Swami ji said …
There once lived a couple who’d seen many a twilight years together. They lived a simple life. The husband fell sick In his old age which left him tired and drained. Despite his deteriorating condition, he unfailingly, continued to offer water to the Sun God every day. One particular morning, his wife, who was naturally concerned about his health, noticed that the sky was overcast with thick grey clouds. She thought to herself that her husband should not strain himself , at least on that day , by going out of the house to offer water to the Sun God as the Sun would not be visible in such stormy conditions. When she expressed her thoughts about the weather to her husband , he replied, that since he had been offering water to ‘सूर्य देव’ devoutly for years, he would neither let his illness nor the grey sky come in his way of performing his daily ritual. He said -“ मै सूर्य को जल रोज चढ़ाता हूं। यह मेरा नियम है, और मै इस नियम को कभी नही टूटने दूंगा।”
Despite his weak physical state, determined, he ventured out of the house to perform his morning ritual, and lo behold – to his wife’s amazement , the thick clouds parted to give way to the Sun, which shone in all its glory. She couldn’t believe what she had witnessed for this was nothing short of a miracle to her. The husband , however , performed his daily ritual with the same devotion, without any outward signs of jubilation, as though he had known all along that the inclement weather would not have caused an impediment in the completion of his ‘routinely ritual’ and his faith in God too wouldn’t have allowed it to happen any other way.
This story tells us of the power of ritual and routine ; of the positive outcome of being disciplined enough, to stay the course , and , perform good and beneficial acts regularly – as a routine. That moment would be scripted as a moment most sacred in that couple’s life as it appeared that God and His creation – Mother Nature themselves had blessed the old man’s routine, ritual and faith – all in one moment.
When we were young we were unable to understand the emphasis that our elders laid on ‘ नियम ‘ – the daily routine that was followed by them with fierce diligence. In fact , we would often wonder as to why were they so particular , so finicky about the time slots that they had fixed to sleep , to wake up in the morning ; a time set for their meals , for a walk. They valued the routine that governed their lives. Every activity of theirs was synchronised with precision – with the moving needles of the clock – during which they not only took care of themselves but carried out all their responsibilities, too, ably. And , if we were to introspect , they certainly fared well, lived happier and healthier lives as compared to us. Infact , we need to take a leaf out of the healthy – routine lifestyle lived by them and get a clear direction to walk towards it – away from the messed up, indisciplined , devoid of routine life that many of us lead today.
Be it eating our meals on time, or exercising daily at a specific time or praying to God – timely and routine actions are a must, as not only do we become more disciplined, but , we are also able to do more in the twenty four hours that we are gifted with daily. Didn’t we follow a routine when we were kids ? Infact, ‘routine’ had become a part and parcel of our life right from our infancy , but , gradually as we grew up, we started resisting the ‘routine’ part that we were supposed to follow in our life. Some of us might have feared the thought of following a routine, as we could have misinterpreted it , and , felt that we would be more like prisoners chained to time – if we did so. But the case, is not so. We are able to do much more in a day if we don’t do what we just ‘desire’ to do in a haphazard manner ; on the spur of the moment which might not be productive for us – than , if , we do what is ‘required’ to be done by us – for our betterment , make it a part of our routine , and , as a result not lose precious time that is flying by.
Following a routine is essential for the spiritual practitioner as it builds fortitude and discipline in him. It builds in him the ability to be able to commit to a plan. If he intends to put in a particular number of hours in a day to meditate, come what may , he stays steadfast to his intent then and does so effectively. Despite the ever changing times and fortunes, a ‘sadhak’ – who follows a routine, is not distracted from that what is most important to him, but , derives the strength and faith to stay committed to his cause , as he is aware that a religious routine is required in order to realise the ‘self ‘.