BANAT BANAT BANJAI – How to reach our goal

Experiences and reflections from a disciple

BANAT BANAT BANJAI - How to reach our goal

Lahiri Mahasaya

One day, I was asked to prepare a short speech for an evening dedicated to Lahiri Mahasaya, and comment on a specific phrase of his.

I chose “banat banat banjai”: doing, doing, one day it will be done! I find it so encouraging and perfect! I then meditated and reflected on it, because this phrase lends itself to countless approaches and can be applied to our spiritual life, as well as to our everyday, practical life.


I remembered the time when, as a young girl, I didn’t like studying and did the bare minimum, much to the frustration of my teachers, who saw my potential but also my lack of commitment. My parents had a brilliant idea to motivate me to study. They knew that I wanted a moped and they suggested this: if I got a grade of 13, I would receive 3 euros, with a grade of 14, 6 euros, 9 euros for a grade of 15, to reach a total of 25 euros for a grade of 20! But watch out, with an 11 I had to give them 3 euros, with a 10 it was 6 euros and so on, in short there was a risk but also a lot to gain!

The motivation was so strong that not only did I really start studying, but I also learnt a study method that was going to help me throughout my future as a student. My grades improved so quickly that I bought the moped I’d been longing for in six months!

So what happened? Had I suddenly become a lot smarter? No, simply the motivation had been strong enough to stimulate my willpower, which had set in motion the energy needed to achieve my goal. As Yogananda says, “the greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.”

That’s how the first of the ‘four Ps’ came to me: Passion, or the desire that lights the fuse, that sets in motion the energy we need to start moving towards our goal.

If we want to meditate for four hours a day, for example, we must really want to! And in that case, nothing is impossible.


But motivation alone doesn’t get us very far. How many times have we lit great fires of desire that were extinguished almost immediately? To reach its goal, this fire needs to be constantly fuelled by the second P: Perseverance.

BANAT BANAT BANJAI - How to reach our goal 2


I’m always reminded of Yogananda’s story of the two frogs who fall into a bucket full of milk. They both swim hard to stay afloat, but one of them, exhausted, gives up and sinks. The other perseveres and keeps moving, until it realises that the milk, thanks to all this agitation, has become solid butter and it can jump out of the bucket. So, like that little frog, let’s not get discouraged! Even when obstacles and difficulties arise and the goal still seems a long way off, let’s persevere in our efforts! Remember that we are never alone, that we can ask for help, inspiration and advice from our highest Self, our divine inner self, always connected to cosmic consciousness. Remember that Perseverance brings victory, as Teresa of Avila said in her famous message.


It’s hard to get immediate results, but sometimes, to encourage us, little miracles happen! I remember a young woman who, like me, was learning to meditate. The spiritual eye in all its radiance appeared to her immediately, sending her into a state of profound bliss. She told me about this experience and, I have to say, I envied her, because for me, the simple fact of remaining motionless had been a great challenge! Not to mention my wandering mind! Years later, she told me that she hadn’t achieved this state of inner awareness for a very long time… it had been a kind of ‘divine reward for beginners’ that still only manifested itself with a great deal of patience.


Here we come to the third P, Patience, which is really fundamental. Patience with external circumstances, but also patience with ourselves. Yogananda said that a saint is a sinner who has never given up! It doesn’t matter if we fail, if we take steps backwards, if we don’t live up to our expectations! Sometimes we really are the worst judges of ourselves. Yet God loves us unconditionally just as we are and is infinitely patient with us, always waiting for us to reach out to him, if only we offer it. Let’s learn to be more patient with our faults and limitations; we work to undo and overcome them!


And to do that, we need the fourth P, which comes last but not least: Presence.

BANAT BANAT BANJAI - How to reach our goal


By Presence, I mean being here and now, because to achieve our goal we must not be anchored in the past, nor projected into the future, but in the present.

I’d like to tell you about a moment that has been described as “cathartic” and that truly changed the course of a life. This person was driving and, as he approached a roundabout, said to himself: “It’s my parents’ fault that I reacted like that. If my mother had been less intrusive and my father more present, if I hadn’t felt the lack from one and the pressure from the other, I might have behaved differently”, and then, as soon as they entered the roundabout, a sudden thought: “But I’m an adult, what I do, say and don’t say, what I am now, is entirely up to me! In a way, this person had just intimately realised a truth that his soul knew, but which had not yet penetrated his consciousness. The shock was so great, he told me, that he went round the roundabout at least four times before getting onto the right road!

Being Present when we’re on our way to our goal means always maintaining our connection with our divine part, with our immortal soul, and listening to the messages that the universe places on our path to help, guide and inspire us. It means trusting and believing.

If, in addition to presence, we have Passion, Perseverance and Patience, it will be easier to reach our true and most sacred goal, our spiritual fulfilment, to become one with God, as Lahiri Mahasaya promised us: banat, banat, banjai, keep doing, doing, one day it will be done!

One Comment

  1. Beautifully said by a beautiful soul.
    Many blessings
    H and M

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