There is a well-known saying in Hindustani, “If the attitude is solid the path becomes easy”. This is the literal translation; a better translation, or interpretation, will be, “A right attitude leads to success”. And the more we think of this the more we shall find in this saying a precious treasure of wisdom. Health, happiness, success, harmony, to all these things in life the attitude shows the way. Also, if a wrong attitude turns virtues into sins, a right attitude may turn what is called sin by people into virtue. As I have always said, virtue or sin are not actions; it is the attitude that is the condition of virtue or sin. Therefore have a right attitude. There is no greater virtue than that, to think aright, to speak aright, to act aright; and there is a sure success.
But now comes the question, “What is the right of one person, is the wrong of another person; and what is it that we may call right with authority?” I should say, n person must ask another person, “What is right?” Because no-one is capable of telling him, however great, however high in his evolution he may be. But then you may say, “We may make mistakes”. Yes. We learn from our mistakes. If one is afraid of mistakes he will never learn. It is a matter of courage. Of what use is the virtue learned from others, – that others tell, “That is right for you to do.” It is of no use. If only you can realise God here, Who is living in the heart of man, – and no-one is closer to us than God–then no-one else is capable of telling what is right, then your God within tells you.
If you say, “Several times I thought that something was right and it turned out wrong in the end,” I will say, you were not sure. Perhaps your mind doubted if it were right or wrong, perhaps you were dependent upon other people’s advice, perhaps preconceived impressions influenced your determination of right and wrong. If it simply came from the bottom of your heart and you accepted it and went on with courage through life then it would be successful, and if it met with failure, the failure would become the steppingstone to success.
You must remember that God never misleads His followers. Those who follow the advice of the God within are always protected by God, for their affairs God Himself is responsible. Only what is necessary is an open discrimination of what you wish to do. You must ask yourself, “Is it my real feeling? Is it telling me to do it? Is my sense of justice satisfied with it? Is my reasoning in accordance with it? Is my deepest feeling in harmony with it? Is there any conflict with myself or is it all smooth?” If all is smooth within all is smooth without, the way is open, it is all clear.
Then you only have to have faith, trust and courage to go forward in the strength of the goodness of God. And remember, it is not your strength, or your experience, or your knowledge that can give you success. No, it is God. That is what is meant, symbolically, by the story of Arjuna and Krishna, that when Krishna consented to drive the chariot, Arjuna’s heart was free from worry and anxiety. The path was clear because God was with him. It is nothing material which can assure success. Those seeming things give a seeming success; true success is God alone and all other things added.
Remember therefore that in a small affair or in a big affair first consult yourself and find out if there is no conflict in your own being about anything you want to do. And when you find no conflict there then feel sure that a path is already made for you. You have but to open your eyes and take a step forward, and the other step will be led by God.
If success appears before you on the horizon or if it is not yet manifested to your view, in both cases be sure that constant perseverance, patience, and trust in God will lead you to the fulfilment of your desire. As it is said in the Bible, “If you ask bread your Father will not give you a stone.” In other words, you ask bread because you are meant to have bread–therefore you ask bread. You ask bread because the bread is baked for you, made for you; therefore you ask. It is there for you if only your attitude is right, if you wish and you ask and you desire to attain something which you think is right and just and good.
It is difficult for that person who thinks, “In order to deserve the bountiful gifts of God, in order to deserve or expect a success in life one must be worthy.” What is man, after all? A child, whatever be his age, before God. What are his virtues? Not even worth a drop compared with the ocean. What can he do to deserve and to be worthy? If he can only be natural, think aright, act aright, speak aright, and trust in the love and compassion of God, that is quite sufficient.