Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Be Happy - Improve Your Brain’s Chemistry

In case we put out emotional heart out of our body, we would be called a machine developed by God. In our materialistic world, whenever we purchase a machine, the manufacturer provides us a booklet named as Owner’s Manual which contains the system, nature and how to tackle the troubles if we come across while using the machine. But sorry! We did not get any Owner’s Manual explaining how we were designed to function and live correctly and happily.

As we grow up, our education and experiences tell us how to move on. That way, we get an owner’s manual in our individual life. Good people are there giving direction to the road to happiness. Reading about the insights of other great teachers and thinkers, helps us to fine-tune this owner’s manual.

Human beings were designed by the Creator to all function the same way. A good analogy is the hardware of a computer. We are all hard-wired the same. What makes us behave differently from each other is the way we think, feel and act, which you can call, is our software.

What most individuals don’t realize is that the power of the brain. It varies according to the chemistry of our brain. We can dramatically increase the power and efficiency of our brain by optimizing the chemistry of its cranial fluid. Let’s take it step by step.

It is critical to conceptually understand that our brain actually secretes chemicals corresponding to our positive and negative thoughts. The resulting chemistry of our brain’s cranial fluid influences all of our natural abilities and functions. This, in turn, determines how well we perform in everything we do because our brain is like a powerful computer.

The power and efficiency of our wonderful personal computer can be increased dramatically by optimizing the chemistry of our brain’s cranial fluid. This fact is very easy to demonstrate in the world of sports with athletic performance because of the mind/body connection.

For example, do you know the chemical composition of the gasoline that powers your automobile or how the engine in your car works? You know that if you turn on the key and step on the gas pedal, your car runs. If not, you take it to a mechanic to have it fixed. You know that if you put water in the gas tank, your car will not run. It is not necessary for you to become a chemist or a mechanic to drive your car, as long as you understand the basic principles. It may be nice to know the details, but unless you want to be a chemist or a mechanic is it worth the time to learn?

The same is true of our electrochemical nervous system. Higher levels of serotonin in the blood correlate to higher performance levels and that changes in behavior cause serotonin levels to change. Our mind and body function together. Athletes live and die by the performance of their bodies. From their own personal experiences, they easily relate to the concept that their negative thoughts cause their brain to secrete chemicals that immediately impair their performance. This awareness helps them to be more objective and positive when dealing with challenges. It helps them to control their emotions and increase their performance.

A good metaphor to help us understand the influence of our brain's chemistry on our performance is a fine-tuned racing engine. Those engines, designed to run on super high-octane gasoline, sputter when using regular gasoline. This is similar to what happens when we are negative. We put low octane chemicals in our brain, causing our performance to suffer. When we are positive and operating on instinct, our brain, metaphorically, secretes super high-octane chemicals and our ability to perform excels as we enter the “zone.”

Our brain receives input through our five senses. See, Hear, Feel, Taste, Smell

Whenever we ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘feel’, ‘taste’, and ‘smell’ something, it enters our nervous system as an electrical impulse through a neuron (nerve cell). Once the electrical message reaches the end of the neuron (called a synapse) the electrical impulse/message converts into a biochemical (called a neurotransmitter). Then, this chemical message is converted back into an electrical impulse/message when it reaches the next neuron. This process repeats itself over and over until the message reaches the brain and is acted upon.

In reality we have an electrochemical nervous system. As the chemicals change, the messages change and our brain’s performance varies accordingly. When we are positive and operating on instinct, our brain, metaphorically, runs on super high-octane chemicals. Our performance excels and we feel at our best.

It is important to realize that our electrochemical nervous system is an alternating electrical current that generates an electromagnetic field, which is infinite in nature. The strength and quality of our electromagnetic field is felt by those around us. As our awareness increases we will realize that we can’t hide our feelings from those we interact with and they can’t hide theirs from us. That’s why we have good chemistry with people we enjoy being with and bad chemistry with those that we don’t.

What is even more important to realize is that the electromagnetic field that our thoughts create cause attractor fields which affect our life and happiness. We can increase your natural abilities and happiness by consciously adjusting the chemistry of our brain's cranial fluid. This fluid is affected by our thoughts, diet/nutrition, exercise, rest, environment and physiology.

Thoughts

Our positive and negative thoughts cause our brain to secrete chemicals. These chemicals, in turn, affect all our natural abilities and functions. Our thoughts have two components: facts and emotions. Every stimulus we receive through our nervous system is nothing more than a fact. However, we attach emotions to these facts. It is imperative for us to realize that negative emotions cause adverse chemical secretions and hinder our natural abilities. We may increase our awareness of the profound influence negative emotions have on our brain's chemistry, performance and happiness and become more objective and restructure any negative emotional attachment we have to certain facts. Facts are merely facts. However, we can choose our emotional response to them.

Diet/Nutrition

Everything we eat and drink is a chemical, which affects our performance and how we feel. A person’s behavior changes when they drink some alcohol. In the early cave dwelling days there were no factories and no processed foods. Humans are designed to live on natural foods with the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. We need to eat wisely and in moderation without tending to be neurotic about what we eat. Our emotional state is far more important than what we eat, even though what we eat is important.

We must follow proper schedule of our working – we should fix up our priorities, we must coordinate our working with those factors which are to play an important role in our system, we must have regular meals with proper nutrients to supplement the requirement according to our work schedule/our activity. We can replace our medicines with them and we would remain happy by doing so. We should not permit any disease to begin – we must take action to prevent that’s occurrence by improving our working system and supplementing our meals with appropriate nutrients from time to time.

Exercise

In the early days of time, humans engaged in many forms of physical activity just to survive. Our body is designed to function properly with physical exertion so it can remove toxins and secrete beneficial chemicals. We can understand the importance of exercise if we do when we are depressed and notice how much better we feel after exercising.

For our body and mind to function at their best, it is important to exercise to make up for the lack of physical activity resulting from today’s modern conveniences. Is 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week too great a price to pay for a healthy body and an alert mental state?

Rest

Sufficient rest is necessary for the body to eliminate toxins and rejuvenate itself. We usually sleep more when depressed than when we are excited and happy to be alive. While we sleep, our brain is busy processing all the information it received during the day so that it can make spontaneous decisions when we are awake.

It is therefore essential that we must have proper scheduling of our working and accord proper priorities to our tasks so that we have enough time to relax. Sometime, napping plays a very good tonic for restoring our spent energies. That can also be afforded during our busy schedules.

Environment

Environment means our social surroundings and the people around us. The electromagnetic fields they generate, as well as their thoughts and actions, can adversely affect us.

We must associate only with positive people. The only time we should associate with negative people is when we are trying to help them. Our stronger electromagnetic field and positive thoughts and actions will have a positive effect on them.

Researchers have found that emotions, positive and negative alike, are nearly as contagious as colds and flu. We can catch feelings of elation, euphoria, sadness and more from friends, family, colleagues, even strangers. Mood "infection" happens in milliseconds.

When interacting with a negative person, we must take extra steps to remain positive. Otherwise, we may be influenced by his or her negativity.

Physiology

Our body reflects our emotional state. When we are positive and confident, we stand erect with our chest out and a smile on our face. If we just won $10,000,000 in the lottery, we can imagine how we would feel and how our physiology would respond. We may feel on top of the world. Everyone watching us will see it by the way we carry yourself.

You may imagine how you would feel and look if you lost your winning lottery ticket. If this depressed you, your eyes would be down and your shoulders slumped. Some individuals would probably feel like killing themselves for losing their winning ticket.

Your physiology works both ways. Your body reflects your feelings. However, how you carry your body affects your feelings. One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your chemistry is to change your physiology. By taking slow deep breaths, standing tall and sticking your chest out, you automatically increase your chemistry and immediately feel better. Raise your eyes to the sky and smile right now. Do you feel a change in your energy and alertness? If you always carry yourself like a winner, you will feel like a winner.

Your thoughts, diet/nutrition, exercise, rest, environment and physiology have a positive or negative impact on your brain’s chemistry which affects how well you perform and feel. To become happier and more successful, part of the process is to consciously work on increasing the chemistry of your cranial fluid so your brain can perform more efficiently and at higher levels.

