Does Relationships Require Our Ongoing Attention?

Although relationships form the building block for any engaging community, sustaining it is quite a challenge. Oh, my friend sometimes it‚Äôs quite a task ūüėÄ

Maintaining our close personal relationships requires a lot of our energy and time‚ÄĒyou¬†can’t deny¬†that ūüėČ When growing up, I thought it was natural for us to love one another? I never realised that my parents worked hard to keep us all together but now that I have learned it, I do my bit to keep it all in place. Whenever¬†I¬†get overwhelmed with the demands of a relationship,¬†I¬†remind myself of the good times we¬†had together. It did not come easily, especially when you are frustrated it takes a lot of strength to reflect on the good about the person/object that leads you to it. It may have taken me a while but I learnt the lesson that every moment cannot be picture perfect. So,¬†I have learned to stand up to the challenge. Remember it is impossible to keep everyone happy all the time- we have to stay happy to keep others happy. Give yourself time and in any healthy relationship the laughter should always outweigh the frustration.Yeah, relationship can get difficult at times but not all the time¬†ūüėāūüėÉ

Do relationships need ongoing attention? Absolutely, like the same kind of attention we pay in bettering ourselves. Despite that understanding we are often tempted to take the lazy road. The road which blames others for a failed relationship or worse yet, indulges in self-blame. Look at any relationship that we have or had. Some we all might have lost to the issues of incompatibility. Isn’t compatibility something we make than what we have? Seriously I think- compatibility is the most overrated quality today.

Anyway, let’s leave it at that. Have you ever observed the Mother nature? She teaches us many valuable lessons.

It is raining here and when I look up at the sky. I wonder are we not like the clouds.

Clouds-Some battered and some softened by the weathers of life. Each cloud might carry a different story¬†and they may differ in color,¬†shape, speed, altitude and various others. But, all the clouds¬†are created from the water. We fail to see the¬†oneness behind variety and duality. Living in that ignorance, we pass judgment on another cloud based on the physical aspects alone, don’t we?¬†Some¬†of us have a problem with just about everything.

Instead, why can’t we indulge in more inclusive thought-provoking analyses by asking ourselves:

 What is the fun,

  • If all clouds look alike?
  • If all drift in the sky at the same speed?
  • If all drop as rain at the same time?

Frankly, what is the fun?

If only we could look deep inside the differently shaped clouds to see what they are made of-the invisible water vapor. We got to remind ourselves that we are there up in the sky for an interim period and there we might look and behave differently from each other. And, that’s what makes it all beautiful, isn’t it?

These simple¬†things in life ground me. Everything around us is teaching us to be humble. Look at the sky, it has tons of lessons to teach, only if we are willing to learn.The Sky knows everything about the clouds and they exist because of the him. Though clouds are dependent upon the wind, the sky in the backdrop stays an independent observer and¬†without bias loves the clouds anyways. These inspire me to teach myself to be more giving and patient. Not that I succeed all the time but I learn from my missteps ūüôā I recognize and appreciate our human fallibility without falling into skepticism.

I have learnt through my life experiences so far that there is no easy formula out there to building relationships but yet it’s all worth the time. Any conscious relationship-with God or our dear ones demand our love and attention. However complex they might seem at times, they are often the source of our¬†greatest joys. So, lets strive to¬†be that happy Sky.

Image: Calvin and Hobbes

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Are Feelings The Language Of The SELF?

Hey, It’s been a while since my last post, not so long, though ūüėõ..it’s been just a little over 2 weeks, I guess…hmm..Anyways, I¬†like coming back to this space to pen down my thoughts. I enjoy it ‚̧ԳŹ

Lately my friend and I had been discussing this book titled ‚ÄúConversation with God‚ÄĚ that he been reading. He quoted multiple lines from the¬†book. Here are few of them:

‚ÄúThe soul speaks to you in Feelings. Listen to your feelings. Follow your feelings. Honour your feelings.‚ÄĚ

The author goes forth to say ‚ÄúFeelings are the language of the soul, but you must make sure you are listening to your true feelings and not some counterfeit model constructed in your mind.‚ÄĚ

It’s an interesting read, well written and look at the title ūüėć.¬†Who wouldn‚Äôt grab it off the shelf? We can draw a lot of similarities between this and the dialogue which is said to have happened some 5000 years ago between Krishna and Arjuna, called Bhagavad Gita. It doesn‚Äôt matter how many years have passed, SELF¬†remain the same and anybody who attempts to explain the experience of the Self¬†has to go down that road. Moreover, SELF is eternal and ever-existing and hence thankfully¬†cannot be restricted to any religion ūüėā

As I was engaging with my friend in this interesting & stimulating conversation about this book, something struck me hard. I thought how is it possible for anyone to differentiate from true feelings and mind constructed ones. Is it not the mind, the policing factor here, the very faculty to comprehend. Each one’s understanding depends on their nature and faculty of understanding. With a confused mind, it becomes impossible to listen in to any feelings, let alone the true feelings of God. How can we base our judgement on that?

