What is life and relationship all about? Is it some beautiful romantic script from Bollywood film, sadistic pleasure, money & fame? Of course it is not.
Life and relationship is about commitment with responsibility, accountability to what you do and devoted to your higher self. Devotion purifies our emotions. To enjoy life with full satisfaction, you have to think from higher self and purity. There should be no complaints. Life is a journey to be savoured. We are all different. We should enjoy the differences in us. Think of the flowers, they are all of different sizes, shape and colour, yet how beautiful each one of them is. If all flowers were the same, how boring it will be. Similarly our also life would be boring if all of us were the same. Life is too short for drama and petty things, be faithful love truly and forgive quickly. You could lead a wonderful life and relationship, if only you could see through Indian philosophy. It is only when you listen to an advice with an open mind that you will be able to benefit from it. I was inspired by one of our Guru Swami Sukhabodhananda. Below I have Quoted Swamiji's message. If you follow his teaching in totality, your life will transform to its higher level. ............... Admin
Commitment and Excellence in Life
Commitment is the language of the wise; complaint is the language of the fools. Commitment is a responsibility and also includes accountability. In life, one should be responsible as well as accountable. Generally one takes responsibility without accountability; this weakens one’s being.
Our weaknesses result in disappointment. Disappointment should be cremated and not garlanded. People derive a sadistic pleasure from disappointment. This is a primitive pleasure, like a grownup boy sucking his thumb. To cremate disappointment, one should strengthen one’s strengths. The greatest strength comes from the energy of commitment and brings in excellence in all walks of life. Few people traverse the road of success without a puncture or two but it is commitment to excellence that takes them through.
Commitment is not being ‘stuck,’ but it is an integration of one’s being. For example, if you are committed to honour your word, then the ‘lower self’ in you will discourage you to justify the failure in not keeping up your promise. If your energies are low, you will be sucked into its logic and reasoning. But if you follow the ‘higher self,’ the ‘lower self’ will be like a servant serving the master. Slowly the ‘lower self’ will be integrated with the higher. In such a state there will be integrity. Without integrity life is shallow.
We have both - an actor and a thinker in us. Every time we lie, the thinker warns us that we are lying and the actor asks us to shut up and continue telling lies. In such a state, there is a split in our being — between the actor and the thinker. It is like riding a chariot with two horses, with the horses going in two different directions. Commitment creates integrity. In this state, it is easier to bring forth the excellence in our lives.
Excellence happens when there is love to grow and contribute. Heart is like a musical instrument. Use it wisely.
Creativity occurs primarily through the power of intention. Intention is like sowing a seed in existence. Allow it to germinate. Allow the forces of nature to nurture life.
Commitment also involves dropping illusions. We do not see the world as it is. We see the world projected through our verbose minds. Minds are filled with thoughts, which are nothing but mere words. Words represent experiences. Words are also influenced by memory. Memory is of the past. From the past, we see the present. Hence we create illusions created by words, but we must filter them wisely.
The mind creates dreams. The self - awareness in you sees reality Awareness without the arrogant ‘I’ is the ‘higher self.’ The mind with its illusions is the ‘lower self.’ Have the commitment to operate from the ‘higher self.’
Through commitment, balance all walks of your life.., family, and work, social and spiritual. Creativity is to balance all walks of life. Creativity is just not creating something new always. Creativity brings excellence in one’s life. It is a state of well-being. Well-being creates completion. When one is complete, one is alive and vibrant in all walks of life.
Why is it that most of us choose the wrong path and be sad?
When you are unhappy, there is a pay-off, People give you sympathy. When you are happy, you have to pay a price…. people feel jealous of you. So unhappiness has a deceptive gain in you getting sympathy from people around and in misleading you into believing that sympathy is equal to love. So first one has to renounce this myth.
When you get sympathy you get a lot of attention and attention is delicious food for the ego.
Since childhood you play this racket of getting attention. As you grow up this game continues. Have you seen beautiful girls? They tempt men and when a man falls for them, they push him aside and thus feel strong. This is called the ‘kiss me off racket.’ Men
Also use anger as a racket to protect their inner wound. Anger in such a case becomes a defence mechanism.
Rackets are manipulative games to seek attention. They are types of mental sickness. One’s psychological immune system becomes weak. Hence, one is prone to the path of wrong, like when one’s body’s immune system is weak; one is prone to an infection.
Does one choose to be miserable in this mental game?
Yes. This has become a habit. Habit becomes a pattern. Then the pattern takes control of you. For example the victim pattern - being a victim invokes sympathy from others. So your misery becomes an investment. Then slowly it becomes a pattern. Then without your awareness, you will feel victimised. When some one smiles at you, you suspect that he has some motives and if some one does not smile at you, then you feel he hates you. This pattern attracts victimising situations too. So a miserable person attracts miserable people and they support each other’s energies. This happens unconsciously and mechanically. One has to become aware of this energy drainer.
Become aware. Each time you are miserable, it is your choice. This is your game. You have some hidden agenda. If you see the foolishness of the hidden agenda, then you will drop it. It is like being tempted to eat excess sweets, but the moment you know it is harmful; you will not be tempted to eat them.
By this mental game we gain attention. Is this the food for the ego? Is ours ego built on this foundation?
Yes. This is the foundation. Ego is built on hopes. Ego always lives in the past and the future. It is a store house of dreams. If you live in the present, there is no past or future. If you just sit in front of a stream and be present in ‘what is,’ there is no past or future. Ego can never exist in the present. Many people visit religious centers and holy masters not for enlightenment, but with hidden expectations that they want to fulfill. Enlightenment is in the present. It cannot be in the future. Hence, be in the present and see the magic of life.
Why is it so difficult to drop the ego?
The perception of ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ depends on your state of being. Generally it is difficult as our whole life’s journey hinges on ego trips. We want to be rich why? Not for fulfilling our basic needs. Ego wants us to be richer than others. We want power. Not for contribution but because we want to feel better than others. We want to be different. Ego continues to seek more of name, fame, money, prestige and sometimes religiousness.
Running after the ego’s wants is like chasing your own shadow. By understanding this, life will be liberating.
Our sufferings have come through our ego and our pleasures have also come through our ego. Pleasures
Are deceptive. Our sufferings are an illusion. Learn to be a witness to your pleasures. You will see a self that is above joy and sorrow. In fact, you can see and experience a self that is above joy and sorrow. More than an experience, it is an experience-less experience.
What do you mean when you say the real master is ‘within?’ It is so frustrating that when we have questions, we can’t consult you. Is there a way out?
In each one of us there is a master and a student. The student is the surface and the master is your inner depth. The external master introduces you to the real master within you. In order to discover the inner master, you should stop living on the surface. Even when you meet an external master, you see him mainly as the body as you operate from the body
The ‘lower self.’ The external master is more a ‘presence.’ He is silence, love and bliss. Be meditative and realize that he is more than a body. Similarly, you are a ‘presence.’ You are silence, from which thoughts and feelings emerge. Thoughts are your surface but you are the inner space of silence.
Buddha, Krishna and Jesus can still be communicated to, if only you are more meditative. Their ‘presence’ is never destroyed. Lord Krishna in the Gita says, ‘They are fools who consider me to be only the body.’ All great masters can be connected to, if you are more meditative. You need not be frustrated if you can’t meet your master. Be in silence. Ask your question in that space of silence and you get an answer not from the mind but from the beyond. You have to experience this. This is not a matter of logic; it is a matter of experience
Is it ever possible to free us from, likes and dislikes?
Do we have likes and dislikes or do likes and dislikes have us? As unconscious beings, likes and dislikes control our lives. Conscious beings are masters of likes and dislikes. When likes and dislikes are under your control, they will serve you and in such a state, you are not messed up. Likes and dislikes are not the problem. However, do they control your life, or are you controlling them, is the real question.
You talk about living in the present. What then is the usefulness of the past and the future?
It is wrong to say that we have to live only in the present. One needs to consider time as past, present and future. Some people are past oriented — mostly they operate from the past. Some are future oriented — mostly they operate from the future and some are present oriented mostly operating from the present. To be wise, involves balancing time... when required you have to take reference from the past or consider the future. Hence balancing time is very essential.
GOOD THE FOOD FOR THE SOUL
In the present times, people are more inclined towards glamour than goodness. Media gives glamour the utmost importance; it has become a status symbol. People seem to be brainwashed into believing that glamour is equal to happiness. If one is glamorous, then one will be happy... is the false notion they carry. The media strongly and cunningly sows this myth. The power of this myth is ruling the present world.
