The following post is a translated excerpt from acharya shree’s book, kaise soche
Thought (vichaar in hindi) means the one which moves ( in hindi, char means walk) . How can one that moves be permanent? The one that is temporary cannot be permanent and the one that is permanent cannot be temporary. Every dravya or substance has both facets- permanence and impermanence. Thoughts always remain impermanent.
Some are astonished at a change in opinions. But, what is so surprising? If thoughts do not change, that is surprising. The nature of thoughts is to change. If one thought stays an entire lifetime, the person should be thought of as a very rigid person, closed to new ideas. A person often experiences pride at having clung to a thought tightly. He thinks he is strong. But, it, in reality, is foolishness.
When bones become too rigid, it is an alarm of bad health. Bones should remain flexible. That is why, getting stuck at one thought is not something special. But, men and women sometimes assume a foolish act to be special. When the mind is not stable, even the wrong seems right.
The field of thoughts is unique. Here, thoughts which oppose one another are nurtured. Beneath the veil of right understanding, foolishness is nurtured.
In the field of thoughts, opposite thoughts cannot be ignored. There cannot be a thought which only produces harmony. Thoughts produce duality, because the nature of thoughts is to move and change. In this dual world of thoughts, thinking something should happen this way or that way, something will happen or wont happen, is illusionary- there is no reality to it.
We are contemplating on how to think because we sometimes, have positive life-building thoughts and sometimes, destructive thoughts.We want the latter to be less. This can be achieved if we could refine our thoughts.
And thoughts can be refined by achieving a balance of thoughtlessness and the state of thoughtfulness. Clear thoughts cannot be achieved by just thinking as there is struggle in the field of thoughts. More we experience thoughtlessness, more our thoughts become clear and positive.
Intellect cannot clean thoughts. Only thoughtlessness can. From it, comes positivity, faith, will-power, the ability for self-effort, and the radiance of light which is within us.
But what is thoughtlessness? It is the state of meditation. In this state, there are no thoughts and no imagination. Doors of all kinds of thoughts are closed. That consciousness arises which is beyond the senses, the mind, and the intellect. One only experiences the pure soul. The state is entirely a subject of experience. It cannot be discussed in words.
A translated excerpt from Acharya Mahapragya’s book, kaise soche
Today, people do not find perfectly believable facts as believable. Nobody trusts each other. Today, the word, ‘trust’ not exist in the dictionary. Doubts exist everywhere. Doubt is a flaw of the mind. A thought cannot be called flawless, if it has been formed on the basis of a doubt. It cannot be called a balanced point of view.
Faith holds a high pedestal in life. A life that lacks faith, is a baseless life- a life with no support. It cannot be a successful life.
There are three pillars of faith :
-knowledge of and faith in the universal laws, which includes the law of change and law of death
-faith in your ability to do a particular work
– faith that you have immense potential.
You don’t have to trust someone else to have faith. Rather you must have faith in yourself. And faith in the above pillars constitute a strong faith in oneself.
The meaning of doubt is denying possibilities. A doubtful person remains closed to possibilities. We must understand when do our thoughts become flawed with doubt. When one encounters a new idea, he is immediately inclined towards rejecting its possibility.
Today, aeroplanes fly at great heights. However, there was a time when people denied the possibility of such an invention.
Rejecting possibilities is a big flaw. Establishing faith means- accepting possibilities. When we accept possibilities, we gain samyak chintan or to say, an equanimous mind. Duality ceases to exist, then.
The following post is a translated part of Acharya shree’s book kaise soche
Thinking is an art. And not everybody is accomplished in it. Only a few are. Those who do know the art, they are blessed with a clear path.
A saint during a discussion exclaimed that he has learnt something from everyone. Somebody asked “What have you learnt from a thief?” To this he replied “Once I had stayed with a thief. He’d go everyday to steal and come empty-handed.” And everyday he’d say that he might get something tomorrow. The thief had immense patience.
