Swami’s Teachings on Past, Present, and Future
He is a realized one who forgets the past, does not worry about the future, and discharges his duties in the present.” (Telugu Poem). Embodiments of Love! Past is past, future is uncertain, only present is in our hands. It is the foremost duty of man to live in the present and share his joy with his fellow beings. (15 February, 1999)
Do not brood over the past. Past is past, forget it. Future is not certain. So, live in the present as it is permanent. It is not ordinary present; it is omnipresent. How? Past is in the present as the present is the result of past actions. Future is also in the present as it depends on the present actions. So, you should pay attention only to the present. Brooding over the past and worrying about the future are the main causes of man’s suffering. (26 April, 1999)
The tree of the past gives the seed of the present, which grows into the tree of the future. Between the tree of the past and the tree of the future, the present is the seed, which is of utmost significance. (22 November, 1999)
Man has a tendency to brood over the past. Of what use it is to worry about what has happened? Nor should one worry about the future which is unknown and uncertain. Bear in mind only the present. This is the way to get rid of mental anguish. When you act properly in the present, the future will take care of itself. If there are no expectations, there will be no disappointments. (01 January, 1993)
When grief over-powers you, do not recollect similar incidents in your past experience and add to the sum of your grief. Recollect incidents when grief did not knock at your door, but you were happy instead. Draw consolation and strength from such memories and raise yourself above the surging waters of sorrow. (2 August, 1958)
What does it mean to you to “live in the omnipresent” (rather than brooding over the past)?
What are happy memories that can help you overcome grief and sorrow when it arises in your life?
Take good care of what you already have. Why hanker after [want] something in the womb of the future? The present is very important. Past is past. Don’t worry about the future. Take care of the present which will determine the future. Do your duty now. Duty is God. (18 November, 1995)
Brooding over the past and speculating about the future, man is failing in his duties in the present. This is the cause of his misery. Make right use of the present and a good future is assured. The aspirant should bear this truth in mind and concentrate his attention on the present. (30 August, 1993)
Your actions in the present will determine the shape of things in the future. If you wish to secure a great future, you have to conduct yourselves in the present in an ideal and sacred manner. There may be differences and problems of various kinds among you as individuals. But setting them aside, you should concentrate on the promotion of national well-being. Regard the nation’s welfare as your welfare. Entertain the sacred feeling that the nation’s good is your good. There can be no nobler feeling than this for a human being. The true mark of a human being is the cultivation of a broad outlook. When you have such a vision, you can transform the national scene. (16 February, 1992)
In what areas of your life would you like to focus more on “taking care of what you already have”?
What are ways you can cultivate a broad outlook and promote national well-being in your country?