On this last and final day of the Happiness Challenge, let us discuss the importance of patient perseverance. In this journey of the last twenty days, while discussing the art of happiness, there might have been many occasions when we felt that there is a huge gap between where we are and how we wish to be. But let us not get discouraged by this.
Take inspiration from bulls. In the days of yore, when farming was done by bulls, on the first day—the young calves would rebel by jumping high into the air when the farmer yoked them by placing the plow on their neck. The bulls would wonder what happened to their life of fun and frolic. But the farmer would not give up. He would tie a huge log between the two calves hanging it on a rope, and then allow them to run. At first, they would run madly, but slow down after a few kilometers and then walk gently.
When the farmer made them practice in this manner for ten days in a row, those calves would understand that we need to walk slowly. Henceforth, they would be engaged in farming, where they would work with such expertise matching line to line. That is how farming was done for many millennia in the world. In the same manner, our mind may be difficult in the beginning, but that does not mean we should give up.
Persistently, let us keep applying the tools for self-improvement and the results will come. But let us remember, it takes time, and in the process, there will be times when we will fall and bring unwanted thoughts and repulsive attitudes. But every time we fall, it should only be to learn the art of better walking. As the Japanese say, “Fall nineteen times, but get up twenty times.” So, let us with dedication and patience, apply all the tools that we have learnt, and this will then attract the grace of God.
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
Let me end with a beautiful story. One bird made a nest by the seaside and laid eggs in it. However, the rising tide pulled the nest with the eggs into the ocean. The bird became annoyed at the ocean and began lifting beaks full of water and throwing them into the sand. The other birds asked it, “What are you doing brother?” The bird said, “The ocean has stolen my eggs, I am emptying it.” The other bird said, “We will help you.” And soon hundreds of birds were filling beaks full of water and throwing them on to the sand.
This news reached Garudji, the bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, that his brethren were having a fight with the ocean. Garudji reached there and on finding out what the matter was, he threatened the ocean, “Return the eggs, or I will take care of you.” The ocean became scared and floated the nest back onto the beach. That poor bird by itself could never have dried the ocean. But its efforts attracted divine intervention.
In the same way, when we dedicatedly apply ourselves to becoming better and to doing better, we will then receive the divine grace of God, which will enhance our efforts and provide us with success. And then, we will experience the infinite bliss that our soul has been searching for since endless lifetimes. It is then that we will feel the best that we possibly can. This is the art of happiness. So, on the 21st day of the Happiness Challenge, let us make a firm resolve that we will definitely succeed in this journey by imbibing within ourselves the quality of patient perseverance.