Guruji on Towards a Life of Happiness and Peace
All of you are aware how peaceful and rested you feel after you have had a deep and sound sleep. There is a contented feeling, a feeling of peace and sense of balance. During a deep sleep state (sushupti), you will observe that there is no name, or form, or quality attached to the sleeping person. You are completely unaware of any sense of identification. There is no worry or sorrow, no sickness or greed, no anger or hunger. You are in a state of complete peace, and even after you wake up, the feeling of peace and pleasantness, lingers on. Sometimes, the feeling continues to linger on throughout the day, even though you are in a wakeful state.
The question is ‘how can we continue to carry this kind of experience all through, as long as we live?’ The ego always creates conflict and fear. During the deep sleep state, there is no sense of the individual ‘I’ – the ego, which is not your real Self. Your real Self is ‘Atma’ which is pure consciousness. It lies at the core of your being, and is always in a state of peace and joy. The ego is active only during your waking and dream states while it is completely absent during the deep sleep state, which is why you experience peace and bliss during deep sleep.
All of you are trying to find happiness in your own different ways. Try to identify all the issues that come in the way of your happiness. You will mostly find that these issues are nothing but your obsessions, greed, relationships, jealousies, etc. If you analyse these issues, you will observe that they are nothing but creations of your own mind. They may have arisen due to the kind of life you lead, the kind of society you are associated with, your fixed ideas about social standards, life-styles, family, work associates, friends, etc.
You usually draw up expectations which cater to your individual ‘I’ – the ego. So, when you are unable to live up to your expectations, you feel let down and unhappy, and frustrations arise, causing disturbances in your life. Also, you keep on trying to fulfil desire after desire. But fulfilling of desires is an endless task. At times, you develop a liking towards some objects or persons and aversion towards others. There is no such thing as likeable or dislikeable. All these are workings of your own mind. Such attitudes often lead to suffering, if things do not happen according to your liking. Anybody who understands this will not be subject to raga-dvesha (like and dislike).
Most problems arise out of our deep sense of attachment towards the body and mind. If you can understand this, if you can detach yourselves completely from the body-mind factor, and have an equanimity of view on all things or persons, then nothing can stop you from being happy. Consciously practise equanimity in all matters of life. Do not feel elated when you get what you want, nor feel dejected when you do not get what you want. Create a healthy environment for your own growth. Always remember that your growth is associated with the growth of others. When you habitually practise equanimity, you will develop a clear and balanced mind.
Do not become a servant of your senses. Your body is the vehicle for achieving your life-goal. If your body is unhealthy, it will create many, many obstacles in your journey through life. Practise purity and cleanliness in all aspects of your life – physical, verbal and mental. It is very important to eat pure, fresh food, to breathe pure and fresh air, and to maintain purity of thought. The damage caused by mental impurities such as fear, anger, hatred, jealousy and greed, are unimaginable.
The peace and bliss which all are looking for in the outside world is actually within each and every person. The external peace will arise only from the internal peace.
Meditation is the most powerful technique which will help you to conquer your senses and the conflicts that arise in your mind. Maintain purity of thought, word and action. Spread out your loving consciousness and embrace all, be of service towards all. Be unselfish, be detached and free from the ego. Be disciplined in your spiritual practices. With a systematic practice of meditation and contemplation, you will definitely succeed in achieving the same experience of peace and bliss that you are able to, during the deep-sleep state.
Once Arjuna asked, “O Krishna, suppose a man struggles very hard, but yet is unable to realise the Reality in this life, is he lost?”
Sri Krishna replied, “No Arjuna, when you struggle hard, but pass away without realising the Reality, you will start again in the next life.”
Self-realisation will occur only through your own effort and with the grace of God. As Sri Krishna said to Arjuna, you may realise the Self or Reality in this lifetime or maybe in a future lifetime, but it is your duty to carry out this endeavour until you achieve your goal.
Cultivate an intense desire for realising the Self, because the stronger the desire, the more quickly will you attain the Truth – your goal of Self-realisation. A life dedicated to the realisation of Truth will definitely lead you to a life of peace and happiness.