Sunday, 29 December 2013

INSPIRATIONAL STORY: A GIFT FROM THE HEART

2013-48 Inspirational Story:  A Gift from the Heart


[This is another very poignant story which I read from the same book Norman Vincent Peale's A TREASURY OF COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE, on p.184, reprinted with permission from the Jan 1968 Readers Digest, originally from Guideposts, Dec 1967.]




New York City, where I live, is impressive at any time, but as Christmas approaches, it's overwhelming. Store windows blaze with light and color, furs and jewels. Golden angels, 40 feet tall, hover over Fifth Avenue. Wealth, power, opulence-nothing in the world can match this fabulous display. 

Through the gleaming canyons, people hurry to find last- minute gifts. Money seems to be no problem. If there's a problem, it's that the recipients so often have everything they need or want that it's hard to find anything suitable, anything that will really say, "I love you." 

Last December, as Christ's birthday drew near, a stranger was faced with just that problem. She had come from Switzerland to live in an American home and perfect her English. In return, she was willing to act as secretary, mind the grandchildren, do anything that was asked. She was just a girl in her late teens. Her name was Ursula. 
One of the tasks her employers gave Ursula was keeping track of Christmas presents as they arrived. There were many, and all would require acknowledgment. 

Ursula kept a faithful record, but with a growing concern. She was grateful to her American friends; she wanted to show her gratitude by giving them a Christmas present. But nothing that she could buy with her small allowance could compare with the gifts she was recording daily. Besides, even without these gifts, it seemed that her employers already had everything. 

At night, from her window, Ursula could see the snowy expanse of Central Park, and beyond it the jagged skyline of the city. Far below, in the restless streets, taxis hooted and traffic lights winked red and green. It was so different from the silent majesty of the Alps that at times she had to blink back tears of the homesickness she was careful never to show. It was in the solitude of her little room, a few days before Christmas, that a secret idea came to Ursula. 

It was almost as if a voice spoke clearly, inside her head. "It's true," said the voice, "that many people in this city have much more than you do. But surely there are many who have far less. If you will think about this, you may find a solution to what's troubling you." 

Ursula thought long and hard. Finally on her day off, which was Christmas Eve, she went to a great department store. She moved slowly along the crowded aisles, selecting and rejecting things in her mind. At last she bought some- thing, and had it wrapped in gaily colored paper. She went out into the gray twilight and looked helplessly around. 

Finally, she went up to a doorman, resplendent in blue and gold. "Excuse me, please," she said in her hesitant English, "can you tell me where to find a poor street?" 
"A poor street, miss?" said the puzzled man. "Yes, a very poor street. The poorest in the city." The doorman looked doubtful. "Well, you might try Harlem. Or down in the Village. Or the Lower East Side, maybe." 

But these names meant nothing to Ursula. She thanked the doorman and walked along, threading her way through the stream of shoppers until she came to a tall policeman. "Please," she said, "can you direct me to a very poor street ... in Harlem?" 
The policeman looked at her sharply and shook his head. "Harlem's no place for you, miss." And he blew his whistle and sent the traffic swirling past. 

Holding her package carefully, Ursula walked on, head bowed against the sharp wind. If a street looked poorer than the one she was on, she took it. But none seemed like the slums she had heard about. Once she stopped a woman, "Please, where do the very poor people live?" But the woman gave her a hard stare and hurried on. 

Darkness came sifting from the sky. Ursula was cold and discouraged and afraid of becoming lost. She came to an intersection and stood forlornly on the comer. What she was trying to do suddenly seemed foolish, impulsive, absurd. Then, through the traffic's roar, she heard the cheerful tinkle of a bell. On the comer opposite, a Salvation Army man was making his holiday traditional Christmas appeal. 

At once Ursula felt better; The Salvation Army was a part of life in Switzerland, too. Surely this man could tell her what she wanted to know. She waited for the light, then crossed over to him. "Can you help me? I'm looking for a baby. I have here a little present for the poorest baby I can find." And she held up the package with the green ribbon and the gaily colored paper. 

Dressed in gloves and overcoat a size too big for him, he seemed a very ordinary man. But behind his steel-rimmed glasses his eyes were kind. He looked at Ursula and stopped ringing his bell. "What sort of present?" he asked. 
"A little dress. For a small, poor baby. Do you know of one?"
"Oh, yes," he said. "Of more than one, I'm afraid." "Is it far away? I could take a taxi maybe?" 

