While we embark on a venture with determination, a word of discouragement or objection from someone makes us indecisive. We waver and decide that we should give up our effort. But when we are planning to do something in accordance with dharma, we should not be swayed by what others say.

We should learn to ignore obstacles that come our way, and we should press ahead with the task at hand. Steadfastness is a quality that is extolled by Bhartrihari in his Niti Sataka, explained Goda Venkateswara Sastrigal in a lecture.

There are six enemies that thwart us, when we are on the right path. They are kama (desire), krodha (anger), lobha (avarice), moha (illusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (envy). But of these, the first three are the greatest obstacles, for it is desire that is the root cause of all our problems. When we are unable to have what we want or seek, we become angry. So krodha results from desire.

Lastly, when we see someone else enjoying what we ourselves do not have, we are consumed by jealousy. So envy too comes from desire. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna points to the dangers that result from desire.

We often do not know why we are angry. Sometimes, the slightest setback triggers an angry outburst.

The anger dies down in time, and we are puzzled as to why we were angry. When we do not have what we desire, we blame even God for it! We accuse Him of being partial. But God is not partial, and we should not develop an attachment to worldly pleasures. But when we are doing an act that is in accordance with dharma, we must remain steadfast and not let any of the enemies of the mind misleads us.

Rama was the epitome of steadfastness. He enjoyed a luxurious life in the palace, but He faced blow after blow with equanimity. He continued to do what was required, without wavering.

Look at the flame of a lamp. It always burns upwards. Suppose you were to tilt a lamp a bit, the flame would still burn upwards. We should take a message from the flame.

Whatever problems we face in life, we should always think of how to rise and elevate ourselves spiritually.

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