When you have positive thoughts, your brain secretes positive chemicals and increases the power of your brain. When you have negative thoughts, your brain secretes negative chemicals and decreases the power of your brain. This is a simple, but profound concept to realize. Your happiness depends on it.

In the world of sports, this is very easy to demonstrate because the mind/body connection provides you with immediate feedback. When you are positive, your performance excels. When you are negative, your performance is adversely affected. This same understanding applies to your entire life.

However, when it comes to your personal, social and business behavior, the feedback may not be as obvious or as immediate. It may take you days, weeks, months or even years, to see or feel the repercussions from your negative thoughts and actions. I’m sure that if you reflect on your life, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Since you know the story of your life better than I do, I’m going to let you provide your own personal experiences and stories of how positive and negative emotions affect your happiness. Don’t confuse short term pleasures from external sources with happiness. True and lasting happiness always comes from within. External pleasures never last.

Your thoughts from outside stimuli have two components: facts and emotions. While you may not be able to control the facts you encounter in your life, you can choose how to respond emotionally to these facts. If you choose positive emotions, you will be happy. If you choose negative emotions, you will become unhappy. Your happiness depends on what emotions you choose to experience and how you live your life. Your own life experiences will prove this to you if you are honest with yourself.

Major Positive And Negative Emotions

Anytime you have any degree of love, generosity, praise and bravery or multiple combinations of these emotions, your brain secretes positive chemicals and enhances your natural abilities. Positive emotions make you happy; Anytime you have any degree of hate, greed, jealousy, and fear or multiple combinations of these emotions, you immediately lower your brain’s chemistry and your ability to reason and function at a high level.

Your negative emotions are the cause of most of your bad decisions, actions and unhappiness you experience in your life. The rest is caused by ignorance or lack of self-awareness. Stop and let this sink in.

Be Happy - Improve Your Brain's Chemistry.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Be Happy – Overcome Your Misery

Every of us wishes to be happy. Whether it is money, power or sex, we get into it for the sake of happiness. In course of time some people even start to enjoy misery because they believe that the misery is written in their fate and this way, it gives them happiness!

Though to be happy we seek something, we are not happy despite getting it because we do not enjoy it fully. All of one’s life is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future. It’s like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep. How many minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within? Those are the only moments you have really lived life.

There are two ways of looking at life. One is thinking that “I’ll be happy after achieving a certain objective”. The second is saying that “I am happy, come what may!” Which one do you want to live? Our life is like a river. The banks of a river guide its flow in one direction, but during floods the water is muddled and loses direction. Similarly, the energy in our life needs some direction to flow. Without a direction, it is all confusion. Today, most of the people are in a state of confusion because they lack direction. When you are happy, there is so much of life energy in you; but when this life energy doesn’t know where to go, how to go, it gets stuck. When it stagnates, it rots! Just like a river life has to keep moving.

For life energy to move in a direction, some aim, some target or you say, some commitment is essential. Life runs on commitment. Everything in life, small or big, comes along with a certain commitment. A student takes admission in a school or college with an aim or commitment. You go to a doctor with a commitment saying that you are going to take the medication he may prescribe. Banks work on commitment; so do governments. A family runs on commitment: Whether it is love or business or friendship or at work or any area of life you take, there is commitment. You cannot stand someone who does not commit, but how much commitment have you taken in your life? Of course, our commitment is proportional to what we have, our power, our capacity or capability. If you are committed to taking care of your family, you gain that much capacity or power. If your commitment is for the community, you will get that much more energy, joy, that much power. More will be given to you only if you utilise properly what already have!

The tendency to seek more is there in you; you only have in give a twist to it. Ask yourself: “What more I can do?” Then you will see that there is joy. The more responsibility you take, the more power will come to you. The greater the commitment, greater is the power you gain to fulfil that commitment. Smaller commitments suffocate you, because though you have more capacity, you are stuck in a small hole!

If you just sit and think, “What about me, what will happen to me?” you will get thoroughly depressed. The way to expand from individual to universal consciousness is to share others’ sorrow and joy. As you grow your consciousness should also grow. When you expand in knowledge with time, then depression is not possible. The way to overcome personal misery is to share universal joy. Instead of thinking “What can I gain from this world?” think, “What can I do for the world?” Once you do it, naturally, the other persons who are benefited with your working would not hesitate to come forward to help you when you are found to be trailing into some misery. Virtually it is reciprocation. If you are self-centric, you may perhaps not be able to expect any help in emergency. Your own conscious will not allow you to seek any help from any third party.

It is, therefore, essential that you must lead your life sharing your joys and sorrows with the society jointly. Kindly don’t forget that your efforts, your style of living, your commitments and etiquette are watched upon very attentively by the society and if by chance you are a celebrity, some followers may like to copy them to follow in their real life. Sometime you find yourself to solve your personal problems by yourself due to short of resources and/or horizon of thinking, at that time, discussions with your close friends may help you to get way out. Hence, becoming socialite is also one more way to overcome your misery.

Be Happy – You can overcome your misery by co-sharing it, by making commitments to the society that you will share your joys too, that you would definitely contribute to the society’s welfare, that as much you seek from the society, you endeavor to give more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Be Happy – You Can Learn From Michael Jackson

Born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana as the seventh child of the Jackson family, Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. He had made his entrance into the professional music scene in 1968 at the age of 11 only as a member of “The Jackson 5”. He then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, his 1982 album Thriller remains the world's best-selling album of all time and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall in 1979, Bad in1987, Dangerous in 1991 and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I in 1995.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career, and the sale of 750 million records worldwide. At the time of his death, he was preparing for This Is It, a series of 50 concerts that would have been held in London beginning July 13, 2009. But on June 25, 2009, he took his last breath and left for his heavenly abode.

Undoubtedly, there are few people in history that affect others like Michael Jackson did and still does. While there are people who idolize him, there are others who are sickened by the sight of him or the mention of his name. That is the challenge when talking about Michael Jackson. If you liked him, my version of his working may be comfortable to you. If you don't like him, I may ask you now to set that factor aside for a few moments, how ever difficult that may be. It will be worth it to you.

Because, what you must accept, embrace and keep in mind for the rest of your life is that every single person you meet, see, hear or read about can teach you important lessons... lessons on what to do or say, what not to, how to improve and become more successful or happy in life. And Michael Jackson, we can take him in this perspective. For all of his problems, like everyone else, he can also teach us all lessons about success in any area of life. Those lessons can change you for the better... forever.

Now, unlike the hero-worshipper types, I personally was just fascinated by how effortlessly he moved, how he danced as if floating above the ground, and how he could sing practically any style of music. Until the mid 1980s, when I didn't yet understand what it took to be successful at anything, I'd see talent like that and, like many other people, assumed that it was all God-given and that all came so easy to those like Michael Jackson and other accomplished, successful people. I never looked beyond the performance and asked, "How did he gain those skills?"

But a few years after "Thriller" (the best selling album of all time) came out, I saw a news story about him. In interviews with him and those who knew him well, I learned that he had been dancing and singing and entertaining since he was a very young child, for some 18 or so years before "Thriller" was released.

He told of the years of constant practice it took to be able to move and dance and sing the way he did. Years and years of daily practice he put in. Oh sure, he obviously had natural talent, like all of the most successful people in any field do. But talent alone is never enough. It cannot take you very far. All of have something that we could be great at. But sadly, few ever develop their talents to any degree. So talent alone won't take you anywhere unless you are ready, willing, and able to put the time and effort in to develop it.

So, I started watching closely the most successful people in every field. It became an obsession. I read about them, listened to them, and pondered their thought processes concerning the areas of life where they were most skilled.

Business, entertainment, sports, fitness, social skills, politics, academia... it didn't matter. Successful people share a few definite traits that make them successful. They work at it. And more, they love it... Love what they do so much, they're willing to invest their time.

And like anyone whose ever studied success like I did, it became clear to me that I could change my life 180 degrees if I could just commit myself to excellence and went about learning and working toward some meaningful, worthwhile goals.

I thought, "If I could get myself to learn and study and practice the profession of sales, I could become successful at anything. I came to believe that if I could learn to motivate myself, to ignore temptation, to ignore people who wanted to keep me down, to keep my eyes on my objectives, then I could literally be anything I wanted to be. That is what I convinced myself of.

