Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Your Honeymoon With Life
By Jaya Row
A very long time ago, the evolved individual in the Indic region discovered the laws that govern not only the outside world but the fascinating inner realm as well. The focus shifted from conquering the physical world to gaining control over the mind. And now and then a brilliant sage would appear periodically, to revive a society sagging from lack of values.
Adi Shankara was one such outstanding master. While he wrote commentaries on the subtle upanishads and the Bhagwad Gita, he also composed original texts that re-presented the same knowledge in a modern context. The Bhaja Govindam is one such that brings to us timeless vedic wisdom in nuggets.
Shankara begins by focussing on the two main aspects of human pursuits – wealth and enjoyment. You chase wealth and once you acquire it you wish to enjoy it. The Bhaja Govindam dispels the misunderstanding that spiritual life entails shunning of wealth, family and all good things of life. Do not renounce wealth. Give up the thirsting, craving, lusting after wealth which comes in the way of acquiring wealth.
Be content with what you have. Swami Rama Tirtha said, ‘If you are not happy as you are, you will never be happy’. Be aware of all that you have been blessed with. Then you will develop the irresistible urge to share, contribute, and give. Often, the richest people are tormented by the feeling of deprivation while those who have nothing feel supremely abundant. The law is – You give, you gain. You grab and you lose.
The whole world is in frenzy, chasing after enjoyment. The more you indulge, the less you enjoy. Vedanta restores the enjoyment you have already lost. The way out is mindful, regulated contact with sense objects. So the thrill of a sense enjoyment does not diminish. Your honeymoon with life never ends!
Vedanta helps maintain wonderful, meaningful relationships. It identifies attachment as the root cause of all conflict. Attachment springs from a deep sense of insecurity. When you are not self-sufficient you need the support of spouse and children; you become dependent on them. You feel threatened by others with whom they relate; you imagine they are your enemies. You are nasty and hateful to your greatest benefactors and are tormented by toxic thoughts. You are then shunned by the very people for whom you did all this to begin with!
Attach and you suffer, you lose. Your closest relationships become conflict-ridden and finally you lose them. So attachment is not an option. The way out is ‘detachment’ or true love. Love people for what they are. Have no expectations, make no demands and do not imprison them. True love begets love. The love you give is returned in ample measure and you have amazingly satisfying relationships.
Life is as uncertain as a drop of water on a lotus leaf. Any moment death may occur. Even during your life you are consumed by disease, sorrow and arrogance. Insure yourself by investing in higher thought. Keep the company of good people, loving and uplifting thoughts. This ‘As you think so you become.’ith meditation. You will move to the state of infinite Bliss.
To be happy, some resort to extreme indulgence. Others abstain, and still others live a mechanical life. But the way is karma yoga, bhakti yoga and jnana yoga. Act in a spirit of service and sacrifice; enlarge your circle of love and constantly reflect on the distinction between the permanent and impermanent aspects of life. Follow this up w