Human nature is complex. A person doing good work is saddened easily and a person doing bad work isn’t.
This is a fact. People have a deper faith in evil than in goodness. Establishing faith in goodness requires a lot more practice of sadhna.
Now, someone with a negative viewpoint is also likely to reject every truth. Whereas someone with a positive viewpoint comes closer to the truth and is able to solve many problems.
The outcomes of thinking with a negative viepoint are sorrow, aggression, non-enthusiasm, and abstinence from work. So in one word, the result is – failure in life.
The most important principle of a successful life is a positive viewpoint. There are a few tests for a positive and negative viewpoint.
The first test is – thinking with integrity or thinking with anxiety or agitation. Someone thinking with integrity or totality in mind is one with a positive direction in thinking. And the one thinking with anxiety gets stuck at an argument making his contemplation distorted.
When one is not aware of an event or a thing’s full picture, the thinkers draws an inappropriate or incomplete conclusion. The conclusion drawn cannot be correct. To have a balanced thought process, one needs to be aware of the complete information and then think.
Once, soldiers were being recruited on a basis of compulsion. A man approached Maotsay Tung and said – your leg is broken. Good for you. You’ve been saved from the soldier life. Maotsay replied – you can say that it’s a good thing. I can’t because I don’t have the complete picture in front of me. I cannot say whether a good thing has happened or a bad thing.
When a man or a woman takes a decision on the basis of incomplete thoughts or feelings, then stuggle arises. That is why it is necessary to think with totality.
The following post is a translated part of Acharya Shree’s hindi book, mastishk prashikshan
Our brain is driven by electric current and chemicals. Which chemical creates which kind of reaction and putting an electrode in which part of the brain can create which kind of reaction – these facts are very clear today. In our body, there are centres for the creation and control of emotions and reactions. There are centres which produce emotions and disturbances and there are centres which control them. This is an internal process which continues naturally.
There are two divisions of our nadi sansthan (system of blood vessels)- self-driven, and the other is facultative. Through the self-driven system of blood vessels , internal activities happen on their own. If there is a centre for the generation of anger, then there is a centre which can subdue the anger. Both faculties are present.
Modern psychology says that the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, hypothalamus, and some parts of the brain and nadi sansthan – these parts are responsible for controlling impulsive emotions. However, yoga and spirituality indicate factors other than body systems to control emotions. And these factors have a direct relation with god. Through emotion- centric processes a transformation can be brought in these centres.
It is important to note that a transformation brought with chemicals or with the use of electrodes cannot be permanent. Injecting an appropriate chemical may silence anger but the effect cannot be long-lasting. Same with the use of electrodes.
And this is where meditation plays a role. Many question what is the purpose of long-term meditation practices? If with injections, external medicines, and electrodes emotions can be controlled within a second, why to meditate? The answer is that meditation unlike these things is more of a permanent solution to the disturbances of our mind.
Physicians have found solutions only on the basis of the body while psychiatrists have found solutions only on the basis of the brain and mind. They haven’t found the true source of emotions and the reason for their production. This is a very subtle secret. That is why sometimes research findings happen to be contradictory.
The path of spirituality is a path free from contradictions. It is a path of clarity. It is a process of refinement. Today many have this delusion that Indian philosophy teaches the process of suppressing emotions. A religious philosophy teaching suppression cannot be religion. It can be something else. Whether it’s sex, anger or any other emotion, Indian philosophy does not teach suppressing them.
The purpose of religious philosophy is refining emotions. The four establishments of psychology to refine emotions are – suppression, sublimation, voluntary decision and intellectual decision. And the four establishments of Indian religious philosophy for refining emotions are – self-study, meditation, emotional purity and tapasya or endurance.
(To be continued..)
