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It is not right to reject the Lord, who is eternally related to you, and be misled by this world with which one is related for just two days! As already written, "the relatives come up to the outer gate or may be, up to the burial ground; but your Real Relative is the Lord, beware!" He will never give you up. Considering the number of births you have come through, you have had countless mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, friends and enemies; but are they subsisting today? Do these relatives remember the relationship? You are no one to them; they are nobodies to you. But you and they both have the Lord in common as the unchanging Relative; He watches over you from birth to birth. What greater tragedy can there be than forgetting such a Lord! With the senses weakened and powerless and refusing to function; with the parents, the wife and children, the relations, all crowding on one side, and the Messengers of Death compelling you to pack up for the journey without delay on the other... who knows when this call comes and how? Before that moment comes, be ready with the thought of God.

Man has three stages of spiritual development: first the hazy uncertain stge; then, the active stage of striving; and last, the highest stage. These are the stages of Thamas, Rajas and Sathwa. When growing out of the first stage into the second, if man does not improve step by step then it must be recognised as unnatural.

The period from childhood to adolescence need not be taken seriously into account. One need not worry much about it. With the dawn of adolescence, man enters upon the first hazy uncertain stage and engages in many fruitless activities. Later, he attains ripeness and strength. This is the stage between the uncertain and the certain. It is when he has reached this intermediate stage that he must yearn for the fulfilment, possible in the final stage.

In the rules for Thapas also this law is observed. At first, Puja is associated with Sakthi; the subsequent stage of worship is connected with Siva. That is to say, the period when man is under the care of the Mother is over; the period when paternal care, the protection of the Renovator and Guardian of the Universe, Siva , is reached. When the stage of Paternal care is come one should not soil the body and mind, as during the period of Maternal care.

In the intermediate stage (that is to say at that particular age), man will have certain natural propensities and tendencies that are not desirable and which have to be eschewed. These are: conceit, mischievousness, obstinacy, inquisitiveness, lust, greed, shame, fear, vengefulness, disgust etc. So long as one has these, one cannot surrender oneself to Siva. These have to be uprooted completely; or at least, there should be a systematic endeavour to get rid of them. Such aspirants will have to be swimming against the current or practising what is called "Vyathireka pravaaha gath!". Proceeding against the current is the means to reach the Source; floating with the current means getting farther and farther from it and losing sight of the Goal. Next