Our life is governed not only by us but society at large. Humans by nature are social animals. We have tendency to live in societies and ought mutual favours. These observations strongly suggests role of society in our life and our obligations towards the society. Seva (Service) is an act which is done for others without expecting any recognition in return.
Trees are much more useful than humans, whether it is living or dead. It gives oxygen, flower, fruit, shade when it is alive and it gives wood for making home, when it dies. On the contrary, humans create pollution and bend the laws of nature as per their needs. Most of our life is spent in accumulating ‘stuff’ for our future or in anxiety about future. People sit and worry about bread and butter, if you think yourself so useless then what is the point in living, better die, either ways nobody will ever know that you even existed.
When you are more useful then more sort out you become and more security comes in life. Money can never bring security. If that would have been the case then all the rich people would have been blissed out but it is opposite, depression is said to be the elite class disease.! Poor people don’t suffer from ailments like depression and hypertension. In fact, depression has emerged to be a major disease in developed countries. Hence, our security depends on our usefulness. When we think that I m here to serve then we are most sort out. And we really don’t require great skills to serve, just an intention is enough. Whatever small skills we have, we can still be useful. There are so many people in this world who work in inhuman conditions for the betterment of society and you need to notice how they have blossomed in their life.
Mother Teresa for example, nobody asked her to serve, she was an ordinary service women who took responsibility to serve the society. Same was with Mahatma Gandhi and all other people who moved ahead, took full responsibility and made a difference.
Simply know that you have great potential, serve and see how useful you are. You just need to have an intention and take responsibility. There are so many organizations who are working for the upliftment of society; they are all there to help you. Get along with such organizations and you will see that you are loved and cared by all in the world. It is worth living life in that manner.
Seva has to happen with a feeling that I want nothing in return, doership needs to be dropped. If any vested interest is attached to the same, then whole essence of seva is lost. Then it was simply business relation between you and the taker. If there is any heaven then seva is your passport. Infact in all cultures and religion, seva is an integral part.
Initially, it might appear difficult to not expect return favor for seva. The best solution that I think to this situation is to take seva as your duty; if you consider yourself as the part of society then it is your duty to serve the society. Imagine a society where everyone is available for each other, where do you think space for hatred, greed and jealousy will be left? Having sense of belongingness and putting sincere efforts to bring people together will make your life beautiful and more meaningful. You are not here to just survive but live. There is an ancient saying, "Be grateful for whatever you have and more will be given to you".
Smile and Serve.!
Lots of Love,
For the past few days I have been listening to commentary of Guruji (H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar) on ‘Patanjali Yogsutra’ given to this world thousands of years ago (around 150 BC) by Maharishi Patanjali. The following contents are excerpt from the same.
As per Patanjali, there are four types of people in this world and he has immaculately mentioned how to deal with them. The sutra goes like this-
“Matiri karuna muditopeksanam sukha dukha punyapunya visayana bhavnatah citta prasadanam.”
1. Successful or happy people-
Whenever you see someone happy (sukha) or successful then just be friends with them (maitri). Feel happy for them and their success. Be a part of celebrations.
Often when you see someone who is more successful than you, we feel lack in ourselves, jealousy creeps in and it completely engulfs your peace of mind. The reason why we feel jealous is because there is lack of belongingness; we never feel jealous from the success of a person who is dear to us. So in order to avoid jealousy we should increase our sense of belongingness i.e. being friends to them.
2. Unsuccessful or sad people-
Whenever you come across someone who is unsuccessful or depressed (dukha) then don’t be friends with them instead have compassion (karuna).
Primarily, the reason is that if you try to be friends with them at that time then you will also land up into the ditch then how can you pull them out? It doesn’t mean you don’t listen to them but the problem starts when we try to console them by saying ‘Oh! Poor you’ or ‘God has been so unkind to you’ all these words strengthen their misery rather than comforting them. In such depressed situations, your mere presence is enough but if you wish to say something better say something that increases their faith in themselves and Divine.
3. People engaged in good acts-
If you ever come across people who are involved in good deeds (punya) and are very blessed then you just become one with them, join them in their deeds and be delighted (mudita).
Often when you see such people then doubt, jealousy or sense of competition arises. People/organizations involved in any social work are often criticized for various activities and their conducts, they might have done hundreds and thousands of good deeds but even if there are few flaws then they are blown out of proportion. At least they have done something good for upliftment of less fortunate, what good you did by criticizing them?
Hence, we should not feel jealous of them but feel one with them, this will dissolve sense of competition and blessings will come your way too.
4. People engaged in sinful acts-
On encountering such people, simply disregard (upeksanam) them!
If someone says something that is not true or harsh, you simply ignore it. But generally we do opposite and chew on it. This will destroy your peace of mind. If someone is involved in demonic activities (apunya) then you first educate them out of compassion and then ignore them. You need to educate them out of compassion otherwise you will take anger in your mind. If you can do something about the problem then better be a part of solution but don’t just gossip or brood about their imperfections, otherwise you will also become that. Instead you should see how many imperfections are also in you and you might be even worse than them. There are very few people in this world who are bad, but their effect is so much, as if whole world is bad. Even in press-media, there is so much buzz about crimes but hardly there is coverage to good deeds, unless they give some publicity to them. So you need to focus your energies on positive and neglect the negative.