(The following post is a translated excerpt of Acharya Shree’s book कार्य कौशल के सूत्र )
A famous sentence of the Bhagwad Gita is- योग: कर्मसु कौशलम् ।
The sentence means that skill in action is called yoga. This is one definition of yoga. It can also be said that yoga is a tool to achieve skill in action. The question of skillful action or work comes into being when we know the purpose of the work we do.
Purpose of Work
Doing something is not a necessity. One’s need makes doing something a necessity. Without a purpose, an action has no significance. It is said- प्रयोजनमनुद्देश्य मन्दोपि न प्रवर्तते। This means without a purpose even a mad man does not do anything. What is our purpose? Fulfilling the various needs of our lives- food, clothing, education, medicine and etc. However, with the rise in needs, today, work has expanded.
What Is Skilful Action?
The present era has seen the expansion of businesses, the variety of work, and workload. With this expansion, the question of efficiency has arisen. However, how to become efficient or skilled in action, is not just a question of our modern times but was a persistent question in our ancient times as well. The question is- what should we consider as an action of skill? A work that does not obstruct someone’s good is skillful work. If an action is performed to perfection, but at the cost of one’s health, then that action is not skillful in totality. Today, work has grown so much that people’s health is getting affected. More than physical health, mental and emotional health is getting affected. Skill is that, which gives some benefit but no or minimal loss. It should not become an Allopathic medicine that removes one disease and creates ten more diseases. A skillful treatment is that, which uproots a disease but doesn’t create new ones in the process.
The Question Is Of Limits
In the context of Indian thought, an important question is- what should be the limits for dharma, artha, kaam and moksha?( ie duty, wealth, desire, and liberation) It is said that the desires that obstruct the creation and collection of wealth, are not good. Collecting wealth is necessary for life, but a person should not get so stuck in the act of collecting wealth, that he cannot tend to his desires. And when one cannot maintain the purity of his soul and perform his duties, then desires and wealth become of a low status.
We must ponder over various aspects when we talk about one’s capability or skill. Even if our skills and work have grown, we must pause and ask – is the work we’re doing affecting our health? Is it increasing our anger? If that is happening, then we cannot call it skillful work. In the context of a nation, it is often, said – the country is very efficient and it has thus, established its supremacy over the global market. There is no trouble in accepting this but we must look at its other aspect as well. If the same country has seen an increase in suicide and divorce rates and sees a rise in health problems, then can we really consider that country a skillful one too? If work efficiency increases, so should the quality of physical and mental health. There must be a balance.
The Notion Of Development
Today, the notion of development has found a sole basis in things. The more we create and possess materialistic things, the more one is considered developed. Facets of consciousness have been ignored. Its value in comparison to things has been reduced to zero. There is development in every field of life, but there is no effort being put in the direction of making good human beings. Despite the lack of peace in our human race, there seems to be no concern for alleviating it. Whatever little concern is there, has fructified in the form of medicines and drugs. In this state, understanding the significance and art of skillful work is very difficult.
Test of Emotional Health
Poor emotional health removes the possibility of skill in action. Though there is no parameter by which one’s exact emotional health can be discerned, a person’s behavior can guide us into getting knowledge of one’s emotional state . Following are the four facets of behavior which can give us insight into one’s emotional health:
1. Peace of Mind
We must see whether one’s work is taking away one’s peace of mind? Or is it obstructing one’s humble behavior? Is it making one egoistic and angry? Is it destroying our simplicity? Is it raising our greed to such an extent that the desire of possessing the whole world could also arise in us?
If you get any of these answers as yes, you are not doing your work with skill.
What is the purpose of our capabilities to work? At the end of the day, for what purpose is everything being done? If we look carefully, we’ll see that everything is being done for the comfort and happiness of people. But ironically, people themselves are breaking down, meaning that there is no meaning to what we do.
