What should be one’s goal of life?

28th Sep, 2015

My wife is very trivial in her approach despite attending spirituality classes. She majors on minor things. She profusely quotes her master but the quotes have no impact in her life.  Why is it so? Recently, her sister said something and now she feels she is betrayed. Why there is no impact of knowledge of spirituality in her life? Has her knowledge become a hindrance?

When knowledge is acquired and if it adds to one’s ego, then that knowledge is information. If ego is one’s center and from that center any knowledge is acquired, then there will not be any quality change in that person. If “transformation” is the center of one’s life and from that center one gains knowledge, then such knowledge can be directed to destroy one’s ego and not fatten it. If one’s ego is the center then stupidity prevails.  Such persons keep their happy memories in a pen drive and unhappy memories in their heart and thus mess up their lives.

When money, power, position are acquired for ego, it will destroy one’s life. If transformation is one’s goal, and not money, power and position, then money, power and position of such people will help to serve humanity. Hence, transformation must be one’s goal of life.

 



What is holistic life?

22nd Sep, 2015

For most, life consists of conflicts, hurts, upset, frustrations, jealousy and comparisons. Major portion of the life, apart from pleasure and the pursuit of pleasure and power, is spent on these trivialities.

When life is filled with problems and that encompasses one’s life, how can one look at problems? To look at problems holistically is a spiritual discipline.  This involves one transcending looking at life through the pigeon hole of one’s likes & dislikes.  When one looks at a problem holistically, then the macro becomes more important than the micro. 

One suffers in life due to looking at life through micro; that is for personal gains.  While working for an organization, if you are looking at your life in the organization only through the micro of your likes and what you want, will it benefit the organization?  If the organization’s health suffers due to such approach, are you also not affected? Instead, is it not better to look at your issues from a larger perspective; from the wellbeing of the organization? So learn to look at issues of life holistically.  When macro becomes important, understand that micro is included in it. Such a living is a holistic life. In a holistic life you are not a beggar but a giver.

 



Reflection on Happiness

10th Sep, 2015

Our mind is always in a state of flux and not in a state of abiding’. The goal set in future is a pre-requisite for achievement. Since the mind is serving the achievement oriented ambitions it is habituated to scatter all over. But happiness is not an achievement in the future but it is in the “now”. So an “abiding mind” is needed.

When there is an “abiding (calm) mind, it can discover the presence of the present. Such a mind can see goodness in oneself and others. Studies have shown that happy people are “good finders”. Just being rich, popular or talented does not make one happy but one should be a good finder.

There are infinite things one has while infinite things one does not have. Surest way to unhappiness is to focus on what one does not have.

Rejoice on what you have. Out of that joy, work on getting what you don’t have, and thus allow another sensible dimension to open up.

This is called the “missing tile syndrome”. In the ceiling of a room if one tile is missing one tends to see only that. So too in life one sees only what is missing and get trapped. Hence, one does not discover one’s blessings.

My song of joy is………

 

One who searches for fragrance in a paper flower
One who searches for joy in small things in life
One who sees angels in one’s family and at work are the
One’s who truly win in live and such a victory is joy

 



Reflection on Happiness

1st Sep, 2015

Humanity can be divided under two categories of conscious and unconscious people. Unconscious people are those who consider pleasure to be happiness. Pleasure is sensation and if one brings sense to one’s sensation, then a deep insight would occur. Such insights will reveal that pleasure is only a sensation and not happiness. If people bring sense and be sensible to their sensations, then such people come under the category of conscious people. In that state of consciousness, one discovers happiness.

Pleasure for most of us is a relief from pain… pain of boredom, hurt etc., but pleasure is not happiness. Happiness is the “Fullness” that one brings to the moment. Fullness is not object oriented but a context of bringing the “whole” to the moment. Life happens in moments and these moments are crushed by one’s expectations, greed or desires.

Happiness is discovered through a search and not through expectation. When one expects to be happy, that expectation messes up in discovering happiness. Expectation makes you go forward into the future; whereas happiness happens in the present. One has to see the “presence of the present.” To see the presence of the present “desiring mind” is not the answer. An “abiding mind” is required.

