Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why Good People Should Take More Responsibility

08/20/2016 Bangalore, India
(Below is a continuation of the post Be Happy And Make Others Happy Too)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Be Happy And Make Others Happy Too

Be happy and content!
We should think about two main goals for ourselves in life:
#1. What is it that you want to achieve in life.
#2. What do you wish to give or contribute to society before you leave this planet.
Both these goals should go hand in hand in life. See, you can have a goal for yourself, and you can also change it after sometime, if you like. But you should also think about what you would like to do for the world, and how would you like the world to be; how would you like society to be? Have that goal also in mind. This is Puja.
Pray for three things in life: Purity in the heart; clarity in the mind and sincerity in action.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How To Save A Strained Relationship

Below is a continuation of the post Journey Back To The Source)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Journey Back To The Source

There is a story about Silence. Once there was a Guru who had four disciples, who were observing a period of silence. In the evening after their meditation, the four disciples were taking a nature walk; just as we do here in the Ashram.
Now, it is usually a habit to go around in groups instead of being alone during these walks. So, all four of them decided to walk together. When they came to a point, one of them said, “Wow, The weather is so pleasant, and there is such a beautiful sunset before us. The environment is so peaceful”.
Hearing this, the second disciple said, “My dear, you have broken your silence by speaking”. The third disciple saw this and remarked, “I am going to complain to Gurudev about you two for breaking your silence”.
The fourth one said “I am the only one here who is maintaining a really good silence.”
During Silence, we should not do such things. Silence is bringing the mind together. It is about collecting and steadying the mind which is scattered. When you sit idly, you will see that your mind runs off in so many directions, it is scattered everywhere. Gathering the mind and retrieving it back to the centre is silence. Silence is moving the mind away from all external actions and influences that one has due to what one may have heard, or seen, or smelt, or experienced, and focusing one’s sight and attention to the centre, to oneself.
Silence is not just about keeping quiet all the time. No, silence means that one need not read or write anything as well. Silence brings enormous strength, and when you are in silence, you should keep smiling. For many people, silence means keeping a long serious face. You do not need to do that. Give a smile to yourself. Smiling at yourself is silence.

Silence involves cutting off from all that is around us for a while; cutting off from the world we have been living in and getting back to the central point of our existence.

When you are observing silence for the first time, there will be restlessness, and all sorts of thoughts, worries and concerns may come up on the surface. Regrets may come, many plans and ideas may also pop up in the mind. You just keep them all aside. It is alright for that to happen. When it happens, you do not need to fight or struggle with it. Just agree with them all and say to yourself, “It is alright. I will look into it after coming out of silence”, and come back to the centre.
I know it is very difficult for the first time, or maybe even the second time when you are observing silence. It is because you are so used to activity all the time. As soon as you wake up, you are engaged in activity till you get so tired that you want to just fall asleep. Some people do activity even in their sleep too! That is a different issue. What I am saying is: we have not known rest properly. Silence is a way to go deep within and find the deepest rest.
You can write down all your wants, your botherations and put it in the basket during the course. Do not worry about anything that is bothering you. I tell you, it will be taken care of. That is why you need a Guru to go into Silence, to go deep into meditation and also on the path of spirituality, because you cannot go into silence properly with all your problems, botherations and other things that trouble your mind.
Your Gurudev will tell you, “You do not need to worry about your botherations. I am with you. I will handle all your problems, you simply relax, meditate and go into silence”. When you get this assurance, you feel comfortable. Then it becomes easier for you to go into silence.
In Buddhist monasteries, you must have seen the image of Lord Buddha sitting peacefully in meditation with one hand raised in Abhaya Mudra.
If you go to any temple, you will find that the idol of the deity is seated with one hand in Abhaya Mudra, which means to say “My dear, do not worry and drop all your fears. You need not struggle with your fears and worries. Drop everything here and just relax”. This is an opportunity for you to be happy and go peacefully into silence.

