Spirituality- Not Being A Dead Fish

My in laws and grandparents were home over the weekend. So, the day before they arrived, my mother said that she would help me to shop groceries so I could cook them lunch.

Accordingly, I shopped and made them a typical Tambrahm lunch. They stayed over the weekend and we had a good time.
My mother calls me the evening they left thinking they would be home. And, the conversation,…

Mom: Why did they leave so early? Did you not insist on them staying over?
Me: I did. But Thatha said he would be more comfortable there. We had a good time but it was both exciting and tiring at the same time. So, I am going to crash soon. I’ll talk to you later.
Mom: Wait. Did you make use of the things we bought?
Me: Yes, I did. They loved the food and Thatha said it was delicious. Full marks and happy.
Mom: Oh…is the happiness to do with the full marks? Sumi, I don’t have to remind you that your actions should never be to create an impression. (Expected and a standard question from my mother :-p )
Me: Yes Maa. That is what they said.

We spoke for some more time before I was reminded of the work waiting to be finished. I wished her a good night’s sleep and hung up the phone.

My Mother cautions me all the time because she thinks I over indulge in things more than what is required. Was not an easy child. The reason I documented the conversation is to point out that our spiritual outlooks are different. And, that is okay.

I do not think anyone can teach us how to manage our head because only we know what kind of demons we created. There is no moral code. And, we shouldn’t live like a dead fish in the name of spirituality. A dead one can experience nothing. Just being mindful of what is coming our way and how we take it is the first step towards it.

Also, do not override something that happens in your head. I think we should not tell people not to feel certain emotions or question them unnecessarily. It doesn’t matter; it is just another one among the other fleeting emotions or feelings. We complicate things by brooding over passing thoughts.

If something needs your attention, give it. Unnecessary ones will fall out with time and I do not think we need to be worried. Feel it and leave it. It is happening in the head.

Spirituality is about finding our way out of what we think we aren’t. All the things that we see, read or listen about spirituality should only be a guide and not a rule until it comes to our experience.

According to me, if we aren’t the roles we are playing then we should be something else. And, only we could find our way out. Be grateful and thankful to those who help you find yourself but tread your path.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this. I respect Bhagavad Gita and I look at it as my Teacher for guidance but I am not obsessed nor would I identify with it.

Identification is Our Mental Problem. From identification flow our likes and dislikes. We become rigid. All we have to do is to keep learning from our mistakes and experiences. Even if it means, learning to unlearn.

Tinnaga Vetagi Telusukontinayya Ninnegani Madinenna Jalanorula
After inner soul searching, I now see that YOU are in everything.

That is all we need to do..some soul searching 🙂

Credit: Written by Tyagaraja, in Carnatic composition by Mahesh Raghavan, love it..

Image: Internet

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Faith Paves Way To Grace

Shraddhāvān labhate jñānaṁ tat-paraḥ sanyatendriyaḥ
Jñānaṁ labdhvā parāṁ śhāntim achireṇādhigachchhati //
                                                                     Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Shl 39

Those whose faith is deep and who have practised controlling their mind and senses attain divine knowledge. Through such transcendental knowledge, they quickly attain everlasting supreme peace.

Multiple verses were dedicated praising the virtues of ‘Shraddha’ or ‘Faith’ in Bhagavad Gita. Gita firmly states that faith is a precondition towards knowledge and with knowledge comes peace.

Although faith is the very essence of our being, we very often lay it in things which are transient in nature and expect it to work wonders. When that fails, we turn bitter, lose faith in man and in truth. The problem, however, is that we lack faith in oneself and hence we feel incomplete and look towards someone else to complete us. As someone rightly said, The most intimate relationship we will ever have in our entire lifetime is with ourselves and therefore self-faith is crucial. And self-faith is the offspring of self-knowledge.

Then, why wouldn’t we try? Perhaps, it challenges us to explore beyond our beliefs and fears into something unknown to us or maybe, we wrongly believe that like all other challenges, it would be demanding. Or seeking faith may not figure high on our list of priorities or worse, the feeling that,”It is not for me”😶.  Whatever the reason, the fact remains that all scriptures, including the Gita, were enlightening us on literally the same questions which exercise humans, even today. So, it is for every human being and if applied, produces same results to a yogi and to an ignorant one.

Of course, we cannot discern all spiritual truths straight away; some of them can only be experienced after having attained sufficient advancement on the path. If we only accept what we can presently comprehend, we will be deprived of the higher spiritual secrets. In such conditions, faith helps us to accept what we cannot perceive at present.

Sattvanurupa sarvasya sraddha bhavati bharata
Sraddha-mayo yam puruso yo yac-chraddhah sa eva sah//
                                                                        Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17 Shl 3

The faith of all humans conforms to the nature of their mind. All people possess faith, and whatever the nature of their faith, that is verily what they are.

