Life - Love In The Time Of Calamity
by Life Positive
Divine fusion for peace Divine fusion for peace
Guru Shri Nimishananda, Founder and Spiritual Head, Shri Nimishananda Ashram, Malaysia
The hard facts of real life loom large and confront us from newspapers and news channels every morning – a new crisis, terrorist activity in some part of the world – images, which are not conducive or healthy to our mind and hearts. Instead of experiencing more peace, happiness, and positive vibrations every day, we find that we are generating more fear and uncertainty.
The mind needs to realise the divinity within, by having faith, belief and trust in Divinity itself. God sees no difference between living beings. He offers every being his unconditional protection and refuge. He provides space for all creatures under his roof that is the earth itself. He is one with all beings. He is constantly telling us: “Live and let live.” This is called ‘dharma’ or ethical living in accordance with the cosmic law. Unfortunately, 90 per cent of us are not following the teachings and wisdom of our ancient seers and sages today, becoming destructive instead of being constructive for the welfare of everybody. In short, we are not conscious of the divine fusion within us.
We should let go of our selfish motives, like asking what the world has done for us today. Instead, we should question ourselves – what have we given to the world today for its welfare? What have I contributed today through a good thought, a good deed, or a good action? This thinking will lead to good and noble thoughts, which start giving us a great amount of joy, happiness, and tranquillity and removes all negative thoughts and destructive tendencies. We must live in the world, and yet remain detached by not becoming possessive about it. That is the key to a good and a noble, successful and a healthy, enriched life.
That was how ‘ahimsa’ (non-injury) was established. Love one and all unconditionally. We will then not only feel divinity, but also generate and release divine vibrations from us to the whole world. This way we can effectively counter negativity and establish peace and happiness in other people’s mind and hearts. We can thus establish universal peace, love, and bliss in ourselves, and learn to pray universally. As we do this, we draw ourselves closer to Divinity and generate peace and happiness everywhere.
Difficulties are a part of Divine surgery-Swami Sukhabodhananda Difficulties are a part of Divine surgery
Swami Sukhabodhananda, Founder, Prasanna Trust, Bangalore
A spiritual value that one has to imbibe irrespective of what religion a person belongs to is – all difficulties are a part of Divine surgery. If one treats difficulties as a part of Nature trying to educate us, then one should be open to receive new learning. Openness should be our mantra of wise living. Openness with the direction of transformation should be our goal.
We are not in harmony with the external world because we have not learnt to live in harmony with our needs, our emotions, and our minds. One has to search for what Existence wants us to learn constantly.
Global issues like food crisis or spiralling of cost of fuel is a symptom of reckless usage of natural resources born out of people’s greed. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is sufficiency in the world for man’s need and not for man’s greed.” When one operates out of greed, one acquires wealth disproportionately, thus coming in the way of equal distribution among many.
Greed to be somebody and the fear of being nobody’ is the greatest fear and evil one has to renounce. People live in fear; hence, there is inner disorder which reflects in the external disorder.
Communal disharmony around us is due to operating from inner hurt. Sometime or the other, one faces some unfairness in life. Instead of accepting and educating each other, this unfairness lives in us as hurt and fills our minds. Then they get amplified by our imaginations and fears. These hurts, with its associations and amplifications, creates disharmony within and outside. This is the genesis of communal disharmony.
Terrorism exists mostly in ignorant and misguided minds. The body and mind of religion will vary but the soul of religion is common – seeing oneness, operating from love, learning to forgive, learning to love God’s creation. Media and inter-religious forums should be educating and creating a dialogue with religious communities, accepting certain unfairness and working to change such unfairness. They should have patience until the change occurs. Over all, education in the true sense of the term should be emphasised. The practice of meditation in whatever form to keep the mind calm and not agitated is one of the true solutions to the multi-faceted problems that challenge us today.
Calamities make way for transformation-Gurumatha Amma Calamities make way for transformation
Gurumatha Amma, , Founder Head, Sreedhara Sreegudda Ashram, Bangalore
Nature is magnificent in its doing and undoing. What we think of as calamities, are part of the cosmic power of elimination. It may appear tragic and painful, but there is a strong reason and purpose behind it. Nature’s equation, though, cannot be perceived by the ordinary, peripheral, mundane mind. At a physical level nothing can be done – one has to accept it as a part of the play, as a beautiful harmony in nature. We have to look at it as necessary for integration of energy in the cosmic play. Calamities are part of ‘pralaya’ or elimination, initiated to make way for wonderful re-creation and/or transformation.
