’s edge. It’s a very sharp, thin line.

And remember, for those who practice Yoga, liberation is our grand finale goal. Everything is aimed at that. Keep your compass aimed and fly high. Occasionally, when you are flying in a plane, you might lose your course because of a gusty wind. But, of course, you can correct it.

Flying a plane is similar to the flight of a seeker. I learned a lot from a pilot. You have to have everything clear before you even start the journey. You should know how much gasoline you have, and are the clouds in the sky dense or scattered? Are there any storm clouds or gusty winds, and, what obstructions might be in the way? All of it has to planned.

A well-planned flight, is half the success. I was in a small plane one day and an unexpected storm came upon us. There were clouds all around us and we could see nothing else. All we had was the compass to go by. We simply had to follow the instrument’s needle.

Spiritual life is like that. I’m simply telling you how difficult it is. But at the same time, if you really make up your mind, it becomes so easy. Make a positive affirmation: Is that all? I’ll go for it! I won’t give up for anything because I know there is nothing more in this life to achieve. There is nothing greater than being ready to face any kind of obstacle. With such an attitude, you will never be discouraged and you will reach the goal!

~Swami Satchidananda