Thinking, Deciding, and Acting
We must think different ways to achieve the ability to act skilfully. For this, we need to create a plan. Whatever work is to be done, do it with a plan. There is a famous sutra which gives guidance to achieving a task with skill. It says, there should not be much time gap between the stages of taking a decision, thinking it through, and executing it into action. Thinking about it today, taking a decision after an year, and executing it into action after five years, won’t do. There is a story in sanskrit literature- a few scholars were invited to dinner. Noodles were served. A scholar looked at the long noodles and thought – दीर्घसूत्री विनश्यति। Meaning one who thinks over a lengthy period destroys himself. The person fails at the work. Time sucks the juice out of an idea’s potential.
I am reminded of a story. Once a cow’s capacity to give milk reduced. She started giving one kilo of milk instead of five. The owner thought- there is a wedding after a month. Fifty kilos of milk will be needed in the wedding and the cow is only giving a kilo. Let me stop milking the cow for now and milk her for fifty kilos straight, on the day of the wedding. And so he waited but on the day of the wedding, it turned out that he could not even obtain a drop of milk in the container. He got confused as to where did the milk go?
When a work is performed post the apt time, it will most likely result in a failure.
The second principle of skillful action is- do not do anything in a hurry.
सहसा विदघीत क्रियाम् । Don’t do anything without thinking through.
Skillful Action Defined In The Context of Prekshadhyan
Let us now think in the context of Prekshadhyan. The first stage of skillful action would be- doing something with focus. The second stage would be- be thoughtless while you are doing something, go beyond the mind. We must first, learn to stay on a single point. Work towards a single goal and become one with what you are doing. Put your mind fully in whatever you are doing. There should be no separation between mind and work. There should be no emotional distance also. A person sits to work. If he feels anger or egoism while doing it, then the work will also get affected. When we are doing something, all kinds of emotional activities within us should be surrendered for the work. Unless there is no surrender, one’s skill in action does not rise. After surrendering, nothing is left.
The Kind Of Surrender That Is Needed
In an Arab market, slaves were being sold. A customer asked a slave- “will you come with me?”
“What will you do?”
“Sir, whatever you say.”
“Where will you stay?”
“Wherever you keep me.”
“What will you eat?”
“Whatever you give me.”
“Where will you sleep?”
“Wherever you ask me to sleep.”
The master continued to ask and the slave just gave one answer- whatever you say. A Sufi saint was standing nearby. Hearing this conversation, he was stunned. He thought to himself- a slave is so committed to his master and despite being my lord’s servant, I don’t even have comparable commitment. I must be surrendered to my lord to this extent. Only then will I meet Him. The one who wants to be successful in the path of spirituality, (s)he must pay attention to these words- तच्चिते, तम्मणे, तल्लेसे, तदज्झवसाणे, तदत्थोवउत्ते, तदप्पियकरणे ।
Meaning that when one ascends from the state of complete oneness to the state of complete surrender, then complete success will come.
Our focus takes many forms- focussing at a point or becoming one with it, dissolving the way sugar dissolves in milk, and complete surrender.
Live In The Present Moment
The Story of The Muni Rajrishi
Once upon a time there was a muni named Prassanchandra Rajrishi. He stood under a tree in the mudra of kayotsarg. Shrainik, the king of the country was passing by. And so did a man by the name of Durmukh ( ie bad-mouthed), whose character coincidently matched his name. As soon as he saw the muni, he said- “So, he has become a muni. Now, he stands here with deceit. His son is losing against enemies in the battleground, and he is meditating .”
As soon as the muni heard this, his mind stuck at the fact- son is losing the battle. Not only did he lose his focus, the war scene started in his own mind. The war continued for hours. Despite the fact that there was no enemy, no army and no battle, an intense war started happening within him that his life got associated with a war.
King Shrainik reached lord Mahaveer, and with a prayer asked him – dear master! Muni Prassanchandra is in deep meditation. If he dies at this point of time, where will he reach? Lord Mahaveer replied- in hell. Shrainik was surprised. He was neither able to believe the lord’s words nor disbelieve them.