Being part of the whole, each one of us is responsible in our own way and has a role in this cosmic play. One who is concerned about this will discipline his life in wisdom in a healthy way. He approaches life with love in his heart; with silence and innocence.
The world is suffering from crises like terrorism due to the violation of nature’s law at the individual level. The thinking man has to evolve to bring out his divinity, which is pure sattva – the essence, to neutralise his rajasic [demon] and tamasic [animal] qualities. Only then, can we serve our own true self. Through this, we can save the world, because our world is nothing but a projection of our own being.
Age of transition-Sri Bhagavan Age of transition
Sri Bhagavan Founder, Oneness Univercity, Andhra Pradesh.
We live in the midst of a transition from one civilisation to another. This new emerging civilisation is characterised by a new culture and values, new modes of relationships and work styles.
The world at present is symbolised by scientific and technological advancement on the one hand, and increasing violence and destruction on the other.
We are concerned with our own individual survival, our family’s survival, with the survival of our belief, group, and nation and because all this is divisive, it threatens the actual survival of the whole. Ideological differences are at the root of violence and disturbance that is robbing sanity and endangering survival.
We are not separate individuals, as we believe. What affects the few, affects all mankind. There is no escape or avoidance. We can no longer withdraw from the totality of the human predicament. It is only during crises or disasters, that we seem to come together; and when they are over, we are back to our old condition. We seem to be incapable of living and working together harmoniously. How can we co-operate when we are concerned with our own problems, our own individual ambitions, and ourselves? There can be no co-operation if all our activities are self-centred.
The real solution is therefore to turn our attention inward, and recognise the disturbance within and give way to peace. As long as the self with its needs dominates all our actions, there can be no co-operation, for self-centred thought is partial, narrow and everlastingly divisive. Co-operation demands great honesty. Moreover, honesty is the clear perception of things as they are.
The coming few years will see accelerated change in almost every sphere of human life – be it education, governance, health, transportation, or values. In addition, the direction these changes will take increasingly depends on our state of consciousness. Unless and until every man, and every woman take it upon themselves to resolve all division within themselves, their families and their communities, a New Age of harmony, co-operation and togetherness will remain only a possibility. If 64,000 people would awaken to this truth and to higher states of consciousness, we would see the birth of a New Age. In a population of nearly six and a half billion, if 64,000 people would be in a non-divisive state of oneness, the rest of humanity’s consciousness would automatically be impacted. Concerted efforts in this direction by individuals and groups the world over would see this possibility happen.
This New Age of sharing, love and joy belongs to you, and it is up to you to make this a reality. 2012 could well be the beginning of a New Age, which itself would take another 100 years to unfold completely.
Call on God for help Call on God for help
Dada Vaswani,Spiritual Head, Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune
I cannot control what happens to me, or is happening all around me. What has happened has already happened, and I cannot change it. I may have invested all my money in the stock market and it has suddenly crashed. I was a prince yesterday: I have become a pauper today. On the other hand, I may be trapped in one of the rooms of the Taj – a prisoner in the hands of cruel terrorists. I can do nothing to change the situation. However, I have one choice – either to react to what is happening to me in a negative manner or a positive one. I can blame my stars: I can weep, cry, and shed tears. Alternatively, I can explain to myself that everything happens according to the will of God. And He is all love and all wisdom. He is too loving to punish, He is too wise to make a mistake. Though apparently I find myself in a dangerous situation, there must be some hidden meaning of mercy in it. Let me lift up my heart and pray to God: “Have mercy on me, Oh merciful one, and lead me out of the danger in which I find myself into the security of the secure!”
God is not from us afar. He is always by our side. All we have to do is to turn to Him for help, and He will never fail us. Therefore, we must learn to contact God.For this, we need to practise silence daily. Never miss out your daily appointment with God.
Every day, preferably at the same time and at the same place, sit in silence. It is only in periods of silence that we can draw close to God. Let us get as close to Him as we can. It is only then that we can have access to the infinite resources that are ours for the asking.