Why does glamour have more appeal than goodness?
There are three traits in human consciousness. Looking good, feeling good and being good. The most Important of these traits is ‘being-good.’ However, if ‘feeling-good’ is not anchored on being good, then people get into drugs.... Drugs temporarily make you feel good, but are not good for your well-being.
Thank you for this great message. Is there anything more?
Remember, you are like a seed. The periphery is finite, but deep within, you are an infinite possibility. Just as a seed has to be organic in order to survive, be organic in spreading goodness. You are a seed and you should be a wise gardener. Even in the materialistic world, you are a possibility. To succeed in this world be organic. People love to trust a good individual rather than a bad one. Therefore, apply this technique to your spiritual and materialistic success.
What should be the purpose of one’s life?
Learn to be successful and satisfied in life. Success is getting what you like and satisfaction likes what you get. Life should be a balance of both success and satisfaction.
Work for success and let work be fun, do not work for fun. By working for success, you fulfill your accomplishment needs. With more of success that you achieve, be grateful and thankful so that your success will not lead you to be egoistic. Remember, ego is Edging God Out.
To be satisfied involves being at peace with ‘what is.’ Do not create a conflict with ‘what is.’ Be in harmony with it. Learn to see elegance in imperfection; to see beauty in ‘what is’ and not in what it should be. You will then be satisfied.
Why does the mind always revel in memory?
This happens because you have not trained yourself in the art of looking.
Buddha was once asked, ‘Are you from heaven?’
‘No,’ replied Buddha.
‘Are you a celestial being?’ ‘No,’ said Buddha. ‘Are you a human being?’
‘No,’ was his reply.
‘Then who are you?’ asked the man.
‘I am a mirror of consciousness reflecting whatever is,’ was Buddha’s message.
This is a wonderful message. Can our mind be like a mirror just reflecting whatever is? Most often, our mind is like a camera; it goes on storing images. Then at the time of death, our soul cannot easily leave the body as our memories create attachments.
Just practise being a mirror, reflect what is in the present, and do not unnecessarily burden your mind, by carrying memories of the past. Just be a pure mirror. Practise this and see the miracle happening in your life. You will be as light as a feather.
The mother of all problems is an untrained mind. An unhappy mind, in heaven, will create hell and a happy mind in hell, will create heaven. Heaven and hell are states of mind. One can live in the most wonderful house and still experience hell. Why does this happen? This happens because one has not trained one’s mind. Mind is like an elephant, if trained it can be very useful but an untrained elephant is hell in motion.
Can you elaborate on the mind and its management?
One needs to -
• Understand the mind
• Transform the mind
• Transcend the mind.
Firstly, when you try to understand the mind, you will realise that the mind is not a static object, but a process. Mind is a crowd of thoughts that come and go. It is not static, but dynamic. This process of thoughts creates an illusion. We suffer because of this illusion. In fact, there is no such thing as the mind; it is only the thoughts that exist.
Secondly, you can transform the mind, if you can see the gaps between thoughts. Learn to see the gaps between thoughts. There is profundity hidden in these gaps. Once you learn to be in these gaps between thoughts, you will be able to manage the thoughts very easily. You will notice that the thoughts
Is an extension of your values? If you relish alcohol, you will have thoughts of alcohol. If you change your values, your thoughts will automatically change. However, first learn to be in the gaps in the silence between the thoughts.
Finally, once the mind is pure, then you can transcend thoughts. Just practise being a witness to the thoughts but do not identify with them.
What occurs when you transcend the mind?
There is an unexplained joy. In deep sleep, you are happy. Not all the joy of external happiness put together is equal to the joy of sleep. If you were given a choice between no sleep and being the richest man in the world, what would you prefer? The choice is obvious. You may have all the wealth but if there is no sleep, you are in a rich hell. In sleep, you are beyond the mind. When you transcend thoughts, you will realize that you are the host and your thoughts are like guests. You are the sky and the thoughts are like clouds. This experiential understanding is liberating.
How does this help in relationships?
Most problems of married couples exist because their minds are constantly churning compulsive thoughts. Thoughts are often the expression of memory. Memory is the representation of a past experience and then the past will interfere with the present. So when couples fail to see the partners afresh, they see from a past experience. The past had a different reality then and the present has a different reality now. If you can keep your mind empty, then compulsive thoughts and conclusions will not dominate your relationships. With such an inner freedom, you will relate to your partner more freely and wisely.
What about the differences in relationships?
When your mind is calm and empty, you will have the wisdom to realize that it is OK to have differences. When the mind says, it is not OK to have differences then there is stress. However, if you say it is OK to have differences, then you will be at peace with differences. You will see beauty in differences. You will not be a victim of your concept of beauty. You will see beauty in ‘what is.’
Is relationship based on pleasure? Does pleasure play an important role in a relationship? Is not goodness a binding factor in having fun in life?
The relationship between a man and a woman has the ingredient of pleasure. Nevertheless, there are different levels of pleasure. A child sucking his thumb is one form of pleasure, but when the child becomes an adult and if he continues sucking his thumb, then he is trapped in primitive pleasures. Hence, carefully observe the different levels of pleasure.
There is a pleasure of the body. There is a pleasure of belonging, a pleasure of being loyal, of being good. There is also a pleasure of contributing...
Goodness is the highest form of pleasure. In that pleasure, include all the other pleasures. The banks of the river do not bind the river. Similarly, discipline of goodness harnesses life and does not bind it. Reflect on this deeply.
What about goodness in our personal life, how does it contribute?
Goodness gives you integrity. Integrity. Unites you and lack of it breaks you.
Why should we learn to accept a bad person?
There is very little choice that you have other than in accepting. Even if you reject him, he will still exist in this cosmos. When I say accept, I do not mean that you agree with him but be at peace with him. Learn to see elegance in imperfection. Understand that his being bad is communicating something to you. Existence c teaching you how not to be like him, through him. Hence, be grateful to him for in his badness lies a lesson for you to learn, how bad it is to be bad.
What you say appears to be nice but is it easy to practice?
It may not be easy but enjoy practicing hard things in life. However, the fact is that it is easy to practice. Our ego makes it hard. Our ego is in fact hard. Hence, take small steps to drop your ego. The ego wants his or her point of view to survive. Learn to do things that the ego does not want. Slowly break the adamant ego. Learn to be flexible, learn to pray and ask for divine help. It will arrive. God is waiting to serve us, but we have to make the request.
How does one always be in the present without going to the past or the future?
Be present, when you look back at the past; be present when you look at the future. Learn the art of being in the present. You will then be open and alive to the present. When you are in the present, you will find yourself without words. There is an unnecessary wording of the mind that goes on uninterruptedly and puts us either in the past or in the future. Our mind thus dominates and bullies our life. So be without words and you will be present in ‘what is.’ The moment your attention is focused on ‘here and now,’ certain stillness opens up, which is life nourishing.
In yoga, there are seven centres, which represent the flowering of consciousness. The seventh centre represents the state of enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a state where one experiences oneself as beyond thought, where the mind is not dominating and one can be ‘here and now.’ If you observe your mind, you will find it chatters unnecessarily. It is constantly broadcasting something and you get identified with the broadcast - the thought. You fail to realize that you are a witness to the thought and
Not the thought itself. This witness is just a ‘presence.’ It is devoid of words. However, you get lost in the witnessed and miss the witnessing consciousness, which is the real you. This is meditation.
How should I practise meditation and bring enlightening consciousness as a living reality in my daily life?
Firstly, learn to be calm. Value calmness. Do not assume that being worried is natural and get trapped in that myth.
Secondly, the moment you are a witnessing consciousness, unnecessary thoughts will reduce. Learn not to language an experience but be without words. Use words only when needed, otherwise be devoid of them.
Thirdly, you will find your thoughts will further reduce. Learn not to identify with your inner self- talk. When thoughts come do not identify or participate in them. Do not say I like this or dislike that, as this is another form of identification.
You will slowly slip into a witnessing consciousness and thus a new ‘presence’ opens up within you. Whenever you are free, for example, while in flight, observe your breath. The breath is in the present, and thus by observing your breath you will also be in the present. If you are driving, do not observe your breath, but be alive to the present. Be open to it without verbalising it. Practise the art of being in the present and see the miracle happening in your consciousness.