On the other hand, a man named Sumukh (ie good mouthed) passed Rajrishi’s way. With praise in his voice, he exclaimed – “how great of you, Sir! Leaving your kingdom, you have chosen to become a muni and now, you are so absorbed in your meditation.” As soon as the word, saint, reached his ears he realised – oh! I have become a muni now. Whose kingdom? Whose son? Which war? His mind stabilised. He remembered his true nature and the whole situation changed.
Meanwhile, Shrainik asked Mahaveer again – “Sir, what is the state now?” Lord Mahaveer replied- “he has reached the ultimate. He has reached where he had to reach.”
A lot of problems arise when we want to do something. Thoughts of memories and the imagination thereof, one’s emotions, all of them obstruct a work. In order to augment skill in performing an action, it is necessary that we practice pure one-pointedness. One-pointedness should be there at a pure goal. Make your goal pure and focus on it. In terms of behaviour, purity means that one’s focus should not grow towards actions that have ill- bearing effects on others.
One way of inculcating pure one-pointedness is taking your attention towards the vishuddhi centre of our body. It helps in increasing one’s skill and efficiency. A very appropriate name has been given to it in yoga- the centre of vishuddhi or purity. The centre has several uses. The main purpose of the centre or chakra is to maintain a balance in the activities of elimination. It has been given a place of the Acharya. The meaning of Acharya is – being skilled in conduct and making others skilled in it. The chakra is very significant for purity and one-pointedness.
The Heart Of Skillful Action
That kind of skillful work must be developed which does not harm or exploit someone else, and does not hurt other’s good. In the context of Prekshadhyan, only this kind of work can be called a work of skill. In the words of Gita, only this can be called yoga or skillful work. If we increase our work efficiency with respect to this truth, then it will be very beneficial for mankind.
Whoever breathes, lives. One has to live by breathing, eating and drinking; but living like this has no great value. Living a quality life is valuable. And whoever has peace and strength lives a life of quality. Lack of either of the two leads to a stressful mind, which further diminishes life’s quality.
Once, a sister asked me for the solution, for her distressful state of mind. Upon being asked for the reason for distress, she elaborated, “two sons have passed away. There is one daughter-in-law. People talk a lot of nonsesnse.” I said “if you live on the basis of what people say, then you can never live with peace. In this world, there exists different kinds of people with different beliefs, imaginations and thought processes. So, if we start living on the basis of these diverse set of notions, we cannot even think about living in peace.”
The first principle of living with strength and peace is self-confidence. We must have faith in ourselves. The problem is that we have more faith on others. Maybe that’s why people are fed information about what others speak of them. What the other says, says. The important question is: what do you say to your own self?
Others talking about you is their desire. It is possible that what you do, is not liked by someone. Everybody has a unique thought process. There is so much diversity and freedom in terms of thinking, that nobody can be bound. If we see ourselves on the basis of other’s mindsets, then we can never live with peace.
A weak and fearful person gets influenced by small instances and thus, living with peace is impossible for him. Only people with a strong mind can save themselves from the impressions of events and people’s chatter. The principle of evolution is that only the strong one survives in this world. Only the one, who has faith in themselves, is the strong one. Therefore, tools, through which a strong mind can be achieved, must be found for obtaining peace.
The Truth Of Our Society
People who rely on others for their work and goals can not be strong. Relying on others for your work can never get it accomplished. No matter how close a supporter, their help can only work to benefit when you have faith in yourself.
Society has a problem- one’s capabilities, character and what he must be doing are all decided on the basis of what others have to say. Even in the context of a party, clothes which are liked by others, are worn. It is seen which designs are liked by people. One’s own likes and dislikes do not matter, a dress should just be liked by others. If somebody says something is good, it is good and if someone says something is bad, it is bad even if it is good or right as per their own perception.
