An Anchor To Hold Through Life’s Storms

Lately, life has been on the tutoring modeūüėõ. Putting me through¬†some tough lessons to solve upfront.

See, that is why Wise had¬†asked us to prepare ahead for the storm. It doesn’t come with a warning, mine didn’t. It just comes and besides¬†there will be no obvious sign boards to guide us¬†until we¬†learn beforehand to look for it.

To survive in times like these, we need a spiritual anchor to sail through the turbulent storms and preventing us from getting flailed in the storm.

Trust me, it makes the difficult moments more manageableūüėä

                   A Truly Calm Mind Can Weather Any Storm
BHAGAVAD GITA

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Is Demanding the way for Corporate Existence or Exitus?

Children Demand Attention and Time

      Women Demand Protection and Security

Men Demand Respect and Authority

       Other Sex Demand Admission and Rights

Irrespective of what category we belong, we are demanding. Is that the right way to procure what we want?

If we look closely at these, we understand that our demands are different and similar at the same time. We are afraid of being taken for granted and when the fear creeps in then we move from requests to demands. When demands are not met, we conjure. Take a min and reflect on any of your relationships. It can be personal, professional or even with nature. It forms a loop. There were times when we ate what nature provided then we started to cultivate what we want and today we are demanding and destroying in the name of industrialisation. When nature does not succumb to our demands but starts to give what we haven’t asked for then we conjure. Guess this is a natural phenomenon.

If we look at this¬†from the¬†organization perspective, study suggests that many skilled labors exit for lack of attention or recognition than just pay. You might have heard the saying, ‚Äėpeople quit their managers, not their jobs‚Äô. Now from a manager‚Äôs perspective, it‚Äôs the other way round, the fear of being taken for granted forces him to demand and not request. As a bystander, we understand this but when we are involved in the game, we react and the loop forms. It is funny, isn‚Äôt it? We somewhere need to break the loop. We move from being Self-aware to being too conscious because of our poor troubled mind. Even when we want to respond sensibly, the mind forces us to react. Nothing seems to work then.Not even the externalizing technique which the psychologists suggest. We can‚Äôt complain. Can we? We are habituated to reacting than to responding.

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Indriyaanam hi Charatam Yanmano Vidiyathe

Tadasya Harati Pragjnaam Vayur Navam ivambasi

                                                                           Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 67

Bhagavad Gita warns us about the same. As the wind carries away a ship in the water, so does the unsteady mind associated with sense objects, destroys the power of discrimination and self-control.

Imagine the scenario below,

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Why does this happen? Because we constantly crave for attention and recognition. If somebody doesn’t recognise us, we question our own existence. Swami Vivekananda rightly said we are slaves to many. In this process, we FAIL TO LIVE

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This had to happen because we aren’t living our PRESENT. Why do you think surgeons fail to operate their kith n kin? They are surgeons and that is what they are good at. Why Psychiatrists‚Äô fail to not succumb to anxiety? They cure everybody but still fall prey to stress. We suggest everybody around but can‚Äôt follow our own suggestions. What to do? When it comes to us, our mind takes a ‚ÄėU‚Äô turn. Practice can only help put the mind back on track.

Bhagavad Gita teaches us to look at the impermanence of everything that we are clinging to. It can be anything. Look at that strong emotion ‚ÄėAnger‚Äô. How long does it stay? What damage does it do to the body during its stay? Is it staying forever? Yes, only till the time another emotion knocks the door. Even a minute before now has lost it’s¬†life. If we understand this concept, it will give us some room to think before reacting. Bhagavad Gita says anything that is unreal and impermanent has no existence. Real according to Advaitam means that which does not change/constant.¬†

Nasato Vidyate Bhavo nabhavo Vidyate Satah(Chapter 2, verse 16.) The nature of being is never known of the unreal. The real is never known not to exist.

We might always feel right when we look at a situation from our viewpoint. A healthy organisation or relationships are always a collective effort. A collaborative culture can only be fostered by a good leader. A good leader who doesn’t cling to his decision alone but also listens to his people. One who can transform his beliefs with time and works towards benefitting his employees. A leader with a clear mind and one who owns teams failures as much as their success. History has seen such leaders and they all had one thing in common. They were high on spiritual quotient. Understanding Gita will not only make us better individuals but can pave the way in becoming Great Leaders.

