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A good character is essential for the realisation of the Atma; that is to say, all evil propensities have to be uprooted. Just as the army becomes dispirited and surrenders when the Commander falls, the army of evil qualities will surrender its arms as soon as Egoism or Ahamkara is destroyed. These are all natives of the realm of Anger. So if that region is devastated, the soldiers can never again raise their heads. What can the Commander Ahamkara achieve without a single soldier to march under his orders? So all efforts must be directed to destroy the realm of anger so that no Commander can venture to let loose the hounds of war. Let each Sadhaka preserve the region of his mind in peace, by putting a stop to the rise of these soldiers and this Commander. Let each Sadhaka bask under the smile of the Ruler, the Atma, always.
The destruction of the modifications and agitations of the Mind is the condition precedent to getting audience with that Ruler. His Durbar Hall has eight doors through which one has to pass for the audience: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Prathyahara, Dharana, and Samadhi.
When the mind has been brought under control by these eight disciplines, the Will can easily be developed thereafter. The will is the Nature of the Lord; it is also referred to as the Lord's Ordinance. The Lord, by mere willing, can do anything immediately and easily. But man cannot realise his will as soon as he entertains it. The Power of the Will is the deciding fator. In Man the Will is not so overpoweringly strong; when he achieves that Power, he gets something equal to the Power of the Lord. That is the meaning of Laya, Merger. Such Merger is made possible through Dhyana.
Of the eight doors mentioned above, Dhyana is the seventh and Samadhi is the eighth. Dhyana is the royal road to Samadhi.
Some people use 'will' and 'wish' as if there was no difference between the two. This is very wrong. The wish is related to the Vasanas, to traditions embedded in the Manas or Mind. The will is related to the fundamental characteristics of Atma. Wish means the craving to get something; will is the determination to acquire it. Both are based on the moral culture of the individual. Once the Atma is cultivated, the will and the wish can be sublimated accordingly. If the wish and the will are cultivated without the Atmic point of view, the faults and failings of the Mind will get mixed up with what is willed and wished for.
The lower step can be seen from a higher step, not the higher step from
the lower. So, one should strive to go step by step, higher and higher;
that is to say, from the culture of the Atma to the culture of the Will;
and thence the culture of the Moral Conduct. Then the enjoyment of the
Bliss of the Atma becomes quite easy and natural.