Be Your Good Self

Zenlighted | Shree Krsna

Be Your Good Self

I was doing a lesson from a scripture with my KrsnaGuru, and suddenly I felt an illumination within myself. It was like a knot that broke up filling my entire being with light and bliss. I had been searching for this answer for more than eight years now and felt like I was standing on top of the “Mount Everest” finally experiencing the most sort after goal – “Silence.”

I have been contemplating on, why do people change? Here I am referring to those who were once very close to me, claimed to love and follow me till the end of this earth and suddenly, even before I have realized they no longer exist in my world. For example, I had a very good friend who used to be an integral part of my life. He/She would message me daily and share their life with me.

When he/she ran into problems, I was their go-to person, who would help them get out of their gutter. I was their problem solver and a fighter in their world who had solutions to everything. Gradually, over the years they stopped messaging to me and would not even care to respond to my messages. I for nuts couldn’t ever understand why was this change.

Finally, my KrsnaGuru revealed the truth to me. When I started my journey into Spiritual, I did not have any idea of what it was all about and why the need for a “Guru.” I was too playful, and according to me everything and everyone were good. I saw the world with pink colored glasses. The first thing that happened was my Master broke the tinted glasses I was wearing to see this world.

It became the most significant cause of my dejections in life. As I journeyed along he started the purification process of my mind, and heart which eventually leads to the surrender of my ego, mind, and body unto the lotus of feet of my KrsnaGuru. In this process, I suddenly turned into an angry and bitter person; I started to see only the downside of life. I lost that bubbly, cheerful self of mine. The excitement and limitless energy that flow through my body and being didn’t exist anymore. I couldn’t recognize myself.

I did not like the person who I saw in the mirror, and I started to blame my Guru for who I had become. Whatever the answer he gave me I wasn’t convinced, and my mind would talk to me a dime a dozen instigating me against my benevolent Master whose causeless mercy is there on everybody. The light of Knowledge that He bestowed upon me was this when you are on the path of Spiritual all the vasanas or vrittis (tendencies) from many lives are brought forward.

All along it had only been my perception of what I had believed in myself of who I was. Let me explain with an example. My best friend and I have now been friends since we were five years old and our families lived next to each other in the same neighborhood. I spent a significant part of my life living in her house till we finally shifted to another locality after my graduation. I would do anything for her. Everyone called us “two bodies and one soul.” After college, she got married and moved to a different city. I continued to keep in touch with her. She never used to call me since her dad, and her husband kept tabs on the phone bills. With technology evolution things changed and Smartphones paved the way, and we are in the day and age of WhatsApp or FaceTime.

Until today, she has not tried to message me or call me. Even today she will only communicate if I would call her. I was fed-up in my life of being taken for granted and people using me to their advantage. Hence, I stopped calling her and realized it did not matter to her at all and I been feeling upset about it for a very long time. After many years, I found the answer which relieved me of my mental miseries.

The answer which my Guru gave is, the goodness or friendship which she projected was the portrayal done not just be her but by everyone in this world. Their inherent nature is hidden till the point things are favorable and as per their desires, wants, likes, expectations, etc. I was the one who did not see it or ignored due to my attachment to those whom I loved a lot. People discard you when they believe or find you are no longer useful to them in their life. Every individual is succumbing to their lower self and lets their ego and arrogance rule them. The deterioration of a human being happens very fast even before one realizes it. Know that it is effortless to fall, but it is challenging to rise and be a good human being.

In Spiritual, the Guru teaches us to have even-mindedness, be kind, compassionate, loving, to transcend the pairs of opposites such as the likes and dislikes, happy and sorrow, good and evil, etc. We are taught to overcome our inherent nature and be our “Good Self” which is the divine Self. There is a constant battle within me to fight my lower self or the inherent nature. This battle is called the war of Kurukshetra as expounded by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad Gita. My Guru calls me to be his ICBM and Nuclear weapon which he uses to fight his battles. But being a Spiritualist, I have to practice to control my anger, mind, and tongue and be good to everyone without having any biases.

