We accept many things throughout life, and as the Serenity Prayer goes, “We try to change the things that we can, and we accept those things that cannot be changed.” In other words, it means looking at ourselves, our weaknesses, and our strengths and accepting them for who they are. Most people live in a projected world. They live with an idea of themselves, who they think they are, not who they are. The process would be that by self-examination, without any exterior aid, one could find what is lacking or overabundant, and by seeing that, we slowly come to understand and accept ourselves. I accept myself as a human being. That is very important to understand. As I accept myself as a human being, I would also know that there are other forces which make me a human being. For example, I have animal instincts in myself, and I have godly instincts in myself, too. So, accepting myself as a human being, I would also consider the other aspects within me.

Animal instincts that are within me have to be disciplined if they cause harm to myself and others. So, with the principle of acceptance, discipline becomes very important; to live an undisciplined life is to live an animal life. Yet, you will find many animals so well disciplined within themselves because of a natural force that pushes them on. We say that they proceed instinctively, and by being pushed on by these various evolutionary natural forces, their instincts are permanently fitted to themselves. For example, if a tiger kills, it is his nature to kill. It is not wrong. But for a human being, it would be wrong to kill another. So, human beings are reverting to their animal instincts inherited from past lives and experiences. So, to accept oneself as a human being, one has to know what a human being is, which is very quickly known by a very brief study of the Scriptures that tells one of the various do’s and don’ts that make a person a human being.

We have the instrument within us to discriminate against this. We have a thinking ability, and because of this thinking ability, if rightly used, we develop the discrimination to know that we are human beings. We have to live as human beings, and that human nature, which is the highest form of manifestation on this planet earth, the highest form of manifestation has to be lived accordingly. Only when we do not live according to our natures do we raise conflicts within ourselves and fail to accept ourselves.

So, the first point would be that man strives to accept himself, and by accepting himself, he is in a position to be able to take everything else around him. His perspective changes, and that which seemed so horrible to him a little while ago will now appear more beautiful because he looks at it as a human, not an animal. So, discrimination has to be developed by oneself.


It is no use trying to analyse the mind to find discrimination. Analysis is not necessarily discrimination because all forms of analysis are biased, and all forms of analysis are patterned. Visit another country whose customs you do not understand with your analytical mind. You will find those customs entirely wrong because they do not fit in with your upbringing, learning, circumstances, and lifestyle. So, the analysis does not form any part of discrimination, yet it could be used as a tool if it is used objectively. But it plays a very minor part.

Accurate discrimination comes only when one can be quiet and silent within oneself, which is what we teach. Then, a spontaneous thought arises within oneself, and that spontaneity would be of such power that we would be able to accept anything and everything first of ourselves. If I am lame, I accept that lameness. If I am blind, I accept that blindness, and I would not indulge in wishful thinking that I should not be blind. If I were not blind, I would be doing this, and I would be doing that. A fantasy world is conjured up, and most people live in this fantasy world. They do not live within themselves. Most people indulge in a form of daydreaming where they dream of things which they are not. They place themselves in a position in their minds of which they are incapable.

So, the first thing one has to do, and meditation helps one to do this, is to accept oneself, and things which we regard as shortcomings are not shortcomings. I always say that if my milk turns sour, I will convert it into yoghurt. So, there are no shortcomings. Man is essentially divine, and once he realises that and accepts that as an affirmation to himself, I am Divine. Whatever shortcomings in me are also created or manifested by Divinity. Not every flower smells sweet. Some have a higher content of fragrance. Some have a lesser content of fragrance. So, if I have less fragrance, why should I not just be what I am? For I have been born as that particular flower with little fragrance, and I will not image myself or go into daydreams thinking of myself as a flower with an abundance of fragrance that will do something for this whole world when I cannot do something for myself. I cannot do something for myself because I fail to accept myself. The beggar walks in the street and daydreams that he is a King. How can he be that King? Yet he is a King, a King unto himself. For even if that beggar analyses his position, he will find that within himself, he is a King, a Master in his own right, even if it is in begging.


Like that, we could use so many analogies on self-acceptance. Self-acceptance requires discrimination, and self-acceptance involves responsibility, and I am responsible for everything I am today. No one has made me good, and no one has made me wrong. Whatever I am, I have created for myself. I have gone through so many lifetimes and am the sum of all my past actions today. If that is the case, why should I not accept myself? I am not a creature of circumstances. I am a creature of my creation, and because of my creation, I also create the circumstances around me. It is a fundamental principle to remember that my environment is not designed for me, but I have made the environment because of who I am.

A young girl came to see me. She met many boyfriends and used to go out with these boys, and no one would ever propose to her. They used to go out to parties, and I do not know what they do after parties. And like that, she knew dozens of boys. When these people come and speak to me, they regard me to be a father, a friend, and a confidante, and I tell them not to pull any punches, not try to hide anything from me, speak out whatever your problem is and let us see what you can do about the situation. That is the way we put it. So, I found that the whole thinking of this girl was such that she would attract men who were only interested in her body. Her thinking was always such.