And like Michael Jackson, I practiced with purpose for many hours each day, becoming among the best in the world in that one skill-set. And it all started with watching someone who seemed to float over the ground, as if he wasn't even touching it.

You see, with practice, we can all accomplish amazing things. The key is to be able to gain a high level of control over your mind. Do that and I don't care what your disability, or what excuses you've ever had for your failings or your emotional breakdowns... when you can gain control over your thoughts and emotions, you are in the driver's seat of your life.

The event that first grabbed me was seeing Michael Jackson float on air. After that, there were many other people who kept me convinced that with a powerful mind and trained skills comes success.

Now, no one will ever gain complete mastery over their minds. But the good news is, you don't have to. You just need to control it enough to keep yourself, confident, motivated, facing in the right direction and to never quit. That is all successful people do.

Here, I would like to remind you the story of the tortoise and the hare? The hair had the most God-given talent, but he didn't stay focused. The tortoise was slow, but he stayed focused on his goal and didn't quit. So he, not the hare won the race. That is so simple to understand... But how many people do meaningful work they love, master it and develop their talents like they expect others to do?

This is why Michael Jackson could become one of the world's best dancers, singers and entertainers, but at the same time was a failure in other important parts of his life, unable to manage any degree of normality. Make sense? He had started his career with utmost focus and succeeded but unfortunately in course of time, he lost the focus and indulged into other fields too which were not conducive to his expertise known to the world. It is learnt that he was under pressure to perform the concert of London as that was to solve out his financial problems as well. It means that he could not manage his financial affairs so well.

We must keep our focus as Michael Jackson did in gaining his professional expertise and control our affairs more stringently, which Michael could not do perhaps due to his own interests for diversion or any other reason best known to him. We may try to learn from his consistent working to gain expertise in dancing, singing and entertaining.

Be Happy - You can learn even from Michael Jackson whether you have any concern with his profession or not or whether he was younger or older.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Be Happy – Lead Happy Married Life

We are accustomed to the well-known theory known as the "Big Bang," an occurrence which is regarded as the origin of creation of the universe. The meaning attributed to this phenomenon is that the universe was originally a single Cosmic Atom, which split into two parts by a bang, an instantaneous separation of itself into two parts, representing what may be called the Cosmic Subject and the Cosmic Object. The intriguing secret behind the relationship of the two Cosmic parts seems to be that there is on the one hand the duality of the positive and the negative and on the other hand the correlativity of the positive and the negative, since the two phases are actually the two types of the phenomenal occurrence in the otherwise unitary indivisible original existence.

Actually, each unit of life is like a split "pea," in which one cannot easily say whether the pea is one or two things joined together. Also, the very idea of a bi-polar existence implies the interference of space and time, and even if it is accepted that the apparent two-fold life is an appearance of the original one life, the idea of "another" cannot arise unless there is some medium through which it looks as if it is there, just as one person can look like two persons when one beholds oneself through the medium of a mirror. Such a possibility involves the existence of space and time which are the most elusive things everywhere in creation. No one can understand what these actually mean since these are involved in the process of thinking itself, and no one can also deny that they do exist.

Similarly, the two Cosmic parts are comparable to husband and wife, in which context, the one part rushes towards the other part to come in contact with it while the other part wishes to avoid the contact since such a contact is not possible as the so-called "other" really cannot stand apart from that which seeks the contact. Humorously, through an analogy, we may assume that the wife aspect runs away to escape the husband aspect coming in contact with it since an attempt at such a contact looked meaningless and also abortive. The bi-polar wholeness reduces itself to lesser and lesser "wholes," from gods in heaven down through humans, animals, plants and trees and even the lowest of creatures like insects, thus making out that this dual pull is present everywhere in creation from the highest to the lowest of created elements.

At the human level this principle of bi-polar existence takes an interesting turn, since in the human being there is an element of the instincts of the lower species and at the same time a reason which reflects the characteristics of transcendental existence. While in the earlier stages of evolution mentioned, the process of bi-polar existence appears more or less as a spontaneous feature, at the human level it becomes slightly complicated due to the reason and the instinct clashing with each other almost every day of one’s life, causing a lot of misery. As the human being is a unit in human society, the laws framed by society condition the activities of a person, while the instinctive impulses come from the other levels of life insist that they should have an upper hand over all things, and when the instincts are strong enough they can rebel against social norms, much to the chagrin of the individual, as is well-known in human history. In order to obviate this problem of conflict between individual and society, people in a common agreement among themselves have instituted a system called marriage.

Now, what exactly is marriage? It is quite clear that it is a form of legalization of the inherent instinct of the bi-polar existence asserting itself and then a check upon any uncontrolled ravaging activity of the instinct. The point is that a person cannot live totally isolated from society since existence itself would be difficult without cooperation from others. Inasmuch as this instinct is present in every person and everyone would like to manifest it as much as possible, there would be difficulty in such a behavior since everyone else also would like to do the same thing. This goes to say that the institution of marriage is a process of granting limited freedom to the operation of the instinct permitting it to operate within the circle of social norms, with due respect for the welfare of everyone equally.

However, with all this that has been said above, a question will arise as to why is there such an attraction between the male and the female. Philosophically, to answer this question in the light of what has been detailed above, the explanation would be the struggle of the two parts of the one whole to unite themselves into a single unit of existence. But as two things cannot become one, the sexual demand fails to fulfill its purpose ending in exasperation, disillusionment and a distrust in the meaning of life itself. The other aspect is the much neglected side of the phenomenon, namely, Nature’s intention to multiply the species. Everyone knows the power of Nature and no one can resist it. The would-be entrant’s push towards this world, which we call the coming of a child into existence, is the process of an integral impulse since the child is a whole being, as whole as either the father or the mother. The pressure of the would-be individual, being very strong, compels the male and the female to seek each other with great vehemence, to such an extent that the male and the female elements would even wish to die if this impulse is not going to be gratified, forgetting thereby that they are only serving the injunctions of Nature, though Nature has cleverly put them under an illusion that what they do is for their own personal benefit. Since everything is destroyed by Time, there is a fear that one’s existence would be terminated one day, and to escape from the grief of this possibility, the biological impulse wishes to reproduce itself as a child, a son or a daughter, which become a replica of the parents, whom they hug as themselves, as if the child is inseparable from the parents.

Considering the fact that no one can go against the injunctions of Nature, sexual life permitted by marriage should be regarded as reasonable and unavoidable, but considering the welfare of the individual himself or herself, it brings no such benefit, ending in depletion of energy, slowly tending towards old age and physical extinction. It looks that the whole drama of creation is a "hide and seek" affair of the truths of existence where everyone does something helplessly under the impression that it is done voluntarily for one’s own assumed immortal satisfaction, while the fact is that the entire exercise is a hypnotized person’s supposed voluntary enterprise, though commanded by the hypnotist’s will.

Enjoyments and Birth Control

A married life is for the enjoyments of the pleasures God has bestowed upon the human beings under the strict regulations made by the society in recognition of the rights of the individuals in a civilized manner. It is therefore imperative that we must enjoy them to the extent permitted and our guardians should permit them to do so without the coercion of their traditions which have been developed to facilitate the satisfaction of individual ego. However, a strict control of sexual behavior and a rigid practice of non-violence are necessary if you want to have progress on the spiritual path while leading your married life happily.

For a happy married life, we may schedule our life into different spans in some spells say, of ten years and plan your family structure accordingly. If you wish that your family must have so many members, you must have a gap of about 3 years into each delivery and for that, you can have free enjoyments during those intervening days. If you use contraceptives otherwise, it may ensure more frequent contacts but can deplete your energy without serving the purpose of the Nature. With the contraceptives you will never learn to exercise self-restraint. The contraceptives can be used when you do not wish to have issues at all on account of your occupational and/or other own circumstances. For the purpose of contraceptives too, you need to have specific schedule of copulation. Practically, it may seem to be difficult as the most of the time, we work on instincts but as a responsible person, we may have to have self restraint. We may have to learn the virtue of self-restraint. The use of these artificial methods will eventually sap our energy. It will break down all restraint.