The purity of the faculty is an important factor here, don’t you think? Remember even though the SELF shines in murky water in all its purity, it is impossible to experience the self in all its glory. What good is the distorted view that we get through the muddled Mind? Bhagavad Gita discusses¬†purity as Trikarana Shuddi, the Unity of Thought, Word and Deed. Gita says, we perform action( karma)¬†through Body, Speech, and Mind. Trikarana Shuddi is keeping these three in pure state without manipulating it. Meaning Thinking one thing, speaking quite another thing (contrary to one‚Äôs real thoughts) and acting still different one are all features of an impure/confused mind. PURITY.pngThat doesn‚Äôt give us the right to say anything inappropriate to others, in the name of being honest. Use discretion.Communicate with care, compassion and love. Everybody deserves to be treated right.communicate-better-w-love_detail.jpg

I strongly believe that only a faculty which is pure can¬†follow Gods feelings. As we transcend to higher levels¬†beyond ahamkara(ego) then we don’t even have to¬†worry¬†about negative or positive feelings. Either way, Feelings are like visitors, they come and go. We all can learn to play the perfect host each time they visit us without getting carried away with a pure and undistorted MIND ¬†ūüėä

Frustration Ends where Knowledge Begins

Dhyayato vishayan pumsah sangah teshu upa jayate 
Sangat sanjayate kamah kamat krodhah abhijayate
Krodhad bhavati sammohah sammohat smrti vibhramah
Smrti-bhramsad buddhi naso buddhi nasat pranasyati
                                                                                    Bhagavad Gita, Chp 2, Sh 62, 63.
which means, Brooding on the objects of the senses, man develops an attachment to them; from attachment comes desire; from desire, anger sprouts forth. From anger proceeds delusion; from delusion, confused mind; from confused mind the ruin of the reason; due to the ruin of reason, he perishes.

We humans are constantly being challenged. How we deal with those challenges also shapes our personality. Each time the world forces itself upon us demanding, it is also challenging us to own the responsibility of our emotional reaction. One such challenge that we often face is to handle frustration. It is an emotion that occurs when one is blocked from reaching the desired goal. The block can be a physical or a mental one. Dealing with frustration has always been one of the worst nightmares for both teenagers and adults.

Though life teaches us to tolerate a little frustration without becoming too upset about it. Nevertheless, it keeps us proactively engaged with new goals and challenges. We all at one point or another had found ourselves face to face with frustration. 

I had been there many times but I still remember this incident when I couldn’t find a way to vent it¬†and all hell broke loose. Flustered and irritated, I couldn’t¬†notice the steam building up. And with every disapproval, it was expanding within me until I exploded under the pressure. It took me a lot of time and effort to bring peace and to rebuild the relationship that my anger almost damaged. I learnt my lesson the hard way that suppression can never help me get away from that emotion that I am running from.

I also realised how frustration and anger travel¬†hand in hand. It is like a chain reaction and we have to stop it before it gets triggered(the above shlok also warns us the same).Who’s to blame then? Who needs to unlearn habits that cause¬†such unpleasant episodes? A good analysis following¬†an emotional storm will lead us to the realisation that nobody other than our state of mind was guilty¬†of that painful experience. The reason¬†was never the situation/thing/goal/person. Once we discover this, we will learn to respond to such situations. Like we discussed before,¬†repression is never an option but we can practice healthy ways of dealing with it. It will be challenging at first, but overtime being mindful of that sliding point, we can learn to change the habitual reaction to a more positive discharge than a negative one.

Another observation is that we stay frustrated when we get to thinking that we are going nowhere. That happens when we start feeling powerless and what triggers that emotional state is when we only focus on the problem. I¬†mean, we should¬†look for ways to solve the problem in hand. By understanding the cause of frustration we can direct our energy to¬†sketch a goal to resolve it. I know it is not easy but it is not difficult either. Look at the damage we cause to ourselves and disappointments we bring to our dear ones. Why I say dear ones, because oftentimes, we indulge in displaced aggression. It is easy that way, isn’t it? ¬†When we can’t yell at the boss then we vent it at the spouse or someone close.

