--> Skip to main content

For Success In Spiritual Life - A Strong Will To Transform Oneself

A strong will to transform oneself is an important prerequisite for success in spiritual life.

Sri Ramakrishna teaches that the mantra purifies our mind, but we have to struggle to grow in purity and not let our mind slide back to its old ways. Even if we have done something wicked we should not dwell on the past, but dwell in the present, be steadfast in our spiritual practice and make an agreement with God: "If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, 'O Lord, I have undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won't repeat them.' And have faith in His name."

Weak-willed people often go back to their old undesirable ways. Sri Ramakrishna teaches that a seeker ought to exercise his will and steadfastly practice spiritual disciplines without giving in to weakening thoughts: "Suppose a man becomes pure by chanting the holy name of God, but immediately afterwards commits many sins. He has no strength of mind. He doesn't take a vow not to repeat his sins. A bath in the Ganges undoubtedly absolves one of all sins; but what does that avail? They say that the sins perch on the trees along the bank of the Ganges. No sooner does the man come back from the holy waters than the old sins jump on his shoulders from the trees. The same old sins take possession of him again. He is hardly out of the water before they fall upon him. Therefore I say, chant the name of God, and with it pray to Him that you may have love for Him. Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day."