Great truths

Toys and trinkets are ‘easily won’, but the greatest things are ‘greatly bought’.  The top-most place of power is always bought with blood.  You may have the pinnacles, if you have enough blood to pay.  That is the conquest condition of the heights everywhere.  The  chief values in life and character are not blown across our way by vagrant winds.  Great souls have great sorrows.

truth


Great Truths are dearly bought, the common truths,
Such as men give and take from day to day
Come in the common walk of easy life
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream,
But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
But in the day of conflict, fear and grief
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Rakes up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude, perchance of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-raked field,
And the soul feels it has not wept in vain.
The capacity for knowing God enlarges, as we are brought by Him into circumstances which oblige us to exercise faith ; so, when difficulties beset our path let us thank God that He is taking trouble with us, and LEAN HARD UPON HIM.
“On all bare heights shall be their pasture” (Isa. 49:9, R. V.)

My pilot knows

When you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to God and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one.
stormy_weather


Meanwhile keep on as you are, and consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God’s will that you are on His track ………. As you go down the long corridor, you will find that He has “preceded” you, and locked many doors which you would fain have entered, but, be sure that beyond these there is one which He has “left unlocked”.  Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend of a river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you had dared to imagine in your wildest dreams.

God guides us, often by circumstances.  At one moment the way may seem utterly blocked, and then, shortly afterward, some trivial incident occurs, which might not seem much to others, but which to the keen eye of faith speaks volumes.  Sometimes, these thins are repeated in various ways, in answer to prayer.
They are not haphazard results of chance, but the opening up of circumstances in the direction in which we would walk.  And, they begin to multiply as we advance toward our goal, just as the lights do as we near a populous town, when darting through the land by night express.
If you go to Him to be guided, He will guide you, but He will not comfort your distrust or half-trust of Him by showing you the chart of all His purposes concerning you.  He will show you only into a way where, if you go cheerfully and trustfully forward, He will show you on still farther.


stormy weather ship


As moves my fragile bark across the storm-swept sea
Great waves beat o’er her side, as north wind blows
Deep in the darkness hid lie threatening rocks and shoals
But all of these, and more, MY PILOT KNOWS.
Sometimes when dark the night, and every light gone out
I wonder to what port my frail ship goes
Still though the night be long, and restless all my hours
My distant goal, I’m sure, MY PILOT KNOWS.

Family harmony

family_harmony_


Without FAMILY HARMONY, one cannot be genuinely happy in life, be successful and cannot live a life that is worth living.  Complete “family harmony” is the key to happiness, prosperity and success.

Family harmony means that there is an atmosphere of absolute peace, relaxation, unconditional love, fearlessness, understanding, freedom of expression.
Although the responsibility for creating such harmony lies on every member of the family, the initiative is expected from the elders of the family.  Parents should neither talk negative about their children nor abuse or hurt their feelings, as depressed feelings often impede the progress of children.  Conversations between parents and children should not always be “teaching” conversations, but “learning” conversations as well.
A six-point formula (A, B, C, D, E, F) can work wonders for complete “family harmony”.
*ACCEPTANCE : Accept every family member as they are without any complaint or comparison.  Every soul who comes to a family comes with a distinct attitude, behaviour, knowledge, karma and experience.  Comparison with another soul is neither appropriate nor desirable.
 * BE A CHILD & NOT A GROWNUP :  A child is always in an “egoless state”, is happy without any reason, forgets quarrels, does not carry any impressions (good or bad) in his/her mind and is always in a relaxed state of mind.
* CONFLICT AVOIDANCE : Every family member should try to avoid conflicts and quarrels.  A winner in an argument is actually a “loser”, because even if he wins an argument, he loses the harmony of relationship.
* DIL (heart) & NOT DIMAAG (head) :  The heart is always in a mode of compassion, love and giving, but the head is full of jealousy, hatred, ego and revenge.  Never allow your head to rule your head.
* EXPECT LESS : Expectation is the major cause for anger, irritation, frustration, disappointment and depression.  Reduce expectations from family members and you will be happy all the time.
FORGET & FORGIVE :  Every member should develop the habit of forgetting past quarrels, seeking forgiveness and forgiving others (irrespective of who was right and who was wrong).  Carrying the dead load of past incidents without forgiving takes away the happiness of the present.
——————.  Sadguru Rameshji.