I asked several people- why do you do this to yourself? They tell me – “even we know that this is not right.But what to do? If we do not act according to society’s set standards, no one will let us fit in. We won’t be able to walk with our heads held high.”
Do Not Become Puppets
This means that a person is a puppet of other’s hands- a toy that can be driven wherever they want. Becoming a puppet is playing with your own life. Only a person who is devoid of confidence can let such a thing happen to him/her. A confident person will not think what others have to say. She/he will do what (s)he has to do.
First, one must think thoroughly about the decision they have to make; think about the pros and cons of an action and decide with proper care. But after deciding thoughtfully, do what you have to do. Then, you must not stop. What others will say must be ignored.
This is my own experience. His holiness, Acharya Tulsi oversaw a lot of changes in our commune of munis. He, first, thought through and after thinking, he concluded that certain traditions must be changed as they do not hold any meaning in this day and age. If we have done something after thinking over it thoroughly, then what others say does not hold any meaning and doing something without thinking through, has no meaning in itself.
Save Yourself From Poor Thoughts
The second principle of living with strength is saving oneself from whimsical thoughts. Some people build something bad with their own imagination. There is nothing real to it. The mind only imagines and generally, such pieces of imagination are not good. Many people have this habit. Such a habit does not let life become strong.
Another problem is doubts. Some people carry a lot of doubts and come up with thoughts such as these-” Several days have passed, there has been no news. What could have happened?” This is the weakness of our own mind. The mind is so weak that it cannot stand any doubt. Lots of doubts and imaginary talk in the mind makes a man weak.
The practice of meditation is valuable because it teaches one to be in the present moment. When we learn to live in the present moment, then unnecessary imaginary ideas can be stopped. These unnecessary imaginations make one weak from the inside and the outside, both. The meaning of strength implies the strength to stop one’s flow of imagination.
Let the discriminatory power remain awake- this imagination should be developed while this should not be developed further. As soon as a bad imaginary idea appears in your mind, it must be thrown out.
Why Does A Mind Break?
Bad imaginations and fear weaken the mind. When the mind is weak with fear and imaginations, how can you talk about peace? The mind must be saved from thoughts that weaken it. If we can do that, the mind will automatically be peaceful and when the mind is at peace, it can stand any amount of difficulties and troubles. A strong new piece of cloth can withstand the impact of a stone thrown on it from above but if the cloth is of poor quality, even a little impact can tear it away. Similarly, if our mind is weak, even a small problem can make the mind very unrestful.
Thus, in reality, no incident creates sorrow. A weak mind creates sorrow. We often think along the line- such a major incident has happened, and that is why the mind has become so much at unrest. We forget that there is another incident creator in between, which is the mind. Every event is filtered through the mind. If the mind is powerful, then it can even turn a troublesome incident into a small one.
We have no control over events. But we can surely make our minds so strong that no incident steals the innate peace within us or at least an incident should not have such an effect that life becomes burdensome.
Will You Survive?
In the olden days, there was a prince who behaved with cruelty towards everyone. The public was troubled by him. In a monarchy, the king is the most powerful. Complaints of the prince’s cruelty reached the king. He was the only son. The king got in a dilemma. He thought to himself, “he won’t listen to me; let me go to our Guru. He will definitely put him on the right road.” So, the king went to the Guru and told him, “Maharaj! My son has a bad habit. He behaves very cruelly with others. Please teach him a lesson.”
The saint assured him and made a plan. The saint accompanied the king, the prince and guards to the forest, indicated to pluck a few neem leaves and, asked the prince to consume them. The prince’s tongue caught the bitter taste. The prince disliked it but since eating the leaves was his Guru’s instruction, he didn’t say anything. As per the plan, the saint, the king and the prince went to the forest, the next day too but the tree from which the prince had consumed the leaves was nowhere to be seen. The prince told everybody -“Gurudev! I had the tree cut.”On being asked for the reason, the prince replied- “this was a very bitter tree.What is the use of such bitterness? Thus, I had it cut.” On this, the saint said- “you did a good job. A bitter thing should not stay in the world. Even your behaviour is bitter. In the public’s view, even you are bitter. So, if they also think like you, will you survive?”