How does prayer help enlightenment?
More than prayer, it is prayerfulness that helps. Just be prepared and available for the divine. You cannot go after the Lord, for you do not know his address. Nevertheless, the Lord knows your address. You should be worthy for His grace to descend. Then you will find yourself enlightened.
How will this understanding of surrender help us in our work and family lives?
In relationships, the greatest conflict is the expression of ego. Ego wants to prove a point. More than happiness, people want their point of view to survive. Thus, when their point of view is not fulfilled, they are unhappy and they nurture this unhappiness from their ego. If one can surrender the ego and allow the cosmic plan to guide them, the surrendering attitude will make them calm. One will learn to say yes to the river of life. In this space, something, beyond ego, will descend the spiritual energy.
Iii this spiritual energy, one will be in touch with the spiritual body. This spiritual body will make one’s relationship divine. One will experience a sense of sacredness and not sensuousness. Even in a sexual act, if one has gone beyond the mind, one experiences oneself beyond the body. One will come in touch with the spiritual energy. By surrendering, one will leap from the ordinary cons to a spiritual consciousness.
Most quarrels between men and women are due to their minds vomiting at each other. Their minds dominate them. By surrender one is in the present. This ‘presence,’ and not the noisy mind, will touch the other in a silent way. A noisy mind leaks energy thereby sapping and depleting the other’s energy. In a surrendered state, one’s ‘presence’ will nourish the other.
In a relationship, one has either say yes or no. However, a yes or no coming from the ego is reactive and filled with negativity that will infect the other. Remember that a thought c he conveyed as an infection or affection.
If ‘yes’ or ‘no’ comes from the spiritual body with an attitude of surrender, then it is pro-active; filled with positive energy that nourishes the other. By nourishing each other, each one grows in to a beautiful being in a relationship.
How many of us really take care of the internal world?
Most of us are lost in making the external beautiful. Observe when people talk about their life history. Generally it revolves around the events of the external J situation that impacted or influenced their life. However, apart from events, there are ‘states of being.’ Our life does not solely depend on events but also depends on our states of being.
How will this understanding of events and the inner states help one’s family life?
The quality of your relationship depends on your inner development. Relationships generally thrive on the lie that if the outer is fine then our life will also be fine. However, if one is aware that the quality of life depends on one’s inner states, then the apparatus for living the inner states have to be kept pure and if there is a difference or quarrel, one will work on one’s inner states and not blame the other. Suppose, you find that your husband is very sad and loves being sad, then you will know that he will not be happy by changing the external events. You have to work on his inner states. This clarity gives you great strength and direction.
How does one develop this inner purity?
Do not allow an impure mind to dominate you. Do not allow bad moods to dominate you. When bad moods occur, be a witness. Do not identify with them. See them like passing clouds. You are like space and thoughts are like clouds. Just learn the art of dies-identifying from your mind.
Can you elaborate on being pure?
The way you respond or react to the external events, show your state of being. Learn to be passive do not react. To be passive requires your commitment to avoid mechanical reactions. Whenever you dies-identify, there is a passiveness that will diffuse reaction. The art of dies-identifying is an important spiritual discipline.
Is only learning to relax the body and mind sufficient or is something else also required?
Learn to relax your emotions too. This can be achieved if you can diffuse anger as it emerges. Learn to superimpose a happy emotion over it. Think of a happy moment. Do not allow the anger to pile up. Learn to see the object of anger in a humorous way. Apply the superimposing technique and change the emotion. While doing that, keep the body, not only relaxed, but also alive. Keep it enthusiastic. The energy of the body will impact your emotions also.
Why can’t one be honest when one gets angry, one just gets angry and be authentic to one’s negative emotions? Why play games and change the negative into a positive?
Continue this logic and you will end up in hell. If you feel like killing someone, will you be honest and kill him? I don’t suppose so. When you are upset, be honest and say yes, I am upset. Then, will this upset help you? Since it will not help you, you should change. Dishonesty is when you are upset, you pose you are not and then justify that you are not upset or protect your being upset.
I have seen that many people do not change in spite of giving them love and respect. Why is it so?
Let not love be barter. Do not treat love as a means to an end. Love and see you will be creating heaven in you. If some one does not change, understand every soul has a journey. Sometimes their journey has to be fulfilled.
Also understand, when some one does not change, it is because his or her hurt body is very strong. They have not created a spiritual body. Learn from them. Be kind to them. Let your spiritual body respond to them, let not your hurt body react to them. God has given you the opportunity to contribute to his or her life. Be kind, each one is fighting a hard battle, which one does not know.
WE MAKE OUR LIVES
Man is his life. Our lives are series of experiences. As is the experience, so is life. If a person’s experiences are unhappy, his life is unhappy and vice versa. A single day in one’s life is a small replica of one’s whole life. If man is unable to work towards change for even a day in his life, then he will not be able to change his life. To change his life, he has to change every moment... every day. If he does not change but says he is working on changing himself, then it is just a figment of his imagination.
To change one’s life, one has to observe. Observe one’s body, mind, feelings, values, and observe as to how one responds to the various situations in life. But if one gives excuses of changing from tomorrow, then one will never work on changing today, but only postpone it to tomorrow. This is one of the gravest diseases in spirituality. In order to truly work on changing oneself, one has to define one’s work. The field of one’s work is today.
What should our action plan be in our daily activities of life?
Bring the ‘presence’ of consciousness in your daily activities. The spiritual work-exercise is to bring consciousness in small activities of life. Be conscious of your reactions and be aware if your feelings have purity or the garbage of negativity. Be conscious of your voice. Is your body relaxed or tense? Are your thoughts compulsive? Can you be inwardly empty, free from the unnecessary thoughts? Observe you’re self-talk. Find out whether your self-talk guides or distracts you.
Why is our mind always talking? Is this self-talk essential or unessential?
Our minds are constantly dominating our lives. We are entrapped by our minds and they become our enemies. Mind has a self-talk mechanism. Having compulsive thoughts is a psychological disorder.
As we have not raised the level of our consciousness, our mind keeps on chattering.
Do this exercise; just as a tiger waits and watches out for its prey, wait and watch out for thoughts that arise. At this moment shut your eyes, and observe the first, second and the third thought in that order. Do it right now.
You will observe that no thoughts arise. When you are alert, thoughts do not arise. In the space of alertness, your ‘presence’ is more conscious. When your ‘presence’ has less consciousness, there are more thoughts.
Hence when the mind is constantly talking, it indicates that your level of consciousness has not increased. More thoughts are a symptom of being less conscious.
Consciously use your self-talk when required and when not required learns to be inwardly empty.
How do we eliminate negative thoughts in our mind?
Understand that every thought creates a subtle substance. Negative thought creates a hurt body; positive thought creates a bliss body. The bliss body will uplift you while the hurt body will make you a victim of circumstances in life.
Secondly, whenever a negative thought arises, learn to dies-identify from it. See yourself as a witness and the thought as witnessed by you. You are the subject and the thought is an object. You are an observer and the thought is the observed. Slowly distance yourself from the thought.
Thirdly, observe how dominating your mind is and how compulsive thoughts are being processed.
Finally, as far as possible, let there be absence of words. Learn to develop the taste of being without any self-talk.
What spiritual benefit does one achieve when negative thoughts are eliminated?
Purification happens. In this purification, our centres become receptive to allow the higher vibrations to flow in. New ideas become understandable. If our centres are not purified, divine messages, new ideas...“will not flow in. We should thus insulate ourselves from negativity and keep our centres pure and receptive, so that the higher states of consciousness can guide us.
Can one’s adopt this technique with one’s nagging wife?
First and foremost stop conveying to your wife that she is a nag. Use transformational vocabulary.... use empowering language. The moment you tell her she is a nagging wife, she will retort immediately accusing you, which would result in a war of words. This will affect the flower of your love. Once you start using words, you bring in logic leading to arguments. There are no winners in an argument. Hence use words wisely. When your wife expresses something, try and understand her point of view instead of branding and labeling her. The moment you brand her, you will be blinded and will see only the labels. As a result you miss seeing the real person.
How can we become richer by differences in a relationship?
Stop treating differences as conflicts. View them as points of view. Learn to appreciate variety. Appreciate differences rather than viewing them as pain. The moment you relate to differences as pain, you will experience them as pain. View differences as other ways of looking at a situation.
