Not sure which holy book it belongs to, but I came across this sloka, which has a beautiful meaning and conveys an excellent truth in just four lines!
amantraṁ akṣaraṁ nāsti
nāsti mūlaṁ anauṣadhaṁ
ayōgyaḥ puruṣō nāsti
yōjakā tatra durlabhā
Meaning: There is not a letter in the alphabet that is not a mantra and there exists no plant root which has no medicinal value. Likewise, there is no person who is useless or incompetent. But rare is the person who can realize their value and utilizes them. Every alphabet is a mantra. What is needed is the willingness to put an effort to realize the energy indicated by it. By chanting a simple Rama mantra, a huntsman turned into Sage Valmiki. Words have immense power. We feel happy upon hearing good word and sad by a bad word. Mind and speech – both do not have a form and we cannot prove them either. Mind does not have a form. Speech has sound, but it dies in a moment. However, their effects are unpredictable.
Words can change our life. Difference in words can lead to a war. If our minds are tuned properly, life becomes pleasurable. Otherwise our lives are broken apart. It is possible to achieve great results by simply reciting ordinary words as mantras. So, one need not explain what miracles can happen as a result of practicing the bija mantras (seed sounds). It is true that mantras cannot cause miracles. This holds good for those who experiment with mantras from the books. However, miracles do happen for those who have attained mantra siddhi. To achieve mantra siddhi, one has to practice a mantra for years together. Mantras are readily available, but there is a dearth of sincere sadhakas.
Coming to trees, every plant has medicinal properties. However, there is a lack of people who can inspect closely and find such plants. There is a story about Buddha’s personal physician - Jeevaka. The same story is also said about Charaka. After completing his study of medicine, he was tested by his teacher. The teacher asked him to go around the country for one year, find and bring a plant which has no medicinal value. Jeevaka searched for a year and returns empty handed. He tells his teacher that he could not find even a single plant that is not medicinal. Only then, the teacher accepted that his student had perfected his knowledge, and permitted him to begin practicing medicine. Owing to his observation and research, few Buddhist branches of the present day honor Jeevaka as the patron saint of traditional medicine.
Similarly, there is no man who is useless. Some may be less intelligent, but with hard work and perseverance, they can reach great heights. And some may be very intelligent, however, if they succumb to laziness, they cannot achieve anything in their life. Nature has given us everything. If only we can get rid of our laziness and become courageous, there is nothing impossible to achieve. Many sciences are in the dark, waiting for humanity to receive them! However, there is no one to receive and achieve them!
Some - due to their inability to control the senses, some - due to laziness, some - due to arrogance, some - due to fear and some - due to the influence of circumstances – are not able to achieve anything great in their life and hence remain incompetent. If a man can overcome these negative traits, he is sure to become victorious one day. There is a great verse in Yoga Vasishta. A part of this verse by itself is very inspiring. Sage Vasishta preaches to Sri Rama, daivaṁ nihatya kuru pauruṣa mātma śaktyā, which means, “O Sri Rama! Nothing is beyond the reach of human effort. So defeat the fate with the power of courage and inner strength”.
In this way, everything is available in the universe for those who work with enthusiasm. The achievement could be either external or internal. Man will certainly become victorious with continuous effort and practice. Universe has everything. But it is very rare to find a man who can receive them. One more thing to note here is that we are copying the concept of positive thinking from modern literature, and declaring it as a big achievement, but the roots of real positive thinking are in ancient literature like Yoga Vasishta. This partial section of a verse is only a small example. It is enough if we can receive what our ancestral heritage has to offer us.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Mahathi T, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on July 29, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.