Some of us, very often, rather daily, read the scripture to make us aware of God’s prescription for our lives as a routine. Many of us are content with just reading it, and believe that just reading would be much beneficial to us, and that “we” are far better than others who do not even glance at the Word. God, however, sees us differently. I would like to quote two scriptures that are close to my heart in this regard:
The Bible says in James (1:22) “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur makes us understand this with an interesting story: “A man received a letter from home informing him that certain presents were to be sent to his relatives. The names of the articles were given in the letter. As he was about to go shopping for them, he found that the letter was missing. He began anxiously to search for it, several others joining in the search. For a long time, they continued to search. When at last the letter was discovered, his joy knew no bounds. With great eagerness, he opened the letter and read it. It said that he was to buy five seers of sweets, a piece of cloth, and a few other things. Then he did not need the letter anymore, for it had served its purpose. Putting it aside, he went out to buy the things. How long is such a letter necessary? As long as its contents are not known. When the contents are known one proceeds to carry out the directions.
“In the scriptures, you will find the way to realize God. But after getting all the information about the path, you must begin to work. Only then can you attain your goal.
“What will it avail a man to have a mere scholarship? A pundit may have studied many scriptures, he may recite many sacred texts, but if he is still attached to the world and if inwardly he loves ‘woman and gold’, then he has not assimilated the contents of the scriptures. For such a man the study of scriptures is futile.
“The almanac forecasts the rainfall tor the year. You may squeeze the book, but you won’t get a drop of water — not even a single drop.”
Therefore, my friends, the key to a happy life is to practice the scripture in our life. Without it, we remain where we are and do not progress to the next level. Moving forward means that we are learning our lessons from the scripture and then practicing them in our daily lives.
God bless you with the practice of the Word!- Vinay Mehta