ABSENCE OF WORDS
It was a beautiful evening. Clouds hovered like celestial beings. As one looked out of the window, one could see the trees green with celestial luster and flowers dancing with joy. The perceiver is filled with wonder at this wonderful happening. How is it that some experience wonders while others doing not? Is it not because of sensitivity? The grass filled with life... their size, the space and the magical world is beyond the description of words. Yet, why do we depend on words? Why have words become so important? Why do we invest in them?
I find the presence of my husband irritating? I love him and at the same time dislike him? Why this contradiction?
Observe how your mind is constantly dominating and manipulating your life. You need to put an end to its domination. You can do that if you understand that mind is nothing but words. Learn to be in the absence of words. When a person is verbose inwardly, his ‘presence’ is heavy. If you sit under a tree, you feel its ‘presence’ to be nourishing. Similarly, if you sit next to a silent man you will bathe in his serenity.
Your verbose mind conveys to you that your husband is irritating. See your husband without the seer. Perceive him without the perceiver. The perceiver is burdened with memory, with words, with dogmas and hence is not sensitive to ‘what is.’ We do not see a person ‘as he is,’ but ‘as he should be.’
The fact has to be seen. The seeing is not through words or your likes and dislikes. Zen meditation involves being in the ‘presence’ of the river and seeing it without words. A deep sacredness arises with such quality of seeing.
Therefore, see your husband in the absence of any words and experience sacredness.
But why do I love and hate him? Why can’t I be consistent in my love?
Mind spins its own logic. We are victims of our own logic. We have rules, which decide when the flower of love should be and when it should not be. Our love is born out of thoughts. A love born out of thoughts is destroyed by a thought. Thoughts are sitting on the throne of our life. We are imprisoned by thoughts. Can we free our love from the prison of thoughts? Our dislike is also born out of a thought. Thoughts change and hence love and dislike change accordingly.
Is there something more to a conflict of relationship?
Everyone has rules, which tell us, if this happens I will love him and if it does not happen I will hate him. These rules control our lives. We rarely inspect the sanity of these rules, which dictate our lives. Our lives are imprisoned by them. We have to see how these rules confine us, even though it is an illusion. In fact we are like the space, which cannot be confined. Can the room confine space? Space exists in the room. But it appears that the room limits the space, for we look at space from the angle of the room. But the fact remains that the room exists in space and does not limit it.
Similarly, it appears that we are limited by rules. This is an illusion. But the illusion will act as reality as long we don’t see it as an illusion.
Can you see that the ‘I’ is free from the rules? If you operate from this ‘I’ and not the ‘I’ confined by the rules, then this is salvation or Moksha.
Is it not right to have the limitations of the perceiver?
If that is your choice and decision, let it be so. If you accept limitation, then the limitation is yours, but if you accept limitlessness, then limitlessness is yours. Why does a person want more and more of everything..? The ‘more’ is ultimately seeking for limitlessness. Limitation is like dust in your eyes. As long as it exists, your effort is to eliminate it, because it is a foreign particle. In a similar manner limitation is a foreign particle. So your effort should be to eliminate it.
Understand, infinite is not other than finite. If infinite is other than finite, then infinite becomes finite, for it is other than finite. Infinite is in-spite of finite. It includes finite and is not limited by finite. In the same way, limitlessness includes limitation and is not other than limitation.
I experience a sense of heaviness. Is this heaviness a result of the perceiver loaded with likes, dislikes, conclusions, dogmas?
True. There is a ‘law of gravitation’ and a ‘law of grace.’ In occultism, the law of gravitation is that which pulls us to the earth, our attachments, likes and dislikes.... when one is pure, one experiences a sense of lightness and also experiences the law of grace - a movement towards heaven. Heaven is not a place, but is a state of being where one experiences a sense of relaxation and lightness.
To rise to the level of the stars is the law of grace. This is opposed to the law of gravitation that drags us down to the earth. Why do you want to be limited tithe earth, when you can fly up to the sky? Why be a dwarf when you can be a giant?
Why do you cling to your ignorance, your impurity that keeps you low? This makes you ugly. You can grow to the heights of purity, kindness, forgiveness and bliss. Allow that to happen by dropping your likes, dislikes, anger, and jealousy.
What constitutes the soul of the law of grace is inner freedom. Free yourself from all limitations of the mind, its likes and dislikes.
Have you observed that whenever you are angry or sad, you feel very heavy and burdened? This is the law of gravitation. Have you also observed that whenever you are loving, kind, inwardly free, you feel you are floating and flying?
This is the law of grace.
ALIGNMENT OF THE THREE CENTERS
When you face difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them but mould them with love, kindness and humility. Give them time to heal. In that space a different energy will flow in your lives. There are two energies — one, an ordinary energy that supports ego, provides a reason for it to exist and gives deceptive goals; the other, a divine energy that dilutes and destroys the ego. This will make you look at life differently. For that energy to flow in, it is necessary that we prepare ourselves prayerfully, proceed positively and pursue persistently.
There are three centers in us that need to be aligned. It is like tuning a TV or a radio. These are... the body, emotions and intellect. When all three centers are aligned in your daily life, a divine energy flows and a magical transformation occurs. You will then find trees to be greener, the sun being radiant and stars magically shining conveying experiences without words.
Why do we suffer in pain and recreate it moment to moment?
As I told you, thought creates energy. If thought is negative, then energy is negative. The negative energy creates pain. A hurt body looks at the world through pain. A hurt body will try its best to sustain pain. It is a matter of survival. So, it loves to attract pain and sustain pain. It will use logic to protect it. Look at unhappy people. They will convince you to be miserable.
How do we get out of the hurt body? What is a way out?
All that you can do is to create a bliss body in you. There are 5 layers in you.
• Physical body
• Panic body... breathes body.
• Mental body
• Intellectual body
• Bliss body
All these layers in us have energies. It is in potential form. Just as there is latent fire in wood and by rubbing the wood it is invoked. In the same way you have to awaken the physical body through exercise, yoga, dance, balanced diet.... Keep the body alive and enthusiastic. You will then awaken a happy energy through the body.
The panic or breath body has to be awakened. Breathe deeply by panorama and find a different kind of joy surfacing in you. Shallow breathing creates lower energy field while deep breathing enhances one’s aliveness.
Mental body can be awakened, if you keep your mind calm. A calm mind has a different joy; a noisy mind is an avenue for leakage of energy.
When your intellect is open and receptive, yet another dimension of blissful energy arises. One who is open and receptive is always learning. Children learn very fast as their intellect is open and receptive.
Bliss body in oneself has to be opened up. In deep sleep, bliss body opens up naturally. In waking state, if one is committed to be happy and learn to look at life in a celebrative way, a bliss centre will be awakened.
When these five layers are opened, as the Vedas - the Hindu scriptures say a bliss body is created. This is the way to heaven.
Opening five bodies or layers - is it a form of prayer?
Yes. Prayer is not changing God. Prayer is changing oneself. A lot of people feel by praying, we remind God as to what he has to do to us. In a temple, one rings a bell. It is not to wake God, but to awaken the God within. God exists within, but the five layers that have not opened are like closed doors. Prayer is to open these inner layers of ourselves.
Will one’s nagging husband change, if he opens the five layers within? How will one’s relationship improve by applying these insights?
If we are depleted, there is leakage of energy. We then try to draw energy from our partner. Each one starts sapping the other’s energy. Thus we become dependent on the other. The other feels miserable if one is dependent and saps one’s energy. Then one becomes possessive. No one likes to be possessed. Freedom is our birthright. We feel bound if some one possesses us. This leads to pushing the partner out of the freedom zone. The partner feels rejected. This rejected self will maintain a mental score and will wait to settle scores in the times to come. By this, a war of roses will occur.
But if you have tapped all the five layers within you, you will overflow with joy. Share joy but not beg for it. You will not sap the energy of the other as you are already overflowing. You will neither be dependent on the other nor be independent. But if you learn to be interdependent, your partner will feel a sense of belonging. The relationship will reach new heights when you open your body, prana, mind, intellect and bliss centers.
What are the signs of an enlightened relationship?
One has to get out of addictive demands in a relationship. Husband and wife are usually lost in their demands and thus miss the ‘here and now.’ Being present ‘here and now’ creates a different ‘presence.’ A spouse whether alone or with the partner should know how to be present ‘here and now.’ We are generally lost either in the past or in the future but not alive to the present.
