Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The Narada Bhakti Sutra is our guide for a while… the nature of Love (with the capital 'ell') and a full exploration of it. As always, you are encouraged to seek out the full text from Chinmaya Publications (links in side-bar); but for those who prefer e-readers, this version is recommended. Whilst awareness and interest can be raised by these posts on AV-blog, they cannot substitute for a thorough reading and contemplation...and practice!
Chapter Eight; Section 2 - Obstacles and Remedies; Cultivate Devotion. Sri Narada expands on the urgency of starting along the path.
Suaodu>oeCDala_aaidTy´e kale àitúyma[e ][axRmip VywR< n neym!.77.
Sukha-duHkhet-chhaalaabha-adityakte kaale pratikshyamaane kshanaardhamapi vyartham na neyam ||77||
Waiting for a propitious time, when pleasure, pain, desire, profit, etc. are not troubling you - even half a second should not be wasted.
Although such a thing does not exist in Sanskrit grammar, one can almost sense the presence of an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence! The Guru is impatient that the student should be also impatient to begin, without any further consideration or justification as to why not.
The text has drawn the student to the point where the idea that there can be a truly great goal in life beyond the merely physical and, with the last suutra, has shown the exact beginning for the student to begin walking the path. "Now get on with it!" thunders the teacher. Every moment of saadhana can yield its reward, if intelligently undertaken. Even, it must be said, some discussions faced of the sort warned against a short while ago may be worth the engagement if for no other reason than to test our learning, skills and depth of faith - but we ought to know when to retreat gracefully in order not to damage what has been hard won.
For many seekers, beginning the practices in earnest is a difficult step. This is why it is so often found that there are various 'explanations' given as to why genuine saadhana has not yet been established. The simple fact of the matter is that 'life happens' and even after commitment to the path of your choosing, there will be obstacles and ambushes along the way. The difference is that, in taking up this saadhana, dealing with those conundrums is different; not necessarily easier, but clearly we cope better and move through them more quickly, rather than getting bogged down. Indeed, it is quite often found, when on the path, that situations which once would have stymied us become little more than inconveniences… or not 'situations' at all! If we keep waiting for things to get better, for time to arrive to begin, it never will. This is the unfortunate truth. Start now! Strive hard and with good cheer! No matter the stresses and strains, they will ease in the practice of bhakti and/or jnaana.
Waste not even half a second. Now is the hour.