There is an intimate connection between sex and control of the palate. He who has controlled the palate has already controlled all the other organs. Absence of non-vegetarian food will make the practice of celibacy easy. Continence is not harmful. On the other hand it conserves nervous energy. It gives great mental strength and peace of mind. Over sexual indulgence leads to moral and spiritual bankruptcy, premature death, nervous weakness and loss of one’s faculties, talents and capacities.

The first-born child is born of our natural duty and the rest are the results of our lust. The sexual act for mere pleasure is not justifiable. Passion for the flesh or body is not pure or real love. It is only infatuation born of ignorance. Some time we do wicked deeds and kill our soul by killing our morals on account of this passion.

Population Should Be Checked

How is the world to feed all the millions? In spite of advanced agricultural methods and reclamation of waste land, it has been found impossible to balance food production with the increase of population. Hence, the growth of population has to be restrained if there is to be no lowering of the standard of living. If this is not done there will be mass starvation, famine and consequent degradation of morality. Special agencies of the United Nations are busy in finding out a long term solution. The United Nations Population Commission is now at work, assisted by the Economic Council for Asia and the Far East.

No doubt in principle it is right that population has to be restricted. But how? Naturally, through the advanced means of planned parenthood. What do we mean by this? Our educated class thinks of planned parenthood mainly in terms of city-dwellers and educated men and women. There are also many amongst the poorer classes whom our social workers can reach in the cities, where their organizations are working. But they also invariably think of birth control by the artificial methods of contraceptives. They are good but we must learn self restraints more profoundly by diverting our attention to other entertainment means.

The Vedic preceptors strictly enjoined on their students the practice of unbroken celibacy; and when they had completed their studies and were advised to get married, it was not for the sake of physical pleasure but for the sake of progeny. Self-restraint gave them moral strength and spiritual vision. Through self-restraint they achieved ethical perfection and improved their intellect. There is no safer and better solution for the restriction of our population than practice of self-restraint. No number of birth control clinics and no amount of propaganda advocating artificial methods can take root in these masses, whose traditional background has been always soaked in spirituality. No method other than self-restraint can be morally and spiritually successful.

The use of contraceptives for family planning, as artificial methods gave free latitude to the married and even encouraged the unmarried to embrace the path of self-indulgence with vulgar impunity.

If the rural population practiced moral restraint they could limit the size of their families better than through the use of contraceptives. It is wrong to say that the restraint of the natural impulse in men and women would lead to serious consequences and there can be mass neurosis. Their zest for living and their mental faculties would ebb away, their lives would become drab and dull.

All these charges were baseless and were but a confession of lasciviousness on the part of the crusaders against self-restraint. This has been adequately proved by distinguished scientists and doctors and by numerous scriptures belonging to all faiths.

Sir Lionel Beale, Professor of the Royal College in London, says: "Sexual abstinence has never yet hurt any man. Virginity is not too difficult to observe, provided that it is the physical expression of a certain state of mind".Professor Cesterbu concurs with Beale by saying, "The sexual instinct is not so blindly all-powerful that it cannot be controlled and even subjugated entirely by moral strength. We must know that robust health and ever-renewed vigour will be the reward of this voluntary service".Sir Andrew Clark also agrees that "Continence does not harm; it does not hinder development; it increases perception and energy". That the practice of continence is a fitting remedy for birth control has been emphasized by the noted American, Joseph H.J. Spenglar. He says, "Moral restraint offers a salutary solution to the problem of over-population". Gandhiji answered his critics by the example of his personal life. In his autobiography he writes: "I took the vow of celibacy in 1906. I launched forth with faith in the sustaining power of God. The more or less practice of self-control has been going on since". Gandhiji was a man of experience and whatever he spoke was from his personal experience only. His was not an arm-chair philosophy. He emphasized that continence was the prime qualification for success in all achievements and in every walk of life.

"I hold that a life of perfect continence in thought, speech and action is necessary for reaching spiritual perfection. Celibacy means perfect control of all the sense-organs. For a true celibate, nothing is impossible." Celibacy is essential for their physical, moral and spiritual growth. They should have a well-restrained and sacred marital relationship. Bernard Shaw, a highly intellectual and profound spiritual personality, but an atheist and a non-believer in organized religions as accepted by the masses, voiced the universally accepted truth that "unless we restrain desire we destroy ourselves."

By proper regulation of our lives, our emotions and our needs, we can enjoy our married life. Be Happy – Lead Happy Married Life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Be Happy – We May Identify Our Desires

Desire is a metaphysical evil. As students of Yoga interested in the true welfare of our souls, we must be able to know what has really happened to us. We should not be wool-gathering, we should not be in a fool’s paradise even in the name of religion or spirituality. Any kind of outward ritualistic movement of our personalities, even in the name of religion, is not going to save us in the end, because this evil called desire is a metaphysical evil. It is not a social evil; it is not a physical evil. It is a metaphysical evil, as the philosophers call it. It is a cosmic catastrophe and therefore, it requires all the analytical capacity that we are capable of to know what has happened to us, and know how we can gradually wean ourselves away from this impulse that is dragging us out from ourselves in the direction of the objects of sense. This weaning oneself away from objects is done very gradually.

The fulfillment of desires is not condemned in any religion, though it is well known that desires have to be completely extirpated one day or the other; because, they are bondages which tether the soul to the body and its physical associations. We have various kinds of needs, though all needs may be called desires, and all desires may be called undesirable things in the end. Yet, when they are there as realities to the senses and the mind, and not lesser realities than our own bodies and our personalities, we have to tackle them with great caution. We have to interpret them as realistically as we interpret our own selves. The objects are as real and unreal as ourselves. To the extent that we are real, the things connected with us are also real. And to the extent that we are unreal, to the same extent, they are also unreal. The subject and the object evolve simultaneously. The evolution is not just individualistic and subjective. So, this system of classification as per our working is a systematic procedure to adjust ourselves and adapt ourselves to the circumstances of life, horizontally in society, and vertically in our own personality. The horizontal adjustment is the work and the vertical adjustment is the section. We have to be complete in society, in our relationships with people, and we have to be complete in our own selves by a suitable harmonious alignment of the various layers of our personality. Such an adjustment is very effectively brought about by following the great canons of the work and the section.

Classification in terms of working

In some societies, there has been communities division in terms of their working. But in course of time, this classification has amounted to mean as different castes, but it is not that. It means a class. The principle of the classification of society is called the work attunement. It is a classification, not a ‘castification’. To say that work means caste is to give it a wrong name and an erroneous interpretation. No man is complete in himself, and therefore, no man can be satisfied merely in his own self without the cooperation of other persons. Man is, among other things, intellect, will, emotion and energy. There are certain people with a tremendous physical capacity, but intellectually they are poor. There are others who are rationally and intellectually brilliant, but physically weak. The other two aspects, namely, emotion and will, are also distributed disproportionately among people. Everyone is not possessed of these characteristics in the same measure. Inasmuch as everyone’s intention is the welfare of all human beings, the solidarity of mankind in general, it is necessary that we share among ourselves the commodities that we have. The commodities are not necessarily physical ones; they can be psychological ones also. If one has great intellectual capacity and spiritual acumen, which are necessary for the welfare of society, but not other facilities, he will share the knowledge and wisdom and the directing intelligence that he has with others, for the facilities which he does not have. The mutual cooperative activity of society—spiritually, administratively, economically and manually—forms the essence of the classification system. The classification into teachers/ educators/ priests/ religious preachers, warriors/defence people, traders/finance movers and helpers/servants is not a categorization of people into superior and inferior types, into bosses and subordinates, but it is a classification of the functions of individuals according to their knowledge and capacities, for the purpose of a complete cooperative organization of humankind, with a noble intention and purpose.

We must take the classification as such and this is one way in which we can be happy in this world. Otherwise, we will be in misery everyday, every moment. The desires of ours are classified in this manner, and they are given an opportunity of permissible satisfaction, by a mutual cooperation horizontally in this manner.

