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Chapter IX

The benefit we can derive from anything is proportionate to the faith we place in it. From adoration of gods, pilgrimages to holy places, uttering of mantras or resorting to doctors, we derive benefit only according to the measure of our faith. When some one gives a discourse, the more faith we have in him as a scholar and as an exponent, the more clearly and directly we can draw the subject into our heats and understand the discourse deeper and deeper. For the growth of faith and for the fostering of understanding, an essential requirement is purity of the heart, of the very base of thought (the Kshetra), of the levels of consciousness (Chittha). Because, when self-inquiry or investigation into the self-existent Atma is suddenly undertaken while in the midst of diverse worldly and material entanglements, the effort would be rendered fruitless, as it would not stem from an eager will.

The consciousness (Chittha) must first be withdrawn from the objective world (Prapancha) and turned towards the awareness of the Atma. Seeds can sprout fast only when planted in a well ploughed land. So too, the seed of Atmic wisdom, of Vidya, can sprout in the Heart-field (Hrdaya Kshetra) only when it has undergone the necessary refining process (Samskara).

Do not rest content with mere listening to advice. What you have listened to must later be reflected upon, and what has thus been imprinted on the mind has later to be experienced and expressed in thought, word and deed. Only thus can the Truth be a treasure in the heart; only then can it flow through the veins and manifest in full splendour through you. Next