Equality Of The Soul:Queer or Otherwise

I’d been to the store today and I noticed a¬†transgender shopping next to me. There was indeed a lot of confusion and fear on her face. I smiled at her when our eyes met. She looked hesitant¬†like she wasn’t even sure whether she should smile back and walked away. I was with my mother and we discussed it on our way back home.

Was that confusion because of the rejection they face in the society. Before we judge them, we should ask ourselves- Whether they’d been given a choice to choose their sexuality? They just discovered that they are different from us in ways which were difficult for them to accept too. Are we making it any easier for them? And we have such audacity to call them names and¬†mock at them.

I absolutely do not understand the necessity to generalise every stimulus that comes forth.¬†I understand that it makes our lives easier and problem solving consumes less of our energy but we aren’t machines. We act weird when we are in the presence of¬†people who are different to the norm that we been reinforced. We can not and should not act inhuman to¬†individuals whose identities fall outside of binary notions of a male and female.

Completely agree that we transfer behaviours over a period of time and we might not agree with all that we see. That may have led to the Queer community being ignored, denied, secluded and treated as unnatural from the rest of us. This has been happening since ages. Sensitization on queer matters is critical and I am glad, we are opening up as a society to accept them. Sexual identity at times becomes a real issue for those who dare to disclose as fear still lingers and they stay closeted about their sexual identity, at least in India. Reasons may include: Fear of losing their- job, name, respect, family outcast, treated as objects of ridicule and much more.

I really don’t know¬†the reasons for a country like India which is so tolerant and inclusive¬†of all beliefs is being such a critique when it comes to sexuality. As a country, we celebrate diversity then why rigid on this subject? Is it the fear that accepting this community might lead to¬†confusion among youngsters. The odds are that the adolescents may experiment with their feelings to see what identity would best describe them. They might just do that for fun and that can be scary both for them and parents alike. Maybe this is one of the reasons.

Yet, when kids discover they are gay, the struggle can be much more difficult. When they hear negative things about gay people, they might not accept their sexuality. That means they have to lead a pseudo life and may even be forced to enter into marriage with the opposite sex. That can be more disastrous and may even end up ruining the lives of both.

So, it is time for us to accept the¬†third gender as a part of us. We don’t have to uplift them by providing¬†reservation but we can allow them to compete on equal grounds. Give them an equal opportunity to exercise the rights which every citizen enjoys in the country.

Every being on this planet has a reason to exist and they are upon a journey just like anyone of us. We do not have a right to rob them of their rights and certainly, nobody to judge them. Generalization and Stereotypes in terms of sexual orientation is criminal and are man-made and on that basis can we afford to discriminate them?

So, Can we exercise¬†the spirit of equality that we preach ūüôā

The Gita also encourages us to treat everyone the same and its teachings are to expand our human sensitivity to see the Divinity in all beings.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†EQUALITY OF THE SOUL(as per the GITA) ūüôā

Samam Sarveshu Bhuteshu Tisthantam Paramesvaram
Vinasyatsv Avinasyantam Yah Pasyati Sa Pasyati

Bhagavat Gita Chapter 13, Shl 28

Whatever being is born, the Moving or the Unmoving, O Arjuna, know it to be from the Union of Perishable and Imperishable.The Supreme dwells alike in all beings.

 

 

BE HAPPY & LET GO

To LET GO and NOT¬†TO¬†POSSESS is indeed difficult, but not impossible ūüėČ.

We cannot really possess anything here forever, can we? Are our possessions independent or dependent upon factors such as economy, luck, culture, inheritance, fate and many more? I am sure you will agree that it is dependent on things which is not always in our control.

Yet, our society continues to judge a persons worth by what he possess. If we have to judge somebody then define him by the things he pursues and not by his possessions. Don’t you think judging and comparing is only getting us into a race and preventing us from living a full life. All these bound mankind.

