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How To Overcome Obstacles In Spiritual Life? - Swami Vireswarananda Maharaj

Swami Vireswarananda Maharaj (1892 to 1985), 10th President of the Ramakrishna Order, answers the question we all have - how to overcome obstacles in spiritual life?

It is nothing; it is your own mind; your mind is playing truant with you. Try to overcome it with determination and earnestness without resorting to negative ways. Work hard and struggle utmost; you shall be able to bring your mind under control. It is as if going against the wind or swimming upstream; it is as if walking on the sharp edge of a razor. You should go slowly with full alertness.

You see, the whole sadhana is nothing but getting rid of vasanas. So, in every action, in everything, you have to be conscious and get rid of the vasanas by practice, vairagya (dispassion) and the spirit of renunciation. There is no other way.

As regards japa, the more you do, the better. But then, there is no use repeating the mantra mechanically a large number of times. Instead, if you repeat it with devotion and fervor a limited number of times, it is better. Devotion and fervour are important, and not the number. However, there is no limit to japa. The more you do, the quicker will be you spiritual progress. You should not, however, go beyond your capacity lest it affects your health.