In a certain cotton factory, a notice was put up on the walls of the workroom. It read as follows: “If your threads get tangled, send for the foreman.”
One day a new worker got her threads tangled. She tried to disentangle them, but only made them worse. Then she sent for the foreman.
He arrived quietly, and looked at her threads. “You have been trying to do this yourself?” he asked her.
“Yes,” she replied.
“But why did you not send for me? Those were your instructions.” “I was doing my best,” she said. “No, you were not,” the foreman said. “Remember that doing your best is sending for me!”
How often do we act like this worker! When we are in trouble, we often make things worse for ourselves. We run from pillar to post, appealing for help. We turn to our relatives; we entreat our friends for their support; we knock at the doors of our bank manager; we appeal to our business associates. We are only making things worse. We should call upon God for help, for that is the best thing we can do!
One of the surest ways to be secure is to practise the presence of God in your daily life. Make this a habit; think of Him while you work, even as you think of worldly matters when you pray. Connect to God as often as you can. Reserve just one minute for God, once every hour. During this one minute utter within yourself a positive affirmation such as, “I am not alone; God is with me,” or “O Friend of the lowly and the lost! I surrender the thread of my life in your hands!”
By so doing, you establish a contact with the source of all strength, with the fountainhead of all success. Once every hour, throw yourself into His grace; turn to Him, relax in Him; let go, let God!
Spread positive vibrations Spread positive vibrations
Dadi Janki, Spiritual Head, Brahma Kumaris, Mount Abu
The greatest contribution we can make in challenging times is to keep an attitude of good wishes and compassion for everyone. By spreading these positive vibrations of peace into the atmosphere, we will give comfort and strength to others in their distress – and at the same time protect ourselves against the weakening influence of negativity.
In order to do this, we need to spend time in silence and rediscover our inner qualities and strengths, and realise that it is in these that we will find the true self-respect and security that we all seek. Reawakening our own inner truth and power, we automatically share this with others. There is no greater charity.
It is important to accept that we cannot change what has happened. We have the habit of thinking too much about situations, particularly negative ones, and asking, again and again, “Why did this happen?” Though understandable, this drains away our natural energy and creativity, and prevents us from seeing things clearly, making good decisions, and adapting to change. Past is past but we can change how we think and act now, and so create a better future for ourselves – and for the world.
We also need to recognise that the current condition of our world is a consequence of our past actions and priorities – due to a great misunderstanding on our part. Seeking our identity, our success and our security in the physical and material, we have lost our connection with our eternal, spiritual selves and with God. The time is telling us that, to find our lost peace and power, we have to rebuild a loving, honest relationship with our true Self – the soul – and with the Divine, our eternal parent, teacher, guru and friend.
Every situation in life is an opportunity for learning and growth. I am 92 and still learning so much! I always ask myself: What is this teaching me? What new understanding have I gained from this? Is there something in my behaviour or in the way I spend my time, my energy and my resources that I need to change?
The key to surviving and growing through these times is to live a simple life and free ourselves from needing and expecting a lot in order to be happy. We learn to appreciate and use carefully what we have and focus more on ‘being’, and less on ‘doing’ or ‘having’. At all times we need to remember that we are spiritual beings – eternally peaceful, eternally safe – who are loved unconditionally by God, who has come at this time of darkness to uplift and empower us.
Strange though it may sound, we often look back at times of upheaval with gratitude. How can that be? Because they wake us up, they help us to recognise the true value of time, and to know the true purpose of our lives. Invariably, they also enable us to appreciate the goodness in ourselves and in others.
Everything is auspicious, so celebrate it! Swami NithyanandaFounder, Dhyanapeetam, Bangalore
People ask me, “What service can I do for the mission?” I tell them, “The greatest service you can do is working for the flowering of your own consciousness.” If this happens, you become a beautiful being and blessing to the planet. Individual clarity and transformation is the greatest offering to humanity. When the individual transforms, humanity transforms. That is why enlightened beings happen on the planet time and again – to raise the individual consciousness.
When your consciousness flowers, not only do you have the clarity to radiate positive energy, you also start seeing the whole of existence as an auspicious happening. Understand that there is no such thing as inauspiciousness. Even natural calamities are nothing but nature’s ways of adjusting itself to certain actions of human beings. The whole of existence is a causeless and auspicious happening. The very word Shiva means ‘causeless auspiciousness’.
