Chapter 8.9 from "Study Circles for Divinity"
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8.9  SELF-CONFIDENCE

WISE SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS

"If you love yourself, then guard with care the self that is you. Nurturing himself with merits, either during his youth or middle age or old, is what a wise man should do."    Buddha

"Bless me, Ahura Mazda, with the unbending spirit of self reliance. Give me undying faith and robust confidence in myself."    Zarathushtra

"Carriers of water take it to whatever place they like; makers of arrows straighten the shaft as they like; carpenters carve the wood as they like; the virtuous control themselves as they like."    Buddha

"What does a man gain by winning the whole world at the cost of his true self? What can he give to buy that self back."    Jesus Christ



FROM DISCOURSES OF SAI BABA

NEED FOR SELF-CONFIDENCE

Without self-confidence no achievement is possible. If you have confidence in your strength and skill, you can draw upon the inner springs of courage and raise yourselves to a higher level of joy and peace. For, confidence in yourselves arises through the Atma (Divine), which is your inner Reality. The Atma is peace. It is joy. It is strength. It is wisdom. So, it is from the Atma that you draw all these equipments for spiritual progress. (131067)

The primary requisite for cultivating love is to get rid of doubts and disbelief and develop confidence. Where there is confidence there is love; where there is love, there is peace; where there is peace, there is bliss; where there is bliss, there is God. It is only because you are confident that she is your mother, you love her. If you doubt this, there is no scope for such love. Confidence is the basis for love and steadiness of mind. But, what we find today everywhere is mental restlessness. (110494)

YOUR SELF IS GOD

You have to cultivate four types of strength: Strength of Body, Intellect, Discrimination and Conduct. Then you become unshakeable; you are on the path of spiritual victory.

Once a person came to Me and argued that there was no God and he was not prepared to believe in one. Well, I asked him, "Have you faith at least in yourself? Which is your self? Your self is God. You have faith in your judgement, your intelligence, your ability, because God within you tells you not to falter or fear. That assurance wells from within, from your basic Truth, which is otherwise called God. It does not matter if you do not call it God; it is enough if you believe in Yourself; that is the real test of theism," I told him.

I say the same thing to you also. The body is the temple of God; in every body, God is installed, whether the owner of the body recognises it or not. It is God that inspires you to good acts, that warns you against the bad. Listen to that Voice. Obey that Voice and you will not come to any harm. (270261)

Attachments make you lose your freedom. You cannot move freely, when you are encumbered with burdens. 'Less luggage, more comfort', is a slogan for the journey of life. Reduce desires, loosen attachments; you win freedom. The end of wisdom is freedom; the end of education is character; the end of culture is perfection; the end of knowledge is love. Self-confidence is the basis of faith in God also. People who do not know who they are and who have no confidence in their own strength and power assert that there is no God. But, how can they declare that the God in whom you believe and who exists for you does not exist? They are free to assert that God does not exist for them; but, that assertion cannot make God Himself non-existent! (290372)

SELF-REALISATION IS BASED ON SELF-CONFIDENCE

As in this analogy, seeing some people say that there is no God, several other foolish people also say that there is no God. This is a ludicrous situation. Either you should surrender to God or you should be able to follow your own dictates, but you should not reveal your hollowness by merely imitating others. You should develop self-confidence and with that you will get self-satisfaction. Once you acquire self-satisfaction, you will be able to show self-sacrifice and this will result in self-realisation. Self-realisation thus ultimately depends on the base of self-confidence. (SSB 73,251)

If one has no self-confidence, one will not be able to achieve much although he has faith and devotion. One may have confidence in one's own self but if he has no devotion and faith, that too will not help him. Devotion and self-confidence are like the negative and positive. It is the combination of these two that will enable us to fulfil our sacred thought. Here, because Hanuman had the divine notion in his heart and the self-confidence, he could have the vision of Rama, the Lord, everywhere he went. When any order was given to Hanuman, he never questioned whether he has the strength or the capacity to fulfil the task. He had the firm faith that the very orders of Rama will give him the necessary strength to fulfil those orders.

