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Maintaining inner poise is indispensable in spiritual life

In spiritual life, one important thing to be noted is not to get upset by external factors. We are prone to get affected by the words and behavior of people, and by different events, which activate in us different feelings like attachment, aversion, and fear that disturb our spiritual practices.

Maintaining inner poise is indispensable in spiritual life.

It is our emotional reactions to external things that upset us. It is not external noise itself but the negative feelings about it that disturb our sleep.

Same is the case in various other situations also; it is our inner reaction that troubles us and impedes our spiritual practice. The thought ‘no one can make me miserable without my consent’, substantiates this idea.

If something grieves us, we as Vedantins, have to look within ourselves to find the cause for it. If there is a subjective change, the object is bound to change.

When a snake bites us we do not run after the snake to kill it, rather our immediate concern is to prevent the effect of the poison, perhaps forgetting the snake altogether. Similarly, if somebody hurts us and if we go on blaming that person for that, it only aggravates the pain, instead of curing it.

What we have to do is to increase our mental strength to withstand the external blows.

Internal transformation involves three things: attitudinal change, control of negative reactions, and turning our attention to a higher ideal.

Source - The Psychological Aspects of Spiritual Life by Swami Nityasthananda published in the Feb 2016 edition of Prabuddha Bharata