As a follower of Krsna’s way of life, I cannot speak badly or say something to others even if the other person talks or misbehaves with me. I am not allowed period, but on the contrary, I am required to forgive and be kind and show my love even to that individual too. But know that the Universe is not going to spare that individual. He will bear fruits of his actions, and that judgment will be given by the Lord Himself, and there is no escape from that.

Finally, I felt enlivened and calmed down to what others think or believe of me “It Doesn’t Matter” anymore. I don’t have to prove to anyone about my goodness. The Truth Just “IS.” My swadharma is to follow my Guru’s ordain and walk along with him and continue to do arduous Sadhana (practice) and put the Herculean effort to Rise and be my “Good Self.”

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Let’s Be Silent!

Let's be silent!

In spirituality, we practice discretion and not excretion from the mouth.
Let’s be silent!

Being A Teacher/Guru

Being a teacher/guru

Why is it tough being a teacher/Guru? Why is teaching so difficult? Why are teachers treated so much with disrespect? Why is teaching as a profession frowned upon by everyone? Why are teachers paid so less for their services? What incentive is left for someone to become a teacher?

I remember during my school days I had a very strict headmistress and everyone was afraid of her. She always carried a thick flat piece of wood which we called a telephone. She used it to thrash anyone who committed some crime or misdemeanours in class. It fell on our knuckles or our behinds and what a whack it created. We were all so much afraid of this drill Sargent.

Later on, in college the teachers or lecturers read from books and asked us to read solved question papers. They never taught us anything at all. We had to attend separate outside classes to know the subject. But the main focus was to get good marks in examinations so everyone studied only the solved question papers of previous years. Students paid more attention to competitive exams to secure admission into professional colleges. Everyone then aspired to become a doctor or an engineer.

The role of a teacher diminished as we attended higher and higher classes. Teachers were treated more like some class monitors or clerks who took attendances. During my kids education, the thrust was to do classes outside the school where the same teachers gave personalised training at an exorbitant cost. These same teachers agenda in school was to rush through the syllabus and somehow finish it in a limited time. There was always more competition to attend private classes than school periods. There were very few dedicated teachers left then.

The teachers profession became attuned towards earning more and more, so the main thrust of giving proper and appropriate education left them. The noble profession became a money earner. Later, newer medias opened up and the same teachers left the profession to become qualified professional in other industries. Learning lost its charm and it only became more mechanical task of writing exams. Gaining admission in prestigious institution only was the objective of few intelligent students. Few teachers gave the secret recipe for getting admission to these Ivy League colleges. These specialist teachers were more sought after for their special skill sets. Education lost out in the race to prestige and greed.

Today it is extremely tough to find a good teacher due to various reasons. One is lack of respect towards the teachers and their profession by students. Next is the less amount of remuneration paid to them. Only a few get paid the earth and they are a hallowed institution themselves. They become more pricey as they get more recognition and awards.

In spiritual, the rule of the game is you cannot become a teacher without the divine command. The teacher or Guru is the sakshat Parabrahman or the divine unmanifest. The Guru is authorised by God Himself and by his Satguru. The Guru’s Master is the approver of the part the Guru would be playing in this world. There are no grades or degrees in spiritual path. The Guru is the sole arbiter and judge. He will be the guide and will lay down the syllabus for every individual disciple. The syllabus or studies are not the same for other disciples. It may differ like heaven and earth. The teachings are spontaneous and religious.

There is a strict discipline in his domain. There are unwritten rules which transcends the normal worldly norms. The demands are unnerving and unyielding. The rigours start at the beginning of the day, very early in the morning and goes on till the end of night. The disciplines to be maintained are very strict and tough. Life in the monastery are not for the weak minded. The teacher there is a toughest disciplinarian. Service unto the Master is mandatory. Above all the Master may not ask for any compensation for the disciples training. Even the stay is free. The Gurukul system is the epitome of absolute training and learning for a greater cause.

People may say that the Gurukul system is very archaic and ancient system and irrelevant today but if we need truly dedicated and evolved citizens then this is it. Shantiniketen was started that way and it has churned out good number of students. Still there are monasteries which follow such methods and I hope there are more.

