Is the fight for Respect or the Ego?

Is spirituality about turning the other cheek after being slapped on one? Can the words ‘ego’ and ‘self- respect’ dare to present itself in the dictionary of a spiritual person? Does spirituality ask for absolute compliance in everything? How can anything be condemned by a person who wishes to renounce the world?

I am sure the above questions are no stranger to you. These would have come up when you had to put your foot down and say no.  Your own mind would have inspected to ensure the fight you are putting up is to be heard and certainly not to strengthen your ego. And, the pressure is more real when your views don’t match with the group you belong.

And anyways, it is foolishness to just superficially embrace somebody’s thought when you are not in a capacity to follow it. If somebody slaps you on one cheek, would you happily turn in another one? Just because Jesus or Buddha did it, doesn’t mean you angrily replicate their actions. Isn’t spirituality about inner growth?

There is no hurry. Accept yourself for whatever you are at the moment internally. Build from there. Nothing should rob your intellect of its capacity to choose the right thing in a situation. Although keep in mind your choices are stemming from your limited knowledge. So, there is always scope for improvement. Before we call someone wrong, we should see if we are slaves to our own beliefs. Are we just resisting or ‘hearing’ others out? Most of the time it is the ego at play but we mistake it to be something that is protecting our self-respect.

Poor Ego has got such a reputation that even thinking about it is a SIN. It is one of those things that everybody indulges in but never wants to be associated with. Also, we comfortably ignore the role it plays in the process of our self-preservation.

Does that mean Ego is good? Nothing is good or bad in itself. It exists because it is required to survive and to evolve. If we knew where to stop then the above question itself becomes unnecessary.

In short, what I mean to say is, “do resist” but only after listening to others. If you still do not see any good then you should but your INTENTION shouldn’t be shallow. We will encounter people who will challenge us and whose views might not be right for obvious reasons. But we can use them to strengthen our resolve and thereby forming a new habit. If you loose your calm at times, it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up but stop indulging in it as soon as you realise.

Besides, it is all in the word ‘Self-Respect’- respecting THAT SELF/Divine in everything that we see. That is why we do Namaste.

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Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” -Martin Luther King, Jr….I love this quote for reasons different from what it might have been said for.

Image: Internet

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 “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.

His Symbols and Our Interpretations

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The world is full of symbols. However you decode them so is your life. Spirituality is not free of concepts. Now is there a right way of decoding it. Have we ever questioned this to ourselves? What we do in the name of religion is it the right way to reach the Ultimate reality “The God”? Or are we doing it according to our beliefs and convenience?

Are we the one to show the light to the One who lightens our whole World inside out?

Are we the one to feed the One who feeds the whole World?

Are we the one to quench the thirst of the One who fills the rivers and water bodies?

Are these not symbols to understand the sookshmaarth. Are we not literally translating and thereby failing to understand the deep meaning of the symbols. Bhagavet Gita shlok 26 in Chapter 9 says

Patram Pushpam Palam Toyam

Yo Me Bhaktya Prayacchati

Tad Aham Bhaktyupahrtam

Ashnami Prayatatmanah

Literal Translation is: He who offers me a leaf, flower, fruit or water with love/devotion. I accept that offering of such pure hearted souls.

We call God the ultimate truth for a reason. He is not like us entangled in the gunas .He is beyond it and equating him to the beings obsessed over the sensory objects is CRIMINAL.

Gita says Ishwara sarva bhutanam Hrd-dese rjuna Tisthatithe If God is in everything then why would he ask for anything from here. There is nothing that is not him in this universe. Then what is he intending to communicate by this verse. That is where Tatva Jnanis like Shankaracharya, to name one has defined this beautifully.

Patram—the Leaf, our wavering MIND

Pushpam—-the flower, our blossomed Intellect

Phalam—-the fruit, our fruits of actions (both levels: physical and mental)

Thoyam—the water, our Chittam

He is asking us to surrender that wavering mind, intellect, karma phalam and chittam to him. Since you are a part of the supreme Reality, he is asking us to connect to him. Now that makes sense, if you do not get the leaf, fruits or water it is okay. But you are in control of your subtle body and that is what you can offer to him.

So, the symbol or concepts that were brought to existence is to remind us of our Real Identity. When we light the lamp, it is to remind us to shun that ignorance and to bring knowledge or light to be one with the Truth. When we offer water, it is to remind us that as water takes the form of the vessel it is in. So can your chittam take the form of GOD(devoid of thoughts..Silence is his language). Offering flowers symbolises the Buddhi devoid of Aham Aakaram.

If we revisit our practices to understanding God, we might end up understanding Us. The only reason we all look up to “he” is to attain peace and to silence that blabbering head. We can do that and that is what Vyasa Maharishi is trying to teach us in this Divine conversation between Krishna (Consciousness) and Arjuna (Mind).