Analysis of Swamiji's "Lotus Bloom"
This passage starts Swamiji's "Lotus Blooms", serves as a high level guide of Sadhana. In this general "bloom" lie the mountain peaks that we must climb in order to experience spiritual fulfilment. Each "peak" has goals that are attached through conquering. But how do we conquer? How do we achieve?
We have a combination of traits that must be developed, nurtured and taken into practice, in order to have a real chance of scaling these mountains.
"Strength, stamina and suppleness in all limbs of the body and mind" is our catalyst to allow us to obtain "Security, sureness and success". Now these terms may sound very general but let us peel the layers off and see the core message Swamiji is conveying.
Strength is defined as the quality or state of being strong in terms of physical power and energy. But why is strength valued? Strength is valued because it indicates the capacity of an object to withstand great force or pressure. With that said, the first key characteristic that we must hone is our strength. That is our rudimentary action, mentally or physically, that will allow us to have a chance at scaling those snow covered peaks.
Stamina is defined as the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. This is a key value of us as humans that we must work hard at! There are times in life where one mis-step can cause you to experience profound effects. There are other times in life where we can meander aimlessly, carelessly or detractively. By having an undeliberate mental and physical understanding of our nature, we can increase the failure rate of being able to sustain our maximum output as humans. Developing stamina allows us to glide effortlessly through most turbulent of environments and outpace all others in moments of high entropy. By combining strength with stamina, our minds can have the energy to stay focused and the discipline to see it through. As the old cliché states, "Keep your eye on the ball", maintaining a clear goal in our mind allows us to deploy all necessary resources- mental and physical- to be used in the most valid situations. By having this habituated effort, we will develop a quick recognition nature that allows us to determine the best course of action in a situation we are effectively "locked in".
The combination of strength and stamina allows us to scale our two immediate peaks. We have gone through harsh conditions, over long durations. In order to conquer the last peak though, we must employ our acquired skills in an adaptable manner. Suppleness is defined as being readily adaptable or responsive to new situations; In other words, bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed. In any situation in life, we must approach it with the nimbleness of our mind to navigate through the infinitely unique experiences we face every second of every day God has blessed us to experience on this earth. Suppleness is the degree of flexibility we have as humans. We must be able to not "own" a situation but instead "maximize" a situation. This comes through a steady and hardened strength and stamina of character. By developing a higher degree of suppleness, we become sure of ourselves being able to handle any situation. However, the only way to truly have a valuable measure of suppleness is to first have the strength and stamina that eventually breeds it. Climbing the greatest peak will require sacrifices, being adjustable, our whits, emotions and energy. All bond together in a cohesive knot that isn't able to be untied. By encapsulating your character in the aggregation of strength, stamina and suppleness of the limbs (branches) of the mind and body, we make ourselves able, willing and available to scale any peak.
I have talked a lot about scaling peaks in a metaphorical sense. Why do we need to scale peaks? Is it ego? Is it for fortune? No!!! It is for life! It is for fulfilled sadhana. It is for security - the state of being free from danger or threat, from fear, anxiety or ego. It is for sureness, a condition and state of mind where we are free of doubt. It is for success- the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
THESE ARE MANDATORY PEAKS/GOALS TO SCALE! Spiritual fulfillment only comes through practice, development and employment, which is impossible without strength, stamina and suppleness.
Effort is important, but developing the three aforementioned traits will undoubtedly result in security, sureness and success.