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Making Judgements

Making Judgements

Man is habituated for making judgements on others. He loves jumping to conclusions even though he has absolutely no idea of the truth about the other person.

We love to arrive at our biased conclusions even before we have gathered enough facts about another human being. I am reminded of an ad which appeared for some phone company where the woman is speaking at a nearby table holding her hand near her ear. At another table an older gentleman who looks at her thinks that she is talking to him. In fact she was talking into her phone which was a very tiny instrument cupped in her hand. Here the gentleman who thought that she was talking to him, is like us who don’t know the entire facts and just think what our little mind exaggerates to us.

Imagine someone whom you don’t like from the bottom of your heart is about to say something and you suddenly interject and cut him off dissing him right at start. Wouldn’t you like to know what he was going to speak? No! You never even allowed him to speak up. You immediately jumped the gun and destroyed the scene. This happens for multiple reasons. One of them is our previous experience with the said individual. We assume he will do the same thing as he did before. Second one is our internal biases. We hate certain things and people, say for example, people who wear black, religious folks, dark skinned, opposition parties, political folks, physically or mentally challenged ones, classic relatives, siblings, etc, etc.. Here the term hate is a strongly biased one and man surely has very strong biases.

We have to learn to control our constantly jumping mind. Can you not take in the other persons views completely before you start your conclusions? So first you gotta listen very patiently to what he speaks. Don’t interject and put your leg in the middle. Shut your mind and your mouth and get the entire story first before arriving at conclusions. Silly and stupid arguments happen only because we do not allow the other person to complete his say. We love taking a biased stand.

Look at a nation called USA and you will know what I am talking about. The media and people are bashing the newly elected president even before he has taken charge. It is important to first allow the man to speak and do his job and not criticize even before he has done anything at all. How can anyone prejudge another person? Don’t you remember the clip of Jesse Owens winning gold at Berlin Olympics? Also, remember the derogatory cover of a magazine showing a beggar sitting on nukes holding a begging bowl, depicting India is such poor light when India became the nuclear power?

Today, if you look at the above two examples you will realize that a colored man is the fastest individual and India is fast becoming one of the richest nations. Still man was doing what he is best at. Deriding others even before he has all the facts in hand. This happens so often in the talent shows too. The judges judge a person even before he had performed by looking at appearances.

In spiritual, man is supposed to shut up and listen to everything that the Master teaches. This is called silencing the mind. Listening is the most important part of sadhana or practices. Silence is integral part of spirituality. So is listening. In spiritual man learns to overcome his mind by making it silent. Yogis sit in meditative state for a very long time. Meditation is the key to spirituality and learning to silence the mouth and the mind is surely the key to progressing in that world.

A true spiritual being is never judgmental. He is supposed to never give opinions or take sides. He has to be neutral and understanding. He learns empathy and knows that no one is right or wrong. Spiritual teaches one not to be judgmental. Everyone and everything is a portion of the divine. Each of us are performing a role as written by The Lord. Even villains like Ravana or Shishupal were enacting a part in the drama of life. They were ordained to do those roles by The Lord Himself. So whom can the spiritual ones judge on?

As a concluding note I will urge every spiritual person to not judge another human being before hearing the complete story from the other side. Know that everything is perfect in its place. Without the villain there can never be a hero. They both complement each other and have their perfect places. So stop judging and become silent and peaceful.

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Reach Highest Goals By Greatest Efforts

