Maha Upadesh of Aadishri – Part – 9

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri – Part – 9

Aadishri Arun

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part - 9

Let us look at the cause of the Happiness and sorrow that keep cycling through our lives. The real cause of Happiness and sorrow is our past Karma. What this means is that if the record of our past karma is 70% good and 30% bad, then the ratio of the happiness versus sorrow that we experience today will also be in the ratio of 70:30.  Not only that, the specific incidents we experience that create our happy and sorrowful situations-illness, pain, broken relationships, happy moments, achievements, accolades, abundances etc are also dependent on the exact things we had done earlier.

So in that sense, we are completely in the control of the cycle of karma. The fact is that we will always reap what we have sown.  In this way, the cycle of karma is highly mechanical and one may feel that it is inescapable and therefore one may feel helpless but that is not true. God has left an escape route. There is a way to escape this automatic cycle of action and karma creation. How to do so? The way is that if we renounce the fruit of our actions, even as we do our actions sincerely, then no karma accrues to us for the actions we commit.

If we live our life this way, not creating new karmas but wearing out/ consuming the karma of our past actions, we will soon reach a point where we have no more karma to undergo and we would have reached the state of Moksha or liberation. This is clearly affirmed in the Geeta chapter 18:12, which says that the person who does not renounce the fruits of his Karma-whether good or bad or mixed, such a person is destined to constantly experience the fruits of that karma. However the person who renounces the fruit, such a person achieves liberation quickly.

Now the question is-how is karma made?  The answer is that karma is made based on the actions we commit and the starting point of action is thoughts and beliefs.  Thoughts, in turn, are made based on the information that we have access to. The fact is that all our thoughts are based on our information base.  Whatever we see, read, experience etc, all these form the base of information and knowledge that make up our thoughts and opinions. And in turn, our thoughts and opinions create the basis of our actions which results creates our karmic destiny.

Thus whatever information we take in, that is what is the soil from which emerge the actions we take and the karma we create. The soil (information) creates the plant (thoughts and beliefs) and the plant bears the fruit (karma).

A concrete example will make this clearer – In the earlier times children were brought up to respect their parents and they did so. They believed that doing so would get them love and respect and happiness. This belief was based on the information available at that time. All information sources of earlier times were extolling the virtues of respecting your elders. Scriptures like Ramayana were the ideals and sons like Shravan kumar were thought of as ideal persons.  It was because of this belief that most people strived and aspired to be like Maryaada Purshottam Rama, who had renounced being king and undergone hardships of a 14 years exile just to honor the promises that his father had made.  Thus children of yesteryears looked after their parents in their old age and accrued good karma as a result but the children of today don’t care for their parents even if the parents are now suffering illnesses that are debilitating and life threatening. They are only interested in indulging in their own desires and they forget that they are what they are because of their parent’s sacrifices and labors. The result is that when their parents actually need their help in their old age, that is exactly when their children abandon them.

Why has this happened? It is because the sources of information today are giving the young of today this wrong kind of information. Television, face book, twitter and all kinds of entertainment sources are constantly teaching people of today that bitching, backbiting and doing selfish, lustful things is acceptable and fashionable. The earlier ideals of compassion, helpfulness, looking out for others etc is now out of fashion. Today it has become ok to cheat, lie, misbehave and disrespect others simply to enjoy one’s life.

But ask yourself-can negative qualities ever promote happiness, peace, bliss?

No friends-they can’t.

So my advice is that if your want to be truly happy then you will have to adapt those qualities that lead to happiness and bliss. After-all can you get mangoes if you have in reality planted only cactus plants all your life?

So I suggest to all of you that if you want to walk on the path of happiness, first empty your mind of all the wrong information that you are taking in today. Just as the bad effects of overeating can be reduced by going on water fast, similarly one should go on a social media fast. I suggest that we should stop using those sources of information that are only promoting lust, desire, anger, greed, fear and selfishness in you. Go on an information fast to purge yourself or wrong thoughts and feelings.