Strength, Peace, and Happiness
This saint’s nugget of wisdom completely changed the prince. Even if one nugget of wisdom touches you from within, life can be transformed. We must consider this seriously- that everyone wants to live with peace and happiness. Happiness comes with peace and peace comes with strength. The three are inter-related. If the mind is not peaceful, one cannot appreciate a good thing that is in front of them.
Now, since peace is related to one’s state of mind in a big way, the source of strength is one’s emotions or a control on their passions. In psychology, it is called emotional development. The chief element that destroys one’s strength is emotional disturbances. All passions, be it anger, egoism, lust or desire, ultimately destroy one’s strength. So, in order to be powerful, controlling one’s passions is very important.
Good Conduct v/s Miracles
There are two attractions in the world- good conduct and miracles. People like miracles even though there is nothing in them. Strength comes with good conduct. A person walking on water is a miracle. Whoever sees somebody walking on water, will be surprised but what will the sight-seers gain out of this? Nothing! If you want to gain strength, then make your conduct pure. Good conduct is powerful and miracles are just show-off activities.
The worrisome question is what does a common man get with such miracles? Babas performing such miracles do get benefitted as they are worshiped. In the midst of their miracle shows, they take advantage of people’s faith and in the process, obtain monetary benefits.
But if good conduct comes in life, strength comes. Even if one learns to focus the mind for five minutes, the mind’s willpower and strength will increase. If we spend our life by witnessing miracles, nothing will really come in our hands. These are two roads.Which road do we want to take is in our own hands. To make the mind strong and powerful, we must choose the road of good conduct. The question is: how can we make our conduct better? For this, we must develop pure emotions, continuously. Pure emotions create good conduct in one’s mind and thus, create strength.
The Solution is Within
To become sufficiently strong, an important thing is to find the solution to your problem, yourself. Problems come in everyone’s life. Nobody can assume that no problems will ever come in their life. There has been no person on this Earth, who has not faced any problems. It’s a principle of this world that a person has to face some or the other difficulty. The question is what can be done? Spirituality commands that one must find the solution to their problems, themselves.
There is a famous sutra which says it succinctly- अप्पणासच्चमेसेज्जा।
This means- find your own truth. The truth found by others cannot be much useful to the other person. I myself think that whatever I am telling you, is not directly useful to you. Unless you do not have your own experiences and put in your own efforts, how will my saying anything will help? If you make my truth, your own, then you will see results. Otherwise, this knowledge will be like a loan, which you will have to return someday.
Unless we do not have the mindset of finding solutions to problems, ourselves, no power in this world can solve our problem. For instance, somebody, who is suffering from the problem of obesity, can thin down only after their own self-efforts. The person will have to change their diet, keep a control on their diet and exercise, themselves. Nobody else can do it for them. If a problem could be solved on rent, rich people would never have to face any problems.
Solution to a problem is not anywhere outside but is within us- the day, we firmly place our faith on this belief, we will be accomplished with strength and peace, which will remain with us throughout our lives.
The following post is based on Acharya shree’s book nirvichaar ki or
Three kinds of lifestyles (jeevanshaili) exist:
1.Padarthpeksh jeevanshaili- matter bound lifestyle
2.Atmapeksh jeevanshaili – soul bound life
The first kind entails a person to regard the world of matter as everything.People living such lifestyles believe that the essence of life is things, living or non-living.Eat, enjoy and collect things- this is the mantra of such a life.A life revolving around things.The second kind of lifestyle is based only on the search for the truth.Such people are focused only on their inner selves. The third kind of life entails focussing on things and consciousness,both.