There is the other side, namely, the vertical side, which is the subject of the section, or duties pertaining to the different sections, or stages of life. Just as we have totally misunderstood the meaning of the classification system, we have also misunderstood the meaning of the section system. Just as we condemn the classification of working as caste distinction, we convert the classification of the stages of one’s life by way of sections, into a kind of dead routine of religion. Neither working nor section is a routine. Working system is a vital participation in the processes of life, externally as well as internally. Externally it goes by the name of working, and internally it goes by the name of section. The idea behind this is the fulfillment of the requirements of the human personality, in the way it would be required, for the purpose of a transcendence of all limitations, with the great goal of liberation of the spirit, in mind. No item in this classification is unimportant, because nature catches us by the throat, with such a firm grip, that we cannot free ourselves from its compulsive pressure without the aid of the classification. We are caught firmly by Nature socially, physically, vitally; psychologically, rationally and even spiritually. So, we have to free ourselves from these clutches or pressures by a gradual dissociation of ourselves from nature, as we untie its knots one by one.

If we tie a thread into a dozen knots, and then want to untie them and straighten out the thread, we do not go to the bottom knot first, but rather to the topmost one. The topmost knot is untied first, then the previous one or the eleventh knot, then the tenth, then the ninth and so on, till at last we come to the very first knot. We cannot touch the first knot in the very beginning. Similarly, in spiritual life, the first problem is treated last, and the last problem is taken up first. Because, the first is more subtle and more proximate to the realities of things than the later ones which are the evolutes of the causes. The effects have to be taken care of first, and the causes later on. So, outwardly as well as inwardly, these systems of organization known as work and section, are procedures enjoined upon every person, for untying the various knots of entanglement in life, engendered by one’s needs which are social, physical, vital, emotional, intellectual and so on.

Such a vast involvement is associated with this little thing called celibacy, by the practice of which we do not merely put on a conduct personally and socially but establish ourselves in a status of strength, where we are so tuned to things that our energies do not move at all in any direction, but are held up in such a way that there is no urge within ourselves to transfer our energies to outside things for the fulfillment of our desires. Desires have to be fulfilled, and also, they are not to be fulfilled. Both these statements are correct statements. But, the statements must be understood in their proper meaning. For instance, hunger has to be appeased, though hunger is a disease of the body, though it is a canker that eats into every man’s vitals and compels him to remember always that he is a body. Can anything be worse than this that one should be made to feel always that one is a prisoner? One may be a captive in it prison, but why should one be made to think everyday that one is a prisoner? But, that is precisely what hunger does. All the time it makes you remain body-conscious. Such an evil thing it is, but how can one get out of it. By meeting the demands of the body, while exercising very great caution simultaneously. That is why we put on clothes when we feel chillness; we go to sleep when we are tired; we eat a meal when we are hungry. We go for a walk and we do many things. Now, all these activities are so far removed from the goal of our life, as the north pole from the south, and yet they are taken as necessities. We may call them necessary evils, if we like. They are evils, no doubt, but they are necessary evils. So, they have to he befriended first, in order that we sever ourselves from them ultimately. The intention behind the practice of the canons of classification in a graduated manner is not the indulgence of desires, but their graduated, scientific, systematized and cautious fulfillment in a measure that is permissible and required under the circumstances for the purpose of freeing oneself from them finally. So, we do not eat because we want to eat, but because it is necessary to reach a stage where we need not eat at all.

Some time we need for something and sometime, we need to give up something out of our possessions as warranted by the circumstances. We need to identify what action must be taken and at what time. We need to identify our needs and accord priority according to their individual importance. If we achieve this, we can systemize our life and lead that more perfectly and more happily.

Be Happy – we may identify our desires and resources and do what is necessary to fulfill them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Be Happy – Celibacy is a Great Virtue

Brahmacharya or Celibacy what we mean literally is abstention from sexual relations. But in wider spectrum, it is an outlook of consciousness, an exercise of self-restraint and conduct of the Absolute.

‘Brahman’ is the Supreme Being; ‘Charya’ is conduct, or behaviour. How God behaves—that is called Brahmacharya, finally. It is a very difficult thing for us to understand, because we do not know how God behaves, how the Absolute conducts itself. The attitude of the Supreme Being towards the universe and all beings is Brahmacharya, and to the extent that we are able to participate in this attitude, it may be said that we are also following that canon. Our participation in the attitude of the Supreme Being may be infinitesimal, but there should be at least this ‘tendency’ towards holding the same attitude, the same outlook as that of the Lord. So, Brahmacharya is an integrated outlook of consciousness, an attitude of the personality, and an interpretation of things. These are the essential basic principles of Brahmacharya. And minus these principles, the term ‘Brahmacharya’ will yield only a chaotic meaning which will not help us much.

In the Anu-Gita of the Mahabharata, a Hindu scripture, a similar broad and majestic interpretation of Brahmacharya is given, as spoken by Sri Krishna Himself during his instructions to Arjuna. The idea behind this significant term Brahmacharya, translated as the conduct of the Absolute, is that it is a gradual adjustment of the powers of one’s personality towards larger and larger dimensions of impersonality, because, the Absolute or Brahman is the Supreme Impersonality conceivable and existent. There is no externality to the Absolute and, therefore, it cannot be pulled in any outward direction. It has no conscious relationship with anything, though it is related to everything in the world. It cannot be said that God is not related to the world, He is related even to the minutest of things; even to a grain of sand, God is related. Yet, in a way, He is not-related to anything. The idea is that the attitude of the Supreme Spirit is of a generalized or universalized relationship with all things, free from particularized or specialized interpretations or evaluations in regard to any thing or any object.

How Our Energy Gets Diverted and Dissipated

Whenever there is a specialized outlook in any particular direction, along the channel of an object or a group of objects, living or non-living, consciousness moves in that direction. No matter what our interest is in that direction, our mind moves. When the mind moves, the soul also moves. When the soul moves, the energy also moves. So, one follows the other. Our mental interest in any particular direction draws the power of the soul in that very direction, and like a charge of electricity, our energies are diverted.

Whenever we think of an object, especially when we do so with a particular interest, we are drawn towards that object, a part of us goes to it. Any interest psychologically manifest in the direction of any particular object is a diversion of energy along that channel, and psychological or emotional interest is nothing but a way of transferring oneself, at least in part, if not in whole, to that particular centre wherein one’s interest lies. So, in some measure, we cease to be ourselves for the time being when we admire something, love something, or are attracted towards something.

Sometimes, we can be wholly lost to ourselves when the attraction is full, as may happen when we are looking at a painting, or enjoying a beautiful landscape, or reading a piece of lofty literature. The object may be conceptual, visible or audible, it makes no difference; we get transferred. When we listen to an enrapturing melody, our being is transferred to the modulation of the voice which is the music or the melody. When we look at a beautiful form, a landscape, a painting or any other object, we are drawn in our consciousness, and we are drawn even in reading arresting literature. In all these processes of sensory or intellectual absorption, outside oneself, there is a channelzing of force of which we are constituted and which forms our strength. As long as we neither sell ourselves to any outside object and, nor participate in anything external, we stand by ourselves. Otherwise, to some extent, we cease to be ourselves and become another. If one becomes another and does not continue to be what oneself is, A becomes B for the time being, and there is a cessation of the characteristic of A. The subject becomes the object in its evaluation of the object as something in which it has to take interest for some purpose which is in its mind. This should not happen in essence. Because, if this happens, the energy that is supposed to be conserved for the purpose of meditation on the universality will be spent out in other directions, and to that extent, we will be losers of our strength.

The fickleness of the mind or the absence of memory about which we often complain, the distraction to which the mind is heir to, the jumping of the feelings from one centre to another—all these are attributable to the fluctuation of energy in our system. It is like the river moving in force with her waves dashing up and down and not resting stable as a limpid lake without movement. When our energies are in tumult, the impact of it is felt by the mind. We are shaken up in our whole system, because of the desire of the personality to move outside itself. As milk gradually becomes curd by an internal shaking of itself, the subject can turn into the object. And love of any kind is nothing but the transference of the subject into the object in some measure, be that object perceptible or merely conceptual. The very thought of the object disturbs the mind.

