Longing Will Only End…

Longing for a thing will only come to an end when we finally understand that the ‘Thing’ is neither us nor it is going to last forever. That ‘Thing’ can be our body, our people, our wealth, or whatever vapid that we are pining for.

Until this gets into our head, neither will the longing stop nor the desire to amass things will end. We can talk and write infinite things around it, but we can never put a step further from where we stand.

Worry Not, for the mind can still operate without attributing ‘IT’ to be whatever it has been falsely taught it is. In fact, it can guide us better when ‘IT’ realizes that it is not the one who is performing the feats. Really. You have to experience that to believe it.

The problem with us is that we keep running as if there is a finish line. But do we see one? Has anyone who ran before us seen it? Nevertheless, we keep running and panting till we crash.

With racing, we conveniently stopped thinking and thereby adding layers of personalities around one poor mind. It now carries a lot of baggage of varied characteristics that not only commands its attention but also consumes its energy while protecting them.

But what if we could take a moment and think whether we are as complex as we made ourselves to be. Is there another way of running the race? or Are we really in a race?

Why do I not see a finish line? What am I running for? How much ever I run and whatever trophies I had won, had it made me happy? Has that happiness lasted?

I think sometimes it is better to stop and ask these. We are so consumed in this run, that at times we end up destroying others dreams on the way. All because of our wrong identifications and blindly conforming to whatever we were told.

It is really something that we should ponder upon.

And, an interesting chapter in Gita on the same subject:

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha

Idaṁ śharīraṁ kaunteya kṣhetram ity abhidhīyate

etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣhetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ//B.G 13.2

O Arjuna, this body is termed as kṣhetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows this body is called kṣhetrajña (the knower of the field) by the sages who discern the truth about both.

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The Mind is Eager But The Senses Are Engaged

Should we detest life?

No, Of course not! But when the mind embraces life with all its imperfections then life is possible. Every mind is in search of that infinite bliss even when the senses are fully absorbed in mundane affairs. The Mind is willing but the sense faculties are engaged elsewhere.

And, the search will continue until it understands that the source of any happiness, however, transient in nature is emanating from its own being.

Our outward search for happiness is as absurd as a firefly searching its own light outside.

Our older generations understood this truth very well. I would like to share a traditional Malayalam prayer song that we were taught and asked to recite with BHAAVAM(remembering the meaning) every day. If you are interested, I have also included the meaning line-by-line.

Note: Shiva mentioned in the above prayer is to be understood as the ‘Perfect Being’.
Shiva, the One who has attained Perfection, always blissful in his own Self eternally, Flawless, Formless, One without a Second, Complete.

As a human being, I took birth in this world,
But I am now in the middle of the ocean of Samsara which is like hell,
Please help me swim to the banks, away from the hell,
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Whenever I think about dealing with the fear at the time of death,
My mind forgets all that I know,
And So please come and play in my mind( remind me my True state, Sat-Chit-Ananadam),
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Shiva Shiva, I am ignorant and know nothing,
About the nature of Maha Maya(illusion, Holy Mother, Prakruti),
And so please help me overcome Maha Maya,
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

I am entrapped in a very big forest(Samsara)
And I am wandering without knowing the way and when I cry for help,
Oh Lord please show me the right path then
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Lord, with your grace, I found an easy path out of the dense forest,
But on that way, in between, at several places, I see Six stairs( 5 Jnana-Indriya(sense of perception)+ Antarendriya(Mind))
And when I climb all the six stairs then,
I see you, the Perfect Being.

Photo Courtesy:mumbaihikers.com

Discovering Through Reflection

During our conversation last night, my husband said “what if we could remember all our previous births? How would our lives be then?”

Ahh, that thought was interesting. Yeah, so what if everyone could decode those vasanas/impressions stored in their subconscious part of the mind? And as an ordinary being, what if we couldn’t peruse it the right way? Can you anticipate the horror and emotional distress that invariably accompanies those memories?  If we are unable to deal with our past in this life. Imagine having to live with numerous such memories.

Sri-Bhagavan uvaca
Bahuni me vyatitani, janmani tava carjuna
Tany aham veda sarvani, na tvam vettha parantapa
                                                                                Bhagavad Gita:4,5

In the Gita,  Krishna says to Arjuna ‘Many a birth have I passed through, O Arjuna, and so have you. I know them all, but you know them not.