The modern means of communication should be used for how they were intended, which is to carry out essential, quick and cheap communications. For example Whatsapp was created to give a free method to send messages between people who were living very far from each other.  But today it has become a method of sending all kinds of time wasting uncouth jokes and videos instead of messages. What we have done is that we are misusing these technologies to entertain ourselves rather than using them for communication and we are also replacing actual real relationships with virtual ones. Not only that, we are letting our morals and standards become corrupted by the constant messages that we hear from wrong sources of information. Thus my advice is to get over the addiction of social media. That will go a long way in getting our information base right and that in turn will nurture the right thoughts and actions.

Maha Updesh Of Aadishri, Part – 8

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri – Part – 8

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri – Part – 8

(Aadishri Arun)

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part - 8

Today the very basis of man’s life is fear.  Whatever happens in life-all incidents etc-we find that they are a cause and a generator of fear rather than happiness. Even if something good happens, we fear its future loss! And out of that all pervasive fear we take all decisions related to our life.

Thus most decisions and directions that we take are taken not because of love, or curiosity or interest, but because one wants to be safe.

The question to ask is – Are our fears reasonable?  Or are we letting a negative figments of our imagination rule and ruin our life?  We must remember that however much we may try to protect ourselves, the fact is that no-one, neither you, your enemies or your competitors, are in control of time or the future. No-one can predict how the future time will unfold. The only one in control or knowledge of the future fully is God. Only he knows fully what is bound to happen.

So if someone plans to harm you, he can only try, but whether harm will come to you is not in his control. So there is no point-in fact counterproductive, to try to anticipate all the things that can go wrong in your life because that may never happen but this kind of fearful attitude is certain to generate constant fear and that fear is certain to cause you harm.  Why is that so? Because when a fearful heart takes a decision, it is invariably a wrong decision and it takes the person wrong in life…

So my advice is to take a decision based on positive reasons. Let your heart be full of positive desire to do what you are doing, to have faith and do your best. Many things are working to co-create what you are attempting to do and the final product may or may not be according to your expectations simply because many factors, not in your control or even in your knowledge, are at play. For example you may plant a seed in fertile soil, water it daily and add fertilizer etc but it could simply happen that one day the sapling is destroyed or eaten by an animal! So even if your attempts to grow the plant were sincere and you did your best efforts, yet the results were not as per your expectations. The point is that many factors are at play in creation and we just can’t control them all. But rest assured that whatever is the result, it is always perfect as per God’s divine plan.

So my advice is that- Do your best and leave the rest to God’s will.

 

Maha Updesh of Aadishri – Part 7

Maha Updesh of Aadishri -Part 7

(Aadishri Arun)

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri - Part 7

O human! This world is full of sorrow and by getting entangled in the thorns of this world; we can only get pain, suffering and anguish.  We are sent in this world and we can’t help but live in it. But how to live in this sorrow filled world and be happy is a question that engages all of us.

Listen to my words which are eternal and are rarely revealed and which lead to the happiness you seek.

If you can conquer your mind, the doorway to peace and tranquility will open. The question then is – how do you conquer your mind?

There is a way. It is simple and straightforward and yet it is difficult to do and therefore rarely followed.  The reason is that the method requires determination and persistence. So if you have these qualities then the path is not very long. But if are not determined and are easily swayed, you will only experience failure and go around in circles in life after life.

Since the first thing required is determination and persistence, the question is that how do we generate these qualities? The Geeta says in chapter 6 verse 35 that the only way to do so is to have faith in God and in the belief that what God does for us and through us, that is for our ultimate benefit and if we do not get disheartened, continue to do our duty and take our suffering stoically and our happiness without losing our heads, then God’s will expressed as our fate, is the shortest path to liberation.

Therefore one should persist, even in the face of trial, to stick to the righteous path as prescribed by God. If that happens then you will not be shaken by the vagaries of life and you will reach your goal soon.

Only God is real and the world he has created, for our experience, is always in flux and ever changing. So why be bothered by temporary happiness and fleeting sorrow?  Both sorrow and happiness will come and go in this scheme of things. So if you carry on without being perturbed, you will not get involved in the act of karma and the fruits of it. Instead your actions will not taint your soul and you will not be tied to the wheel of death and rebirth.

So what is the karma of detachment that frees us from the consequences of what we do?  This is a divine secret and the person who understands this secret, even though living a normal life, doing whatever anyone else does, yet such a person lives free.  This sounds simple but is difficult to implement.