Clearly, blind faith isn’t what we are looking for. According to Gita, our quality of faith will determine the direction of our lives. Our scriptures talk of Uddava, a friend of Krishna, his faith was reposed in Krishna with unquestioning obedience but wasn’t steady as he was confused with the conduct of Krishna. Uddava never understood Krishna’s behaviour but never questioned and he waited till Krishna announced his departure. That’s when it struck him that he is going to be alone and his friend and guru, although, unpredictable will no longer be there to guide him. Someone else’s faith, unquestioned & owned like Uddava, will never stand the stress of life.

Rather, a faith born in clear mind through understanding stays reliable. That will allow us to surrender and help us in understanding the relationship between oneself and the truth through which we came into existence. Such faith will only pave the way to grace- a direct experience of the truth.

So, it’s never too late to know oneself and moreover, many of us use this time before the New Year to set goals and I hope we could add this to the list of resolutions to be followed.

Welcome the New Year with new hopes and do have a blessed year full of peace 🙂

A Dialogue Between My Left and Right Brain

It all started when I decided to hang out with my friends at a coffee shop. Well, let me tell you from the beginning!

Four of my friends decided to spend time over some coffee and cookies. So, we all met at this coffee shop which my friend is obsessed with. She swears this is one brand that never disappoints. We never argue with her for she has travelled more than half the world😛…And at her age, it is pretty impressive

I thanked my stars as soon as we found a place to sit down for the next few hours.I am a big fan of cappuccino and cinnamon cookies and so like always I decided to go for them. Rest of my friends ordered their regulars.

A sip of good cappuccino can transport you to your own world. And that’s exactly what happened until I was brought back to reality with a harsh blow on my back. My friends decided to leave the topic that they were discussing and started focussing their energy on me and my blog instead.

One of my friends even said that I am sending wrong vibes to people around. I quite didn’t understand her at first, but anyways she went about explaining. She said only people who are alone and unhappy go about becoming spiritual.

First I thought to myself that I wasn’t alone, second, quite happy in life and the third and the most important, fully aware of the fact that I can’t bet my life on things which is constantly changing. But nevertheless remained calm and let them do the talking. I understood where they were coming from.

The whole thing about being spiritual scares the hell out of many. My grandparents fear I might just turn a Sanyasi or something. They ask me to focus on being a good wife, a mother, a daughter and blah blah blah. Though I think all the above is important but that is not what life is all about. Its about self-analysis and to make it a journey that is worth.

Anyways, soon all my friends joined the bandwagon and I was in for a gyan session. While I shut my head to that, my mind started having its little conversation inside. And that’s where my Dear Readers, I stopped being Sumi, the Actor and started being that Witnesser.

Captured 😛 Witnessing the Conversation of LB&RB
Captured -Witnessing the Conversation 😉

Here is the dialogue between my left-brain(LB) and right-brain(RB).

LB: How stupid are they to think spirituality is for miserable people?

RB: I feel uneasy here too but poor people they know nothing about spirituality. So excuse them.

LB: The knowledge that nothing is here forever and everything is constantly changing should suffice for anybody to turn spiritual.

RB: I feel happy at your observation but this has been the case from ages. Remember the conversation Sumi read between Yudhisthira and Yaksha. Forgot! You wouldn’t have forgotten it. You tried to make sense out of that by reading it many times.

LB: You are right. I remember that. What about it?

RB: Though my understanding would differ from yours yet I was excited when Sumi was reading the answer given by Yudhisthira to Yaksha on what surprises him the most?

LB: Oh yes..the answer was that People die every day and yet they love to believe that death will never come to them or their beloved ones and plan their lives like immortals 😉
Hmm…I understand what you are hinting at. But still..

RB: C’mon you understand all this yet you don’t get it right all the time. You make mistakes too.

LB: Oh Okay, now it is on me. I am trying. You can’t blame me. I try to remind Sumi of the choices she could make when emotions clog her. But she sets me on the autopilot mode ignoring them sometimes. And those times are when she goes back repeating the same mistakes she did earlier. You can’t blame me for that 😦

RB: I understand. I am just telling not to waste our energy judging her friends but look for creative ideas to better ourselves. We can work together to turn the planned behaviours to habitual ones through repetitions.
Hey, don’t worry we are great as a team. We will get there soon 🙂

And there comes another blow and this time it was tighter than the old one 13131944-Illustration-of-a-Shocked-Smiley-Stock-Illustration-emoticon.jpgThat threw my LB and RB into the outer space. When they returned from their space journey, I reached for my coffee which turned cold. I turned to my friends and wasn’t surprised to see the worried look on their faces. And that perfect occasion called for another shot of caffeine 😆