The relationship between a husband and a wife should not be based on demands but one can have preferences. Understand the distinction between demand and preference. Demand makes one rigid and overpowering.., meaning without, this, ‘I’ refuse to be happy, while preference makes one light and inclusive.., means ‘I’ prefer this, but if it does not happen it is OK. It makes one more flexible.
Another sign of an enlightened relationship is an understanding that happiness is within. A partner is one who helps you to go within. ‘The kingdom of heaven is within you,’ quotes the Bible. ‘Happiness is within us,’ declares the Gita.
Is it OK to be selfish in a relationship?
Yes. Start with selfishness, but move towards a unified self. Do not invest in selfishness, as this will lead to compulsiveness. There is nothing wrong in catering to oneself. But have the vision of yourself being inclusive and not exclusive. Love is inclusive whereas likes are exclusive. Let your relationship be based on love and not on ‘likes.’
How can we see the foolishness of selfishness?
The earth is small speck of dust in this cosmos. Two thirds of the earth is covered with water. The remaining one thirds includes forests, mountains; landmass the country you live is insignificant in the cosmos. In this, there are many species and you are just one amongst them. Where are you in this macrocosm? You are very tiny and insignificant but you live as though you are the most important person in this cosmos. Can you see your foolishness?
One knows one’s unfair and one justify it. Why is this so?
Any justification is a part of the struggle of a hurt body to survive. Some are aware of their justifying while others are not. One of the important teachings of great masters like Gurdjieff is, ‘We are lying but we are not aware of our lying.’ The first step is to realize our lying as one of the greatest blocks in the path of transformation. We lie and then justify it. If the state of our being is low.., operating from lower centers, then lying and justification increase. If our state of being is high... operating from higher centers, then we would be able to catch our lies and the foolishness of justifying them.
I am not saying it is wrong to lie and then justifying it on the moral grounds, but it is of no use. It does not pay you in the long run. It is like mixing bread and mud. If we constantly observe our higher states of being open up and we realize that if we continue lying and justifying, it is mechanical. This lying and justifying function like a machine. The moment we function like a machine, we destroy ourselves, as in essence, we are conscious beings.
If you observe that you are operating from an imaginary self, then make yourself flexible. Start seeing that there are many variables in life. Life is not so poor as to operate from one variable. This flexibility will break the rigidity. This will give a conscious shock to the mechanical imaginary self.
Is spiritual practise a must for everyone? Or is it only for those who are interested in being spiritual?
One has to insulate oneself from the effects of worldly living. The environment has its strong impact. The external world is in a rat race . . . . Of greed, of glamour, of respectability. It does not bother about real joy and purity. Naturally, external influence affects an individual. In this rat race even if one wins one continues to be a rat. Glamour gives you an illusory joy but your soul, irrespective of your colour or religion, needs to grow.
Why do people carry the pain of differences for long?
This is a part of a mechanical mind. Unless we transform our mechanical centre into a magnetic centre, these negative patterns will continue. In my workshops, I wish the participants ‘Good morning.’ Then I question them as to how many of them meant the morning to be good? Most of them would have said it mechanically. ‘Mechanical ness’ is part of the mind where consciousness is relatively less. The more we bring in our ‘presence’ in whatever we do, the greater is the chance that consciousness would give rise to a magnetic centre.
Once a magnetic centre is opened in us, we see the foolishness of carrying pain; it is like mixing bread with cement. People are living miserable lives because they function mechanically. They are victims of their programming. One of my relatives who are a multimillionaire leads a poor life as he is unwilling to sell part of his property. It is against his concept of family dignity, but he lives a life of poverty. See how one can be a victim of one’s programming.
Is it so simple to drop one’s past? Past has defined me, past is my reference, so how do we renounce the past?
The concept of ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’ is very subjective. It may be easy for some and it may be difficult for others. Even if it is not easy, so what? Enjoy the difficulty. Treat it as a challenge. One finds it difficult if one does not understand that there are many layers of unconsciousness imposed on oneself... the layer of ignorance, the layer of social ignorance, the layer of religious ignorance. Layers after layers are superimposed on oneself. One has to uncover oneself.
A spiritual seeker needs to discriminate between what belongs to himself and what belongs to others. People around you are unconscious and they tend to impose their understanding on you. You have your own understanding. So you should discriminate clearly.
By negating what is superimposed on you, you will see yourself clearly. You may feel inadequate, as you don’t have the benefit of the other’s knowledge.
The whole crowd within you has to be renounced. You then start seeing yourself as pure and innocent; in the process a great purification takes place. Be silent and see how your knowledge is borrowed or superimposed. Watch them go and let go. See your original face.
Still it’s not clear, what makes it difficult to drop our past?
You have to observe the connection you have with your past. If you closely observe, it is only a habit of being connected to your past. You have drawn your identity from ignorance and are used to it. It is just a habit. Any habit is hard to give up. Habits die hard. In the word ‘Habit,’ remove the H and ‘a bit’ remains. Remove ‘a,’ then ‘bit’ remains. Remove ‘b,’ ‘it’ remains. Remove the ‘I’, still’s’ remains. So remove the ‘I’
See the influence of the past on you; is it a friend or an enemy? Is it freeing you or binding you? See the foolishness of it and just renounce it.
Renouncing the past helps in relationships. Is this concept useful in relationships or is it more of a spiritual concept?
Spiritual concepts can be applied in our daily lives. In fact, it has to be applied to our daily lives. For example, if you visualize your wife from the past, then the past would pollute the present. The past should exist as a reference but not as a limiting block. Your perception should be free to see her as ‘she is’ and not as ‘she should be.’ This is possible only if you renounce your past. The changes in her would never be visible, if you are operating from the past. Many relationships are messed up as they are controlled by the past.
‘To know and not to act on what you know is equal to not knowing,’ is what you have said so often. Why is that we don’t act on what we know?
Knowledge has to transform into wisdom and only then, it will bless you. For that to happen, you have to practise. In order to practise, you have to remember what you have to practise. But we are forgetful and hence we don’t practise. Self-remembering is the answer. In yoga this is called as atma-smaranarn ... self- remembering. So remember what you have to practise. Keep remembering. This will eliminate one’s ‘mechanical ness.’
Can you explain a little more about self- remembrance?
In Yoga, there are four classifications.
Yoga of Action
Yoga of Devotion
Yoga of Wisdom
Yoga of Meditation
We have to remember and practise all of them.
Through Yoga of Action, teach your body to have a new movement. Every action has energy. Repetitive action has same movement of energy and hence leads to boredom. Through Hatha Yoga you make your body movements very different and experience a new energy. You train your body to be relaxed and vibrant. Move your body consciously. For example, in a sitting position, feel the energy of your body and better your sitting posture. See to it, you derive maximum relaxation and joy. Let every movement of your body have this awareness. This is the Yoga of Action.
What about Yoga of Devotion?
Every one has a feeling centre. Remember your emotions operate mechanically. Remember to separate them from your mechanical emotions. Create an inner separation from your negative emotions. Consciously choose positive emotions. The greatest positive emotion is devotion. Learn to consciously develop devotion. Anything less than devotion, negate it consciously.... like how you respond when some one sticks a poster on your wall, how you immediately remove it and then write a note ‘stick no bills.’ So too, in case of a negative emotion, immediately negate it and say, ‘no more negative emotions.’ Remember to bring in devotion in whatever you do. Adjust your emotion in a way you have only devotion.
What about Yoga of Wisdom?
Bring in more consciousness in your thinking. See how your intellect imagines and see its mechanical functioning. Dies-identify with your negative thinking centre. Remember to bring in more awareness and see what you can learn in a given situation. Adjust your thinking faculty in a way that it makes you feel young in learning. Let your learning make you feel relaxed. Let your learning make your feel you are growing and not burdened by knowledge. Remember them in all walks of life.
What about Yoga of Meditation?
Remember to keep your mind empty. See how compulsive thoughts are dragging you. Consciously be without mental words. Be in the present. Let your ‘presence’ be light. Remember to keep your ‘presence’ alive and light. Remembering all these aspects of Yoga is self-remembering.... atina sinaranam.
Why we are not satisfied with life despite abundance in existence?
Even though existence is in abundance, man is bound by poverty. Generally people are not prosperity consciousness, but are poverty consciousness. People operate from scarcity and not from abundance.
We are not satisfied with life as our level of being attracts a particular kind of life.