When you realize that everything is going to be over one day, something within you wakes up.that  something in you that is the eternal peace, which nothing can shake or destroy.

We keep one more basket for you to express gratitude. On the last day of the course, many participants come forward saying, “Gurudev, we do not have any botherations or questions as such. But we do have wonderful stories to share. We feel so grateful at the end of this course. What do we do to express this?”
So I said, “Okay, we will also keep a gratitude basket in the course. Each one of you have many good things happening to you, and I know how deeply grateful you are for it. You can write your gratefulness and put that also in the basket. This is the way to go into silence".
When you spend time alone with Nature, with plants, trees and animals, you will see that you do not get too many thoughts in your mind. But when we see someone’s face, then suddenly cravings and aversions arise in us. Nature never creates or incites cravings and aversions in us. It is only people who do so. This is the time for you to be with Nature – with your own nature, and also with Mother Nature outside. Do not make signs when you see people. If it is very urgent only then you may communicate using a bit of sign language, otherwise maintain your silence.
Another thing that I want to tell you is: Just look back at everything that has happened in your life till now. Is it not like a dream? You went to school, grew up and went to college, and so on. Whatever has happened in your life till this very moment – does it not all appear to be a dream?
Whatever happened has happened and is over. It does not exist anymore. You arrived in the morning today, then had your lunch and then came to attend satsang. Just reflect on everything gone by till now. Has it all not dissolved and disappeared in the waves of time? It is all gone. After some time you will retire to your rooms, and you will come to the session tomorrow and day after, and then you will eventually return to your homes. In this way, another 10 or 20 years more will pass by. Does it not all look like a dream? Just wake up and see.
Whatever money you have earned till now will remain safe in the bank, but one day you will die and pass on. People will cremate your body and offer the ashes into the river Ganga. Or people will bury you in the ground, and after the last rites they will all return to their homes. That’s it, the story will come to an end. This is surely going to happen, there is no escaping this truth. Life is going to come to an end one day. There will be some happy days, there will be some unhappy days, but anyway life will be finished one day or another. When you realize that everything is going to be over one day, something within you wakes up. It will not be tomorrow, it has to be at this very moment, right now! You have to wake up now, this very moment, and see – that there is something in you that is the eternal peace, which nothing can shake or destroy. The deep seated contentment, joy, love – all that springs in the present moment. This is very important.
When Self-knowledge dawns, there is no worry, there is no more conflict or duality in the mind. There is no bondage of aversions or cravings anymore. Then there is only joy, and bliss in every moment, and one experiences deep love all around.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Walking Towards Liberation

(Below is a continuation of the post What It Means To Have Faith)
There are three ways that one can have wealth. One way is the way of inheritance, like how we acquire the wealth of our parents and ancestors, or by winning some lottery. Then we need to take care and strive to preserve and protect the wealth that we have received. Then the third aspect is to grow and multiply the wealth that we have received. For example, if there is some wealth that we do not have, we should not be dejected and say, “Oh, I have not received this wealth, what can I possibly do? I am no good”. No, that is not right. If you have not got something, then make efforts to obtain it. Do hard work to get what you want. Wealth is that which you obtain through hard work and sincere efforts.
Anything that comes to you naturally by way of inheritance or through the merits of your past actions is also wealth. But whatever you gain through hard work and self-effort is also wealth.
The fourth pillar of knowledge is Mumukshatva. It is the desire to be free.
This is present in everyone to some extent, for sure. Everybody wishes to be free at some time. Suppose you are doing some work the whole day and whole night, after sometime you feel, “Oh, I want a break”.
Just imagine what it would be like if you had no holidays at all. What would happen if there were no holidays on Saturdays and Sundays? Then everyday would be the same. What would happen? You would start feeling strangled. In the same way, in life, with any activity, company, or external thing, there could be a sense of bondage, a sense of getting strangled. Then there is an innate desire which says, “I want to be free”.
What do we want to be free from? We want to be free from everything that is negative, we want to be free from desire, we want to be free from anger and so on.

