One have to develop self confidence from young age. Unfortunately today, one does not find this capacity for renunciation, this firmness of purpose, this deep level of faith and commitment, this willingness to completely offer up mind and intellect to God. Most people today do not have a vision that is steeped in faith. But you should develop such a strong faith. You cannot hope to know what kind of life you will be living in the future, or under what circumstances and in what place you will find yourself. No one knows these things but the Lord. If you offer everything to him, he will protect you in all situations. Such a deep level of renunciation requires strong self-confidence and a clearness of vision. Whatever work you do, you must have a great determination and a firm resolve. Without this you cannot achieve even the smallest thing.

A small bird laid its eggs on the shore of the ocean. It wanted to have a comfortable life. A number of times the waves came and washed the eggs away into the ocean. The bird became discouraged and also a little desperate, for every time it laid its eggs the ocean washed them away. In time it became very angry with the ocean. Now, you might think, 'what can such a small bird do to the huge ocean?' But it entertained no such doubts; it did not think of itself as just a little bird unable to do anything against the vast ocean. No, on the contrary, this small bird took a firm resolve and decided it was going to empty all the waters of the mighty ocean. That was its vow to which it stuck with great determination. Night and day it stood at the edge of the ocean, dipped its head into the sea, took a little water into its beak, flew to the other side of a nearby hill, released the water from its beak, and thus, drop by drop, resolved to empty out the whole ocean. It believed that ultimately it would manage, in this way, to conquer the ocean itself.

When it realized that it would not get very far on its own, it sought the help of Garuda, the eagle, which is Lord Vishnu's vehicle and which is endowed with divine powers. With the help of Garuda it was able to earn the grace of Lord Vishnu. Now the ocean became very frightened and humbly apologized to the little bird. The ocean assured the little bird that its eggs would never again be destroyed by its waves and that it would be most welcome to nest on its shores, without disturbance. How small was this little bird and how vast was the ocean! You also think of yourself as so small, but you should never get desperate and lose hope. You should not get dispirited thinking that you are so insignificant whereas God is infinite and all-powerful.

You might wonder, 'Why would God bother to pay any attention to me? What could I possibly offer him which he would be happy to accept, when the entire cosmos is already his? If even angels and divine beings cannot see him, how can I ever hope to behold his form?' But such self-demeaning and belittling thoughts will not get you very far. As long as you think this way, you will not be able to gain the grace of the Lord and be fit to serve him. Give no room for such displays of weakness. You have to establish the Lord in your heart and say to him, "Beloved Lord! I know you are residing in all the universe, but you are also here in my heart. With all my power I will keep you here, firmly established within me. You are, it is true, the biggest of the big. But you are also the smallest of the small. In that small form, You are ever residing in my heart." If you have such a firm faith in yourself, and a firm resolve to establish the Lord unalterably in your heart, then you will surely attain him and thereby, gain all the strength of the Lord.

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