The objects of the world speak in a language which we understand in our own way. They get transformed into a meaning when they enter into the mind of individuals; and each individual has his own or her own reading of any particular object. Every object sings a song and we listen to this music, but its meaning is different for different persons. For instance, the same word may convey different meanings to different persons because of the association of those persons in different ways with the particular context in which the word is uttered. All objects in the world speak to us in a psychological language or with a philosophical significance. But, the association of each one of us with them is such that it reads a specialized meaning in this generalized evoking of reaction from us by those objects. This interpretation by each individual in answer to the general call of objects is his love or hatred. Objects of the world are not intended for being loved or for being hated. They exist as we also exist. Just as we do not evince any particular emotional love or hatred towards ourselves, and our loves and hatreds are only in regard to things outside ourselves, we can extend this logic to other objects also. No one assesses himself in terms of love and hatred. His assessment is in regard to other things, other persons. So, studying things in an impartial manner, we find that loves and hatreds are outside the scheme of things. They are not in the order of nature. They do not exist in nature at all. But for us, they only exist and nothing else! We are immersed in this tumultuous chaos, or the clamors of the senses and the mind, which go by the name of likes and dislikes.

Conservation of Energy

Here is the basic foundation of the great admonition by the Yoga teacher that we have to conserve energy. We generally understand Brahmacharya to be celibacy, a very poor translation of the word, and a misdirected meaning also. By celibacy we mean abstinence from marriage, and we associate or identify celibacy with Brahmacharya or continence in the light of the requirement of Yoga. But, nothing of the kind is Brahmacharya. It is not non-marriage, and it is not celibacy in its popular meaning. A person who has not married need not necessarily be a celibate. And a person who has married need not cease to be that. Because, what we have to be careful in noting in this context is the intention behind this instruction, and not merely the following of it in social parlance. The intention is the conservation of energy, and the directing of the whole of one’s personality towards the great objective of universal consciousness. And the energy of the system is required for any kind of concentration, not merely for God-realization. We require energy even to solve a mathematical problem. Even to build a bridge across a large river, even to study the minute particles of nature in a physical research laboratory, one requires a tremendous concentration of mind. Even to walk on a wire in a circus requires concentration. So, wherever there is a necessity to hold one’s breath and concentrate one’s attention, as in walking on a very narrow passage, tremendous energy is required, concentration is necessary. A two-feet wide bridge without any protection on either side and spanning a stream flowing in a deep gorge below—we know how we will walk on that bridge, holding our breath and thinking only of that narrow passage and nothing else. Certainly we will not be thinking any other distracting thought in our mind. Like that, the fixing of the mind on the great ideal of Yoga requires a complete surrender of oneself, in every part of one’s being, in the form of concentration. This cannot be done, says Yoga, if we have got other interests.

So, a lack of Brahmacharya means nothing but the presence of interests other than the interest in Yoga. The distracting object may be anything. If we have got a strong interest in something which distracts our attention, the energy goes. Any kind of leakage of energy in any direction, caused by any object or any event or context, is a break in Brahmacharya. A burst of anger is a break in Brahmacharya, though one does not normally think so. No one condemns a man because he is angry. We may even think him to be a wonderful person in spite of his burst of anger, but the truth is that he has failed utterly in his Brahmacharya. He is broken down totally. Because most people are tradition-bound, they go by the beaten track of social tradition and custom, and think that religion is nothing but what society sanctions. But, it is not like that. Religion is not merely the requirement demanded by a Hindu society or a Christian organization. It has nothing to do with these things. What the universe expects us to manifest from our side, in respect of it, is the great religion of mankind, the religion of God or the religion of the universe. Nobody is going to save us, merely because we are religious in the eyes of the people. In that case, we may well go to dogs with all our religion. What will help us, what will guide us, what will take us by the hand and lead us along is the great law which we obey, in the manner in which we are required to obey it, under the circumstances of our relationship with all things in the universe. So, in every way, we have to conserve our energy without any kind of distraction.

The Individual—A Pressure Centre

The philosophers, the mystics, the saints and the sages have made a thorough analysis of the energies of the human mind, the psycho-physical organism in all its completeness. It would appear that we are centers of pressure or stress. Every individual is such a center, which seeks to break down this pressure, overcome this stress, by adopting some means which it thinks is the proper one under the circumstances. But, the understanding of the way in which this stress is to be removed depends upon one’s own stage of evolution. Everyone knows that stress and strain are not good, but everyone does not know how to be free from them, because the causative factors of stresses and strains are not properly understood or analyzed. We may know that we are sick, but we may not fully know why we are sick. And unless we know the cause behind our illness in the form of psychological stress and strain, distraction of attention, like and dislike, we will not be able to handle this subject properly.

The so-called desires of man are the outer expressions of his personality to relieve itself from the stresses and strains in which it finds itself shackled. We are perpetually in a state of mental stress and nervous pressure from childhood to doom, and the whole of our life is spent only in trying to find out ways and means of relieving ourselves of these stresses and strains, and we have our own way of doing it. The way in which we try to relieve ourselves of these stresses and strains—this way is called the expression of desires. What is called desire is the method we adopt to relieve ourselves of our tensions, nervous and psychological. So, each person tries his own method to relieve himself of his tension, according to the manner of his understanding. But, most of these ways are misdirected ways. They increase the tension on account of ignorance about the reason behind the arising of the stress or the strain.

Stresses and Strains—Their Cause and Cure

The stress or the strain has arisen on account of a separation of the individual from Nature. The world has cast us out as exiles. We have been thrown outside the realm of Nature as unwanted children. Our internal desire, finally, is to unite ourselves with Nature which is our mother or our parent. The relief that we are seeking from our stresses and strains is ultimately a desire or a longing to become one with our parent, from whom we have been cut off or isolated. Our desire is to possess everything. And the desire to possess is called love. What goes by the name of love of any kind in this world is a desire to possess things, which are considered as instruments capable of relieving us of our stresses and strains. Whether we are right in this interpretation of the situation or not is a different matter. But, just as a little bit of scratching of an eczema patch will give the sufferer a little relief, a forgetfulness of the tension or the stress for the time being is imagined to be a way of relief from the stress itself. When a larger stress swoops down upon us, the lesser stress is forgotten. We are directed away from the lesser stress and the pain, we even forget it for the time being, when a larger stress or strain comes and sits on our head. Let us suppose that we have some worry and we are thinking about it. A larger worry comes and then we forget the lesser worry because the higher thing has come. All our pains, sorrows and complaints vanish in a minute, in a trite, when we are about to be drowned in a river, for instance. We do not complain about anything at that time. Everything would seem to be all right if only we could be saved from possible drowning. Because, that is a problem larger than all the other little problems about which we are constantly complaining in life. So is the case with our asking for the fulfillment of our desires by contact with things.

The Havoc Wrought by the Externalizing Senses

Sensory contact with things is not the way of relieving tension caused by desires, because desires cannot be removed by any kind of sensory contact. Our desire is not for the contact. That is the whole point, though it appears that the senses tell us to come in contact with various things in the world for the relief of our tension. We are not asking for things. Nobody wants anything in this world finally. But, it appears as if we need them, due to a mischievous interpretation given to these circumstances by our senses, by externalizing our internal anguish for a communion with all things. All loves, all desires, are urges for communion with things. While our urge within is a holy and pious impulse to come in union with all things, with Nature as a whole, this impulse is thrown in the direction of space and time and is externalized by the powers of the senses. What is the result? The longing of ours, which has its meaning in one direction, takes another shape because of its reflection through the senses. While our face is attached to our body, it looks as if it is outside us when we see it in the mirror. We are not outside ourselves, we are in ourselves. But, it appears as if we have gone out of ourselves, because of the presentation of the mirror in front of ourselves. The mischief is done by the mirror. Some such catastrophic activity takes place when our loves, likes, emotions and desires are cast into the mould of the senses. The senses have only one work to do, to externalize everything. So, even our desires are externalized, while really our desire is for something else. That is the reason why we are not satisfied, no matter what objects are given to us, we are always disillusioned in the end. Whatever be our possession, it is not going to satisfy us finally. Because we are asking for some particular thing, and we are given another thing by the dacoits of the senses, they are really thieves.

