The nature of man is a mixture of progressive and regressive characteristics. One must take note of this and foster the former, to the exclusion of the latter. The will to renounce, to share, and to give up, is a precious virtue. Curiosity, the longing to know, is another quality which must be used to know the Reality which appears as many and momentary. This knowledge can be attained only when the consciousness is purified by the grace of God. Holy days like Shivaratri are marked only to impress upon your mind your duty to impose a ‘fast’ on your senses and a ‘vigil’ on your intelligence, and to keep away from polluting impulses and inclinations. Even the thought that you have not benefited from the puja or japam (prayers and contemplation) you do should not pollute your faith. To adhere to spiritual practises is your duty, your innermost urge, and your genuine activity. Leave the rest to the will of God. This must be your resolve on holy Shivaratri.