Let’s see why that is so?

How to practice the attitude of detachment while doing your actions? What are the rules to live by to be detached in your actions? Let me assure you that hard work or long years are not required to live a detached existence. Only a moment is needed to realize this truth and this way of being.

And how do we come at this moment?  Let me remind all of you that all the actions we take are taken for a reason and for an expectation of a certain result. A student studies so that he may learn the subject or because he needs the marks to get a job; a warrior fights a war with the aim of winning it. So every act of every individual has a goal and a purpose.  Nobody acts without purpose.  But herein lies a subtle secret. When you do an action as per your duty, you do the right thing and do dharma while the same act committed for your selfish self interest is adharma or karma with a consequence.

Another basic fact about karma and dharma is that all we can do is to take action-whether karmic or dharmic, but the fruit we get is not in our control fully. Other factors – that we have no control or even knowledge over – are at play and can alter the result.

A common confusion thus arises – that if the fruit of our karma is out of our control and that it depends on other factors, then why should we act at all?  Why not wait for our fate to give us what is due to us from our earlier life actions?

To understand this, we first need to understand what is Prarabda-our fate, which is determined by our earlier actions.

The first thing to understand is that fate is not something that God makes for us. It is something that we make for ourselves.

The way we act today, that is how we construct the inevitable fruit of tomorrow. What is our experience today is nothing but the result of our earlier actions. Our fate at this moment is the sum total- lattice of all our past actions – good, bad or mixed. I.e. we should not be disturbed or disheartened by what is happening to us since it was inevitable and due to our own previous actions. No-one is being unfair to us. We are simply paying for what we ourselves chose to do earlier. So the attitude to have is that we should be steadfast in our duties since if we do our duty, no new karma will accrue to us.

The upshot is that if we live, not creating new karma, while expending our earlier karmic impacts, we will sooner or later reach a point where we have no more past karma to undergo. That is the state when we are qualified to achieve liberation or Moksha.

In fact Moksha is inevitable to such a person.

The law of Karma, that builds our fate, is immutable. It cannot be changed; modified or adjusted, since this law is the very basis of the functioning of the universe.

By the way many people think that they can avoid Karma by reducing their action greatly. Using this flawed logic, many people become escapists and even take sanyaas. This approach is a vain attempt to reduce their karmic entanglements. Why is this method a failure?  Because we may be able to avoid our conscious actions by avoiding relationships but we are still creating karma just by living and breathing.  Don’t forget that millions of bacteria are being killed by our digestive system every minute and as we walk, who knows how many insects we trample afoot?

The bottom line is that karma cannot be reduced by reducing our worldly actions and relationships.

So how do we get out of this seemingly unsolvable situation?

The answer is, as mentioned above, is to do your sincere best and not be attached to the specific result you want.  If you get what he you aimed for, feel great, but if you get a different or unexpected result, then that should be ok too.

Thinking obsessively about the fruit is counterproductive. It will actually spoil the very action that manufacturers the fruit since it will distract you from appropriate and detached action.

If you do this successfully, you can be called a Karma-yogi.

SO how do you live on daily basis? Not be avoiding actions, but by dedicating all that your do-work, eat, enjoy, partake, to the Lord. When you do that, you are untainted by your actions. You are simply a daily wage earner who is in the service of the Lord.

This friends, is the path of a karma yogi, the one who reduces his karmic load and soon reaches liberation.

Maha Updesh Of Aadishri, Part – 8

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part – 6

 

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part – 6

(Aadishri Arun)

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part - 6

The mind’s nature is restlessness. The Gita says this in chapter 6 verse 34. It is in the nature of the mind to be restless, exploratory, focuses on a goal and even take risk in that regard. A child will explore his surroundings even after being warned by the parents to not go to places such as lakes and forests as they could be risky. The child still does so and obeys his mind even when he has been forbidden to do so.

Breaking barriers and rules is part of the basic nature of the mind. Thus when there is no wisdom, breaking barriers becomes an exercise of great danger and can lead to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual downfall. But a calm mind is a great asset.  So the question is-How do we calm our mind?  The way to do so is to cultivate the quality of patience.  Then you will find that the very same restless mind will focus like an arrow on its goal. So learn to have patience and don’t run for instant gratification.

