So he is now going to enumerate these impediments in the path of the highest realization Fallacious perception Next impediment Fallacious perception Incorrect thinking. You know Again this has got no limits to it. Swamiji, you know, I saw a light in my dream. Have I become God-realized? So many cults get started simply on these grounds. Jesus came to me on my dream. He told me, you are the next messenger after me. There is no limit to the hallucination of the material mind. You know, so this fallacious perception, And what is the precaution against it? The precaution is always sincerity. The precaution against all these faults what is your insurance policy? Insurance policy is sincerity. If we are sincere, then all our faults are visible to us. And if we are not sincere, we will cover them up. So sincerity is a tremendous virtue. With that sincerity, we have to inspect our heart and carefully note where is the weakness? What is preventing me from moving ahead? And with that sincerity, make a note make a decision that I have to remove these defects and make a plan and put in concerted efforts. So this sincerity is extremely important. One who is insincere, will say I have got no faults. And who is sincere will see all the short-comings and weaknesses. So infront of sincerity, fallacious perception will not remain. It will get dismantled. That sincerity will make us realize, we are tiny. we are insignificant. we are little specs. Swami Vivekananda said, “What is your life?” “It is but a vapour that appeared for a short while and then vanished in the way.” We are these little specs. In our megalomaniac etc. we may start thinking, I am this, I am that. God says, what do you think? In one blow I can destroy everything. So, fallacious perception is again an impediment in this path. Lack of Perseverance. It is an arduous journey. The spiritual journey is not an easy one. It requires perseverance. These defects to remove then require effort To develop the virtues we want requires effort. So we need to persist with perseverance. You may have heard of the monkey, who decided to fast. So the monkey he said, you know I have heard that fasting is good for health and also it can be spiritually beneficial. So I will fast today. So he lay down on the branch. I will not eat anything today evening and night. But then his mind started telling him, Look, you are going to fast today. Now supposing tomorrow you are totally enervated and you do not have the energy to go and break the bananas, then what will happen? So the monkey thought, let me break the bunch of bananas and keep them in this branch and then I will fast. So he went, broke the bunch and placed it there. Now fasting, he lay again on the branch. But then his mind again played tricks and said, you know I have never fasted before. So I do not know how is the after effect of the fast. This branch is a little far. May be I will not be able to reach it. So why not do one thing? Keep the banana branch on my branch. So he placed it there and again lay down. Then he said, look you know I have heard that if you do not eat, then your body does not generate glucose. Then the muscles become weak. So I may not even be able to break the banana from the bundle. Let me break the banana and hold it in my hand. Now he was having the banana in his hand and was fasting. And again the mind said, look this is not good enough because it still needs to be peeled. So why not peel it and place it in my mouth? Then I fast. Now he had the banana in his mouth and the senses contacted the object. Where is the question of that Then he immediately started tasting ahh this is wonderful! The lack of perseverance. You need to persevere. This achievement of the highest realization is the biggest project in life. If you have launched a start-up, you have done great things. If you have made a house it was a big project. If you have been married for many years and raised children, that’s a big feat. But this journey of God realization is a fast bigger project. So the final goal will be attained by those who persevere. …sanskrit verse… Keep on moving. The one who carries on will get the ‘madhu’ (sweet nectar). Unsteadiness in concentration Unsteadiness, the fickleness of the mind. When the mind is resolute, the intellect is resolute, it has one decision. and then that person goes forward like an arrow. And when the intellect is many branched, that person is never able to develop a strong resolution, which is required on this path. That person becomes fickle minded. Yes, I will do devotion today. But tomorrow I do not feel like. Day after tomorrow, my mood is not there. Then day after that you know I sneezed in the morning. It is not auspicious and the steady sadhak will carry on. He says, no matter what the obstruction. Shri Aurovinda said. He said, you need to be more persistent than the difficulty. There is no other way. There will be difficulties that will come. That is the way the life is. That is the way God has intended it to be. So difficulties will come. You have to be more persistent. Now look, when you were raising your children, was it easy? So difficult! But did you say no I can not do it? You never said that. Why? Because you are attached. You felt it is necessary and you did everything that was required. Then why do we become discouraged in the spiritual realm? Do little. Why so? Because we have not yet developed that resoluteness of the intellect that this is necessary. Once we become convinced, if we could do it on the material side, then why can not we do it on the spiritual side? So many people. You know as a preacher, that’s my job. People say, Swamiji I want to do it, but.. I have to cut that but. but it is so difficult! Look, you are saying it is difficult? Was it easy to raise your children? because I have lived in everybody’s houses, I see everybody struggle. My God! Thank God! But you people have done such tremendous feats. Then why do you call the spiritual side difficult? It’s so easy. It’s so blissful. It’s so joyous. Just take a few steps. The first few steps will be difficult. As you carry on walking, it will be easier and easier and easier. And later on, you will say, it so easy there is nothing like it. But that’s the way it is. Even in the world, anything you try first is difficult. When child starts first writing, the teacher holds the child’s hand and says all right. This is A. Now write. No, no, no, no, not like this. This is A. And after one month when the child has practiced, the child tells the teacher, “Guruji, now there is no need. You teach the others. I will do it by myself.” So anything is difficult initially. But steadiness means we are more persistent than the difficulty. These are all qualities, these all are attributes of one’s character To go on this path requires character. It requires inner strength, it requires bravery, it requires perseverance, it requires the ability to rise beyond difficulties. So all these need to be inculcated within ourselves. So the reverse of this is all impediments. So when we are engaged in this process of realization and that purity of the mind starts developing, these qualities, the virtues naturally develop. The faults, they naturally fall away as we keep on in this path. So one of the attributes of the devotee is optimism. Optimism. I will reach the goal Why? Because I am so great? No! Because I have faith in the path. I have faith in my Guru. I have faith in God, who is the saviour of the destitutes. So because of them, I am sure, I will reach the goal. With that optimism, we apply ourselves to it. Then we will say, all right. If I did not reach in a year, I may reach in the end of life or may be in the next life. Who cares, when the journey is so beautiful! Now who cares about the goal? So all those attitudes, they will naturally develop. We all want to develop good qualities. And we keep on struggling with the mind. But this engagement in spirituality brings about those good qualities from inside by the purification of the mind. And when the mind is purified, these are the qualities of the Soul The Bhagavatam says …sanskrit verse… One who engages in devotion automatically will develop all the good qualities of the devatas, the celestial gods. Because the Soul is naturally virtuous. These qualities of the Soul will automatically manifest. But one who ignores devotion to God, and without God endeavours to develop positive thinking and qualities of the mind, that person, the Bhagavatam says, is running on the chariot of the mind. To what extent, will he/she be successful?