The question put the other day was: “Can a man realize Vedanta in this age?”
And it was suggested by someone that a man must leave this or that in order to realize Vedanta, and retire to the forest of the Himalayas.
But Rama says, “No, no, you need not retire into the forests. “
In these days the common complaint is lack of time. They say, “We have got no time, we have to attend to all sorts of business, our relatives and friends take up our time.”
There is a prayer: “O God! Save me from my enemies” but the prayer which the modem man should offer more properly would be, “O God! Save me from my friends.” Friends rob us of all our time; then anxieties, worries, troubles take away our time. Then we have to attend to our children and our helpmates; we have to receive visits and pay visits, we have to read things; how can we spare time for spiritual advancement?
Our, duties! they take away our time. We cannot spare time even to take dinner easily. In the name of duties all your life is being frittered away. But let us ask wherefrom these duties come. Who Imposes these duties upon’ you? You yourselves. In fact it is you who make your duties.
Duties should not come upon you as a cruel master. You regard it your duty to attend to office work, but who put that office work on you? It is you yourself. So, if you ultimately realise the nature of duties, you will see that you are your own master, and that all these duties which absolutely enslave you, are created by yourself, if you once feel that, there is nothing in this world that binds you.
Everything originally comes from you. You can be very happy, and you can adjust your position more smoothly.
Part of a lecture by Swami Rama Tirtha delvered on 5th February 1903, in San Francisco