Break free of suffering

Among the most powerful human desires is to be free of suffering.  Any form of distress — whether from our body, mind, relationships or from elsewhere ——is disrupting.  Most people respond to suffering in three different ways.  Some will seek complete relief from pain and will focus their attention on their suffering, discuss it with all, search for cures and visit one healer after another.  Pursuing relief becomes their sole aim of life.  As a result, when one symptom heals, the mind starts ruminating about other problems or invents new symptoms.  These people are always preoccupied with problems and are unable to evolve.
sufferingThe second category are those who feel hopeless and think they can’t do anything to change their suffering, They, therefore, passively accept their pain.  They think they live in a restricted world and are resigned to accepting negative emotions about their own self and of people around them.  As a result, most suffer from depression and other psychological disorders.
Then there are people who have a masochistic way of dealing with sufferings.  They embrace pain to show their moral superiority and derive self-esteem by acting as martyrs.  Such people either refuse to take healing or create situations where therapeutic attempts fail miserably.
All the three patterns increase our pain because our attention is focussed only on suffering.  Our mind remains preoccupied with negativity.  This approach increases our problems rather than leading us towards resolution.  Instead, we need to question our perspective and develop a new one.
How one perceives suffering determines its intensity and our consequent healing response.  Life histories of everyone including sages, prophets and reincarnations of God contain traumatic experiences.
Let’s learn lessons from this.  First, it is important to understand that some suffering is an inevitable part of life.  No matter what we do or don’t do, some traumatic experience will happen to us and we can never be immune to them.  Whenever we are in suffering paintingagony, we search for miraculous cures.  Often the healing that reality offers to us falls short of a miracle.  This increases our suffering.  One should, therefore, stop daydreaming about a pain-free existence and be realistic.
And if we have to encounter agony, let’s face and overcome it.  Change perspectives, build resilience and develop coping skills, undergo therapeutic measures.  You can follow spiritual practices and take a stand.
If we allow ourselves to be defined by this pain by resigning passively to it, or fighting fixatedly, we will lose the battle because we will begin to regard the pain as our central experience.  Suffering is merely a part of our experiences, and doesn’t constitute our core Self.  If we identify too closely with suffering, we get cut off from the Self and live  a false existence.
During his last days, Ramakrishna Paramhansa was diagnosed with throat cancer and found it hard to eat and drink.  His disciples told him to ask God to relieve his pain.  He replied, “I don’t need to depend on this body ; I can eat through your bodies because I’m connected to you.”
The best antidote for pain and suffering is to develop a higher perspective.  An outlook that enables us to focus our attention beyond the trivial limits of our body, mental identifications, egocentric goals, intense emotions and intimate relationships widens the self.  When the ego-self transcends these boundaries, pain recedes.
——– Pulkit Sharma (clinical psychologist)

Soul soup

I was waiting at the bus stop, one evening, for mu usual 4 o’clock ride.  After a long exhausting day, I can only think of the refreshing shower with cold water once I reach home.
Since it was a Friday evening my thoughts went to the weekend movie plans with friends.  That is when I saw him.  He looked like a well-fed and pampered adolescent boy like me.  He was dressed like a boy from a well-to-do family. He was holding out a polythene bag and trying to convey something, through hand gestures, to a gentleman standing next to me.
Ravi_Varma-Lady_Giving_Alms_at_the_Temple
Although he had a confused look on his face, he reached into his pocket and took out a ten-rupee note and put it in the polythene bag.  I realised that the boy could not speak.  He then approached me with a smile.  Pointing at something on the other side of the road, he then held out the bag.  I could see some ten rupees and twenty notes in it.  Although I could not understand what he was trying to say or what he was pointing to, I thought he must have some genuine reason for asking money.  I too dropped in a twenty-rupee note.  He thanked me with a smile and went on to the next person.
Almost everyone present there gave him a ten rupee or twenty because he looked decent and I observed there were only 10s and 20s in his bag.  He thanked everyone with the same smile.  He then crossed the road.  All this while everyone was observing him.  He then took out a 20rupee note, from his own pocket, put it in the bag and gave the bag to a physically disadvantage woman sitting on the footpath on the opposite side of the road.  Even from  a distance I could see that her face lit up with absolute gratitude.  And then he walked away gracefully.
I was absolutely dumbstruck, so were the people around me.  These people who would have, at the most, given her a rupee or two, gave the boy at least a ten-rupee note.  And, as for me, I may not even have acknowledged her presence and may have been engrossed in my own thoughts.  The boy’s action gave every one of us something to think about the way we treat others who are less privileged than we are.
———— Avinash Vijjapu
 To give and then not to feel that one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.
—– Max Beerbohm.