The Salvation Army man wrinkled his forehead. Finally he said, "It's almost six o'clock. My relief will show up then. If you want to wait, and you can afford a dollar taxi ride, I'll take you to a family in my own neighborhood who needs just about everything." 
"And they have a small baby?" "A very small baby." 
"Then," said Ursula joyfully, "I wait!" 

The substitute bell-ringer came. A cruising taxi slowed. In its welcome warmth, she told her new friend about herself, how she came to be in New York, what she was trying to do. He listened in silence, and the taxi driver listened too. When they reached their destination, the driver said, "Take your time, miss. I'll wait for you." 

C)n the sidewalk, Ursula stared up at the forbidding tenement-dark, decaying, saturated with hopelessness. A gust of wind, iron-cold, stirred the refuse in the street and rattled the reeling ash cans. "They live on the third floor," the Salvation Army man said. "Shall we go up?" 


But Ursula shook her head. "They would try to thank me, and this is not from me." She pressed the package into his hand. "Take it up for me, please. Say it's from ... from someone who has everything." 

The taxi bore her swiftly from the dark streets to lighted ones, from misery to abundance. She tried to visualize the Salvation Army man climbing the stairs, the knock, the explanation, the package being opened, the dress on the baby. It was hard to do. 

Arriving at the apartment on Fifth Avenue where she lived, she fumbled in her purse. But the driver flicked the flag up. "No charge, miss." "No charge?" echoed Ursula, bewildered. "Don't worry," the driver said. "I've been paid." He smiled at her and drove away.

Ursula was up early the next day. She set the table with special care. By the time she was finished, the family was awake, and there was all the excitement and laughter of Christmas morning. Soon the living room was a sea of gay discarded wrappings. Ursula thanked everyone for the presents she received.

Finally, when there was a lull, she began to explain hesitantly why there seemed to be none from her. She told about going to the department store. She told about the Salvation Army man. She told about the taxi driver. When she was finished, there was a long silence. No one seemed to trust himself to speak. 

"So you see," said Ursula, "I try to do kindness in your name. And this is my Christmas present to you." 

How do I know all this? I know it because ours was the home where Ursula lived. Ours was the Christmas she shared. We were like many Americans, so richly blessed that to this child there seemed to be nothing she could add to all the material things we already had. And so she offered something of far greater value: a gift from the heart, an act of kindness carried out in our name. 

Strange, isn't it? A shy Swiss girl, alone in a great impersonal city. You would think that nothing she could do would affect anyone. And yet, by trying to give away love, she brought the true spirit of Christmas into our lives, the spirit of selfless giving. That was Ursula's secret-and she shared it with us all. 

Source: January 1968 Readers Digest, Copyright, Readers Digest Association

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

INSPIRATIONAL STORY: A STRING OF BLUE BEADS

2013-47 Inspirational Story: A String of Blue Beads


[ I read this immortal story for the first time in 1982 and have repeated it countless times. 
It was on p.144 in Norman Vincent Peale's A TREASURY OF COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE, reprinted with permission from Fulton Oursler for this Modern Parable which appeared in the Readers Digest 1951.]

A String of Blue Beads
                 Fulton Oursler

[One of the loveliest and most beloved of all Christmas short stories was penned by Fulton Oursler. Oursler's story reminds us that possessions without someone to share them with are hollow and meaningless. He also reminds us that one can't pay more than "all one has" for a gift.
(Charles) Fulton Oursler cast a giant shadow over his time (1893-1952). Besides editing Metropolitan, Liberty, Cosmopolitan, and Reader's Digest, he was a prolific writer of short stories, screenplays, and books, perhaps best known for his The Greatest Story Ever Told.]

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Pete Richards was the loneliest man in town on the day Jean Grace opened his door. You may have seen something in the newspapers about the incident at the time it happened, although neither his name nor hers was published, nor was the full story told as I tell it here.
Pete's shop had come down to him from his grandfather. The little front window was strewn with a disarray of old-fashioned things: bracelets and lockets worn in days before the Civil War, gold rings and silver boxes, images of jade and ivory, porcelain figurines.

