Monday, April 14, 2014

Calm the agitated mind

Unbridled mind is the cause of most of the pains in this world. Our mind makes us to suffer because we become slaves of our mind. And why do we become slaves? One of the reasons is that because we are never told that we are supposed to conquer our minds and not be conquered by them. In schools and colleges everything related to this material world is taught – history, geography, civics, science, art, computers etc- but there is no subject which deals with the importance of controlling the mind and tolerating the urges of the senses. 

India’s rich Vedic literatures vividly explain everything about mind and give the formula by which we can subjugate our restless mind. Bhagavad Gita 6.6, for example, talks about the benefit of having a controlled mind - For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy. So, irrespective of our situations or circumstances we should take initiative to calm our agitated mind. It is difficult no doubt but it is not impossible. Bhagavad Gita 6th Chapter (verse 6.34, 35 & 36) elaborately discusses the ways by which mind can be controlled.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lord Rama was even ready to embrace Ravana

Lord Rama’s associates weren’t happy to see Vibhishana when he came to seek shelter of Lord Rama. They thought that Vibhishana being the brother of Ravana, an enemy of Lord Rama, cannot be trusted. But to everyone’s utter surprise they found that Lord Rama happily welcomed Vibhishana and he did not even doubt the motive of Vibhishana. Lord Rama went on to declare that even if Ravana comes to his door then he would happily embrace him. This is why Lord Rama is called very merciful. Being the Supreme Lord, all the living entities are his parts and parcels and in spite of us rejecting him or even going against him, he is always ready to forgive and forget all our previous mistakes and tonnes of sins which we have committed. He does not carry any grudges against us and nor is he vengeful. He always wants to see us happy and tries his best to do what is best for our spiritual life. Our tinniest of endeavour attracts him. During the construction of Rama Setu, all the monkey warriors were doing phenomenal job but there was a little squirrel who was also trying his best to serve the Lord. But due to his insignificant body size he was only able to move a small speck of stone. But Lord Rama appreciated the effort of the squirrel and praised his work.

So on this auspicious occasion of Ramnavmi, the appearance day of Lord Rama, let us give up all our selfish motives and selfish desires and welcome Lord Rama. Let us take a pledge in our life to do at least something for the pleasure of Lord Rama, like the tiny little squirrel. Our effort will never go in vain and soon we will find the presence of Lord Rama within our heart, it will bring inexplicable joy in our dry life.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Regulate your life to live happily

Regulation is the key to success. If we aren’t regulated then our life isn’t better than the animals. Whimsical living isn’t appreciated in the scriptures. ‘Regulate’ means to control things with the help of rules. For e.g. traffic signal regulates traffic and when it breaks then there is chaos on the roads. On any product manual the rules are emphatically emphasised, the optimum temperature or pressure on which the product will give the best output is boldly illustrated. If there is no regulation or no rules then things go haywire.

Our life too needs regulation if we want to succeed. Even for material success a somewhat balanced life is required. And if our aim is to attain the supreme God then it is very much imperative that our life should be based on the guidelines of the scriptures. Our mind and body too needs to be regulated for efficient functioning. Krishna, the architect of our body, explicitly mentions in Gita (6.16,6.17) the need for leading a life of regulation. He advises us not to eat too much or too little, sleep too much or not sleep at all and asks us to maintain balance in work and in recreation. Contrast this with the life of an animal. Their senses are totally unregulated and they act as per their whims. Eating, sleeping, mating they can do anytime and anywhere. If we too have similar tendencies then unfortunately we too are living an animalistic life and are misusing the human life which we have got. However if we are able to abide by the principles elucidated by Krishna then we would be able to mitigate material pains, live happily and can successfully proceed towards spiritual perfection.

Bhagavad – Gita 6.16: There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.

Friday, April 4, 2014

For spiritual success, give up the desire for sensual pleasure

If suppose that someone lights a fire and then immediately pours water on it, we would be surprised by such behaviour. But if a person continues doing the same thing again and again then we would be completely shocked by this nonsensical behaviour.
Practicing devotional life but continuing with sense gratification is also a crazy behaviour. Devotional life is like burning fire and getting engrossed into sensual pleasure is like pouring water on the fire. Many a times we want to carry on with sense gratification along with practicing devotional life. But this dual life is not going to bring us any good result. If we are really serious about achieving God then we should endeavour hard to give up all our non devotional attachment. It is not just important to physically restrain ourselves from indulging in sensual pleasure but it is equally important that we completely give up the desire for sense gratification (Bhagavad Gits 6.2).
We need to strive to develop taste for spiritual life else giving up our deep attachment for this material world will become too difficult. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by dovetailing all our senses in satisfying the Lord. Eyes can be engaged in seeing the beautiful form of the Lord, ears for hearing the beautiful activities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord, tongue in tasting the prasad and in glorifying the Lord and so on. Whatever we look for in the material world is also there in the spiritual life. The only difference is that in the spiritual life we do all activities to satisfy the Lord which in turn fills our heart with deep satisfaction and joy. Whereas if we try to satisfy our senses with material means then it is not going to give us any lasting pleasure and will also take us away from Krishna. We have an opportunity to choose our future – we can accept Krishna’s wisdom words or we can continue acting as per our whimsical desires. The first one will take us to Krishna and the 2nd one will keep us back in this world. Once we reach to Krishna then we can be assured of eternal blissful life, if not then we can continue living in this filthy world.
Bhagavad – Gita 6.2: What is called renunciation you should know to be the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme, O son of Pandu, for one can never become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Find a house where no one has died!

Once a woman in utter distress approached Lord Buddha. Her son had died and she wanted Buddha to bring her son back to life. The compassionate Buddha asked her to go to each and every household of the village and inquire if there is any house in which no one has ever died. If she could find such a house then he promised that he would give her son a new life. The woman frantically ran to the village in search of such a house. She knocked at each door but to her dismay she could not find any such house where no one had ever died. Every householder had seen death in their family. The woman then came to her senses and understood that those who are born are destined to die.

Bhagavad Gita 2.27 explains this reality, “One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don’t wait for old age. Let us give up the insatiable material desires now.

An old man in State Bank of India was inquiring about car loan. The agent asked, “For whom you want the car?” “It’s for me”, the old man said. “And what’s your age sir?”, the agent again asked. “It’s 76!” I don’t know whether he got the loan or not. Or whether his desire (or need) to buy a car was right or not. But one thought which immediately struck me was that will there be a day in my life when all my desires (of course material) will cease to end.  Will there be a day when I will not want any worldly things, I will completely feel satisfied and be at total peace?

Desires are endless, the moment one gets fulfilled, immediately the other pops up. In school I wanted the best bicycle. In college the best bike. Now the best car. In future something else will fascinate me. Many a times our desires are not for our basic needs, but it is because of social pressure or a longing to prove our worth to others. My car should be bigger than that of my neighbors, my Smartphone should be completely different than that of my friends, my television set should make people go crazy and so on. Advertisements of today are also tailor made to titillate our ego. Ads like “Neighbors envy owners pride” or “Designed for envy” try to entice people to go on reckless shopping spree.

We accumulate many things which we may not even need; it turns out to be a total wastage of money.  Desires are umpteen and the craving to fulfill it keeps on torturing us every moment. Many think that with age desires keeps on dwindling. But I don’t think it really happens. With age the form of the desires changes but not the yearning.  If we want to lead a peaceful life then it is imperative for us to get rid of our insatiable desires right now. Even Krishna speaks about the importance of giving up the desires in Bhagavad Gita 2.70. And he does not specify any age limit for this.
Bhagavad Gita 2.70: A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.