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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace

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In Praise of the Master

Though your body be comely and ever remain in perfect health, your name be unsullied, and mountain-high your hoarded gold, yet if your life is not absorbed in the Master’s holy teaching, what will it all avail you?

If fortune blesses you with riches and a virtuous wife, with children and their children, with friendship and the joys of home, yet if your heart is not aflame through the Master’s love, what will it all avail you?

Though the lore of ancient knowledge takes its dwelling on your tongue, though you be learned in scripture, gifted in writing prose and verse, yet if your mind is not absorbed in the wisdom of the Master, what will it all avail you?

Even if you be honored at home and famed in foreign lands, given to pious deeds and ever averse to wickedness, though you become at last the emperor of the universe, you possess for servants the mightiest kings of earth, if every nation resound with your beneficence, yet if your mind is not absorbed at the lotus feet of Him, by grace of Whom, alone, everything in this world is won, what will it all avail you?

Whether novice or monk, ruler or worldly man, that noble soul who ponders these verses in the Master’s praise, and to the Master’s teaching applies his mind with constant zeal — he will realize Brahman,*the treasure coveted by all. — Adi Shankara (the expounder of Vedic wisdom who came after Buddha)

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