On this winter's afternoon a child was standing there, her forehead against the glass, earnest and enormous eyes studying each discarded treasure, as if she were looking for something quite special. Finally she straightened up with a satisfied air and entered the store.

The shadowy interior of Pete Richards's establishment was even more cluttered than his show window. Shelves were stacked with jewel caskets, dueling pistols, clocks and lamps, and the floor was heaped with andirons and mandolins and things hard to find a name for.

Behind the counter stood Pete himself, a man not more than thirty but with hair already turning gray. There was a bleak air about him as he looked at the small customer who flattened her ungloved hands on the counter.

"Mister," she began, "would you please let me look at that string of blue beads in the window?"

Pete parted the draperies and lifted out a necklace. The turquoise stones gleamed brightly against the pallor of his palm as he spread the ornament before her.

"They're just perfect," said the child entirely to herself. "Will you wrap them up pretty for me, please?"

Pete studied her with a stony air. "Are you buying these for someone?"

"They're for my big sister. She takes care of me. You see, this will be the first Christmas since Mother died. I've been looking for the most wonderful Christmas present for my sister."

"How much money do you have?" asked Pete warily.

She had been busily untying the knots in a handkerchief and now she poured out a handful of pennies on the counter.

"I emptied my bank," she explained simply.

Pete Richards looked at her thoughtfully. Then he carefully drew back the necklace. The price tag was visible to him but not to her. How could he tell her? The trusting look of her blue eyes smote him like the pain of an old wound.

"Just a minute," he said, and turned toward the back of the store. Over his shoulder he called, "What's your name?" He was very busy about something.

"Jean Grace."

When Pete returned to where Jean Grace waited, a package lay in his hand, wrapped in scarlet paper and tied with a bow of green ribbon. "There you are," he said shortly. "Don't lose it on the way home."

She smiled happily at him over her shoulder as she ran out the door. Through the window he watched her go, while desolation flooded his thoughts. Something about Jean Grace and her string of beads had stirred him to the depths of a grief that would not stay buried. The child's hair was wheat yellow, her eyes sea blue, and once upon a time, not long before, Pete had been in love with a girl with hair of that same yellow and with eyes just as blue. And the turquoise necklace was to have been hers.

But there had come a rainy night-a truck skidding on a slippery road-and the life was crushed out of his dream.  Since then Pete Richards had lived too much with his grief in solitude. He was politely attentive to customers, but after business hours his world seemed irrevocably empty. He was trying to forget in a self-pitying haze that deepened day by day.

The blue eyes of Jean Grace jolted him into acute remembrance of what he had lost. The pain of it made him recoil from the exuberance of holiday shoppers. During the next ten days trade was brisk; chattering women swarmed in, fingering trinkets, trying to bargain. When the last customer had gone, late on Christmas Eve, he sighed with relief. It was over for another year. But for Pete Richards the night was not quite over.

The door opened and a young woman hurried in. With an inexplicable start, he realized that she looked familiar, yet he could not remember when or where he had seen her before. Her hair was golden yellow and her large eyes were blue. Without speaking, she drew from her purse a package loosely unwrapped in its red paper, a bow of green ribbon with it. Presently, the string of blue beads lay gleaming again before him.

"Did this come from your shop?" she asked.

Pete raised his eyes to hers and answered softly, "Yes, it did."

"Are the stones real?"

"Yes. Not the finest quality-but real."

"Can you remember who it was you sold them to?"

"She was a small girl. Her name was Jean. She bought them for her older sister's Christmas present."

"How much are they worth?"

"The price," he told her solemnly, "is always a confidential matter between the seller and the customer."

"But Jean has never had more than a few pennies of spending money. How could she pay for them?"

Pete was folding the gay paper back into its creases, rewrapping the little package just as neatly as before.

"
She paid the biggest price anyone can ever pay," he said. "She gave all she had."

There was a silence then that filled the little curio shop. He saw the faraway steeple; a bell began ringing. The sound of the distant chiming, the little package lying on the counter, the question in the eyes of the girl, and the strange feeling of renewal struggling unreasonably in the heart of the man-all had come to be because of the love of a child.

"But why did you do it?"

He held out the gift in his hand.

"It's already Christmas morning," he said. "And it's my misfortune that I have no one to give anything to. Will you let me see you home and wish you a Merry Christmas at your door?"