Very strange is this phenomenon that the mind specializes itself and embodies itself in its activity, when it affiliates itself to the activities of the senses, and its own desires for something which it has lost appear as desires for those things which are outside it. This is a highly significant situation in which everyone is finding himself or herself, something which escapes one’s notice always, a very dangerous circumstance about which we need not talk much, because it is so clear. And one need not be told again and again as to why the ways in which we try to fulfill our desires are not the proper ways. Firstly, there is a basic blunder in the very attitude of the mind in imagining that what it seeks through the fulfillment of desires lies outside it. The other blunder is that in its movement towards the so-called external things, it has lost its energies. It has weakened itself. The Self, when it becomes the non-self, becomes a corpse, becomes dead. So, a person who has desires is a weakling. He has no strength at all. He has neither physical strength nor mental strength. The more the unfulfilled desires, the greater is the weakness of the body and the mind. One cannot walk even. One cannot digest food. One cannot think, cannot remember anything. This happens when there are too many desires unfulfilled. But, what to do under the circumstances? We may discuss further in our next post.

Be Happy - Celibacy is a Great Virtue, we may adopt it for betterment of our life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Be Happy - Conserve Energy in the Context of a Spiritual Life

We know very well that for accomplishing any job, we require energy. Any effort, any exertion, requires strength and energy. Energy can be gathered together only if it is conserved and preserved. But, if it is frittered away, you will not be able to accomplish your targets and would always be in debt. Just as, if you want to build a house or start a business, slowly you put by money and go on saving and then, put it in a fixed deposit in some bank, and then, after five years or ten years, you would have enough to start a business or build a house. But, if every month you spend more than you get, if every month your expenditure is more than your income, you would never dream of having a house or starting a business. Your plight will be miserable.

Similarly, energy is to be conserved. Conservation of one’s energy in order to put it to higher use is the central principle of celibacy. Celibacy is a wise direction to make your efforts successful. Towards this end, you must conserve your energy. Because, if energy is sufficiently conserved, you can put it to any use that you want, you can attain anything that you wish to attain. But if you do not conserve energy, all attainment becomes difficult. It becomes a long-drawn struggle. So, preservation of energy is the essence of celibacy. Energy is frittered away in a dozen different directions. Too much talking, too much worry, too much wanting, getting fits of temper, anger, fighting and quarreling, the arguing habit, overeating—all these things drain away energy. All excesses, all immoderate habits, all wastage of nervous and emotional energy through negative thoughts of hatred, envy and jealousy and all health-killing habits like smoking and drinking—they also drain away energy. You need to control your senses and sense-control becomes an inevitable part of celibacy.

The over-functioning of any sense wastes away nervous, energy. That should be controlled, that should be wisely checked. And one of the most refined of energies, most concentrated of energies, is the sex energy. The sex energy is what we may call the quintessence of energies. It is the quintessence of all that we eat and assimilate and preserve in the system, in the same way as honey is the very quintessence of flowers, and butter is the very quintessence of milk. Thousands of bees go and bring nectar from millions of flowers and work upon it in a huge beehive, and out of that by some miracle of biochemistry, comes honey. Out of liters of milk or gallons of milk comes butter. In the same way, the sex energy is the most rarified and perfectly pure form of human physical energy. If that energy is wisely conserved, it becomes available to you for being converted into any other form of energy. For example, if you want to study hard and become a brilliant scholar with a wonderful memory, this energy comes to your aid. If you want to become a brilliant surgeon, this energy comes to your aid. If you want to become a great master musician, the preserved energy comes to your aid. This is because, this energy, when preserved, gradually becomes transformed into subtler energy. Of course, there are Yogic processes—Asanas, Pranayama, Surya-Namaskar, high emotions, noble emotions, spiritual sentiments and such other things—which help this work of transformation. So, the work of transformation goes on, and the energy becomes available for higher intellectual pursuits, research and invention, meditation and so on. And, therefore, the wise conservation of this vital energy has always been given an important place in all religions in the context of a spiritual life.

The Human Body Compared to a Mansion

Our body is like a mansion. No matter how wonderful a mansion may be, even if it be made of marble and set with jewels, no one will be able to live in that mansion unless it has a kitchen and a bathroom and a toilet. Whatever man takes in, part of its goes to form his mind and body, the remaining waste has to be eliminated. And waste is always foul-smelling. The impurities of the body are always foul-smelling. You may construct any type of palace, but if there is no food, no lunch, no breakfast, no afternoon tea—even for a day—no one will live there. But then, when a kitchen is there, you have to provide drainage also. Kitchen means garbage, left-over food, vegetable cuttings, fruit peels and all that. If all this is kept, it will begin to rot and so you have to have a garbage disposal arrangement. You have to have drainage and sewerage. In the absence of all these arrangements, it will not be possible to live in that mansion.

Likewise, in the human body, in this mansion of various gates, where you have an entrance way and windows for light and air and knowledge, for the sake of drainage and garbage disposal, God has provided two holes. Their real importance is that of drainage. They are only drains. This is the only right understanding of the matter. No doubt, the occasional function of reproduction is there, but to over-exaggerate that aspect is foolish. It betrays a lack of knowledge. Because, from birth until death, day after day, thirty days in a month, and three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, the constant function that these exit gates have to fulfill is drainage. And the occasional function that they have to fulfill is in cooperating with God, but that are only some rare occasional functions, and that also, only in a very short period of one’s life when you lead married life and do it for procreation. Out of the whole life, it is only in one phase that that particular function of it is exercised. Otherwise, the main function of these outlets is only drainage of impurities. If you change your outlook and understand the body in the right perspective, then a great deal of your problem will be solved. It is taking a wrong view and giving a wrong emphasis which makes one to get into all sorts of difficulties. Secondly, take a look at it from the Vedantic point of view. The message and the primary declaration of Vedanta, is that you are not this body, but that you are the soul. Then, if you are not to identify yourself with your entire body, how can you identify yourself with one aspect of it? So, if your faith in Vedanta is firm and genuine, if you are true to your Vedanta, then, you have your solution in your own hand.

How to Rise Above sensual desires

There is another important angle to this matter of celibacy. And that pertains to your aim and ambition in life. What is it that you want out of life? What great desire dominates your life? Is there something that is a consuming hunger in you? Do you want to become the highest musical genius in this world? Or do you want to become the fastest Olympic runner or weightlifter in this world? No matter what your ambition is, if there is some one overwhelming or all-consuming hunger in you, then all other problems recede into the background. They do not present a great difficulty. But, if you do not have such an overwhelming ambition in one direction, then everything becomes a problem and sex also becomes a problem. Therefore, the right way of solving this problem of sex is to rise above it so that it becomes something not important. You have to rise above sex—not wrestle with it, but rise above it. Because, if you do not have an overall concentrated urge or ambition in life, then the clamor of these little senses becomes a great din in your life. Your life will always be under that clamor. But, if you have got an overwhelming urge for something else, then this clamor does not reach you at all, because you are too busy engaging your entire attention in some other direction. So, the right way of solving this situation of sex is to rise above it, by developing great love for God, great love for an ideal, developing passion for a pure life, a moral life, an ethical life, an ideal life and nurturing your ardent desire for attaining liberation. If intense desire is there, then all other things recede into the background. They become less important. So, if you want to attain victory over the clamor of the senses, you must arouse within yourself a great fire of higher aspiration. Then, what happens? In order to attain that upon which your heart is set, you give yourself so totally to it that you have no time for other things. Even great scientists do not have this problem, because they are all the time completely absorbed in their scientific research. They do not pay much importance to food or clothing or bathing or anything. Why? Because they are all absorbed in, and interested in, something else. That is the way of becoming established in celibacy, in successful celibacy, in effective celibacy.

