Insight into perseverance


That was an aberrated state of ego consciousness and it is very debilitating. If you are always looking for recognition from others you cannot be persevering. Instead, you must understand that your progress or true achievement in life is not dependent upon the recognition of others but upon your own insight and introspection.

In Gita, Lord Krishna speaks of a sattvic karta, one who performs actions with an ideal attitude: ?He who does not desire the fruits of his actions, who is free of the sense ?I am the doer,? who is endowed with patience and perseverance, and who is ever unaffected by success and failure, is called a sattvic doer.? ?Gita18:26. The first characteristic of a sattvic doer is that he is free from attachment. This implies that whether or not the desired results come, he will still continue to perform his duties. If you view things in the clear light of reason you will realise that you do not have complete control over the things you set out to do. Suppose, for example, you have to attend a conference in another city. Suddenly, a terrible storm breaks, cancelling the flight you were to take. So you see you cannot completely determine the outcome of any action that you undertake. Your perseverance in a task should not ride on whether you succeed or fail at it. Rather, you should continue despite obstacles and setbacks.

If you do not take up a task with the spirit of detachment, there can be no perseverance because your enthusiasm depends upon how likely you feel you are to succeed. If people tell you that you are going to succeed at a task, you become so enthusiastic that you work day and night; but the moment somebody criticizes you or says something discouraging, you stop.

A person who has too much ego is unfit for great works and may also be irresponsible in any job he performs. To keep the ego down, one must learn the art of bearing criticism and disappointments. In every field you must have mental stamina or a mind that is not swayed by criticism or censure from other people. It follows like a mathematical proportion: the greater the project, the more you will be tested and tried. In whatever project you are trying to succeed, there will be jealous people who will try to create obstacles for you. But if you are determined to succeed, you will not be affected by their manipulations.

The same thing applies to the spiritual field but even more. One?s essential duty is to allow one?s ego to be pulverized and crushed. Unless this is done, there can be no enlightenment because ego separates you from reality.

As Lord Krishna says, ?In  developing perseverance you must become immensely patience.? Patience and perseverance go together; you cannot be persevering unless you are patient. You must continue in spite of adversities. You must have heard the story of a great Mongol conqueror, who was defeated nine times on the battlefield. Discouraged by such humiliating losses, the conqueror ran away from his army and went to a secluded cave, bent on starving himself to death.

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