wooden-figures-980774_1280To reach the highest goals in life you have to put in your greatest efforts! Charlie Chaplin became the greatest actor of all times. Alfred Hitchcock became the most prolific suspense film director. Albert Einstein became the greatest scientist and Mahatma Gandhi became the best freedom fighter of all times.
Now imagine all these people were to do something different, would they be what the world knew them for? Now let’s see what some other people tried to become something else besides what they were supposed to be. Amitabh Bacchan went to become the greatest actor in India but once he tried to be a politician and failed miserably. Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest cricketer of all times but he tried his hand at acting and now in restaurants. Our Late Prime Minister Morarji Desai tried writing film scripts. Do you think they would be able to succeed in this some other unrelated activity?
Everyone is cut out to be good in something or the other and if they were to try some other stuff which they are not supposed to then they will fail. This article is not about failure or success but finding your right slot in life. We all try to search for that elusive spot but hardly find it.
Most of us work hard and struggle all our life to get food on the table. Everyday it’s a chore that people hate to do. Working in a blue or white collar job or helping the family out in some business whereas the true motivation is something completely different.
I know of a friend who works as a flight purser for the last twenty years or so but his passion is to direct films. He has a great head for wonderful shots and telling story in celluloid. Only once could he try it out and won all the major awards. But he continues to work for the airlines. Why would he do that? To keep the home fires burning. Is it fair?
Then there is another one who writes such wonderful stuff for the small screen but continued to work in some office till destiny turned the tables and she was forced to take up the pen. Now she is a prolific writer.
There are hidden painters who love to paint or draw but are hidden amongst the stacks of computers and data. Then again there are martial art champions who work for government offices but have buried their talent and shy away from loving their passions.
Now let’s come to spiritual fields. In spiritual when the call comes, the other side demands it’s pound of flesh. The family becomes the biggest impediment and the man struggles to stay put. Money and professional progress is another obstacle in the path of spiritual. Fear of not having any money or place to stay. Not able to wear good clothes and eat only few morsels a day is a deterrent. Public humiliation and societal restrictions can bar a person from joining the spiritual bandwagon.
The call has to be so powerful that nothing can stop that individual. Half hearted attempts will be of no avail. Spiritual field also has rigorous demands. Here the focus on sadhana or practice is very important. When you meet your Guru and your urge to be in spiritual rises to the highest, you will have to drop whatever you are doing and head in that direction. You have to disregard familial ties and worldly demands and head towards your new home. Your Guru’s ashram is your home and you will get initiated by Him into His domain. It’s called second birth and you become twice born. He initiates you into His mantra and designs a program for your spiritual progress.
Once initiated the Guru is your only father and mother. He is everything to you. You will be trained in various domains of spiritual. Discipline will be imparted to you and you will be put under a strict regime. Everyday activities will be given by the Guru and monitored to know your progress. You will not be able to have a separate work schedules or own independent lifestyle. You have to forgo your aspirations and worldly desires. The Guru can mold you in the way He wants only if you are a clay in His hands. You will reach your spiritual weal soon enough.
When you look at various sages who reached spiritual perfection, you will know they had to pass through such intense sadhana in life under the tutelage of some very tough Guru. Some examples are Saibaba of Shirdi, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Guru Nanak, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Vivekananda, Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Meerabai, Samarth Ramdas and many more. They never could have reached their highest states if they would have come with their worldly ambition or personal goals to their Guru’s ashram.
Spirituality is not a fun game or easy access to God and the magical world. If you think you are going to become a levitating sadhu or someone who materializes ashes or gold then better stay away from it. If you believe you can perform inhuman feats in yoga or have a million disciples then you are at a wrong place. If you feel that there is big money in it then again you are wrong.
To enter the spiritual Masters place you need pure body mind and senses. You have to become very passionate about knowing God and the Truth. You should be ready for doing intense sadhanas. You have to serve the Guru and learn from Him. Humbly bowing down at the feet of the Guru, you should learn under His guidance till you are instructed to do something else.
Though this article pointed towards material worldly swadharma in the beginning, it was meant for you to understand that there are no shortcuts or half hearted efforts to get where ever you want. Sadhana in whichever field is a must. Hope you reach your dream goals with dedicated efforts and single pointed devotion towards your own swadharma.
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Guru’s Dilemma