Voluntary Self-restraint Is No Suppression

Sex is a natural urge and so free expression should be given to it. And if free expression is not given to it, the sex urge will become suppressed, will become repressed. And if it is thus suppressed and repressed, it will create all sorts of abnormalities within you and you will develop neurosis and various types of complex and you will become an abnormal person. There is partial truth in it. There is truth in it to the extent that if this suppression and repression is forced upon you by circumstances beyond your control, by social environment, by other taboos and deep-seated inhibitions within you, due to your father’s advice or mother’s dominance or family and all, then it can give rise to some undesirable inner abnormality. But this situation never applies if realizing the greatness of a higher goal and realizing the necessity of self-control in order to attain that goal, you make up your mind fully, willingly and voluntarily. Then, there is no question of suppression. If with a full willing heart you enter into this course of self-discipline and self-restraint, then there is no question of suppression. No one is asking you to do it. You want to do it. You are yourself desirous of it. So, done with full willingness, done with great enthusiasm, it becomes a voluntary thing. Then, psychological situations will not arise. On the contrary, every time you succeed in controlling the sense-urge, you get a sense of achievement; you get a sense of inner satisfaction that you have succeeded. So, it is something that goes on giving you endless satisfaction and a sense of triumph, a sense of overcoming. Therefore, it is entirely a positive process, a very creative and positive process, not a negative and suppressive process. So, regarding celibacy, if you take the right approach and attitude towards it, then it is simple. It is a question of conserving energy, of preserving energy, so that it may be utilized for higher things which you wish to attain.

Be Happy – you need to Conserve Energy in the Context of a Spiritual Life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Be Happy – Live meritorious life

There are four great values which must be the objectives every human individual must strive. The first place goes to the value called ethics or morality. It is called as code of conduct in a civilized society. Whatever you engage in doing should be that which ought to be done, should be that which is proper to be done, should be that which is right, which is pure, which is moral and ethical. You should not do anything that contradicts the law of ethics and morality.

Why? Because, in morality only lies your highest good. In that only lies your highest welfare. If your thoughts, words and actions are moral and righteous, there will be happiness. They will secure for you your welfare and good. Otherwise, you will reap the harvest of bitterness because of a law that pervades this universe, a law that is called the Law of Cause and Effect. This law states: "As a man thinketh so he becometh". This law is also stated in another way, namely: "As you sow, so shall you reap". This Law of Cause and Effect is also called the Law of Karma.

In other words, we may say: If you engage in righteous action, the result of it is auspiciousness and blessedness; the result of it is your own highest good and your own welfare, your own happiness. If you ignore or neglect this law, discard this law, and your actions are not proper, not right, what happens? You invite upon yourself a reaction that is bitter, a reaction that is not conducive to your own good, to your own welfare, because you have to steadily progress towards divine perfection and here you put and create obstacles. You slow down your progress towards that great goal. You create your own miseries. Therefore, having in mind the highest welfare and good of the human individual, you may please put ethics as of the foremost value, because more than anything else, we need to secure the greatest benefit and good of the individual soul.

So, adhere to the moral and ethical values in life. Never deviate from the ethical standard. Then you will be happy. You may have troubles. People may trouble you and you may have some difficulties; yet you will have happiness. Inside you will have happiness and peace. I say, "Inside", because physical troubles and mental difficulties and torments there will always be. Those you have to suffer according to your own sins. But, if at the present you engage in righteous activity, it will give you immense strength.

Now we take the second value. You have got the body, you have got hunger and thirst, you feel heat and cold. So you want food, you want shelter, you want clothing. And you want other necessities of life. So, for all this, you want money; and therefore, you must have a job or ply a trade or profession. Yes, this is also an inevitable value arising out of the fact that you are living in this world. This value is money, the economic value. Money is inevitable; it is necessary. For that also you must strive. But you must strive for it on the basis of righteousness. Your efforts to earn your livelihood should not be immoral, unethical or unrighteous. Righteousness should be the basis even of your professional activities or business activities. Anything you do to make a living should be based upon Righteousness.

The third value is control over your greed. Any animal—be it a dog, donkey, cow or buffalo—is satisfied if it has food and a place to rest. But man is not like that; he has got many longings, many desires and ambitions. Man is a vital being with a vital psychological personality within. He has got many longings, many desires, many ambitions and plans and schemes. So, this vital value also was given a place arising out of the desire nature of man. The other animals have no desire. They have only the instinct to go by. They want only food and drink and shelter and rest, and therefore, they are content if these are provided to them. But man is not content. He has the desire nature in him.

The fourth value is attached to righteousness. It has twofold importance. Desire means desire of any kind. But, here also, any desire that goes contrary to morality and ethics should be shunned. It should not be kept; it should not be given any place in your life, because it will stop your evolutionary process, your progress upwards towards God-consciousness. Such desires only are to be harbored in your mind, such desires only are to be fulfilled, as are in accordance with the law of righteousness. So, Righteousness is the overall and continuous foundation and basis for all human striving. Even in your professional activities, in your various social and other activities,

Righteousness must always accompany you. Righteousness must always infill your thoughts, words and actions. Thus, the economic value and the vital value pertaining to your outer worldly life also should be animated and pervaded by righteousness. Then, it will lead you to happiness. If righteousness is abandoned, then it will lead you to sorrow. This is the simple truth.

And another important reason why all these activities and strivings upon the outer plane should be continuously characterized and qualified by righteousness is that only then your life will move in the direction of the highest and supreme value.

What is that highest and supreme value? It is the spiritual value which is God-realization, liberation, divine perfection, highest spiritual consciousness and illumination. That is the supreme value. For that only we have taken birth. That only makes life worth living. No matter how desperate life may be, if you have this one goal that you must attain Divine Consciousness, you will get the strength to overcome and bear all the vicissitudes of life. "I am divine. Temporarily I have forgotten it. And until and unless I attain Divine Consciousness, my life will not be full and I will not remain content."—If that one goal is there with you, no matter what happens to you, all that will look secondary and less important.

Whereas, your supreme goal will look the most important of all things; it will dominate your life and it will be enough to take you above all the vicissitudes of life. It will give you strength and definite direction in life, a specific aim in life. And from then on, your life will move in a self-chosen direction. That life cannot be assailed by misfortune. It will not be shaken. Having acquired great strength and power, it will ride triumphant over all the ups and downs of life and move towards the self-chosen goal in a very determined manner. So, the highest spiritual goal it is that makes your life worth living, that gives deep meaning to life. Otherwise, what is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of just eating, drinking, sleeping and one day dying? Doing little petty silly things and one day dying? Death puts an end to all. But what is that which makes life meaningful?

Through this life of birth, change, growth, old age, disease, decay and death, you are to attain immortality and deathlessness by making use of this life. You are to attain Divine Consciousness. You must resolve: "I shall become deathless. I shall realize my deathless nature. I shall realize that I am Immortal Soul, Spirit Divine". And you must exert to the utmost to attain that goal. That supreme value is the most important value which gives life real depth, true meaning and a purposefulness. It makes life significant, important, sacred and purposeful. Therefore, it is the most important value in life. If that value is there, you get the strength to overcome all difficulties, all the stresses and strains of life, and it is in relation to that supreme value that Righteousness acquires an even greater importance, an even deeper significance.

Righteousness is important for two reasons. Firstly, if it is there in your secular life of money and Desire, in your secular life of the economic and the vital values, it leads to happiness. If it is not there, then it leads to sorrow and misery. Therefore you must have righteousness. This is the lesser significance and use of righteousness. The higher purpose and significance of righteousness is that if it fills your life, then it leads your life to the attainment of the highest spiritual value in life. It liberates you once and for all from the wheel of life and death. Then, there is no more want, no more sorrow, no more weeping, no more wailing, no more difficulties and problems. You will become established in a state of absolute peace, absolute contentment and absolute joy. You may attain supreme satisfaction, and become fearless and free. That supreme experience is made possible only if your entire life is filled by righteousness. So, righteousness has a direct connection with liberation of soul. Therefore, it is the basis of your entire life. And in the framework of this religious life, upon the foundation of religious life, spirituality becomes rapidly fruitful. Whatever prayers you say, whatever spiritual study you do, whatever meditation you do, all become like striking a dry match stick on a dry match box...immediately there is fire. Where there is righteousness animating and pervading your entire life, there spirituality becomes dynamic, rapidly fruitful and progressive. This is the great ideal. It is inevitable to strive for the economic value and the vital value, because of your earthly nature. But it is only the spiritual value which makes life successful, which liberates you for ever from all the sorrow and bondage. And it is the ethical value which is the most important of all. It is that which guarantees that your life will lead to happiness and blessedness and not to sorrow and wretchedness.

Be Happy – Live meritorious life by adopting basic virtues.