Dhriti - Steadfastness

Sometimes you see a sixth yama called Dhriti, steadfastness. To be steadfast, you have to use your willpower. Willpower is developed easily in a person who has an adequate memory and good reasoning faculties. Courageous and fearless people who are just and honest prevail over all karmas.

It is impossible to be steadfast if we are not obeying the other restraints, the other yamas. Observe those who are steadfast. You will learn from them. Observe those who are not, and they too will teach you. They will teach what you should not do. To be indecisive and changeable is not how we should be on the path to enlightenment, nor to be successful in any other pursuit. When we live with Dhriti, we are not preoccupied by feelings of responsibility, duty or things left undone.
An essential part of steadfastness is overcoming changeableness. Changeableness means indecision, not being decisive, changing one's mind after making a deliberate, positive decision. Changing one's mind can be a positive thing, but making a firm, well-considered decision and not following it through would gain one the reputation of not being dependable, even of being weak-minded. No one wants a reputation like this.

Daily spiritual practices are recommended  to develop a spiritual will and intellect. The spiritual path is a long, enduring process. It does not reach fruition in a year or two years. The spiritual path brings lots of ups and downs, and the greatest challenges will come to the greatest souls. With this in mind, it becomes clear that steadiness and perseverance are absolutely essential on the spiritual path.

In the Sandilya Upanishad Dhriti has been described as preserving firmness of mind during the period of ups and downs, a ship that can endure and persevere on its course even when tossed about on the waves of a turbulent sea.

Some might wonder why it is good to passively endure hardship. To persevere through hardship one must understand,  that any hardship coming to us we ourselves participated in setting into motion in the past. To endure hardship and rise above it in consciousness is to overcome that karma forever. To resent hardship, to fight it, is to have it return later at a most inconvenient time.

A person who is patient and truthful, who would not harm others by thought, word or deed and who is compassionate and honest has the strong nature of one who is firm in Dhriti, steadfastness. He is the prevailer over obstacles. One firm in Dhriti can be leaned upon by others, depended upon. He is charitable, has faith in God. Worships daily and manifests in his life a spiritual will and intellect.

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