Change is the only constant

Change is the only constant.  And yet, a “conscious change” of the mind and heart is rare enough to be truly inspiring.
Life and experiences add layers, forcing us to introspect, shift and change —— so long as we are intelligent enough to learn and smart enough to evolve.  Else, they also exist who stand and stagnate.  Though most change in looks, manner of dressing, hairstyle or even in attitude, those who undergo intrinsic changes of the heart and head are very rare.  Sometimes, extremely gentle and genial people become indifferent, and some who were generous-spirited, become self-serving.  Surprisingly, there Buddha3have been instances of people changing from positive to negative.  Is it easier to give up good and turn towards evil, rather than the other way round ?
It requires a greater effort to give up a bad habit than a good one.  Because it is tougher to give up a bad habit, we admire those who bring about positive changes.  Rare though these examples may be, they are admirable and inspiring.  Most of the time such a shake-up happens only after a big shock or a moment of self-assessment when you look at yourself from outside, and hate what you see.
This is what happened to Emperor Asoka after the Battle of Kalinga, when amidst the mass destruction and death, he had a “soul-changing” moment that transformed him from a conqueror and destroyer to a philanthropic administrator and spiritual propagator.  And, it was another similar moment, much earlier in time, that transformed murderer-dacoit Ratnakar into the celebrated Maharishi Valmiki, who wrote the epic Ramayana.  The sheltered valmiki_smPrince Siddhartha needed his first glimpse of human suffering to give up a life of luxury and live on as a Buddha, the Enlightened One.
These people were able to wipe out their past identities, superimposing new identities so strong and edifying that we hardly remember what or who they were, except in admiration.  Life gives us all choices. What we do with these, depends on our wishes and intentions and will-power.  Everyone has the right to turn over a new leaf.  There is a depth and profundity to someone who has redeemed himself that may not be found in the “forever saints”.
Atonement is a critical step along the way.  Making up for misconduct, apologising helps redemption ——– and nobody is an “irredeemable reprobate”.  The “Tall Poppy Syndrome” ensures that people pull down the redeemed, consistently, using the past to judge their present or to predict their future.  Life teaches us lessons, and we would be fools not to learn and internalise them.
Attempting to change into a better self is the sign of a strong mature person.  Of course, the call has to come from within to be effective and lasting.
————vinitadawra.nangia@timesgroup.com.

God’s way is best

The polyps which construct the coral reefs, work away under water, never dreaming that they are building the foundation of a new island on which, by-and-by, plants and animals will live and children be born and fitted for eternal glory.
If your place in God’s ranks is a hidden and secluded one, do not murmur, do not complain, do not seek to get out of God’s will, if He has placed you there, for without the polyps, the coral reefs would never be built, and God needs some who are willing to be spiritual polyps, and work away out of sight of men, but in full view of Heaven.

Gods way


The day will come when God will give the rewards, and He makes no mistakes, although some people may wonder how you came to merit such a reward, as they had never heard of you before.

Just where you stand in the conflict
There is your place
Just where you think you are useless
Hide not your face
God placed you there for a purpose
Whatever it be
Think He has chosen you for it
Work loyally.
Gird on your armour ! Be faithful
At toil or rest
Whatever it e, never doubting
GOD’s WAY IS BEST
Out in the fight or on picket
Stand firm and true
This is the work which your Master
Gives you to do.
Safely we may leave the crowded meeting, the inspiring mountain top, the helpful fellowship of men and betake ourselves to our dim homely Emmaus, or to our dread public Colossae, or even to our far Macedonia, quietly confident that just where He has placed us, in the usual round  of life, He ordains that the borderland may be possessed, the victory won.
—————Northcote Deck.