One’s life is like a small wheel and one is connected to bigger or smaller wheels. Life is interconnected. It is necessary that we disconnect from the smaller wheels of life and connect to the bigger ones. Learning to connect and disconnect is very important. The smaller wheel represents name and fame, money, power ... learn to disconnect. We are connected to them through our attitudes. There is a collective consciousness of small wheels and hence we are pulled by this consciousness into an abyss. Even wars are caused by these influences not necessarily by those who want war. The collective consciousness of small wheels has its own influences. These influences impact the sleeping humanity.
Living in this consciousness, one will be more a wanting being rather than a satisfied being.
Our willingness to grow impacts us, but does this impact the collective consciousness?
There is a principle called the principle of the ladder. Just imagine a ladder in which people are climbing. If one is unwilling to move up, it blocks others. If one helps the other to climb, one is not only helping oneself but also others. If everyone is disciplined, the process becomes smooth. If not, it is because of sleeping consciousness that one does not see the sanity of harmony and order.
If one is not ready to be awake, then one blocks another. If one is willing to grow, it impacts the collective consciousness and in turn it also impacts people around.
So it becomes necessary to make the right connection and disconnection.
How important is the role of a Master in the path of awakening?
An enlightened Master’s being is awakened to higher levels of consciousness. His ‘presence’ has a rippling effect on others. He can see your blocks very clearly and help you open your inner doors. He would be a great help.
We have four doors to be opened. They are a conscious mind, a subconscious mind, an unconscious mind and a divine mind. Conscious mind involves thinking, deciding, discussing.... which forms a small part of our beings. This has to be purified. Then the subconscious mind has to be opened. One has to have affinity to one’s Master with a deep feeling of love and oneness. Even in disagreement with a conscious mind, a deep feeling of love opens the other’s door.
The unconscious mind has to be opened through surrender. Surrendering to a Master can be a great opening. Surrendering involves considering the Master’s teaching as one’s breath. Let your agenda be dropped and allow your Master’s agenda to guide you.
In other words, surrender your ego. Then the third door opens.
Finally, the last door has to be opened by the power of grace. When all the three doors are opened, grace will then flood into your being and through the third eye, an awakening happens.
A Master helps one to open these inner doors.
Is not surrendering, losing one’s identity? Is this not dangerous?
There is nothing wrong in losing one’s identity. Our identity is a sleeping identity. Our identity gives us more pain than joy. The illusion of joy is kept alive and the real joy is dead. It is worth losing such an identity. We give great importance to this identity as though it has uplifted us. Our identity is like a wave in the ocean with a disappearing importance.
Before surrendering, our conscious mind has to be purified. It involves right thinking. Through right thinking, the conscious mind knows and sees the beauty in a Master. This beauty does not involve only his knowledge but his being, his energy field. One will slowly see that a Master frees one from ignorance and bondage. One’s being becomes light in his ‘presence.’ Only then, a layer of the conscious mind opens up. It is through these openings, one realizes that surrender is in fact a surrender of suffering. By losing one’s identity a different being opens up. One really becomes an individual, an indivisible being.
Should one suppress one’s ego?
Can one remove darkness in a cave with the help of a bucket? It is not through action, but by light that one can do so. So too, by suppressing, one does not eliminate one’s ego. It is by bringing the light of understanding that it is eliminated. Ego is filled with dreams. Dreams are not realities. You cannot fulfill them. It is like a mirage, it cannot quench your thirst. Ego creates illusions . . . like a mirage, it makes you chase it.
In fact, there is madness in the world because of ego. Ego increases your desires. If you want to live, you need food but not name and fame. You don’t have to be a great actor or a singer in order to live. But ego makes you feel that you cannot be happy, if you are not famous. It goes on creating illusions. Through understanding, ego drops and not by suppression. Always find out what your needs are and what ego wants. Need is necessary, but the wants of the ego is unnecessary. Drop the unnecessary and live with the necessary.
But management principles tell us to dream. They tell us life is wonderful with dreams and hopes. If there are no dreams, how can organizations survive? Has not material prosperity given us joy? I am confused... Please elaborate.
There are two ways of living life ... an enlightened way and an unwise way.
The unwise way makes one live life as a wanting being. The desiring mind has its own pleasures. Such a life will be filled with pleasures or sorrow.
The enlightened way of living involves being in the world of being and not wanting. One’s body will go through the pleasures and sorrows of the world but one’s being will be beyond them.
It is like you are in a house and you realise that it is not your house. You will not get identified with the house. You keep the house clean and even if it gets burnt, you are not burnt. The body is like a house, but the soul is you. You will not be identified with the body.
Whereas through foolish living, one gets identified with the body or the house. There is an ocean of difference between the two.
Your mind dreams but you are not identified with it. You may fulfil them with detachment. To fulfil a dream with detachment is a great skill. One has detachment because one knows that one has to leave all of them behind one day. The soul is not going to carry them with it. Ultimately the soul is detached as it leaves the body and its wealth behind. Look at your ancestors and successful people who are dead. They exist only in a photo. Only their photo remains but their soul is gone. So, be detached.
In fact attachment has created hell. Detachment gives joy. Detachment is not indifference but non- identification. Fulfil your dreams with detachment. Learn this art.
WRONG STATE A SILENT KILLER
What makes things good or bad? We are caught up in being either good or bad, can you unfold more on this subject?
The perception of ‘good and bad’ is not external. For example, a war is bad when it is fought with bad intentions, but it is good when fought for a nobler cause. What makes anything good or bad is our intention. In fact good or bad are our states of being. If our being is mechanical, events around us turn out to be bad. We are conscious beings. Not operating from consciousness is like turning away from our basic nature. In such a state, our perception gets poisoned. Being conscious of our thoughts, feelings, opinions help us see that we are not victims of conclusions that are pre-programmed. With preconceived notions our perception will not be objective. This leads to a wrong state. Any wrong state is bad.
Is it OK if one consciously flirt in a relationship as you say being conscious is right. Is there not something wrong in this chain of thinking?
You are a victim of your own logic. Can you see that you are dominated by your thinking? Be empty, be inwardly free from compulsive thoughts and see what kind of feelings emerge. If you are empty, free from your own logic, you will be free and such inner freedom will allow you to connect to your partner. Connected — not sensuously but sacredly. You see sacredness in her or him. This would make you complete. In this state of completeness, there is no need for you to flirt. When your stomach is full there is no need to eat more.
What is wrong in flirting? Is it not a beautiful sport?
Relationship is like gardening. If you plant a sapling under a huge rock, the sapling would die as its roots cannot penetrate deep into the earth. Relocating such a sapling would be meaningful. If you pull a sapling out before its roots go deep, and plant it elsewhere, there is a great chance of sapling dying, as you have not provided sufficient time for its roots to go deep.
Similarly give time for a relationship to go deep. If your relationship however comes to a dead end, then severing it is wise. To flirt is like planting a sapling from one place to another and not allowing it to go deep. There is beauty in depth; there is shallowness in flirting. Relationship is not a game. It is very sacred. It is not like winning or losing in sports. It is a process where two souls help each other to unite, in order to experience a unified self.
Why does war exist? Relationship is like a mini war, is it true?
War exists because humanity is deep rooted in violence. What is within, surfaces. If there is love within, even if one is crucified, one can give love and say, ‘Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.’
There are two processes taking place in most nations. Some are in war while yet others are preparing for war. It is because there is violence within humanity.
The root cause of violence is attachment. We are attached to our ideas, our opinions; we have become prisoners of our points of view. We don’t have points of view, but points of view have us. We are so immersed in our points of view that we are attached to our points of view. If some one disagrees with our points of view, we feel hurt. We feel some one has hurt us as we have become one with our points of view. This hurt creates a hurt body. This hurt body wants to settle scores and retaliates with others. This whole game is nothing but violence. Putting an end to this form of violence involves not being attached to our points of view. Detachment gives rise to joy. If some one disagrees with our point of view, it is only a point of view. Understand this fully.
How do we put an end to a war in the domain of relationships?
If you treat differences as pain, then the differences in relationships will be painful. Then you feel the other is responsible for your pain and hence there is a war with the other. If two people have different points of view, it is only points of view but you are not the point of view! So don’t be attached to your point of view. Your point of view is one variable and in the cosmos there can be other variables. Your point of view need not be the truth. It may be true to you but not the truth. Be bigger than your point of view.
The world remains almost the same but why does each one see things differently?