This approach makes your mind gracious and centred. (bhavnatah citta prasadanam)
Even in today’s time this knowledge has so much of relevance; this is possible because Patanjali knew human mind very well and was aware of its tendencies. It feels amazing to be a part of such knowledge which is so ancient yet so profound.
Lots of love,
PS- In case you apply these sutras in life then do share your experience. :)
Our doubts are always for something positive. We never doubt the bad things. If someone says “I love you.” We reply “Really? Are you sure?”, “You kidding me!” But if someone says “I hate you.” You never doubt it; instead you say “I was so much sure that this was coming!” If you look at your response towards your own feelings then you always doubt your happiness, “Why am I so happy?”, “I am not sure if am happy or not?” but you seldom doubt your sadness. Same way we doubt someone’s honesty but never dishonesty. We doubt the existence of God.
So having doubts about something is an indication that there is something good in it. It is good to have doubts because once you go through it, faith emerges. But the point is you need to go through them. Lucky ones drop the doubt immediately, unlucky ones take some more time. Sign of intelligence is not giving good things a chance (as if they need to prove themselves) but rather giving ourselves a chance to try good things. Being skeptical is okay but being cynical is not as it may lead to paranoia.
Once someone asked Guruji (H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar), “Guruji, we go and tell people about the Art of Living course but at times people doubt our intention. Why don’t they understand that we care for them and sharing this for their good?”
He replied “Tum 5000 saal pehle (Lord Krishna Era) bhi gavale (Milkman) the, aur aaj bhi gavale hi ho!
Even today milkman goes to houses to supply milk but when it comes to alcohol people go to the shop and wait in queue to buy it! So take these doubts as blessings as you are up for something good.”
“Your faith, your love, your beauty, your truth is a hundred times more powerful than the doubt. The faith is like the sun, the doubt is like a cloud. No amount of clouds can cover the sun for long. They just come and they disappear. Yes, there are some cloudy days and it can be there, let it be. The sun will eventually shine.”
Lots of Love,
Nature around us is perfect example of Unity even after having so much of diversity. I always wonder how much effort it takes for us to move together. We are generally bound to our concepts that don’t allow us to grow and bring forth our hands for joining more hands. There is always a set of people with whom our frequency matches and there is another set with whom things are entirely different. But my point is how big this difference is that we start to partway our niches.
Although in urban world discrimination on the basis of religion is quite uncommon, mainly because of education and interdependency, but still it exists. This is one of the most unfortunate things because it creates a wall that can’t be brought down with ease. In fact a truly spiritual or religious person would strongly condemn this discrimination. People have often misinterpreted secularism; this is the favorite pawn in Indian politics, I would rather say deciding factor for power. Being secular doesn’t mean that you don’t have a religion instead it mean that I follow my religion and respect others religion too. No God is going to get angry if being a Hindu you say ‘Allah’ or ‘Christ’, all these concepts are brewed by some religious fanatics or insecure priests. Today writing this blogpost I realize that I ve friends of almost all religion and it is almost unimaginable my life without them. It is always great joy to get acquainted to their rituals and culture.
It is also evident that there are much discrimination that is based upon our own notions and judgmental intellect. We have a set of frame of fixed dimension in which we try to fit things (people), if anything doesn’t fit it is often molded as per convenience or label as ‘unfit for use’ and discarded. Many of us would agree that it is normal ‘Human tendencies’ but I would like to phrase it as ‘Human acquired tendencies’. The reason for this is that a kid never has such tendencies; he will smile and radiate love with same innocence to everyone; he can become friend to anyone instantly. It is only in the process of growing up that we lose these qualities and get into all sort wrong tendencies. And it is for sure that all of us would agree that in childhood life was much easy and fun than it is now. But when it comes to compliment the cause of shift nobody sees change in their perspective.! We should not barter our innocence for maturity; we should keep both of them. As friendliness was our nature being a child, it shouldn’t wither with age. If another person is being squeamish then we should not lose our innocence and have compassion, this I feel is real maturity. In the race to even-up things we ruin many things knowingly and unknowingly.
If in school/college/workplace/etc. you have 30 people around you and in them you have 5 best friends then it shouldn’t make others unimportant. Being fastidious never benefits us in long run, we should not get into nepotism/cronyism.
We often complaint that the world is much not the way we expect it to be. We always blame others for it but seldom look into ourselves. We need to be part of change that we want to see in society. We need to have sense of belongingness. A fist always has more power than open five fingers. For this we need to broaden our vision and deepen our roots. Life is too short for differences.
Lots of love,
This is one of my favorite stories. I had heard this in an ‘Art Of Living’ course for kids *(YES course). I was there to assist that course around an year back.
The story goes like this :-
There was a father and a son, they were walking on a beach. There were many star fishes on the beach which were dying because they were thrown out of sea due to tide, seeing this kid started to throw them back into the sea. Soon his father saw him doing this activity and he said, “Son, why are you throwing these fishes into sea, there are thousands of them, you can’t throw all of them so how does it even matter.?"
Listening to this kid took another fish and threw it back into the sea saying, ”It does matter to this fish.!”
So moral of the story is that we shouldn’t judge our efforts as insignificant, we just need to keep doing them.
For example, take resolution that I won’t waste electricity or water, I won’t eat non-veg because it fuels global warming, I won’t indulge in alcohol, smoke or drugs. Even if everyone around you doesn’t follow this then don’t get bogged down. Be wise enough and don’t leave your virtues in lieu of anything.
Be good, do good.
Lots of love,