There are many times when even though a person is very close to his goal, his path suddenly may become difficult or even impossible.  The person starts to give up… Again the answer is to be patient.

Here I would like to add that there is a difference between restrictions and guidelines.

Those guidelines that are there to make the running of society smooth are there for a reason and they must be respected but meaningless ritual that creep in, must be avoided.

And how to decide what is right guideline and what are meaningless restrictions?  The answer is straightforward. Have the same standards for everyone. What you would not like to happen to you, do not do to others.  It is as simple as that.

The day you think like this from your heart, you will never have to worry about the difference between righteous behaviour and needless restrictions.

So when you treat others like the way you would be want to be treated yourself, God will have no problem residing in your heart. You will never ever do sin ever again. Because hypocrisy, double standards etc are the very genesis of sin. All have the same soul. When you discriminate you commit sin.

 

 

Maha Updesh of Aadishri – Part 5

Maha Updesh of Aadishri – Part 5

Maha Updesh of Aadishri – Part 5

(Aadishri Arun)

Maha Upadesh of Aadishri, Part - 5

O human!  You should know that worldly desire should be abandoned for you to be peaceful and happy. Why? Because when the desire is not fulfilled, it leads to anger and that leads to the destruction of wisdom and to the power of discernment.  And that leads to the downfall of man.  The Gita chapter 2 verse 62-63 clearly states this fact.  The fact is that desire and anger are the sure shot way to reach the depths of hell.  Yet you travel on this bullet train to hell every day. Gita chapter 16 verse 21 reaffirms this fact.

We may know this theoretically, yet the basis of all your life and all your relationships is worldly desire and various hopes that you may have in this regard. The wife has expectations about how her husband should behave, the husband wishes for a wife as per his specifications. The parents wish for devoted children who look after them and so on and so forth… The fact is that a person is able to love another only when that other person fulfills his expectations and desires.

Yet the very nature of the wish for fulfillment of worldly desire is that it can never be fulfilled. The nature of desire is that it is always in flux and it’s this very nature means that there can never be any lasting happiness in the pursuit of any worldly desire.

Since desire is born in the mind of a person, hence no other person can come to know of it since it is not visible.  This is the point where struggle is born…I desire something from someone but that person is not aware of it and he has his own desires. Both people in the relationship do various things to fulfill their contradictory desires. Lo behold- Conflict is born. Thus all relationships get twisted by conflict.  Therefore it is essential that a person realize this fact and not make expectation/ desire, the basis of a relationship. Instead we should base our relationships on love alone.  This is the only way to be peaceful and happy and have happy relationships.
The eternal question-how to have maximum happiness and minimum pain-has haunted humanity since time immemorial.  Is there anyone in the world today who is satisfied with their relationships?

The answer is that hardly anyone in the world is truly happy and at peace.

You may think that money can buy you happiness but if you look closely, you will find that at the bottom of it all, only good relationships can bring peace.

Everything valuable in this world is based on relationships. Even your basic security is based on relationships.  The basis of your happiness is also good relationships.  That being true, we get most of our grief also from relationships. The cause is that when you don’t accept the others point of view and you try to change it – that is when trouble starts. The less you expect, the less your conflict. So if a person stops expecting things from others, and he changes his expectations from within, such a person is always happy.

Whenever a person experiences injustice or double standards, that is when he feels shaken from inside. He feels that the world is his enemy. The bigger the injustice, the bigger the feeling of conflict, anger and aggrievement. The heart of such a man demands justice from God.  This feeling is justified since justice is the cornerstone of any society and without a sense of justice, civil society cannot function.

So the question is-What is justice?

Justice starts with the boundaries of relationships being defined. Once the boundaries are fixed, crossing those boundaries becomes a matter of injustice. Crossing of boundaries is injustice and if society does not fix those injustices, retribution and vendettas result on an individual or group level. The result is anarchy in society.  We should remember that Mahabharata happened only because injustice was done.

Thus the boundaries are important to maintain a sense of justice. But have we ever thought about the basis of these boundaries?  The basic logic of these boundaries is that all are equal; that each human is entitled to the same rights and freedoms. Respect a person as you would respect yourself and injustice will never and peace will prevail.