It is also unrealistic to think we can rid ourselves of this dangerous thing called frustration. It is not always dangerous, it motivates us to resolve things which are standing in between us and our goals. They only turn against us when they bring with them excessive emotional feelings of deep dissatisfaction and vanity. Have you noticed what Chronic frustration does to people? Their self-image deteriorates and goals that they chose would look impossible and unrealistic then. Some of them fall into a state of perpetual apathy.

Try it for yourself. Next time when you feel frustrated stuck in¬†traffic, ask yourself if¬†there’s something you¬†could do, like finding another route. If there is nothing you¬†could do, then ask yourself¬†is it even worth your¬†anger and time. You grow frustrated by over-thinking and over-analyzing anything that is not under your control.¬†When the block is external and if there‚Äôs nothing could be done, we just have to wait. Even that quality of ‘waiting’ can¬†teach us something, isn’t it?

And now it is our choice, whether to succumb to despair or take control of our life. If we¬†don‚Äôt manage our emotions, it will¬†start managing us and¬†then¬†life wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.

Source Of Existence Over Changing Beliefs

Aham sarvasya prabhavo
Mattah sarvam pravartate
Iti matva bhajante mam
Budha bhava-samanvitah
Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, shl 8
Meaning:
I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

Believers or Non-believers, we all get dogmatic at some point when defending the above word I am-The GOD. Well, either way, one shouldn’t induce others to confirm to their beliefs as each of us is suffering from MYSIDE¬†BIAS but ends up happening anyway.¬†

In fact, I myself look up to the deities present in the places of worship more like Teachers who not only succeeded in playing the game called’Life’ well but also have become worthy of being idolised. You can term it as God or Intelligence or consciousness. But aren’t we all a part of this¬†cosmic design that governs this universe? There is a¬†saying by Richard Cecil that the first step towards knowledge is to know that we are ignorant. The quote emerged because that is a design found in all living entity: to seek, to learn, to grow.¬†To¬†understand this source of the design that happens inside us is to realize the three letter word-GOD.

When we are living in a country, we cannot be ignorant of the law that governs the land. Likewise, the seekers from time immemorial have tried to decode the order of the universe.

Don’t we have the right to question and seek the existence of God. To understand this Intelligence¬†in our own way. I¬†am afraid we were & are¬†categorizing GOD in black and white. If someone dares to say he might be gray, we look at him like a villainūüėõ¬†who is¬†trying to jeopardize the religion. Imagine a world where everybody thought and believed the same thing. We will be nothing less than a robot then¬†ūüėÄ . And not everyone of us are enlightened souls. We are seekers. So, it is okay to take the road map of a realized soul to make our journey, like the Gita. It is a journey of Acharya Ved Vyasa but what I realized is not be confined in any beliefs but to stay a observer.

Below are some food for thought for my Theist,¬†Atheist,¬†Agnostics and Deist friends. For months, I tried asking myself to logically answer them and every time I tried, I discovered something more about my Self ūüėäūüėä.

  • We all know that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be converted from one form to another. Our bodies turn food into energy. This energy allows us¬†to move, breathe and think. Till here we all agree, but we fail to question the source of energy. Where did energy come from?
  • We all believe that we have minds. And what is a mind? It’s a flow of thoughts but then what is the source of a thought? The first thought that arouse in our infant mind was created by whom? Where did it come from and where did it disappear? What is its source?
  • We all know we exist this moment but where did we come from? Are we just a product of some human chemical reaction?¬†I don’t think so.Look around we all are unique and different in our own ways. Don’t we see some children demonstrate remarkable talent than their age-peers. Some of them are¬†really gifted and talented, which even their parents can‚Äôt explain.¬†Where did this talent¬†come from? What is its source?
  • We all at some point of time in our lives have experienced a strong desire. A desire which demanded to be fulfilled and we knew it existed but the moment we get the object of desire then it ceases to exist. What was¬†the source of that strong desire or an emotion which was waiting to explode and made its presence well felt? Where did it disappear once it‚Äôs fulfilled? Where was this desire housed?

Just as the Sun doesn’t cease to exist if we don’t see him in the sky. Likewise if we can’t understand the source through our senses doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We can’t see the infrared through our naked eyes. That doesn’t mean it do not exist. Our belief or unbelief around it does not determine its existence. It will not cease to exist if we do not believe in it.

This Source which is said to be Absolute is something our intellect evades. We are at the habit of looking at the surface of everything and trying to mend things on the top but never question its root. That can be a disease or estranged relationships or mental disturbances. We want quick remedy and never want to get to its source and that is the reason for our suffering. Blame the time. We all act like we‚Äôre going to be here forever.No one is promised tomorrow!ūüė䬆Some of us might not even get to say our goodbyes. Let‚Äôs take the time to get to the source of anything which needs attention and clear the negativity which is ruining our mind¬†and body. Let’s work on the mind to declutter it and eventually retrace our footsteps back to the our¬†source we belong.

