Insight into perseverance

By  Swami Jyotirmayananda

Keeping your mind calm, learning to bear criticism and disappointments, and developing simplicity in your personality will take you to great heights

Jan 7, 2016: To be successful in any project, spiritual or material, perseverance is the golden secret. Perseverance or determination implies that you pursue a project, unaffected by obstacles, unfettered by criticism, and unimpeded by any negative force.

Owing to a lack of perseverance, people who otherwise have great talents and ideas do not succeed. They take up a task, but the moment they face an obstacle, they give it up; then after many months they think of taking it up again. Some spiritual aspirants enthusiastically begin to practice meditation and japa, but they abandon their practice if they meet the slightest obstacle. Obstacle can arise from various sources: a person may suffer from a bad cold, or somebody may tauntingly say that he is becoming otherworldly. So he just stops his spiritual practices. But a few months later, he realises that he should have continued.

Steadiness and firmness in a project are crucial because they lead one to amazing success. What, then, causes a person not to be steady? There are some simple answers to this question. If you are too involved in your ego as you perform a task, perseverance will be difficult to maintain because you will want people to constantly recognise everything you do. When you are egoistic in this exaggerated way, you are like the man in this humorous parable. A man who was very poor acquired a gold ring and was very proud of it. But to his dismay nobody else noticed it. In an attempt to draw attention to himself, he set his hut on fire. People ran to the scene carrying water. Of course, he was at the forefront. Each time he threw water onto the fire he flashed his finger. Finally, one of the villagers remarked, ?Oh what a wonderful ring you?ve got! Is it pure gold?? ?Yes,? he answered. ?If you had recognised it earlier, I wouldn?t have had to set my house on fire!?

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