 



What you can learn from the churning of the ocean

21st Aug, 2015

The story goes that the Devas (demi-gods) were slowly losing their strength because of a curse by a great rishi. Their archrivals the Asuaras (demons) took advantage of this opportunity and threatened to wage war against the Devas. Fearful of what may come to pass, the demi-gods approached Lord Vishnu (known as the Preserver in the Trinity of Hinduism) for a solution. The great Lord told them to churn the primordial ‘Ocean of Milk’ or Ksheera Sagara to receive Amrita, the nectar of immortality, through which they may regain their strength.

This churning, however, was not so easy a task that it could be conducted by the demi-gods alone. So they forged a temporary peace with the demons to attain their goal, after which the nectar would be distributed equally between the demons and the demi-gods. Using the King of Serpents as a churning rope and Mount Mandara as a churning stick, the demi-gods and demons began a task that would take 1000 years to complete. Lord Vishnu, incarnated as his Kurma avatar of a tortoise, held Mount Mandara on His back, so that it would not sink into the ocean during this time.

Working tirelessly for centuries, the reward they sought was not so easy to attain. The first thing to come out was not nectar, but poison. The Halahalam, as it was called, was so potent that it enveloped the universe and threatened to destroy all. Lord Shiva (known as the Destroyer in the Trinity of Hinduism) stepped forward to take this poison. His wife, Parvathi, stopped it from spreading to the whole body by constricting His throat. Lord Shiva’s name Neelakanta or ‘blue-throated one’ is derived from this incident, the poison having turned His neck blue due to its potency.

Amrita, the nectar of immortality, was almost the last thing to come out of the ocean. When it did, it was held in a kumbh (pot) by Dhanvantari, the physician to the gods. Fearful of the consequences of what could transpire, the demi-gods tricked the demons out of drinking from the pot. Lord Vishnu incarnates again in the form of Mohini, the irresistible temptress, and tricks the demons into giving her the pot. What ensued was a dozen days and nights of fighting between the two groups.

During this time, as Lord Vishnu fled with the kumbh from earth to heaven, a few drops of the nectar fell in four places in India: Haridwara, Prayag (Allahabad), Nashik and Ujjain. It is in these places that the Kumbh Mela, one of the largest religious festivals in the world, takes place on a rotational basis every 3 years. The one-and-a-half month festival is taking place in Nashik this year, on the banks of the Godavari River. By the time it has rotated to the other three sites and returned to Nashik, 12 years (representing 12 days and nights of fighting) will have passed by. It is scheduled to finish on 25th September 2015, during which time millions upon millions of devotees will have paid homage at the holy site. Even today, bathing in the rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari and Shipra, where the nectar drops fell is considered sacred and is said to wash away sins.

Swami Sukhabodhanada visited Nashik in July for the Kumbh Mela. Watching the ocean of humanity that churns in and out of the sacred place is not unlike the ocean’s churning in the story. In fact, it is not unlike the turmoil that takes place continually inside many of us.

The mind is constantly being churned by the positive (represented by demi-gods) and negative (represented by demons) aspects within us. For the spiritual seeker, one part will yearn to pursue the spiritual path, another will oppose it. Both these aspects must be in harmony. Keep in mind that both the Devas and the Asuras worked together for the churning. This painful churning brings out first suffering and unhappiness before it gives any rewards. It is the Halahalam that threatens to destroy. Lord Shiva, who drinks that poison, represents the ascetic principle. He represents simplicity, pure love, discipline, courage and detachment. The poisonous instability of our minds can only be stopped by cultivating these principles within us.

The Serpent King represents desire. Mount Mandara stands for concentration. The name ‘Mandara’ contains two words: ‘man’ meaning ‘the mind’ and ‘dara’ meaning ‘straight line’. Therefore the name itself stands for concentration of the mind. The mind, like Mount Mandara during the churning, must rest itself upon divinity (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation of the tortoise) and give itself up to that divinity, if it is not to sink into the ocean.

Therefore, desire must be held in firm hands and controlled, the mind focused on a single aim, rested upon divinity, with all our negative and positive aspects harmonized if spiritual enlightenment is to be attained. What keeps us from this enlightenment and the immortality that it represents? Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini represents the delusion of the mind. It is the delusion of pride and ego; they are the last hurdles one has to overcome.

 



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