About the Book
Begin the Day with God is a truly inspiring collection of thoughts which will help us to start out day with faith, confidence and spiritual energy. These thoughts for daily meditation and reflection are offered to us by Dada J.P. Vaswani whose very name has become a byword for universal love, peace, brotherhood and the unity of all faiths.
Dada J.P. Vaswani’s prescription for peaceful and joyous life is very simple—“Begin the Day with God!” By Awakening to this theme, we will find it easier and easier to consecrate our every thought, word and deed to God—to make our whole life an offering unto God, as recommended to us in the Bhagvad Gita.
Being the day with God can indeed be the first step towards a truly happy, meaningful and rewarding life!
Dada J.P. Vaswani needs no introduction to readers of inspirational literature. He is a powerful orator who has addressed distinguished gatherings from international fora in the East and West. He has written over seventy five books, several of them running into multiple editions. Many of his books have been translated into Indian as well as other foreign languages.
Dada J.P. Vaswani’s philosophy is as direct as it is profound—walks with God today and trusts Him for the morrow. It is a practical philosophy that teaches us the art of living in the stress filled world of today. Dada has his own way with words—he can communicate the most profound truths in the simplest language. Little wonder then, that his words always touch the heart of the matter!
Our hearts are burdened. We live in fear of the future, of an unpredicted mishap, of bankruptcy, of ill-health and greatest of all-loneliness. O, for someone, who will direct us to a realm of true, abiding joy! Such is the cry of our tormented hearts.
A day well begun is a day half done. The first thing we do in the morning usually shapes the mood of the entire day. So let us begin with God.
As soon as we awake up from sleep, let us think of God and hear what He has to say to us. Let us read a small line from a scripture or a book of Inspiring elevating thoughts, like The Life Beautiful by Sadhu T.L. Vaswani, or this one by Dada J.P. Vaswani. Let each thought be a nucleus which may yield an unending line of thoughts. Let each thought grow on us.
Thus will the entire day be spent in the memory and presence of God?
. This will protect us and will act as a buffer to the onslaught of the strokes the world throws at us, throughout the day.
In the following pages have been brought together extracts from the writings and utterances of Dada J.P. Vaswani. He is one of God’s chosen ones. His life—of utter humility, of compassion and love that embrace the universe, of friendliness and wit, coupled with the simplicity and innocence of a child—is a shining beacon to all.
With just a flesh of a bright infectious smile and a look from his luminous, penetrating eyes, he wins the hearts of all who meet him.
366 thoughts that make up this little book are nuggets of wisdom. They are not the musings of a philosopher, nor the extravagance of an orator, but they are thoughts of a man of God, whose spirits soar the heavens, yet he always has his feet on the earth. His approach to life is practical and rational: so are his thoughts. They have a direct bearing to the problems and needs of daily life. These thoughts are brief, but power-packed.
Read one thought, ruminate on it, repeat it to yourself, again and again, and then let it sink into you. You will experience an ushering in of soothing calmness and an indescribable joy. Just try it!
In the following pages have been brought together some of the thoughts—and reflections on spiritual life and practice—that have come to me from time to time.
One of the “thoughts” expressed in different ways is that man is a traveler, a pilgrim, moving on to his long-lost Home. It is the Home of Light. Many of us, alas! Live in a world of darkness and are unable to discriminate between the Real and the unreal. We take the shadow for the substance, and so wander in pursuit of shadow-shapes of wealth and pleasure, of power and earthly greatness. Our entire life is a wandering. When awakening comes, we realize that all is vexation and vanity. And out of the heart cometh a cry such as is given in the “thought” for June 17:
It is the cry of awakening. The awakened soul realizes that it must move on—out of darkness into light. So the ancient Rishi prayed: “Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya!” “Out of darkness lead me into Light!” it is the prayer of every pilgrim-heart. Alas! So many of us have forgotten that we are pilgrims and have become wanderers. Hence the restlessness of the modern man. And restlessness will not cease until the wanderer returns Home.
The Home is the Atman of the Gita and the “Kingdom of Heaven” of Jesus. To reach it, we do not have to run away from the world. We have to be in the world but not of the world. We must live in the world and yet not be worldly. The secret lies in detachment.
It was Jesus who said: “The world is a bridge: walk over it, but do not build thereon!” To walk over the bridge and not build thereon is to live in the world and yet be from the world detached. The great German Brahmagnani, Meister Eckhart, said: “He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment”. True detachment grows out the realization that “what is renounced is of little value in comparison with what is received.” Gold and rubies and diamonds, to such a person, are no better than ashes and dust. The grace of God is all that matters. There is a beautiful story told us concerning a husband and wife who renounced the world and set out on a pilgrimage to sacred shrines. On the way, the husband, being a little ahead of the wife, saw a dazzling diamond on the road. Thinking that if the wife saw it, she might be tempted to pick it up and thereby forget her vow of renunciation, the husband scratched the ground and tried to hide the precious stone. The wife saw him doing so, and reading his thoughts, asked him: “Why have you left the world, if you still feel the difference between the diamond and the dust?”
Renunciation is essential. And true renunciation is that of the “ego”. If a person has renounced the world—its possessions and pleasures and power—and not renounced the “ego”. He has renounced nothing. Renunciation must be complete. It was the great Sufi mystic, Bayazid al-Bistami, who said: “The people most separated from God are the ascetics by their asceticism, the devotees by their devotion, and the knowers by their knowledge”.
True renunciation grows through love. When you learn to love God, in the world of Jesus “with all your mind heart and soul”, your fetters fall and you become free. This love, non-egoistic love, alone will loose thee from thyself. As was read in the “thought” for September 8:
If you would love, learn to renounce!
There is but one renunciation. It is the
Renunciation of self-will.
Not my will, but they will be done,
Therefore, O pilgrim, you are not asked to run away from your home to distant mountain-peak, or to dwell on a river-bank or in the depths of a tapobana (forest of meditation). Live in the world as an instrument of God’s Will.
As the pilgrim learns to meditate, more and more, on these and other truths of spiritual life, he grows in strength, he is able to subdue his lower self. And one blessed day, under the grace of God, he is transformed, becomes new—becomes a child of the spirit. May the broken “thoughts” that are given in the following pages bless some aspirants on the Path!
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