The purpose of this post is not to show off my own belief or to condemn others, but it is to share my journey in finding myself. I am not endorsing any particular belief system. That is up to you to choose what it is. Also it is important to remember that each of us has the freedom and right to do so but it should be limited to ourselves.

Faith Fear Guru and God

Why is there a fear to unbound ourselves and break away from things that conduce to ruin and sorrow? Even when it hurts and are condemned by the wise yet we force ourselves to live bounded. It is not that we are devoid of choices but we are afraid to challenge the blind faith.

Some religious institutions and Gurus demand blind faith from their adherents. A faith which is devoid of knowledge and which defies all logic. A faith which is not a choice and that which does not agree with common sense. Should our beliefs be built on those which cannot be reasoned? That brings us to the question why we don’t reason them? Is it the fear or greed that stops us from the reasoning process?

11-26-Keller.jpg
Object of Faith is important

In the name of faith, we kill people, abuse animals and nature alike. We are the same set of people who spend lakhs of rupees to adorn the God we believe in but are not ready to give a penny more to the needy. Despite proclaiming that service to Humanity is Service to God yet we never get to demonstrate this belief.

Perhaps we strongly believe that Gods respond to the barter system. That we can offer something to God, and he would respond in¬†helping us to make our lives better here. God isn‚Äôt really waiting for us to finance his work¬†ūüėõ. He doesn‚Äôt lack anything! Instead of building a relationship with him, we think we can entice him with our offers. Really, which God has asked us to do so? Yeah, you are right, it is not God but the wrong mediators who connect us to God are responsible for growing this blind faith.

The questions now facing us: Should we seek out a Guru? If YES, then who should choose our Spiritual Guru?

We have a right to seek guidance. But honestly, do we even get to choose a teacher before surrendering our mind? If we see the multitude, we clearly understand someone chooses them for us. That can be our friends, relatives, neighbours or our family. Despite the fact that we all are different, we still do the same mistake of letting others choose the Guru for us. When the experience does not turn right, it can lead to spiritual struggle and even loss of faithūüėź.

Then, what are the qualities of a spiritual master?

Guru Gita describes real Guru to be a true saint whose only intention is the spiritual welfare of his disciple. The guru is someone who brings his disciples from darkness to light. He never proclaims himself to be God but teaches his disciples to be humble and to pray for the welfare of all. A Sadhguru never gives his opinion to understand the divine but he takes a bona fide spiritual text and transmits them exactly as they were spoken.

“What is the role of a Sadhguru in One’s spiritual search?”¬†you may ask.

Sadhguru and a True-Disciple always work together. There is no denying the fact that a right Teacher can guide us, but we ourselves are responsible for our purification. The teacher cannot wash away the impurities of others. As the saying goes, you can lead the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink.  A Guru can try to explain how contented he felt when he quenched his thirst and how the water alone has helped him achieve it. However much he describes the experience through words it will always fall short of the reality. But he can instruct us in making us understand the importance of water and drinking water will only suffice the thirst. Similarly, a Sadhguru can impart us with the knowledge of the Brahman but we ourselves have to experience that oneness with the Brahman.

We can take refuge in the teacher but we need not sacrifice our freedom of thought. We can with the help of a Sadhguru make a journey towards the unconditioned mind. That alone will allow us to experience the uninterrupted flow of bliss and would conduce to the well-being and happiness.

 

 

Persevere-And Don’t Hurry-A Guest post!

Hey!¬†This is Rajan¬†ūüôŹ. I am so glad to write this post for Sumi, our relationship¬†goes back long in time. This is literally my first ever post. I still remember her long list of suggestions when I started writing this post for her¬†blog, phew! ¬†ūüėȬ†Let me start by thanking her for giving me a stage to share my thoughts :-). Okay, now right into the post!

The below is a famous dialogue from a Rajnikanth movie and also one of my personal favourites. And it goes like this..

“Andavan Nallavangala Sodhipan Aana Kai Vida Maatan.Kettavangulaku Naraya Kudupaan Aana Kai Vitturvaan.”

Now, what does that¬†mean…It means “God will always test good people but will always stay by their side. He will shower a lot of favours to the bad but will never be by their side” A simple dialogue but conveys a lot. Nothing worth comes easy, hence struggle is a stepping stone towards achieving it.