Existence is not an accident. It is independent intelligence. Everything in existence has a message for us including death and disease. Every incident – good or bad – raises our intelligence, raises our frequency of consciousness. It continuously takes us to a better form of existence. When you understand this, everything in your life will open itself and reveal to you the lesson it has brought with it. You will learn and flower every minute. You will see that the very suffering gives you enlightenment!
In the whole world, there are only two kinds of people. The first kind feels that whatever is happening in the world is against their will and that things have to be slightly altered all the time. They try to alter, judge and criticise the things happening in the world, according to their own ideas. This group causes all the trouble in existence and talks about it as well. There is the other group, a rare group, which feels that whatever is happening is auspicious!
The ones who believe that everything is causeless auspiciousness, live in Shiva consciousness, in eternal bliss, in celebration. For them, life is continuous expansion. The other group that continuously tries to change things all the time, lives with irritation and suffering.
Understand one thing: if you are here, it means that Existence wants you here. You are a fulfilment for Existence. If you are not here, Existence will miss you. All your wealth, and relations are not an accident. Existence wants you to have these things because it wants to live and express through you; it wants to fulfil itself through you! This is a simple truth which, if internalised, can instantly elevate you to peaceful and blissful living.
Just celebrate the independent intelligence of Existence. Celebrate the existence of yourself, this world, and God. Suddenly you will see that these three are not separate things but the single core of existence. Living with the clarity that self, world and God are not three things but the single core of existence, and celebrating existence, is what I call ‘living enlightenment’. Causing living enlightenment to happen in the individual is the mission of an enlightened master who appears on the planet.
Spread love, not hatred Spread love, not hatred
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev,Founder, Isha Foundation, Coimbatore
The moments that we land up in a crisis – internal or external – are the moments we really need to look at ourselves. Today in the country there is no war really, but still at the same time, the amount of fear, anxiety, and hatred that this situation is creating is much more than a normal war.
When people, or a nation, or a community, or a group of people, are hit in some way, generally their natural reaction is to get angry and seek vengeance. It is important to help people not to react that way. To bring this maturity into people’s minds and hearts is of utmost importance, so the work that we do becomes all the more significant when a crisis arises.
As long as you are identified with your body, you cannot help but be enslaved to your survival instincts, that is the nature of the body. You cannot suppress it, you may hold it back for some time, but in many ways it will show up. The same goes for the mind also. So any spiritual process becomes of utmost importance when the social, national, or the world situations hit a crisis point.
People who are burning with hatred have clearly shown that they have become much more capable than what they were 10 years ago. Hate was burning even then but there was no capability.
When a man hates, when he really hates somebody, he gets a tremendous sense of purpose in his life; it is just that the energy is focussed in a negative way. Therefore, when people who are burning with hatred become capable, people who are melting with love also should make themselves even more capable. Otherwise, the tilt will be on the other side. The world is big enough to accommodate both kinds of people; it is just that we want the seesaw down on this side all the time and the hate party to be on the lighter side.
The reality of the world is such that always they will also be there and their burning desire to cause destruction is a lesson for all of you to have a burning desire to bring well-being in the world. The whole effort of the work here is just to keep the balance tilted on this side. By destroying the external enemy, the world does not really change. Only if we are willing to destroy the internal enemy will the world situation really alter.
A return to the ancient guru culture A return to the ancient guru culture
Yogi Ashvini,Founder, Dhyan Foundation, New Delhi
Swaminarayan was once travelling through a jungle notorious for a dangerous man-eating tiger. The yogi suddenly found himself face to face with the beast. The tiger gave a deafening roar, and sprinted towards him. The yogi smiled, the beast stopped in his tracks, and very gently started licking his hand. The beast was no more a beast, but a gentle being.
A similar story is told about Guru Nanak Dev; during one of his travels, he encountered a man-eating devil called Kauda. Kauda, on seeing the yogi, felt remorseful for his crimes and promised to live a peaceful life.
In Vedic times ashrams were places where lions and deer both lived with each other in harmony; there was no such thing as violence.
