02: Patience Is A Virtue
In the Indian culture, at the heart of Dnyana-Sadhana, are the amalgamation of Divine knowledge and science, the churning of thought and intellect, a dialog between a Guru and his student! The great sages of India conducted intensive research and presented their experiences that are the precious jewels of our culture and tradition. They put forth simple, easily comprehensible sutras that surpasse time and space. Hence, they remain evergreen, equally profound, and are applicable to mankind even today. In other words, through their works, we are having a dialog with them. Whenever there is a conversation or dialog, something magical happens. There is an inherent enhancement in compassion and every moment becomes a blissful experience. Let’s look at a similar Guru-disciple conversation to understand this.
A disciple laments to Gurudev, “Each and every one of us, in some point in our lives, feel that I strive so much, I help others, but no one appreciates me. Instead of being thankful, I am criticized for my hard work. Then what’s the point?”
Gurudev smiles and says, “No action goes un-noticed, dear child. When the time is right, we are rewarded handsomely. When we plant a seed, we don’t get to enjoy the sweet fruits right away. This is also true of hard work.”
The disciple continues, “All hard-work is a waste of time if we aren’t going to get the desirable fruits quickly.”
Gurudev now explains with an example. He says, “A farmer sows seeds during the rainy season. Then he must wait till the winter to reap a good harvest. During this time, he tills and weeds the land, sprays pesticides and fertilizers and waters the crops. If he ignores these chores, he will not be able to reap the crop. This is how our actions are.”
Disciple asks, “How is it so, Gurudev?”
Gurudev continues, “We must not shy-away from hard work. One must perform actions smart-wittedly and diligently with complete awareness. Patience is a virtue.”
Disciple asks, “Precisely, what does this mean Gurudev?”
Gurudev says, “Let me explain this to you through another example. There was once a saint who decided to test his disciples. He handed each one of them a wicker basket and asked them to bring some water in it. Of course, this was an impossible task. But seeing it as their Guru’s orders, they complied. However, all but one returned empty-handed and unanimously revealed their fruitless effort. Gurudev smiled and at the same time noticed that one of his disciples had still not returned. Eventually he returned and presented Gurudev with the basket filled with water. The others were surprised. Gurudev asked him, “How did you do this?” The disciple answered very humbly, ‘I kept the wicker basket submerged in water for quite a while. As a result, the sticks began swelling closing off all the gaps in the basket. Eventually it could hold the water.’ This is the fruit of perseverance.”
The take-home message is this: wWhen we cultivate the mind-intellect land with right morals and values, sprinkle the seeds of action with the water of a discerning mind, at the right time, we reap sweet and delicious fruits. Thus, hard-work, patience and perseverance constitute the trident for a successful life.