So, when we think about our thoughts, we must be cautious. By all the negative thoughts, we believe we will only draw negativity to ourselves, and if we think positive thoughts, we draw positivity. Therefore, for example, a man of very high development and self-realisation, for instance, can never think of evil thoughts because they rebound; they send off such a power that will harm his environment and himself. Because the finer the idea, the stronger it is. It is like pitching a ball against a wall; the harder you pitch, the harder it will return to you.

So, I had a few sessions with this girl; I made her start thinking in different terms. I said, “Yes, fine, all the men you meet are beautiful, but what physical and mental attractiveness do you see in them? Have you ever considered the other aspect, that there is some Divinity within this man? There is all Divinity, perhaps, depending on how much you can understand it. Think of the contacts you make; think of the friends you meet and see in them that spark. Think of it consciously first until it becomes a spontaneous act.” And she started doing that. She took the advice and was never invited to see someone’s etchings afterwards. Within six months, she married, and they had just had a baby. It is a beautiful, lovely child born of love, not lust. Because she started thinking not of the attractions she saw, not of the facial value, but of deeper values that lie within every human being, and by having these thoughts uppermost in her mind, she automatically drew to herself the circumstances and the environment which was conducive to her because deep within her she had the desire to meet a man whom she could love and with whom and settle down with in life. That is how it works, and that is true responsibility, to be responsible for our actions and thoughts.

We do not need any kind of mental processes to do that. We have that thinking ability inborn in us to be able to discriminate. If we cannot, we rely on the Sages. Pick up any Scriptural book, and all Buddhistic, Hindu, and Christian injunctions tell you the same. So, we have discrimination as part of acceptance. We have discipline as part of acceptance and responsibility as part of acceptance.


I have always been saying we are in a habit of blaming someone else. We blame circumstances, we blame friends, we blame parents. If only my parents had brought me up in a different way, then I would be a different person. We should be thankful to our parents for allowing themselves to be vehicles through which we can be born because we chose our parents in that other world if those are the words you prefer to use, in a different dimension. We have been waiting and evaluating the right time to give birth to the right parents. It is a different subject, but I would like to discuss how conception takes place with you. Not now, but I had a long talk of it in Denmark. It would be worthwhile going into. How does conception take place? What is conception? At what time and when does the soul attach itself to the body? Where does it come from and things like that? It is a different subject.

So, in another dimension, we evaluate our state of evolution. We take birth through a set of parents who are of a similar state of evolution. Because of specific characteristics involved within the makeup of our subtle bodies or the Jivatman or the soul, we force certain genetic combinations within our parents because all those various sets of chromosomes and genes have a whole range for it. There are so many permutations. But we, the soul that wants to take birth, force a particular set of combinations in the parents, which is why we get born with certain qualities. Then what do we say, “Oh, I inherited this?” You did not. You came with it. You did not inherit it from your parents. You are blaming your parents for nothing. Therefore, I say we are thankful to our parents for using their bodies to bring us into this world and to go slightly off the subject, because “thank you” is an empty word, the best way to repay those parents who brought us into this world, – the parents are responsible for themselves too – but the best way to repay is, that when you have your children, bring them up so well, that by bringing them up well you are automatically repaying your parents, and like that it goes on and on.

So, a person is born into this world because of his own volition, because of his nature, because of the force of evolution and everything that he is born with, healthy or ill, or born into a wealthy family or a low-income family, whatever it can be is just solely because of himself. When the child grows up and starts thinking, he must realise this factor, which all teachers should teach, and be responsible for himself, which is not so difficult. It might sound complex, but it is not difficult at all. It is straightforward to admit that I am responsible for this action. Do not take the environment or the people around you into consideration at all as far as you are concerned; they only consider them as far as they are concerned. So no harm is done to them. But whatever circumstances we are placed in, we have created ourselves, and any human being with the smallest amount of thinking ability can realise that. So, discrimination develops with a sense of responsibility.


All these qualities we have spoken about are all intertwined. They are not separate from each other. One facet becomes polished, enhancing the entire diamond until all the facets are polished. So, as one assumes responsibility for oneself, one becomes more accepting of oneself. One becomes more discriminating in his thoughts and actions. So, these are a few elementary principles to consider, simple principles to practise and as discrimination increases, the sting of hurts decreases. As discrimination increases, all the sting of hurt decreases, and nothing will start hurting you. We carry our burdens, burdens of our own making. But the funny part is that three-quarters, nine-tenths of our burdens are imaginary. That is the tragedy I find in the lives of people. One-tenth is okay, one-tenth of the burden, but nine-tenth is imaginary. In other words, if it weighs one pound, with your imagination, you make it weigh ten pounds because you either live in the past or the future. The past is gone; you cannot alter it, and you are the result of the past today.

So, I accept myself as I am today, and if today is good, as we all say, tomorrow will take care of itself. Tomorrow will be a good day for me if I do my work excellently. These are simple principles. It does not require deep philosophical or psychological insight, just ordinary common sense. So, acceptance brings us to our primal simplicity.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1979 – 02