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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Soul Science God Philosophy > Spiritual Scientist > Volume 05 > Will Power



Willpower can enable us to do wonders and its absence can cripple us lifelong. So it is imperative for us to know the factors that enhance and erode willpower. The chariot-body analogy given in the Upanishads offers valuable insights in this regard. In this remarkably comprehensive analogy, the body is compared to a chariot, the five knowledge-acquiring senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) are compared to the horses driving the chariot, the mind is compared to the reins controlling the horses, the intelligence is compared to the charioteer and the self is compared to the passenger. The chariot can take the passenger to his desired destination only when the charioteer is strong enough to control and direct the horses using the reins. Similarly we can achieve success only when our intelligence is strong enough to control and direct our senses using our mind.

The intelligence that this analogy refers to is different from the IQ score, which modern society worships as the sign of intelligence. IQ deals only with information-processing ability; the ability to memorize, recollect, group, segregate and play with large volumes of data. Actual intelligence however has two essential components discrimination and determination. Discrimination implies the capacity to differentiate between the harmful and the beneficial, the short-term and the long-term, the temporary and the eternal, the material and the spiritual. Determination indicates the strength to act in accordance with the verdict of our discrimination; to accept the beneficial, even if it is not offering instant pleasure and to eschew the harmful, even if it is offering immediate titillation.

Contemporary society often dulls and deadens our discriminatory power by its incessant emphasis on materialism and consumerism. The great wisdom traditions of the world can aid us better in sharpening our discriminatory faculty. The Vedic scriptures state that the guru-sadhu-shastra (spiritual preceptor, saints and scriptures) are the source of real intelligence. By associating with and hearing from spiritualists who have dedicated themselves to the welfare of all living beings, we can get the spiritual acumen to not let immediate pleasures and moods overshadow our long-term concerns and goals.

Sustainable determination comes by harmonious application of our ability to desire. The human will is prone to be fallible but the divine will is undefeatable. Therefore the secret to sustained determination is the alignment of human will with the divine will. We can most easily and effectively access the supreme power of God by meditating on and chanting His holy names. That is why all the great spiritual traditions of the world extol the holy name of God. The Vedic texts recommend the chanting of the maha-mantra (the great chant for deliverance) Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Millions of people all over the world have experienced the cathartic power of this maha-mantra as it has empowered them to give up various self-destructive habits like smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse and become integrated, balanced, peaceful and joyful human beings dedicated to the selfless service of God and all His children.