swami-brahmavidyananda23 September 2005

Swamiji talked about looking at a colored piece of cloth and being able to clearly determine whether it’s red or yellow or green. But with ourselves, self-recognition isn’t so easy. There’s a gap between who we are and who we want to be. To apprehend the difference, we have to think about it a lot.

Imagine that you intend to travel but you don’t know where you want to go. Chances are, you won’t have a satisfactory travel experience. Therefore, you need to have a destination in mind. Once that’s determined, the means will become more obvious.

The clarity of the goal sets the stage for the most appropriate means to reach that goal. Sadhyam = the goal. Sadhana = the means.

Ultimately, we want to be someone who is totally acceptable to ourselves. This acceptance is only facilitated when ignorance is absent.

Imagine you have a sore back that bugs you all the time. But every now and again, someone tells a joke and you have a good laugh and in that moment you forget the back pain. But then the moment is gone and the pain is back.

We can exercise to stay fit, but even after a while the body gets tired. The vitality is eventually lost. The peculiarity of human nature is often that the mind controls us instead of us controlling the mind.

Imagine that someone loves ice cream. Give them one bowl of their favorite and they’re happy, give them a second and they’re happier, and still happier with a third… But after seven or eight, there’s no more happiness. It’s the law of diminishing returns.

Life is cyclic and therefore repetitive. From clerk to doctor, people do the same thing again and again. After a while, they need change, to feel some sense of satisfaction in doing something different.

A person who has a lot of possessions is comfortably unhappy. A person who has no possessions is uncomfortably unhappy.

It’s legitimate and proper to want to be happy. To desire unhappiness is improper. In our pursuit of happiness, it’s a bit like jumping very high to ring a bell. Every now and again we do it, but most of the time the bell doesn’t ring.

In our pursuit of happiness, we’re pursuing a long-term solution, but we generally have to settle for a quick fix that doesn’t last.

Conceptually, we can believe that we’ll be happy elsewhere. The problem is, we haven’t been elsewhere in order to know what it looks like.

Even elsewhere, where happiness resides, there’ll be gradations of happiness. Furthermore, an unhappy person will be unhappy everywhere, just as a complainer will find fault even in a 5-star restaurant or hotel.

Pinning our hopes on something that isn’t adequate or appropriate will only perpetuate unhappiness. Inadequate effort won’t produce results. Inappropriate effort won’t give good results either. The right effort is both appropriate and adequate.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. 

His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology offers a compilation of Vedic astrology techniques, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of world events. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.

Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com

You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.