We perceive the world. This perception passes through our minds. If we don’t know how to use it, we get angry, upset and irritated, and then our minds turn as bad transmitters. In turn we become bad transmitters. Our minds should be pure. They must have a learning energy with an aim to grow. When one has toothache, even tasty food when eaten is painful. Not because of the food but because of the toothache. Similarly our minds being unique they perceive the same world differently.
So what should we do when we become upset and angry?
Be more conscious. Understand that a stimulus reaches our minds but we are not equipped to handle it wisely, then anger sets in. So be more conscious of how our mind works. Be more conscious of how we interpret a situation. Be more conscious of interpretation creating a problem. We interpret depending on our states of being. If our state of being is committed to transformation, then we understand how to use a stimulus and not be its victims.
What does it require to be more conscious? Does it stop being committed to growth or something more?
Being conscious means one needs to have commitment and observation. Observation is of two types. One is external and other is self observation. Science involves observation of the world of objects.
Spirituality involves self-observation, the world within. These two should meet ... science and spirituality. Science helps in changing the world through understanding while Spirituality involves changing oneself. To change one-self, we have to see ourselves deeply. We need to see ourselves without the seer. If we see ourselves with the seer, then the conclusions of the seer pollutes the seeing. Can we observe without the observer?
To observe without the observer which is self-observation appears more difficult than external observation?
Yes. Internal observation involves the subject.... oneself. The object here is also oneself? We are the objects of our observation. So the subject itself is the object. This observation is easy and at the same time appears difficult. It is difficult, if we are attached to our conclusions. It is easy, if we can separate ourselves from ourselves. Hence, detachment is a great discipline.
We all live in one world but experience different realities, why is it so?
There is an external reality and an internal reality. External reality is a world of external objects. Internal reality is a world of thoughts and feelings. What makes a world different is the world of our thoughts and feelings. If you doubt your internal reality, ask yourself as to whether your feelings and thoughts are real. If you say, it is not, and then you lack self observation. We experience the world more from an internal
Reality. What impact our lives are our thoughts and our feelings. Observe thoughts and feelings that make us happy or sad. If something makes us sad, renounce it. Renouncing involves not being attached to your thoughts and feelings as they emerge. You give them a reality when you merge with them. The shadow becomes real if you get attached to your shadow. Detachment is the key. Detachment is not indifference. Detachment is being aware of the sanity of life. Attachment is insanity
What makes our internal reality of thoughts and feeling so difficult to renounce?
It is our ego. We get stuck to the wrong ‘I’ in us. This wrong self is the ego. Ego exists in ignorance. Ignorance exists because of lack of observation.
WHAT CREATES M
One has to bring in the light of understanding to all walks of life. When there is light of understanding, even death turns out to be a door to the divine. When one door closes another door opens. When there is light of love in your heart, silence in your mind and relaxation in your body, universal energy will flow in. In that energy your life will be a song of the divine.
A sign of maturity is when you operate from the ‘higher self’ and not from the ‘lower self.’ The ‘lower self’ is full of addictive thoughts, filled with likes and dislikes, dogmas and conclusions. The ‘lower self’ discourages you by creating invisible obstructions. The ‘higher self’ encourages you by keeping your mind empty; but filled with silence. Allowing the ‘higher self’ to operate is maturity. You experience a sense of ripeness. When a fruit is ripe, it falls from the tree. When you are ripe, your ‘lower self’ drops from you.
What should we do in order to be happy?
First drop your desire to be happy. Drop comparisons. Learn to focus on happy incidents in life and remember less of unhappy incidents. Mix with happy people. Drop the myth that aging is to be feared. Don’t confuse material things as being equal to happiness. You may have all the comforts of life and still be comfortably miserable.
Don’t allow your life to hang on any one aspect of life. Learn the many ways to be happy. Don’t put all the eggs in one basket. Some people invest their whole life in a job and for whatever reason, when sacked from the job, they will be wrecks. Be like a wanderer at times. Learn to see changes in life as surprises but not as threats. Think less of people who bother you and feel more of people who care for you. Increase your wisdom and be happy. Your ‘higher self’ has all the answers, but the ‘lower self’ does not allow you to reach out to them, as it is rigid. The ‘higher self’ is a flow. Go with the flow. Allow the wanderer in you to sail in the ocean of life.
How can one stop thinking about people who bother us? They get into our blood and bones?
This is how the nature of the ‘lower self’ operates. The thoughts emerging from the ‘lower self’ always interfere with one’s inner growth. Learn to put them away, like how a tennis player puts away a thought of an incoming ball as a threat. Renounce such thoughts. The Veda says, ‘neti, neti” ‘not this, not this.’
When you have a hurt body, the ‘lower self’ will draw its energy from it. Renounce it. Create a bliss body. Just feel happy. After all, it is a thought. Thinking of an unhappy incident is also a thought. Thought is a word. As a negative word comes in your mind as a thought, just negate it. Don’t give it power. Don’t identify with it. Or just laugh. Start dancing and awaken your bliss body. Like how you avoid poisonous food, avoid negative thoughts too.
Is inner growth an art of inner flowering?
It is out of muddy water that a lotus emerges and blooms. It is still considered the queen of flowers. Similarly it is from muddy situations in life that the awakened mind arises. Flower gives fragrance unconditionally, so too let us operate from unconditional love. All great masters inspire us to live in abundance but not in scarcity. Be total and not fragmented. Live to the maximum and not to the minimum. Let your ‘presence’ reach others and shower them with fullness.
Real growth happens when you trust and operate from the ‘higher self.’ This ‘higher self’ is a flow, a learning being that enjoys the given moment in totality. Unfortunately, we trust our ‘lower self’ that is authoritative, rigid, and non supportive. It is a victim of likes and dislikes. Growth happens when you negate the ‘lower self’ and are centered in the ‘higher self.’ Your ‘higher self’ is an evolving being through which you come in touch with a mystic flower in you.
Consciousness A GREAT PURIFIER
The mind may be knowledgeable but it need not be intelligent. Operating from no-mind.... from the state of consciousness, one can be intelligent. The basic nature of human beings is pure consciousness. At present, our consciousness is identified with thoughts, emotions and body. We have identified with them mechanically due to ignorance. If one can see the body, mind and emotions clearly as ‘mine’ but ‘I’ am not them, then there is an awakening. For example, the shadow is mine but I am not the shadow. The dress is mine but I am not the dress. This understanding is a great purifier. The ‘I’ and the ‘mine’ are confused and in this confusion the ‘lower self’ emerges. Once we know ‘I’ is pure consciousness and this is only the watcher - the witness, we get into a state beyond mind. This is the ‘higher self.’
The Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita quotes that it is easy to drop the ego and also mentions that it is difficult to drop the ego. Why is that so? Is it not creating a false hope?
The perception of ‘easy and difficult’ is the result of one’s state of being. Swatting a fly is ‘difficult’ for some, while killing thousands is ‘easy’ for terrorists.
Dropping the ego is easy when we realize that we are less than a dot in this vast cosmos. It is foolish to live with the illusion that we are the centre of the cosmos. Dropping ego becomes difficult when we have this illusion. To live on hope is a symptom that one is not in the present.
But, is ‘hoping’ not the breath of life? How can we live without ‘hope?’
In any circle there is a centre and a circumference. If the centre of your life is hope then you will experience deficiency. If the centre of your life is enjoying the moment, living in the moment, being total in the moment.... then hope will be a circumference... then it is not a problem.
Let kitchen items be in the kitchen and bathroom items be in the bathroom. If they are placed elsewhere, then there is a problem. There is no problem with ‘hope’ as such, as long as it is in the circumference and not in the centre. Be alive to the present.
What is the nature of the ego? How does it affect our relationships?
The self with arrogance is ego. Self with the ignorance of who we are is also ego. Self filled with hopes and dreams is also ego. Ego lives either in the past or in the future, but never in the present. Its centre resides either in the past or in the future but it misses the present.
We are living in the world of ego ... the ‘lower self.’ But if our centre is gratitude and devotion, then we live in the present. Both past and future become mere reference points. This is the ‘higher self.’ The ‘higher self’ is a space from which possibilities arise. It is a flow. It is a learning energy. It is an evolving being. You have the choice to operate either from the ‘lower’ or ‘higher self.’