The first thing we should do in this context is to promote and strengthen the aspect of self-confidence. This confidence in one's own Self is like the foundation at the bottom. On the foundation of that confidence, we should build the wall of self-satisfaction, we should put the roof of self-sacrifice. In that mansion, we should attain self-realisation. Hanuman showed the strength and necessity of self-confidence in a clear manner to the world. But today, in the context of human nature, men are conducting themselves in a manner by which we think that they have no understanding at all of the need for self-confidence. (SSB 77,97)

Today spiritual strength is totally lacking among the people. Self-confidence is constantly going up and down. There is no steadiness of mind. When the will is weak from moment to moment, how can there be any firmness in life? Everyone must endeavour to develop the courage to face the vicissitudes of life, joys or sorrows, with equanimity. (210590)

Today many scientists of great reputation are inventing gadgets and flying to the moon. They are spending so much money on such things, but they do not have peace of mind. Leaders and men at the top of society feel that they have everything. Alas! they do not have any peace of mind. Why is this so? We have to inquire and find an answer for this. One can count stars and fly to the moon. But if one cannot look into the inside of one's self, how can he find happiness? Our culture and traditions are such that they enable you to know who you are and help you to understand yourself. The first thing to have is self-confidence, after which alone you will get self-satisfaction. Once you have got self-satisfaction, then you must acquire the virtue of self-sacrifice and after self-sacrifice alone, you come to self-realisation. Thus to achieve self-realisation, self-confidence is the most important thing. In all these four attributes, namely, self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice and self-realisation, the oe common word is 'self'. To understand this 'self', you must find out from experienced people what they know about it. (SSB 72,6)

DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE

The first thing you have to do is to develop self-confidence. It is such people who have no confidence in their own self who begin to wander about and to waver, and take to various different paths. When you take your body to different places, and when you go about moving aimlessly, the mind also goes to different places. The first thing is to steady your physical body. If the body is moving all the time, then the mind is moving.

These steps can also be described as starting from self-confidence, and then getting self-satisfaction and then self-sacrifice, and the last step is self-realisation. The ultimate step of self-realisation depends upon the base of self-confidence. You must therefore develop as a first step confidence in your own Self. Without having and developing confidence in your own self, if all the time you are talking of some power being with someone and some other power being with someone else, if in this way you travel all the time and depend upon power which is with someone else, when are YOU going to acquire any power and confidence in your OWN self. Peace and bliss are within you; they are not something which are external to you. (280375)

The first thing therefore to do is to acquire confidence in yourself. Today, a situation has arisen when self-confidence has completely disappeared amongst the students. An individual who has no self-confidence cannot achieve victory in anything whatsoever. It is only when you have self-confidence that you will attain self-satisfaction. When a small bird goes and perches on a small plant or a small branch of a tree, on account of the weight of the bird, that branch moves up and down. But the bird is not going to be upset by such a movement. What is the reason? The bird which is sitting on the branch is not depending for its safety on the branch. It is depending on its own wings. Even if the branch moves up or down or even if the branch breaks, because the bird is depending on its own wings, it can fly away. It does not worry at all. Even that small bird which is sitting on the branch has got so much confidence in its own wings and in itself that it is fearless. (SSB 72,111)

CLEANSE YOUR MIND & HEART

On the other hand, a youth of today, who claims that he is very well educated, who claims that he is highly clever, who claims that he has got all the good qualities, is having no confidence at all in his own capacity. When he wants to do something, he gets into terrible doubt whether he should do it this way or that way. One who has no confidence in himself, whom is he going to trust? His whole life will become a bundle of doubts. He is not going to blossom into a complete, integrated and sound personality. Therefore we should follow the path by which we can get rid of doubts and not enter the path by which we accumulate all the doubts in our hearts. So that you may get rid of all these doubts, you should cleanse your mind and your heart. (SSB 72,112)

SELF-CONFIDENCE GRANTS PEACE & PROSPERITY

Students require faith in themselves, more than most other qualities. The absence of self-confidence marks the beginning of one's decline. Today, the world is facing ruin and disaster because people have lost confidence in themselves. Self-confidence alone is capable of granting peace and prosperity to each person. He receives good, everywhere; he is honoured in all places. Whatever he touches becomes gold. When a person has no faith in himself, how can he place faith in others? Even when he has such faith, it cannot be sincere and firm. It is at best artificial and superficial. Such a person will not have faith in his mother, father, wife and children. He pretends to believe, that is all. So, he behaves treacherously and might even injure the parents.

So, self-confidence is a must for every student. Students must study books about persons who stuck to justice and led straight lives. They must cultivate faith in moral codes laid down in Dharma Sastras (scriptures dealing with right conduct), instead of neglecting them. The Puranas (ancient scriptures) provide foundational ideals for our welfare and progress. (Vidya V 81)

 
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