Saturday, August 16, 2014

Forgiveness : way to happiness.

Hurt is in the normal flow of life. Events, circumstances, and behaviours are its cause. In normal human interactions, there are times when we get hurt and there are times when we cause hurt. To hurt and be hurt is human. Hurt is the pain of life. The grief of life.

Our actions in this world have motivations. These motivations carry the baggage of expectations. It is these expectations that are the cause of pain, the cause of sorry, the cause of hurt and grief. We expect to receive something. When we do not get it, we feel hurt.Sometimes we are the recipient of hurt. Sometimes we are the cause of hurt caused to others. The more hurt we cause to others, the more we will be punished with hurt in the future. This is karma. This is justice.Sometimes it is in the depth of emotional hurt that we find our true ourselves. We find the people who really matter. We find the values that matter. Deep pain causes melancholy and leads to a reflective state. We reach within our depths to find a solution to our suffering. There are two types of possible reactions to hurt. Two possible solutions. The first solution permanently solves the pain and suffering. The second solution leads to a further increase of the problem.

The first solution or reaction is called forgiveness. The second possible reaction is called revenge.

When we forgive and ask for forgiveness, we broaden our humanity. Our hurt melts in the breadth of our forgiveness. When we forgive, we elevate our spirituality. We rise above the cause. The cause seems to small. We suddenly our standing like a giant with our forgiveness. There is a precondition to be able to act in this grand way. First, we have to drop our pride and ego. Once we can do that with ease, forgiveness comes easy. Hurt becomes only a distant memory.

But there is a second way of reaction to hurt, a reaction which is more popularly practised, termed as revenge. When we are hurt, we suddenly realise that our pride and high status must be defended and protected. We become protectors of our pride. We build a fabled wall of invincibility around us. We try to live upto our invincible image. The protection of pride and ego is the chief reason why people resort to revenge. Revenge is a losing game. Your hurt will only increase. The more the revenge, the more the hurt. You will be pulled into a destructive, emotional whirlpool. Beware !

I have analysed hurt, the cause of hurt, and the possible solutions. This simple analysis has depth of meaning and wisdom. In its practise lies the keys of happiness.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gift of being you

The human part of you is always seeking, questioning and aspiring. It wants proof to believe in something. This body-mind is conditioned to compare, be logical and reach for understanding. It is never certain about anything. Yet, thinks it wants to own, possess and accumulate, always needs more.  It also reacts emotionally based on a sense of perceived events in limited space and time. Human function stems from fear.

Notice what happens as you track fear back to its source.  It loses power.  Notice what happens as you begin to recognize beliefs are only beliefs, and that anything only ever takes on the meaning and value you give it.  Suddenly, you are awakening in ways that tell you the external world no longer controls your attention. Notice every angry person you encounter is a priceless gift. Each one invites you to snap out of a trance.

As you begin to sense the awareness that is, the quality of existing shifts.  Time loses significance. Duality is irrelevant. Everyone and everything you see is a reflection of yourself inviting you to recognize the same message.  Listen closely to the heart.  It knows what exists right now in this moment.  The gift of who you are is self aware, self-recognizing.  Everything you are taught about your-Self falls away. Silence tells all.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Why be afraid of failure?

We are slowly becoming a global colony of frightened shadows. We are petrified of failure; terrified at plunging down the social-financial-emotional-mental graph; paranoid at being judged, mocked or worse be called a ‘loser’. We have become obsessed at winning, consumed by the need that all should end well and that everything should be the way we have planned it to be.



Sure, such thinking is natural and normal.



The problem is, when one becomes obsessed with the weighing scale of success and failure, happiness and sorrow, fulfilment and void, and thus you don’t venture forth to pursue your dreams. With such an attitude, you already have botched up; you have not given yourself a chance to live life at your terms.



So many who come for channelling and counselling, refrain from venturing into a relationship, business, work, passion not because they don’t want to, but because ‘what if this doesn’t work out’.



They might love somebody and be loved in return, but because of the nut cracker of a chance of things not going as planned, and ‘what if I land up with my heart broken’, so many don’t give themselves a shot to happiness.



Or one might not follow his or her passion and dream, because ‘it is not regular and secure’ and the chance of failure could be a little more than if one followed the herd and played safe.



So life becomes a compromise and once you compromise for one thing, in all probability you will either begin to compromise on most things or become aggressive and bitter about all things.



So the fear of the relationship going wrong or whatever dream not fructifying, doesn’t allow them to even give it a chance in the first place to succeed. You already have failed then.



The question to ask is, so what if my heart breaks over a relationship or life in general or the business venture or whatever one is passionate about? So bloody what if one doesn’t succeed?



Why should that stop you or me from giving it hundred per cent and leaving the rest to Providence and one’s Master. Yes, you need to be wise, careful, practical, but if the only reason one doesn’t venture is the fear of failing, then something is terribly wrong.