But what if we could remember, would we let go of things?
Maybe not. Upon coming back, we would try hard to regain our worldly possessions gained in our previous births. But, how many would we run after?
or
The guilt-ridden mind would obsess over the past and the higher spiritual planes or growth for that matter would then just remain a dream.

Well, then, we are blessed that we are unable to access those deep-seated memories and are given another chance to start afresh.

Now that I understand that if born again, this very life would be nothing more than a dream. So I ask myself:

Is it still important to make myself heard?

Do I still work under pressure when I know even here stress can’t deliver my best?

Can I simply enjoy the efforts?

Who am I trying to perfect(my Self or Sumi)?

Do I keep trading peace for ignorance?

Questions such as these always help me to keep coming back to my practice. The ultimate purpose of reflections is to keep reminding that we are a part of a whole and to bring us closer to our being.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfread/5884714699

Living Rent-Free!

Last week, we visited our friends who recently became parents. I don’t have to describe their state of mind, do I? They were super exhausted, sleep deprived and trying to adjust to the new member in their family.

As soon as we were settled, we got talking, they were talking off their exhaustion of having a baby and before we knew it, two hours had gone by. During that time, most of the conversation revolved around others but the baby. We then realized that the baby was never the problem, it was their expectation from the family at these times added to their fatigue. This visit has done me some good. I now know exactly how many people I have up there who are living rent free ;). In spite of being watchful, yet there are few up there and that needs attention.

Strong emotions good or bad are dangerous. Trust me, these fixed opposites will never allow us to see those gray areas and lead us to a delusional state thinking – that our happiness is from outward things. When the people we like or dislike contribute nothing to our happiness quotient then why bother carrying them in our heads.

So, which arch enemy is living rent free in your head?

Power Of Happiness

Let me tell you a story that my Guruji once shared, a story of a fisherman and a businessman. While narrating the story, he said it was a classic story to remember.

To remember that happiness is not a possession but is a habit to be cultivated.
&
We can stay happy if we are content with life.

So, Enjoy the story 🙂

A businessman was walking down a beach trying to clear his head. He saw a fisherman lying on the beach doing nothing. The fisherman looked happy and was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun. He noticed the fisherman’s boat had few large fishes in it and was curious at what made him happy.

He decided to find out why this fisherman was resting instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

“You should be working rather than lying on the beach!” said the businessman

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the fisherman said as he unloaded fishes into a basket.

“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?” asked the businessman

The fisherman looked up and smiled. “I spend all the rest of my time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”

“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way.” “you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” said the businessman.

“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“What would I do then?” repeated the fisherman

“You could become a rich businessman like me.” said the businessman

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then What would I do”

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You could then enjoy your life peacefully.” “You can spend all the rest of your time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”

—                                                                                                                Story: unknown source

Everybody takes away something from this story. My take away from the fable was that Happiness is not in Doing Everything Fun but in Noticing Happiness in Everything We Do. 

Anything that we consider fun to do is never the same, isn’t it? It changes as we grow. so, what we thought was fun as a kid is not fun anymore. Have you noticed that being a part of something fun does not guarantee happiness? For example, if you love ice creams, just the thought of having your favourite flavour can make you happy but tell me, do you still feel the same intensity of happiness after the first two scoops of your favourite ice cream?

Our mind does not stay put on the ice cream for long. It wanders from the ice cream to something else and with that it take the happiness too. We all understand from our experiences that happiness cannot be derived from external conditions but is a state that depends on inner conditions. If we can make peace with our inner self then we can stay happy in whatever we’re doing.

YAD BHAVAM TAD BHAVATI
YAD BHAVAM TAD BHAVATI

The characters of the above story had different perspectives on happiness. The businessman was postponing happiness until his retirement and was miserable. The fisherman, on the other hand, believed in finding happiness in every moment.

Happiness in the PRESENT
Happiness in the PRESENT

In short, there are no excuses for staying unhappy rather we can cultivate the habit of noticing happiness in things we do. Trust me, if we look for it, we will find that in every damn thing that we do. We just aren’t looking, that is our only roadblock to happiness. Because we cannot always expect life to throw only fun and exciting things at us 😉

BE HAPPY & LET GO

To LET GO and NOT TO POSSESS is indeed difficult, but not impossible 😉.

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 problem😛. 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 😉
  4. Possessions: Money, Power, Fame, Property etc. We love them more than our lives 😀

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 😊

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 shortBE HAPPY & LET GO 🙂

Image:.icebike.org

Arrogance born out of Ignorance

pic2

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 “Namostute  Vyasa Vishala Buddhe”. 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’t 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.