Who likes to live this life here bounded? If you are anything like me, then you would have probably started focussing your mental energy in discovering a solution to this problemūüėõ. If you want to understand the roots of¬†bondage then my suggestion is to¬†engage in search¬†in one of two ways; either by reflecting on¬†our¬†own experiences¬†or to take the help of any text(that which talks about the mind). I found and agree that bondage comes mainly from 4 elements.

  1. Egocentric Desires: There is no end to it.
  2. Thoughts:  Positive or Negative both should be avoided unless necessary. How could you practice Mindfulness if you are entertaining all 60,000 thoughts a day. Try to  Live in the Present.
  3. Relations: Too much of¬†possessiveness in a relationship breeds psychological dependence and that leads to fear. I don’t have to tell you what fear does to a relationship ūüėČ
  4. Possessions: Money, Power, Fame, Property etc. We love them more than our lives¬†ūüėÄ

But freedom from the above shouldn’t be taken¬†literally. Freeing doesn’t mean you have to run away from yourself or from your closed ones.¬†It means to free yourself from anything that bounds you down mentally, that can be fear, anxiety, stress, jealousy-anything that¬†does not allow your mind to manifest fully. Oh, by the way, where can you run. Wherever you go, your mind, which is bound is going to accompany you anyways. I believe strongly that a strong mind can lead to a strong ME. I remind¬†& repeat to myself zillion times the mantra: “It is My¬†Right to Stay ‘Happy’ and I¬†and only I¬†have control over it”.

So, Let Go and Experience the Freedom. It would be nerve wracking to have to explain the same to a novice mind to take this route to happiness. But I am positive that my readers are all who have contemplated Life and its meaning. You know very well that happiness is not derived from our possessions but comes from the appreciation of what we have.

If we can let go of the above then we can flow like the river with freedom unbound towards the ocean, nourishing all that it comes in contact with¬†ūüėä

Bhagavad Gita beautifully describes the greed around possessions

What did you lose that you cry about? What did you bring with you, which you think you have lost? What did you produce, which you think got destroyed? You did not bring anything – whatever you have, you received from here. Whatever you have given, you have given only here. You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed. What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday, and will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow. You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours. It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.

in short,¬†BE HAPPY & LET GO ūüôā

Image:.icebike.org

Arrogance born out of Ignorance

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This has always been at the back of my mind, which made its appearance now and then. It all started when I was conversing with a student of mine in his early twenties. He comes forth as an arrogant person and claims himself real and thus spiritual.There had been a lot of complaints on him. When I asked him to reflect upon his behaviour. To be thankful and happy with what he has and that will reflect in his personality. He replied being arrogant is being real, which made me think. when I asked the class about their thoughts on being happy and giving happiness.

For some, happiness means meeting their demands first. The thought should be that I can’t make anybody happy if I am not happy

Some started asking questions such as what is happiness. Where does it come from? Is it worthwhile to disappoint someone when I am in capacity?

Few said they feel happiness when they share it with others.

But all agreed upon a common idea that the happiness they knew only stays with them till another sad thought takes over the mind. They said it would be great if they could experience continuous flow of happiness.

What does arrogance, spiritual or being authentic have in common? What is Spirituality?

Is it about me being happy and ignoring others and their feelings because nothing here is good or bad?

Is it to be in our ‘Happy’ state and not to check on our interactions with the world?

Is it the fear of dissonances which makes them averse and scorn the world and walk?

But History says otherwise, all Seers have lived a selfless life. Something to ponder is it not! Bhagavad Gita says ‚ÄúNamostute¬† Vyasa Vishala Buddhe‚ÄĚ. We were told to salute and respect those who are knowledgeable as Vyasa whose intellect is vast and inclusive of all.

Spirituality is about living in bliss. To be like a river nourishing everything that it comes in contact with.

Spirituality is about giving. Understanding the impermanence of this world and practising satvik detachment.

Spirituality is about being humble. Uplifting others by acknowledging the Real ‘YOU’ in them. Patience, love and honesty should reflect in your thoughts, talks and actions.

Now that is the difference, between being spiritual and just being religious. Spirituality doesn‚Äôt belong to any religion, sect, caste or creed. It’s open for¬†all who have the courage to change themselves then the world. It is about Living with a Positive Mind.

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

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