Success can come sooner¬†for some and it might take a lifetime for others. Can we afford to categorise those who find success¬†after desperate attempts to be Achievers¬†and who made it in few attempts to be Lucky?¬†Or can we afford to give up easily on the pretext of not being lucky? Let us not compare and give up easily if we don’t succeed in few attempts. We conveniently forget that there always was¬†a hidden agenda called ‘Success’ behind every great triumph in history.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†‚Äú In Every TRIUMPH There’s a Lot of TRY.‚Ä̬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Frank Tyger

Some people will adopt unethical means by compromising their integrity to become successful and might even end up reaching the heights they have dreamt but all these are short-lived. Once they fall they will never be able to rise back again. We have many such live examples around where God gave them everything but was never with them.

On the other hand, there are FEW who constantly fail in every step but work their way up until they have tasted success. Step by Step and Sip by Sip they raise themselves to the top with a strong foundation of failures below them and learning of a lifetime. Here God tested them with failures but was with them each time and eventually guided them to the top. Why I said FEW because there is only a FEW of us who are ready to put everything to woo and court the lady of success.

But there are times when we do not get what we want in spite of all the hard work. What we want and What we¬†deserve might be¬†two different things. And God always believes in giving what you deserve. That’s not bad at all… You never know what you deserve might be much higher than what you want.¬†I believe we all have the potential to drive success but perseverance is a trait, not everybody can master. Our aim should be to move¬†into the¬†FEW¬†from the¬†MANY ūüôā

And I hope the points discussed in the post are more relatable.

Thank you reading my post¬†ūüėÉ

A note from Sumi : Thank you so much, Rajan, for taking the time to write this post for my Readers. I am glad the first guest post was from your end.

We keep discussing on how different we are to¬†each other…think, act and fare¬†differently¬†making us all so¬†unique and suddenly one day I thought why can’t I have guest posts on my blog. Another perspective to the same idea and we got talking and the rest I would like to grandly claim is history!¬†¬†

Oh and I hope you guys had fun reading! Take care you all!ūüėä

The Eclipse of Success

Last week, I visited my cousin and spent a couple of days with her. She has grown up to become more mature for her age and together we could strike some good conversations. On one such, she said it is true that we attract things what we desire from this universe citing some examples of the ones in the family who were drawn to like-minded partners. She was right about the attraction aspect but are we not attracting like-minded things and not desire-minded ones? Think about it.

Law of Attraction Is Built To Attract What You ARE & NOT What You DESIRE 

We are attracting what we are and not what we desire. So instead of spending our energy in just desiring for things(partner, career, attitude, happiness), we should be expending the same energy in shaping our desired personality.

Okay, now let’s understand what does like-minded mean?

  • Like-minded: of the same mind or habit of thought.

Then,

  • What is Habit?¬†¬†It is a usual way of behaving

And,

  • What is Behaviour? ¬†It is anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation

So, can we say the below

Untitled.png

 

Our Experiences & observations form our belief system which creates our Thought Process which determines our Feelings which coerces us to Act upon it and if we persist in acting the same way, it becomes a Habit, which builds our Personality and our personality shapes our Destiny.

Such is our system. Apply this in any context and this workflow will always stand true. Be that be organization, personal, political or social as we are always interacting with Humans.

There is a saying by Marc Benioff¬†“The number one thing companies don’t learn is how to let go of the past.” How can they let go when the past, present and future depends on their beliefs. Now when we talk about spending millions of dollars on personality development in organizations, do we ever question the effectiveness of such retreats? How can we change anyone’s¬†personality if we don’t change¬†his/her belief system? We have to attack the roots and anything superficial will never last longer. Not only do the leaders stick to their beliefs but they subtly transmit their belief system to their successors.Thereby shaping their beliefs as organizations. Don’t be OK with the status quo. The market isn’t static, so your organization shouldn’t be either. Beliefs need to be upgraded and your organization should reflect that. The same also should go on a personal level.

We have to attack the roots and anything superficial will never last longer. Not only do the leaders stick to their beliefs but they subtly transmit their belief system to their successors. Thereby shaping their beliefs as organisations. Don’t be OK with the status quo. The market isn’t static, so your organisation shouldn’t be either. Beliefs need to be upgraded and your organisation should reflect that. The same also should go on a personal level.

Although most of us desire success in all spheres of our lives, we also do not completely believe that success is possible. There is always a doubt about what would happen if we couldn’t? By doing this, are we not diverting our thoughts into shaping our failure?

You are the CREATOR of Your Own DESTINY

Bhagavad Gita says, you have the right to act but never to the fruits of your action. We can use this epistemology to shape not just our personalities but our destinies alike. So let the thoughts flow in the direction of our desire never doubting our ability to succeed. Likewise, if we are good, we will attract good things from this universe. Desiring is not enough to succeed, shaping the desire is equally important for success.