And so, to the sound of many bells and in the midst of happy people, Pete Richards and a girl whose name he had yet to hear, walked out into the beginning of the great day that brings hope into the world for us all.
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This bears a soft Christmas message- Pete's bride-to-be has been killed, he is crippled and has become a recluse. To his shop comes a little girl to buy a present for her older sister and Pete sells her the necklace she chooses for eleven cents. When the older sister comes to rectify what seems to her to be a glaring mistake -- Pete recognizes his good deed has brought him another chance at happiness.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

SWAMI RAMA TIRTHA: HAPPINESS WITHIN

2013-46  Swami Rama Tirtha:  Happiness Within
[Lecture delivered on December 17, 1902, in the Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, U.S.A.]


[Click Here for the Audio]  Lecture on Happiness Within by Swami Rama Tirtha [33min]  
Note: Drag the audio pointer to the Start and then Play the Audio.
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My own Self in the form of ladies and gentlemen,

Rama does not blame European or Christian nations for their cohorts and armies to conquer other nations; that is also a stage in the spiritual development of a nation, which is at one time necessary. India had to pass through that stage; but India being a very old nation had weighed the riches of the world in the balance and found them wanting; and the same will be the experience of these nations that are in these days for accumulating worldly prosperity and riches. 

Why are all these nations trying to march cohorts to conquer other nations? What do they seek in all that? The only thing sought is happiness, joy, pleasure. It is true that some people say they do not seek happiness but knowledge. Others say that they seek not happiness; they seek action. That is all very good; but examine the hearts and minds of average men, or of ordinary mortals. You will find that the ultimate goal which they all set before them, the ultimate goal they all seek directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, is happiness, nothing but happiness.

Let us examine this evening where happiness resides, whether happiness lives in the palace or the cottage, whether happiness dwells in the charms of women or in things that gold and silver can buy. Where is the native home of happiness? Happiness has also a history of its own. These are great travelling days; steam and electricity have annihilated time and space, great travelling days these are, and everybody writes an account of his travels. Happiness also travels. Let us have something of the travels of happiness.

We start with the first glimpse of happiness that a child has in his infancy. All the happiness in this world is for the child located in the skirt of the mother, or in the bosom of the dear mother. All the happiness is located there. This is the first stage on the main road which happiness has to travel along, the mother’s skirt, the mother’s bosom, say. To the infant there is nothing in this world which brings happiness so much as the mother’s bosom. The child hides his face behind the skirts of the mother and there he says, "Look! Look! Find me out! Where am I?" and he laughs heartily. He laughs with all his heart and soul. Books are meaningless to the child; treasures are useless to him. Fruits and sweets have no taste for the child that has not yet been weaned. The whole world of pleasure is, for the child, concentrated there.

A year passes and the happiness of the child changes its centre; it moves on to some thing else. The residence of happiness now becomes the toys, the beautiful toys, pollies and dollies. In the second state, the child does not like the mother so much as he likes his own toys. Sometimes the child quarrels with the dear, dear mother, for the sake of toys, for the sake of dollies.

A few months or years more and no more is his happiness in the pollies and dollies; it has shifted its centre again, it is no longer located in these things. In the third stage, when the child grows up to be a boy, happiness is located for him in books, especially in story books. This is the case with an ordinary intelligent child; sometimes happiness is in other things, but we are taking an ordinary case. Now the story books engross all the love and affection of the boy. Now the toys, dollies and pollies lose their charms; story books take their place, and he finds them beautiful and attractive. But happiness travels on.

The schoolboy enters the college, and in college life, his happiness is found in something else, say, in scientific books or philosophical works or the like. He reads them for sometime, but his happiness has travelled from books to the longing of seeking honours in the university; his desire is to reach the residence of his happiness, the headquarters of his joy. The student comes out of the university with flying colours. He gets a lucrative post and the happiness of this young man is centred in money, in riches. Now the one dream of his life is to accumulate riches, to be rich. He wants to become a big man, to amass a large fortune. When he gets some wealth after working in the office for a few years, his happiness passes on into something else. What is that? Need that be told? It is woman.

Now the young man wants to have a wife, and for the sake of a wife, he is ready to spend away his riches. The mother’s skirt no longer gives him any happiness; the toys have no charm for him; the story-books are cast aside, and they are read only on those occasions when they are expected to give him some insight into the nature of that dream of his life—the woman. He is all a sacrifice for the sake of his wife. Hard-earned riches are cast to the winds for the sake of petty whims of what is now the headquarters of his happiness. 