When you operate from ego, your relationships will definitely be affected. Ego wants to prove its point of view. The point of view is more important than truth or happiness. In that state, you demand and not command respect. If a couple demands respect from each other, then they are beggars of happiness and not givers of happiness. In the egoistic state, an argument feeds the ego. Remember no one wins an argument. You accumulate more of bitterness and at different periods of time you settle scores with the other.
But when you operate from the ‘higher self,’ there is a healthy discussion. In discussion, truth is more important than who has said it. Happiness and well being become more important than the survival of one’s point of view.
Then a relationship becomes rhythmic. You enjoy being with the other and you enjoy being alone. You are neither dependent nor independent but interdependent. You share your joyous being and not beg happiness from your partner.
Why is it painful when a relationship breaks apart?
The identity of ‘Who we are?’ is created by what others have said about us. If others have told you that you are a great speaker, then you feel you are a great speaker. So your identity is the product of what others have said about you. So your identity is dependent on others. In fact others create your identity others validate you. It is painful, as you have invested so much on others. Your image is in the hands of others.
The fact is, the real ‘I’ in us is not created by others. The ‘lower self’ is a product of others, but the ‘higher self’ is our essence. The ‘higher self’ is a ‘presence.’ It is awareness. We have not learnt to operate from that state of being. Hence, we are alien to ourselves.
What makes relationships work?
• Operate from the ‘higher self.’
• Operate from commitment and not complaint.
• Let your identity not depend on others.
• Don’t settle scores with others.
• Create a bliss body and not a hurt body.
• Learn to expand others’ comfort zones and not increase discomfort zone.
• Learn to convert a sexual act into a prayerful act.
• Create learning and rejoicing family.
• Learn to be a good finder and not a fault-finder.
• Present your point of view and not ‘poke’ your point of view.
• Focus on togetherness and not differences.
When differences in relationship create pain, what should our vision be?
Let a difference be a learning point and not a fighting point. Let us rise above differences than are victims of differences. Once we start placing any difficulty in a sacred space we learn a lot.
WRONG THINKING PUNISHES US
The quality of our lives depends more on what we are inside than outside. But how many of us really look within? Wrong thinking punishes us. Hence it is essential to look within and create an order therein.
It is very hard to look within. Why so?
We are programmed to believe that happiness is outside. We are products of such programming. Genetically it is ingrained in us that joy and happiness are outside. We have not introspected our lies. This lie or myth or programming governs our lives.
The process of thinking involves a flow of thoughts. Thoughts move outward in search of happiness, name, fame, money or power. Happiness however does not result from material affluence. It is a result of our attitude to life. Happiness is a result of our being totally in the present. Enlightenment happens in the present. But our lives are always focused either on the past or future. Life is in the present. So be present in the present. Then a different ‘presence’ opens up. Whatever you are doing, be total in it. Bring in your totality of being in the ‘here and now.’ Then a different aliveness opens up.
Do wrong thoughts distort our relationship?
The most important thing is - can you look at anything without the interference of thoughts. When you are looking at a flower, can you just look? Pure looking is beautiful. But if you look at it from thoughtfulness, thoughts interpret it as a good or bad flower. A thought compares it with something else. By this you don’t look, but superimpose. The discipline to look at something without thoughts is very important. When you require using your thoughts, only then should you bring in a thought. Try this out and see what happens.
When unnecessary thoughts pile up, they become pockets of energy. When negative thoughts pile up they seed negative attitude. Negative attitude enforces negative thoughts. These negative thoughts superimpose energy on the objects of thought. Thus the object of any thought appears to be negative. The influences that are created in life be it in a form of war, politics, violence, is the result of the influence of negative energy that either becomes real or superimposed.
Our attitudes towards them connect us to them not as threads but as chains.
Breeding a negative thought is easier as compared to a noble thought. Why?
When your immune system is weak you are prone to diseases. Similarly when your psychological immune system is weak you are prone to negative influences. A healthy person attracts healthy people. A weak one attracts weak people. Negative energy attracts negative influences.
A negative thought requires no real effort. It comes from the lower mind. The lower mind is mechanical. Noble thoughts have to come from the higher mind; a more conscious mind. To be magnetic is from an upward flow, where as to be mechanical is from a lower flow.
How does a wrong attitude harm us? Can you give us an example to this effect?
A wrong attitude injures and harms us. We cannot live with a wrong attitude without harming us in some way or the other. A wrong attitude makes wrong connections. A wrong connection does not put us in the right direction. When we are not proceeding in the right direction, we are punished to that effect. There is a male energy in a woman and a female energy in a man. Since we are progenies of both man and woman, both male and female energies are in us... they have to be in harmony. If we have a wrong attitude towards a woman, then the female energy in us is hurt. A disharmony outside is a disharmony inside. Similarly when a woman punishes a man, she punishes the male energy inside her.
When you create an external harmony, you create an internal harmony also. By loving a man outside, you love the male energy in you. When you hate a woman outside, a very important part of you, the internal female energy is also dwarfed and injured.
When there is right attitude, the wisest connection is made. This objective consciousness should include the subject too.
When we harm an external teacher, are we also harming the inner teacher in us?
It is very true. In us there is a teacher and a student. Our centre is a teacher teaching us in the language of silence, in the language of purity. The student in us should learn to listen to the teaching. When we do injustice to an external teacher, we are doing injustice to a part of ourselves. By respecting both a student and a teacher outside, we respect something in us.
To know a teaching does not mean to understand it. There is a difference between knowing and understanding.
What is that one has to understand about life?
Lack of clarity between understanding and knowing leads to confusion. One has to understand that one has many centers. There is an intellectual centre, an emotional centre and a body centre. In each centre, there is a mechanical and magnetic part. The mechanical part acts like a machine while the magnetic part acts with more awareness. One has to transform oneself. One’s mechanical movements have to change. One’s mechanical thinking should change. One’s mechanical likes and dislikes have to change too. Mechanical emotions like jealousy and hatred have to be transformed. One can do this by bringing in more awareness. Then a complete being will emerge.
There is no greater force than awareness. When one increases awareness, even a poison can turn into a medicine and with no awareness a medicine can become a poison.
What is an understanding that one should have in a husband and wife relationship?
What are the differences between a pair of eyes and a camera? If capturing an image is the purpose of the eyes, then a camera will do. Eyes are meant to see the divine. Eyes are meant to see beyond forms, like a sculptor sees an idol in a gross stone. So too, eyes are meant to see the divine. A relationship is meant to see the truth. Hence, marriage is a commitment and not a convenience.
There are differences in a relationship. Do not give too much of importance to them. Give importance to your love and commitment, to your commonality, like you enjoy the joy rides in an amusement park, even though it appears scary. It gives you jitters but still you enjoy. Enjoy your relationship.
It is said, ‘Do not judge.’ Is it easy not to judge? In a relationship, is it not necessary to judge?
Keep yourself relaxed. Increase your awareness and love. Not to judge should not be a conclusion. Don’t make it as a demand or compulsion. Let there be a choice. There is a difference between ‘should’ and ‘choice.’ ‘Should’ create stress and limits you to only one option. Choose not to judge. It is not a demand but a wise choice.
The danger of judgment is that you stop seeing the object of judgment and you are more in your judgment. In life, you have to make judgments, but don’t be a victim of your judgments. Suppose, a thief enters your house, you have to judge him but then, be open to the possibility that he can change. Assume you meet him after ten years, see if he has changed or not. Do you still judge from the memory that he had been a thief? If you do not have this awareness, you will not see the change in a person even if he has changed.
Can you give another example of what one should be really aware of?
Negative emotions poison life. Like avoiding poisonous food, avoid negative emotions. Like how you are very alert when you see a poisonous snake, be very aware and alert of negative emotions. Let them come, don’t identify with them. Don’t participate in them. Choose to create a new will, not be driven by negative emotions. They deplete your energy. They keep you asleep. They are harmful and heavy. They make your life complicated. For example somebody’s success should not be your failure. We define our failure by somebody’s success. We feel jealous seeing someone successful. Jealousy is a great poison.
Can you elaborate on your statement ‘Let not somebody’s success define your failure?’
If you go on comparing, life becomes miserable. If somebody is better than you, learn from them; enjoy others’ success. No one can have all the good qualities. Someone will always be better than you at some level. Do not whip yourself with this comparison. Instead get inspired by someone’s success. Learn to validate yourself wisely. Compete with your potential. Even if you compete with others, enjoy it. See the beauty all around. Do not define your success and failure by someone’s success and failure.