Mumukshatva is the dawning of interest into the deeper aspects of life, a deep desire to be free.

What is that which we do not want to be free from? It is our peace.
No one can say, “I am peaceful, I want to be free from peace”. It is impossible to have a desire to be free from peace and from love. You do not have a desire which says, “Oh, I want to be free from love”. Love is our very existence, it is our very nature. No one wants to be free from love. No one wishes to be free from joy. Does that ever happen? No, because love, peace, joy, generosity are not something one wishes to be free from. No one can say, “I want to be free from my generosity”. Nobody can say, “I want to be free from my beautiful nature; my grand qualities”.
Does anyone ever want to be free from their good qualities? No, it is not so. If you are only acting to be good, then it may be possible that you want to be free. But what is naturally coming out of you as good qualities, you do not wish to be free from that.
No one wants freedom from their true nature, from what comes naturally to them. What is it that we desire freedom from? We seek freedom from artificial things. If we remain stuck in the artificial world the whole day, then we will get so tired. An intelligent and wise person becomes uncomfortable even if he spends a few minutes in a world of artificial display and artificial things. It simply does not happen. So we seek freedom from this artificial world, artificial smiles, superficial behavior and formalities.
Someone may say to you, “Welcome home! It is so nice to see you”, but their face does not reveal this emotion at all. Instead deep down they may be thinking, “O God, when will he leave?” All this artificial behavior is foolishness. One feels suffocated staying in the midst of an artificial world, full of artificial behaviors and displays.
What will you get by such artificial display and whom will you impress by it? What is it that you want, and what will you do by acquiring so many (material) things?
This is what Vairagya is all about. It means to have this feeling that “I have acquired so much, now what more do I need? I have enough”.
What will you get by acquiring so much wealth? What will you get by running after more and more fame and popularity? Once you have enjoyed all the comforts and joy, then what next? At some time or the other, you will feel, “Alright, I have enough. Now I want to be free”.

Holding on tightly to the keys of the house and wanting to control everything is a sign of lack of Mumukshatva, and knowledge cannot dawn in such a state

Taking a deeper interest into life is important. You must take an interest to think, “What is this life, and what happens after life? How many times have I come here and taken a dip in the world?” Mumukshatva is the dawning of interest into the deeper aspects of life, a deep desire to be free. It does not mean that you have gained liberation. No, it means dawning of that desire to be free.
Many people say that you can get liberation by leaving everything and running away. I tell you, running away is not Mumukshatva.Where will you run? Will you run away into the forest, or to the mountains? Do you think you will gain freedom that way? No, you will face a different set of problems there also.
Recognizing that there are problems in life and having that deep desire to be free is what brings us halfway through the journey of life. Then our mind does not get stuck in small trivial matters.
I tell you, once the daughter-in-law arrives in the house, every mother-in-law or father-in-law should decide to walk towards Mukti (freedom). Do not hold on tightly to the keys of the house then. Do not interfere much in the matters of the house, like by asking, “What is being cooked for dinner today?"
See, you have had your fill and enjoyed cooking what you liked for all these years. Now let the daughter-in-law also enjoy and feel comfortable. Holding on tightly to the keys of the house and wanting to control everything is a sign of lack of Mumukshatva, and knowledge cannot dawn in such a state.
Today, there is this Generation Gap because of lack of Mumukshatva. In the family today, the father is 75 years old but he still wants to control and make every decision. The son is already nearing 50 years of age and still cannot take any decisions. His brain is frustrated and locked up because of this. What is the use? An 85-year old man cannot perceive things as sharply anymore, yet he wants to rule everything. He cannot understand that three generations are working in his own company. I tell you, there is so much suffering happening in the Corporate World, and in business families – because of a lack of wisdom.