The young man lives for sometime with the woman, and lo! the happiness is sighted a little yonder. The pleasure he could derive from the thought of his wife in the beginning, he no longer gets now. Taking the case of an ordinary youth, an ordinary youth of India, the happiness of the youth now passes from the woman on to the coming child. Now a child becomes the dream of his life. He wants to have a child, an angel, a seraph, a cherub in his house. Rama knows not much of the state of affairs in this country; but in India, after marrying, people pray to God and yearn for a child. They do all that lies in their powers to seek the aid of doctors and to invoke the blessings of holy men; all that they can do they do in order to be blessed with a child.

In the expectation of the child, concentrates all the happiness of the youth. The child is the sixth stage in his travel of happiness, in the march of joy. The youth is then blessed with a child. His joy knows no bounds; he is full of spirits, he springs up to his feet; he is elated; he is, as it were, raised above the earth many feet; he does not walk, he swims in the air, so to speak. His soul is full of happiness when he gets a child. In the sixth stage, in the moon-faced child, the happiness of the grown-up youth has reached in a way its acme. The intensest happiness is when he sees the face of his child. The happiness of an ordinary man has reached its zenith. After that, the youth begins to decline in spirits, the child becomes a grown-up boy and the charm is lost. The happiness of this man will go on travelling from object to object, sometimes located in this thing, at other times residing in that thing. But the intensity of happiness in the objects with an ordinary man will be not so strong, as it is in the love of his own child.

Let us now examine whether happiness really dwells in objects like these—the mother’s skirt, dollies and pollies, books, riches, woman, child, or any object and anything of this world at all. Before proceeding further, let us liken the travelling happiness to the travelling Sun-light. Sunshine also travels from place to place. It is at one time shining over India, and at another time on Europe. It travels on. When shades of the evening fall, see how rapidly the Sunshine shifts away from place to place. It shines on eastern America and it travels on to its west. See how the Sunlight goes skipping on tiptoe, slipping on from land to land, and is then seen spreading its lustre on Japan and so on. The Sunshine travels on from place to place. But all these different places where the Sunshine is seen are not the source, the home of Sunshine. The home of Sunshine must be somewhere else; the home of Sunshine is the Sun. Similarly let us examine happiness which goes on travelling from object to object like the Sunshine. Whence does it proceed? Where is its real home? Let us look at the Sun of happiness, as it were.

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The child has not happiness in itself. The child is beautiful, lovely and the source of happiness, because the child is blessed with the Sunshine which proceeds from the Self; that Sunshine was not inherent in the child itself. If that Sunshine of happiness had been inherent in the child, it would have lasted in the person of the child for ever. Notice that the Sunshine which brightened the face of the child proceeded from the source within. The source was within the Self.

Here we come a little nearer to the source of happiness, to the home of happiness. Not for the sake of the child is the child dear, the child is dear for the sake of the Self. Not for the sake of the wife is wife dear; not for the sake of the husband is husband dear; the wife is dear for the sake of the Self; the husband is dear for the sake of the Self. This is the truth. People say they love a thing for its own sake. But this cannot be; this cannot be. Nor for the sake of the wealth is wealth dear, wealth is dear for the sake of the Self. When the wife who was dear at one time, does not serve the interests of the husband, she is divorced; when the husband who was dear at one time, does not serve the interests of the wife, he is divorced. When wealth does not serve the purpose, it is given up. 

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Rama knows of the case of a little child, a small baby that had just learnt to crawl, to walk on all fours. The child saw its shadow and thought it to be something strange, something remarkable. The child wanted to catch hold of the head of the shadow; it began to crawl to the head of the shadow; and the shadow also crawled. The child moved and the shadow also moved. The child began to cry because he could not catch the head of the shadow. The child falls down, the shadow is with him; the child rises up and begins to hunt for the shadow. In the meantime, the mother taking mercy on the child made the child touch his own head, and lo! the head of this shadow was also caught. Catch hold of your own head and the shadow is also caught. Heaven and hell are within you. The source of power, joy and life is within you. The God of men and nature and nations is within you. 