That is what a yogi is; one who walks the path of Shiva develops the ability to transform even the wildest beast into a lovable being. Patanjali says that one who is sthir in ahimsa develops the ability to transform anyone from a devil to a saint by a mere glance, and this has been proved by saints of nearly all religions. It was said that in times of trouble one turns to a saint for help or takes refuge in a temple or an ashram where you would be assured of food and shelter at no cost.
It’s now nearly forgotten that a saint has the ability to cure one of all one’s ailments by a mere glance. Courses and kriyas are not needed for this and at a religious place you are not taught violence, but only love and compassion. This is what all religions teach in essence.
Patanjali Rishi, the fountainhead of yoga, gives an eight-limbed path to deliver the beings of Kaliyug from their pains towards bliss in his Yoga sutras. Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyan and samadhi collectively teach a being to be non-violent in thought and deed. They help restrain the pulls of the commercial world, and reduce your breath to a degree that there is a suspension of breath. All this would result in a general reduction of hyperactivity of the self, which would affect the environment closest to you; eventually, the ripples of this peace and harmony will permeate wherever your consciousness goes.
In other words, a practitioner of ashtanga yoga or sanatan kriya, becomes a yoga guru, and causes a change from disharmony and violence to peace and love to the extent of his consciousness. To effect a change all he needs to do is just sit with those who want a change and the change happens. That’s how gurus of all religions make a change, and that’s how Guru Nanak and Swaminarayan made a change.
The senseless violence which was witnessed by the world in Bombay was a finale to many other similar events that the world has been facing in the last few years, including the 9/11 of the US. The bomb blasts of Jaipur, Delhi and Bombay have become a regular feature in India. Investigating agencies suggest terrorists belong to multi religions. People of all religions are dying in these events, which obviously points towards a conclusion that a terrorist has no religion.
The true world is the inner world. The outer manifested world is just its reflection, so to change the outer world one needs to first go into his inner being and still that. The outward world would automatically change.
Life is a continuous process. There is life and then death and then life again. Dying once is not the end and even killing solves no purpose. The role of the gurus becomes paramount, as the masses follow them and their word is taken as law. The key to peace and harmony in the world is reviving the traditions of the saints of yesteryear.
Make a sankalpa and change your world Make a sankalpa and change your world
Swami Veda Bharati,Chancellor, Hiht University, Dehradun
Disappointments, anxieties, fears. Fulfilments, hopes, faith.The two sets remain on parallel tracks of the mind at all times, rendering some joy and some sorrow.
These days people are often heard talking of their anxieties and fears. Why not enjoy that which you have achieved, instead of regretting what has been just so far beyond reach?
Make a list of all the fulfilments, pleasures, moments of laughter, causes for smiles you have had; savour them all. Enjoy what is there to enjoy; refuse to suffer what is there to suffer.
Do not feel so helpless. Your destiny was not made by God, nor by stars, nor by tarot cards. Your sankalpas, intentions and resolves make your destiny. In your past lives, you made your destiny for this life. In this life, you have been altering your destiny afresh, also making your destiny for future lives.
We hear of so many anxieties and complaints about these ‘modern times’. The cycles and parallel journeys of joys and sorrows are perennial. They have never ceased. Read the ancient story books, the Jatakas, Katha- sarit-sagara and all the rest that narrate the lives of ordinary people in the olden times. They all enjoyed the same things we do; they all suffered the same things we do, and had the same anxieties. This will be so ten thousand years hence when people will nostalgically recall our present times as ‘those good old times’. It will be so, if you are planting the sankalpa for it to be that way. Or, we can change the direction of our individual and collective sankalpas. That is the secret for your future a year hence and a millennium hence.
It is your sankalpa that determines the course of your destiny. You sow an intention, water it, make it grow, your actions follow from a determined and concentrated mind, and create your surroundings as you wished for them to be. But you must learn the art of sowing the seeds of sankalpa.
A sankalpa is not a fleeting wish followed by a whole different wish and a chain of all and sundry wishes. At the moment of sankalpa there is no anxiety.
Count your breaths for a few minutes (there is an art to it that you need to learn);Let the mind thereby become totally calm, soothed, wrinkle-free, a chamber of silence and stillness; Then send a quiet, yes, very quiet, message to the forces of the subtle world;Having done so, leave it there, surrender it to the forces, to the divine will, and do not struggle.
You may repeat this process daily.
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