Why are we so obsessed about the destination that we have forgotten the joy of travelling and the very journey itself.



Why are we so preoccupied in not failing that we have virtually stopped trying and thus, have stopped even living, as not giving life one’s all, is not living, but existing.



Yes, go ahead and do the math, but do the math for the right reasons and not because there is a chance that you might not succeed or you might get your heart broken.



Thank the Lord, we all started walking early, or else God alone knows, how many would venture to learn to walk, as learning to walk involves considerable amount of falling down.



There is nothing wrong in falling or failing... we all fall...we all have and will fail sometime or the other….we will have our hearts trampled and our teeth kicked in, metaphorically.



So what? Everybody cannot win in a race. There will be somebody who will come last too. I would rather lose in something I am passionate about then win in something that doesn’t light up my bulb. Giving one’s best is winning in its self too.



The only thing to be careful about is that if things don’t go as planned, don’t get crushed, don’t bicker, don’t indulge in hate, don’t abuse and get all negative, with God or your near ones or the world or those who are your detractors. Many people don’t like others succeeding as it is a constant reminder of their compromise with life and their dreams and passions.



If you can rise above the situation and failure with grace, then you have not fallen or failed, but actually risen spiritually far above what you possibly would and could have, if you hadn’t ventured to pursue your dream, and thus gone through the pain and agony.



Go ahead and give yourself and life a chance. And if you should tumble, it’s ok. Get up, dust your clothes and walk on. At least you won’t have to live with the perpetual heart burn of ‘what if I had just given it a try’.



Be Blessed.



The 3 Gs To Fulfilment

Everyone is chasing fulfilment, happiness and satisfaction. Some seek it in wealth, others in fitness and health, still others in relationships and a few in intellec tual pursuits. Yet nobody seems to have found any of these. The more you gain, the more unfulfilled you seem to feel.

The world has been designed perfectly to fulfil you. The best foods are available yet you stuff yourself with the worst. You are in the ideal environment to feel happy but you choose to be miserable. You have the best people around you, yet you psyche yourself into unhappiness. into unhappiness.

It is the mind that plays tricks with you, misleads you and, in the end, destroys you. Consult your intellect, strengthen it and be guided by it. Nourish your body with dedicated activity . Fill your heart with love. Strengthen the intel lect with knowledge. It is ignorance that creates the imaginary void. You do not need to seek fulfilment. You are already com pletely , utterly, totally fulfilled.

People seek fulfilment in three ways Goal, Glory and God. They set up limited, self ish, self-seeking goals and work incessantly to achieve these ends. As the Bhagwad Gita says, you are engaged in vain hopes, meaning less activity , shallow knowledge, and lack discrimination (chapter 9).

Expand your mind to accommodate the interests of a wider circle of people. Espouse a cause. Get inspired by a higher ideal. Then you will wake up every morning enthused to work.
When you work for a larger purpose it unlocks your potential, makes you creative and ener getic. Drudgery sets in with selfishness.

There are three types of people. Tamasika or lethargic people are just drifting in life with no aim or ideal. They function on whims and fancies of the mind. The rajasika or passionate type are driven by desire and act for a selfish end. They are stressed out and agitated, incapable of enjoying the fruits of their own labour. Only the sattvika one who sacrifice to a higher altar enjoy the world! People also seek glory , recognition and respect. This need emerges from a deep sense of inadequacy . You perhaps feel inferior to a sibling, spouse or colleague. Hence you depend on others to bolster you. This need is so intense that many glorify themselves! Others seek laurels and accolades from the world. Rare is the one who is so immersed in his own field of activity that he doesn't seek recognition from others. He is self-contained and self-sufficient.

The highest motivator is God.

Everyone feels the need to fall back on That which is beyond the world.
There are four types of seekers described in the Gita the wealthseekers, the distressed, the curious and the jnani, wise. Of these only the jnani is truly spiritual. The others are still extroverted, seeking God only for physical, emotional or intellectual pleasures.
y A jnani is acutely aware of his imprisona ment in the body , mind and intellect and is struggling for liberation. His focus is on the k goal of Enlightenment. Nothing in the world distracts him from that ideal. All the e heavenly wealth and enjoyments offered by a Yama did not deter Nachiketa from his goal u of realisation.

. The unintended side effect of spiritual s pursuit is immense prosperity and happi ness, power and enjoyment. So aspire for Enlightenment. The world will be at your a feet! 

The Hardest Spiritual Challenge

The word mercy can mean kindness or help given to people who are in a bad or desperate situation; or mercy is a good or lucky fact or situation; but most significantly, it is kind or forgiving treatment of someone deserving of harshness or punishment.

Extending mercy towards someone over whom we hold power, often someone who has hurt or harmed us, let us set aside normal questions and feelings of fairness, blame, justice, or revenge.