Guru's DilemmaGuru’s dilemma can never be understood by mere disciples. Can he find anyone to transmit his complete knowledge? He seeks high and low for that elusive right disciple. Only a few can match up to the absolutely rigorous regime that he sets out with.
The most revered Gurus are full of profound knowledge and they have worked hard to acquire it. They were themselves disciples before they reached their lofty goal and by sheer dint and perseverance they got enlightened. After they reached their destination they have a choice whether to just give up their mortal coil or continue to work in this world. Some take up the path of staying away from material world and some get instructed to become their Guru’s clones. They take up the task of teaching other seekers and become a Guru. But they have a daunting task ahead of them. How to find the right candidate for transmitting their hard earned knowledge is that task!
You will see from history that only a few sages could find the right candidate for reaching perfection. Look at Saibaba or Ramanna Maharishi, Jesus or Buddha, Shri Krishna or Shri Ram, Kabirdas or Meerabai could never find a replacement for themselves. But when we look at Raidas or Ravidas, Akkalkot Swami or Tapovan Maharaj, we realize that they met someone equally spectacular to transmit their knowledge.
Hence certain Gurus take birth themselves and propagate further their knowledge for mundane disciples. Take the case of my own Guru. Dattatreya took various avatars in the last few centuries. He came in as Narsimha Saraswati, Sripad Vallabha, Akkalkot Swami and Saibaba. I have just named a few here for reference.
Likewise the divine takes a form again and again so that there could be a simple pathway for lay disciples. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was an avatar of Krishna himself. Likewise, there are lesser avatars coming up too. The coterie around the great one also follows but they are enveloped in the darkness of ignorance. By this coterie I mean the ones who assist the divine also. In case of Chaitanya the ones who accompanied him were Nityananda who was an avatar of Adhisesha, Vishakha and Lalitha, the cowherd girls of Vraja and a few others too.
So coming back to the story at hand, it becomes very difficult to transmit knowledge unless and until you have the perfect candidate. Sant Dyneshwar, Himself an avatar of Krishna and a disciple of his elder brother Nivritinath acknowledged that he couldn’t even touch the knowledge of His Guru. The Nath sampradaya has a very great Guru-Shishya parampara.
Though in my few years of existence I tried teaching a few disciples, they couldn’t stand the vagaries of spiritual. One nearly reached the threshold of superstardom but gave into material wants of life. Having found a well paying job and family life with perks, she couldn’t stand up to the demands of spiritual life.
There are others too who couldn’t make it because spiritual life means austerity and frugal living. Hardly anyone loves to leave their affluent lifestyle or demands of material life. Families and luxuries, material worldly commitments and duties, loans and properties, relatives and friends, possessions and fear, food and clothing, housing and transportation are a few impediments in the life of a disciple. They cannot give these things up.
The ways of Guru also contribute towards the giving up of spiritual path. Once Lokenath baba was deep in meditation and found ants crawling all over him. He ignored the creepy crawly feeling but when he got out of meditation, saw that his Guru had spread sugar around his asan or place of meditation. His Guru always put obstacles in the path but Lokenath trusted his Guru. He was able to reach perfection because his Guru tested him very well.
Incidentally on Lokenath’s Guru there is a wonderful story. The Guru didn’t allow himself to reach the lofty goal because he worked hard on his disciple. Once his disciple Lokenath reached realization, Bhagvan Ganguly told his dear disciple to make him reach there in next life. Sacrificing for his disciple and putting him through the rigors of sadhana, the Guru gave up his life. In the next his disciple made him reach the ultimate goal.
To find such disciples is very tough. The disciple should have absolute discipline, single pointed devotion and firm faith in his Guru. He should be truthful and able bodied to be able to do various sadhanas. He should know that once he has met his Guru, there are no attachments with anyone at all. His Guru’s command is for his absolute adherence. Even the most mundane task given by the Guru has to be followed to the T! To consider everything as the ultimate task and succeed in them, should be his goal, however difficult it is.
Above all, to find such a gem is extremely tough. Once the Guru finds him, then he sets about giving him the toughest tests so that he can win the path of liberation and realization. On the other hand to find the perfect Guru is also very tough!
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Spiritual Sadhana

spiritual sadhanaSpiritual Sadhana helps you go towards Faith and Devotion for God and Guru.
It subdues the ego and steadies the wandering mind. Stay on the path by Surrendering at the feet of the Guru through devoted Spiritual Sadhana.

Guilty Till Made Innocent!

