from 130 years ago at least
Be like the pearl oyster. There is a pretty Indian fable to the effect that if it rains when the star Svati is in the ascendant, and a drop of rain falls into an oyster, that drop becomes a pearl. The oysters know this, and wait to catch the precious raindrop. When a drop falls into them, quickly the oysters close their shells and dive down to the bottom of the sea, and there patiently develop the drop into the pearl. We should be like that.
I’ve heard newborn babies wailin’ like a mournin’ dove
And old men with broken teeth stranded without love
Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn?
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
First, hear, then understand, and then, leaving all distractions, shut your minds to outside influences, and devote yourselves to developing the truth within you. There is the danger of frittering away your energies by taking up the idea only for its novelty, and then giving it up for another that is newer. Take one thing up and do it, and see the end of it, and before you have seen the end, do not give up. He who can become mad with an idea, he alone sees light.* Those that only take a nibble here and a nibble there will never attain anything. They may titillate their nervers for a moment, but there is will end. They will be slaves in the hands of Nature, and will never get beyond the senses.
Those who really want to be yogis mush give up, once for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life—think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of this idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. Others are mere talking machines. If we really want to be blessed, and make others blessed, we must go deeper.
The first step is not to disturb the mind, not to associate with persons whose ideas are disturbing. All of you know that certain persons, certain places, certain foods, repel you. Avoid them; and those who want to go the highest, must avoid all company, good or bad. You have to plunge in and work, without thinking of the result. If you are brave enough, in six months you will be a perfect yogi.
* [i would write it like this: He or she who can become mad with an idea, can alone see light.]