|IX - Page 84||Home | Index | Previous | Next|
Good Character, Good Behavior and Knowledge of the Self
Worldly name and fame, property and family are all ephemeral. They may disappear even while you are still alive. Calamity and misfortune may bring about the loss of name and fame, property and family. What is more, none of these will have any connection with you after your death. But good character, good behavior and all the noble qualities which they give rise to, will help you not only during your lifetime but also when this life is over. They will remain your steadfast companions forever. They will be by your side to help you gain the knowledge of your true self, and thereby reach the Lord and merge with him.
Your true fame does not depend on your physical beauty or your charm. It does not depend on your riches. It does not depend on your physical strength. It depends only on your good character. In the scriptures, you will find the story of Vishvamitra who, at that time, was a powerful and ruthless king obsessed with ego and pride in his physical prowess. One time, he decided to take revenge on the sage Vashishta. Of course, Vashishta based his strength only on divinity. He was a very great soul who was ever established in God-consciousness. He wore an invisible protective shield, the protection that comes from being immersed in the divine principle.
When attacked by the deadly arrows and missiles of Vishvamitra, the sage remained completely unruffled. The arrows that Vishvamitra launched towards Vashishta became utterly powerless, as if they were aimed at a mountain of stone. All the missiles Vishvamitra used broke into pieces the moment they touched Vashishta's body and fell harmlessly to the ground.
In fact, physical strength is really a kind of weakness. Only power which is based on divinity and has the strength of righteousness is true strength. When Vishvamitra realized this, he undertook severe penance so as to reach the same lofty spiritual state that Vashishta was always in. After engaging in prolonged austerities, Vishvamitra was finally able to acquire the knowledge of the divine and have Vashishta himself proclaim him a God-conscious sage.