A person meditating, should at least develop a life of the third kind.The second kind of life is not easy for everyone.Forget regular people, even munis do not reach there.In terms of behaviour, we can also term them as unbehavioural.Such a person is of no use to society and therefore, let us leave him.Today’s man is living a life of either the first kind or the third kind.Meditation changes a life bound to matter.One begins to think about one’s consciousness.One begins to wonder what is the truth?Is the material world, the truth?When we don’t think deeply, only matters belonging to this material existence matter to us and we live a life of the first kind.When we begin to think, the illusionary nature of material things becomes clear before us.
The Nature of Matter
Shankaracharya said-” Brahm or the universal consciousness is the truth while the world is an illusion.Basically it is a sutra of spirituality. Matter(ie material things) is an illusion in the sense that today what exists may not exist tomorrow.Something which satisfies us today will dissatisfy us after a few days.
Yesterday, I happened to be standing in the hall when a stream of water was falling down a pipe.Looking at the flowing water, I thought to myself, does this water hold some value?Maybe not.Just a moment later, I realised I had just had some water, a few minutes ago.If I had seen this water flowing after a five day water fast, the same water would have been very valuable to me.
Therefore, a thing by itself has no value.Its value is only realised at a moment of desire or unfulfillement.But the uniqueness of matter is that it never lets one feel fulfilled.One feels fulfilled only for a moment.We have some water.For one hour, we may not want to have it again but after sometime the desire for water is born again.A natural question arises- people have been enjoying different kinds of sense-objects for such a long time but have they achieved fulfilment?If they have become fulfilled after eating, then why are they repeating the same sequence?The truth is that degree of dissatisfaction has only increased with an increase in consumption of the sense-world.That is why, despite lack of hunger, one feels unfulfilled after a certain point in time and consumes food without being hungry.The nature of sense objects is to give a sense of satisfaction for a moment and create an impression of dissatisfaction, a moment later.
The Severity of the Sun
The dearest queen of the king, once, due to some reason went out in the sun.Her body burnt down due to the severity of the sun.Burnt and hurt, she went to the King and complained “everyone says you are a perfect King but I think you are weak.In your kingdom ,everyone does what they like.This sun has troubled me badly.Unless you do not throw him out of the kingdom, I will not speak to you.”
The queen’s demand was weird but in anger, everyone does what they like.The King was smart.He ordered his commander-in chief to throw as many missiles as required, so as to make the sun invisible.This order was put to action.Aiming at the sun, missiles were thrown.The clouds of smoke made the sun invisible.The queen was content that her desire was fulfilled.
The Story of Current Lifestyle
Attachments of likes and dislikes enrapture people’s minds so intensely that the truth is considered false.The feeling of unfulfillment created by sense objects creates such an impression that a man is led to believe that only sense objects constitute life and nothing is beyond them.This kind of a mind set creates a lot of delusions.Many diseases such as cancer, heart-attack, peptic ulcers, hypertension, insomnia etc. have been a result of this kind of thought process and its consequent lifestyle.This blind race towards sense objects needs to be abandoned and the lifestyle of the third kind which has place for both, the material and the spiritual, needs to be adopted.In the language of percentage, if 50% place is given to one’s consciousness/spiritual growth and 50% place is given to the material world, a big change can take place.Such a life can witness a positive transformation of emotions.Upon transformation of emotions, thoughts will change automatically.
A Depth to Thoughts
One result of the search for truth is change of emotions which leads to change of thoughts, which further ,leads to a change of lifestyle.This is the sequence of devlopment.Meditation is not just spending time with eyes shut.It is a life philosophy.I believe that essential dimensions of a society such as politics, economics etc. are all incomplete without the subtle touch of meditation.Politics, society, economics – are all run by thoughts.Just as a ship cannot travel in shallow waters, thoughts cannot be developed at a shallow level.Thoughts must be given the depth of truth.Then only our thoughts can become so deep that anything can be made to float on it and any problem can thus, be solved.