O people of the world! listen, listen. This is a lesson worthy of being proclaimed from the house-tops, in all the crossings of big cities, in all the thoroughfares. This is a lesson worthy of being proclaimed at the top of the voice. If you want to realize an object, if you want to get anything, do not hunt after the shadow. Touch your own head. Go within you. Realize this and you will see that the stars are your handiwork, you will see that all the objects of love, all the bewitching and fascinating things are simply your own reflection or shadow. How unreasonable it is that—

For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we earn with a whole soul’s tasking.
There is a beautiful story about a woman in India. She lost her needle in her house. She was too poor to afford a light in her house, so she went out of the house and was searching it in the streets. A gentleman inquired from her what she was doing. She said that she was searching for her needle? The gentleman asked, "Where did you lose the needle?" She said, "In the house." He said, "How unreasonable it is to search in the street a thing which was lost in the house!" She said that she could not afford a light in the house and there was a lantern in the street. She could not hunt in the house, she had to do something, so she must hunt in the street. This is exactly the way with the people. You have the Heaven within you; and yet you are searching pleasures in the objects in the streets, searching that thing outside, outside in the objects of the senses. How strange!

Conclusion

Realize the Heaven within you, and all at once all the desires are fulfilled, all the misery and suffering is put an end to.

Lo! the trees of the wood are my next of kin.
And the rocks alive with what beats in me.
The clay is my flesh, and the fox my skin.
I am fierce with the gadfly and sweet with the bee.
The flower is naught but the bloom of my love.
And the waters run down in the tune I dream.
The Sun is my flower, up hung above.
I cannot die, though forever death
Weave back and fro in the warp of me.
I was never born, yet my births of breath
Are as many as waves on the sleepless sea.
Oh, Heaven is within you, seek Happiness not in the objects of sense; realize that Happiness is within yourself.

Om! Om!! Om!!!


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https://archive.org/details/SwamiRamaTirtha-AudioBook-InWoodsOfGodRealizationVol1
Click on Chapter 1:  Happiness Within [on the window on the right] to hear Chapter 1

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Sunday, 8 December 2013

SWAMI RAMA TIRTHA: THE SECRET OF SUCCESS

2013-45 Swami Rama Tirtha: The Secret of Success


Described as “one of the greatest souls, not only of India, but of the whole world” by Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) was a living embodiment of the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. 

Swami Rama Tirtha visited the United States from 1902-1904 and was one of the first great Swamis to bring the message of Vedanta to the U.S., Japan and Egypt, following in the footsteps of Vivekananda. 

In Woods ofGod Realization is a complete collection of his writings and lectures. In this work, Swami Rama Tirtha presents a practical and inspiring view of Vedanta and also discusses various topics such as God-realization, Vedanta,Christianity and Islam, war and peace, and India's destiny.



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My own Self in the form of students and teachers, 

Does it not appear strange for a stranger from India to speak on a subject which is evidently more intelligently wielded by Japan than India? It may be. But Rama stands here before you as a teacher for reasons more than one.

To carry out skilfully an idea into practice is one thing, but to grasp its fundamental meaning is quite another. Even though a nation may be prospering by acting up to certain general principles today, there is every danger of its downfall if those principles are not distinctly supported by sound theory. 

A labourer who successfully performs a chemical operation is not a chemist, because his work is not supplemented by theory. A fireman who successfully works a steam-engine is not an engineer, because his labour is simply mechanical.

We read about a doctor who used to heal wounds by keeping the diseased part under linen bandage for a full week and touching it daily with a sword.
The wounds were healed, being kept from exposure by the bandage. But he ascribed the wonderful healing property to the touch of the sword. So thought his patients too. 

This superstitious theory gave birth to failures upon failures in many cases that required some other treatment than mere bandaging. Hence it is absolutely necessary that right precept and right practice should go hand-in-hand. Rama regards Japan his country and her people as his countrymen. Rama can prove on reasonable grounds that in the beginning your ancestors migrated from India.

Your ancestors are Ramas ancestors. Rama comes to shake hands with you as your brother and not as a stranger. Rama has another ground which equally entitles him to this privilege. Rama is a Japanese from his very birth in regard to his temper, manners, habits and sympathies. With these forewords, let us come to the subject.

The secret of success is an open secret. Everybody has got something to say on the subject, and perhaps you often heard its general principles enunciated, but the vital importance of the subject justifies any amount of emphasis driving it home into the minds of the people.

PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESS

1-Work

At the outset let us put this question to Nature around us. All the "books in running brooks and sermons in stones" preach with unmistakable accent the gospel of continuous, incessant work. Light bestows upon us the power of sight. Light gives a mainspring to all beings. 

Let us see what light is thrown on the question by light itself. Rama will take for illustration the ordinary light—the lamp. The underlying secret of a lamps lustre and splendour is that it spares not its wick and oil. The wick and oil or the little self is being constantly consumed and glory is the natural consequence.

There it is, the lamp says, spare yourself and you will be immediately extinguished. If you seek ease and comfort for your bodies and waste your time in sensual pleasures and luxury, there is no hope for you. Inactivity, in other words, would bring death to you, and activity and activity alone is life. 

Look at the stagnant pond and the running stream. The crystal water of the rustling river is ever fresh, clear, drinkable and attractive. But on the other hand see how disgusting, odorous, filthy, dirty, stinking and stenching is the water of the stagnant pond. If you wish to succeed, follow the line of action, the constant motion of a river. There is no hope for a man who would waste his wick and oil by preserving it from consumption. 

Follow the policy of a river, ever progressing, ever assimilating, ever adapting itself to the environments and ever performing work, ever performing work is the first principle of successFrom good to better daily, self surpassed. If you work on this principle, you will see that "It is as easy to be great as to be small."

2-Self-Sacrifice

Everybody loves white objects. Let us examine the cause of their being the objects of universal love. Let us account for the success of the white. The black objects are everywhere hated, discarded and rejected, and let us take this fact as it is and account for it. 

Physics tells us the reality of the phenomenon of colour. Red is not red, green is not green; black is not black, and all is not what is seems. The red rose gets its lovely colour by reflecting or throwing back that colour. The other colours in the Suns rays are entirely absorbed by the rose and nobody attributes those colours to the rose. 

The green leaf absorbs all other colours in light and appears fresh and green by the very colour which it denies to itself and throws back. Black objects have the property of absorbing all colours and reflecting no light. They have no spirit of sacrifice in them and no charity. They do not renounce even a single ray. They do not throw back even an iota of what they receive. 

Nature tells you that black, black like coal, shall he appear who refuses to give unto his neighbours what he receives. The way to receive it to give. The secret of appearing white is the total renunciation—to throw back instantaneously on your neighbours all that you receive. Acquire this virtue of white objects and you must be successful.

What does Rama mean by white? Europeans? Not Europeans alone, the white mirror, the white pearl, the white dove, the white snow, all the emblems of purity and righteousness stand as your great teachers. Imbibe, therefore, the spirit of sacrifice and reflect unto others all that you receive. Have no recourse to selfish absorption and you must be white. 

A seed in order that it may bud forth into a tree must perish itself. Fruition is thus the final result of complete self-sacrifice. All teachers will bear Rama out in the statement that the more we impart the light of knowledge, the more we receive.
The Secret of Success [Poem] Swami Rama Tirtha: [Click Here]



https://archive.org/details/SwamiRamaTirtha-AudioBook-InWoodsOfGodRealizationVol1 Click on Chapter 8:
The Secret of Success - Tokyo [on the window on the right] to hear.
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Sunday, 1 December 2013

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: LIVING A LIFE OF SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS

2013-44  Personal Development: Living a Life of Success and Happiness



Observe the RHYTHM in Nature and Live in tune with it.

Take care of your personal HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Loving what you do, GLORIFY every moment.

Wanting what you get, be HAPPY.

Happiness comes from your own ACTIONS.

The Door of Happiness is always OPEN!

Live an enriched life, LOVING and GIVING.

Live a life full of Love & Laugh.

Two things that define SUCCESS.

5 Recipes for Success and Happiness


Napoleon Hill: 16 Laws of Success [pdf] Downld  

Teaching, for the First Time, the True Philosophy of Personal Success.


Stephen Covey: 7 HABITS [pdf] Downld

An entire library of success literature is found in 7 Habits.   -- Ken Blanchard 
7 Habits are keys to success for people in all walks of life.  -- Edward A. Brennan

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 Recall the 5 Keys to Success and Happiness [ AB CE PP LL 5G ]   
In the same way, you may evolve your own keys and PRACTICE !

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