In spiritual we say, “Guilty till made innocent,” whereas in the material world it is innocent till proven guilty!
In the normal material world you can commit any crime and if you aren’t caught or till it is not legally proven in the court of law, you are deemed innocent.
Take the case of child molester who continues to do that till he is caught and then goes to prison but till the witnesses don’t prove to the court of his guilt, he is considered innocent. Now if he were to be proven guilty by law legally and yet he was doing the crime to a nymphomaniac then is he still guilty? The law believes that sex with a young person below the legal consent age is illegal. But when he faces a nymphomaniac then what does the law states?
When Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita, he was talking of a nymphomaniac on one side but the guilt would remain with the so called perpetrator because of the underage legal clause.
So when we have the real life Robin Hoods doing their acts, do we still believe them to be guilty by law? Do we still consider a woman not guilty of manslaughter when she takes revenge of her raped modesty?
Now let’s see how it works in spiritual where there are no such shades of grey! In the spiritual world we are all guilty of human life. We are always under the sway of the great deluder called Maya! Even a child which uses his mind is deluded. Right from birth all get deluded. You may ask how can an infant be deluded? The answer is that when a baby looks at his worldly mother or father and knows them as his provider, for milk or warmth or whatever, he is tainted by untruth. The child believes the parent to be his own who gave birth.
As he grows up, more falsehood comes into play(I will say she after this)! She starts believing in all the falsehoods in this world. Starting from parentage to school and college to marriage to motherhood. She believes the child coming out from her womb belongs to her. The delusion deepens further and further. Attachments come into play and possessiveness happens.
But the moment you hit the path of spiritual and she meets her Guru, she starts knowing that only the body is the doer and that she is not the body.
This journey into spiritual put everything upside down. The guilt is with the body alone and that she is not the mother or perpetrator of anything in this world.
The body is impure and so is the mind. But she is neither the body nor the mind.
This divine knowledge will not get fructified till she goes through the pains of sadhana or disciplines on the path of spiritual. It is called the tapas or the hardships of purification or purificatory rites to be performed to becoming pure.
Spiritual perfection or purity is a pathway towards freedom or moksha. Only after you follow the disciplines laid out by your spiritual Master can you start becoming pure to reach Brahman.
So in conclusion, the greatest crime of murder or the smallest one like telling lies on one side to the other the lowest crime of human birth to Brahman hatya which is the highest crime can be overcome by spiritual practices.
Doing the sadhana and becoming purer by the day to reach spiritual perfection is the reverse process in life.
So it’s said that you are guilty till you become innocent. When that happens you get another birth which is purest so you are called twice born! Or Dwija!

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Desires Of Spiritually Perfect And Material Being!

Spiritually PerfectWhat is the difference between the desires of a spiritually perfect being and a material being? It is said that every individual has desires of various kinds. Maybe it’s a desire to own huge mansions, have pots of money in the bank, own yacht, fly first class or just to touch the moon.
We all have umpteen desires of all kinds. Some just want to spend their entire life with their beloved, some need good food, some need only a roof above and some need so much money that they never would have to beg!
All these wants, needs, desires makes a person passionate and attached to the material. They run after all these big and small wants of life. It drives a person to crave for these and once you have them, then there is more. The never ending story of lust and greed goes on forever. By chance if what you desire never comes to you, anger sets in and craving grows by leaps and bounds. The person is willing to do anything for fulfilling these.
So that you can get out of these traps, spirituality teaches you the path of dispassion and detachment. With intense sadhana you are able to overcome these petty wants and desires of life. You can stay away from these. Attention is diverted to God and all your desires are just to be with Him. Just like your girlfriend or lover. You are willing to do anything for her. Similarly, your entire direction being moved towards The Lord, you constantly crave His grace and mercy. His love is overwhelming. You want to be the best looking person for this love of your life, best food and clothes to give Him. Whatever you do you crave for His approval and appreciation just the way a lover does. You die every single day for being separated from Him.
The craving to look nice for your Lover God makes you wear good clothes. These desires of looking good stems from His approval and has nothing to do with personal desires which are egoistic.
The difference between the desires of a worldly person are driven by greed and lust, ego and pride! Whereas the desires of this spiritual being is just to please his Lover God! These are in no way egoistic but only the craving to get His attention. These are pure in nature and highly recommended. Whereas the worldly kind are very personal and driven by extreme greed and tainted for personal gains alone.
So have desires for God alone and lust for Him.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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