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Conquer your Inner Enemies

Prahlada, the great devotee of the Lord, declared that only when you conquer the inner enemies can you be considered truly great. He told his father, the demon king, "You are only a king now, but if you can overcome the inner enemies that have invaded you, then you can become a great emperor." These inner enemies, including such evils as hatred, greed, pride and jealousy, make up the delusion that besets human beings. You should never allow these inner enemies to enter your heart. If you keep them out, you will be free of all difficulties and problems. To achieve that, you must treat joy and sorrow, profit and loss, heat and cold as all the same. When you develop such equanimity, these inner enemies will not touch you.

But it will be difficult to treat joy and sorrow, misery and happiness as equal unless you are firmly established in the belief that God is dwelling in every heart. When you recognize that, then all the pairs of opposites will have been conquered and they can no longer disturb your equanimity. Then you will be immersed in divine grace, and no matter how unfavorable may have been your fate, the hand of destiny can no longer touch you.

When you have the firm belief that the same divinity exists in every heart, then every obstacle is overcome. When you have full faith in the indwelling divinity, then anything and everything becomes yours. That faith is the key. It is the very root of spiritual life. Catch hold of that. That is your goal. If you need to fell a tree, it's not necessary to first cut away all the branches and leaves. Cut the trunk and the whole tree comes down. Once you gain hold of the divinity, everything comes under your control. To do this, you must develop the practice of expressing your compassion for all beings, until this concern for the welfare of others suffuses every action of your life. And also, you must develop both inner and outer purity, keeping both body and mind sparkling clean. Only then will you be able to recognize the divinity that is everpresent everywhere.

You need to realize that when in your devotion you pray to God and offer him your obeisance, it is the same God who is dwelling in every heart. So you must be very careful not to criticize others. You must develop the strong conviction that any criticism you direct towards another being will go straight to God, residing in that heart.