All traditions teach about the quality of mercy whether we choose to put the teaching into practice is entirely up to us as individuals, communities or societies. Mercy , it would appear being so enmeshed in the awful pain through which it needs to be offered is one of the hardest spiritual challenges, and we have hundreds if not thousands of `valid' reasons to prevent us from extending it.

I offer here a story from the Middle East shared by a Leba nese teller, when a group was discussing the true life story of Azim Khamisa, who not only forgave the shooter of his son, but who, with the young killer's grandfather, educates young people about non-violence, and who is working to rehabilitate the young man himself.

The traditional story tells of a sheikh who lived in a desert. One dark night he was sitting at the opening of his tent, unable to sleep, overcome with unbearable sadness; his eldest son had been killed a few days earlier. Suddenly , through the night, a stranger came running by and fell at the feet of the sheikh. “O Sheikh, save me. My enemies chase me to kill me. I am exhausted and cannot run any more. All men call you good. Let me stay in your tent for one night.“

The sheikh bid him enter, treating the stranger as his honoured guest. After eating and drinking, the man lay down to sleep.

Very early the next day , the sheikh gently woke the stranger, handing him a bag of gold. “Friend, i hope you slept well. The food has given you some strength, but you must flee before the sun rises. My best horse is readied for you.“

The stranger froze. His face reflected a struggle going on in his mind. Then suddenly he fell at the feet of the sheikh. “O good and noble sheikh! You saved my life; you offer me help. But i now need to tell you i'm the one who killed your son. I cannot go from here. You can kill me; i am ready for this.“

The sheikh was shocked. He sat down with his head in his hands.

Finally he drew out some more gold and gave it to the man, saying, “Here is enough gold to start a new life. Take this and go. I will not kill you. You have been noble enough to confess. How can i be less noble to refuse to forgive you? The thought of revenge had been burning in my mind. Go away and take this terrible feeling of vengeance away from me. Only then will my son rest in peace.

May God forgive us both you for murdering my son and me for keeping revenge and hate in my heart.“

To extend mercy is not easy . Yet without mercy , the world would be a harsher place.

When we think of the grace we have received of all of the times that we have, mercifully, not gotten what we deserved we might desire to extend the same gift to others. 

Get Rid Of That Guilty Feeling

                 Many of us find it easy to forgive others but find it impossible to forgive ourselves. Roman philosopher Cato admits this when he says, “I can pardon everybody's mistakes except my own.“ Yet learning to forgive yourself is one of the basic steps of cultivating the spirit of forgiveness for all. If you cannot forgive yourself, how will you forgive others?
                 Forgiving oneself is essential for self-acceptance. This does not mean that we give up our moral or ethical standards and justify all our actions. It only means that we learn to accept ourselves as we are, including our many shortcomings.

                 For some reason people persist in being harsh with themselves; they become inflexible and judgmental. I know a man who carried a lifelong sense of guilt because he could not become a doctor something that his parents wanted him to do. Many mothers refuse to forgive themselves when their children do not turn out right. Wives blame themselves when a marriage breaks is strange, but our acceptance of ourselves seems to depend on others' acceptance of us! Self-criticism is healthy up to a point. But when it makes us ruthless, merciless jailors of our own conscience, it is time to let go of guilt feelings and make a fresh attempt at selfknowledge, self-acceptance and cultivation of self-worth.

                Reasons for which people refuse to forgive themselves may originate from a person's culture ,race, religion, gender or class. Our guilt may be due to personal standards that we have set for ourselves . Or, they may be due to ethical reasons for having done something that is wrong. Self-forgiveness does not imply con doning wrong behaviour. Nor does it mean that you do not feel repentance for your past actions. Accepting this repentance, feeling remorse is part of the healing process. But you must not let the remorse become a permanent burden. It is essential to overcome remorse and move on to face the future.

               In Dostoevsky's famous novel Crime And Punishment, the hero commits the heinous crime of murder. At first, he refuses to acknowledge his guilt, but is tortured by fear and insecurity. This leads to such intense self-loathing, that he confesses his crime and accepts his sentence 15 years of penal servitude in Siberia.
However, he is unable to forgive himself, until he accepts God's love and infinite mercy.

               Persistent guilt feelings even lead some people to contemplate suicide. They feel they do not deserve to live. But this is a oward's way out of the situation.

In the US, some courts give bold and nnovative `sentences' for criminals.

      They are made to do social work, or offer their services for the benefit of the less privileged. Such a sen tence has an extremely beneficial effect on their psyche, enabling them to grow in self-respect and self-worth. This is the starting point of acceptance and progress.

them escape from the conflict and It helps them escape from the conflict and turmoil that rages inside them and to learn to forgive themselves.

Many of us carry on our hearts, heavy loads of guilt which rob us of our peace of mind. No man is perfect. Every one of us has done some wrongs in the past, near or remote. We must repent and, if possible, make amends. We must pray for wisdom and strength not to repeat the wrong and then forget about it.

The moment that an individual accepts and forgives himself, is the moment of renewal, a new beginning.