You must be absolutely free. If you want to have the true yogic attitude, you must be able to accept everything that comes from the Divine and let it go easily and without regret. The attitude of the ascetic who says, “I want nothing” and the attitude of the man of the world who says, “I want this thing” are the same. The one may be as much attached to his renunciation as the other to his possession….
You can easily know when a thing comes from the Divine. You feel free, you are at ease, you are in peace. But when something presents itself to you and you jump at it and cry out, “Oh, at last I have it”, then you can know for certain that it does not come from the Divine. Equanimity is the essential condition of union and communion with the Divine.
Does not the Divine sometimes give you what you desire?
Certainly. There was a young man who wanted to do Yoga. But he had a mean and cruel father who troubled him very much and tried to prevent him from doing it. He wished ardently to be free from the father’s interference. Soon the father fell ill and very seriously; he was about to die. Whereupon the other side of the boy’s nature rose up and he loudly bewailed the misfortune and cried. “Oh, my poor father is so ill! It is such a sad thing. Alas, what shall I do?” The father got well. The young man rejoiced and turned once more to Yoga. And the father also began again to oppose and torment him even more violently. The son tore his hair in despair and cried, “Now my father stands in my way more than ever.”
The whole thing is to know exactly what one wants.
14 April 1929