The Art of Frustration

Frustration is a very commonly used word in today’s life. I think we all feel it in some part of the day and every day. It is a message that the current situation is not pleasant or not in line with our expectation. For, e.g. I want to spend some time with myself, but then there are so many household chores that I need to finish. It definitely frustrates me because there is nothing much I can do here and will have to keep my expectation aside and will have to surrender to the situation and feel angry.

Similarly, we feel frustrated when we are stuck in traffic, or when we are not able to finish our work, or when someone wastes our precious time. We just looked at small matters that frustrates us, but there are important and big matters as well. One of the biggest concerns of the frustration is our distance between our current reality and our dreams. It happens when we do a periodical review or when suddenly it strikes us that we are nowhere close to achieving our dreams. This makes us very uncomfortable and irritation runs through our entire body. Continue reading

World of Unlimited Possibilities

Recently, I went out to eat dinner with few friends. I have a habit of asking questions to friends which allow me to know them better. This time I asked them what will they do if they get $2 million as a gift. To elaborate I asked them, whether they will continue the job they are in or whether they will follow any dreams. Couple of them were sure about what they want to do with life, but most of them took the time to think. First, they had to believe that it could be possible for them to get $2 million. This conversation led me to a question as how many times we think about unlimited possibilities.

Most of the people leave the life in ordinary ways because they never thought that there are thousands of other ways to live a great one. Our habitual thinking allows us to think within the limited space or on limited subjects. I would suggest you do this one exercise. Observe the people around you and see what kind of conversation they are having. Most of it would be either on the latest news or about gossiping or favourite TV shows. You will find that they all sound similar. How many times we actually discuss life on the other planets or life after death?

My intention to write this article is to train your brain to think of possibilities which it never thought before. Let’s start with our own self. Have you observed as to how do we process our food? First of all, there are these small seeds planted in the earth. It uses sunlight and water to grow with some help from a farmer. We then cook it and give it some taste and then we eat the food and it goes into the stomach. This is then processed by some automatic system and we generate energy to live a good life.

Did you observe as how many times energy changed its forms? Have you ever thought that what was outside us a few moments back, became one with ourself. A banana becomes a part of human body. Isn’t it magic? If food can become a part of our body, then think about what all things must be possible in this world. It is all about changing the perception. What man thought impossible 100 years back, has become very common in the present world. Who thought that we would be able to speak to someone thousand miles away with an instrument which has no wires? Things that we take for granted teach us big lessons of life, only if we observe them closely.

Our mind is trained in such a way that it cannot accept any new idea unless it is trained. The reason mind gives you body aches when you start yoga for the first time is that it never had such exposures earlier. It keeps on reminding you that this is not good for your body, but ultimately with the help of yoga, you control your mind. Think of your mind as a compact wooden block which does not allow anything of outside. We need hammer and nails to create holes in it so that it can allow the sunshine to enter it. We need thoughts of unlimited possibilities and we need persistence.

Another aspect to look at is the possibilities beyond this life. Have you ever thought that there is a possibility that we might be living in a dream and after death, we will actually wake up? After death, will we really find all the Gods that we worship or we will be lost in the darkness? Do we really go to heaven or hell or our spirit lives in a parallel universe? There is so much to think and talk about, but our favourite topic is either weekend planning  or traffic issues.

Swami Vivekananda has said something beautiful on this topic. He has mentioned that think about one limited idea in your mind. Now rationally limited can only be defined if there is unlimited. Any limited idea must be part of something big and something unlimited. For, e.g. when we look at the star in the sky, we are looking at only limited part of the sky. Is there any limit to the sky? It is only our perception and our ability to see that allow us to look at the limited or unlimited. Similarly, we see God as limited in one small statue. How can God be limited?

Some of my observation which can happen if we start thinking of unlimited possibilities. There will be so many inventions to make our life better. There will be cure for all the disease. No more we would be the slave of money as money itself is limited. Abundance and energy are unlimited. There would be no wars between countries as we would not be a citizen of a limited space. We will not be limited to this body because our real nature is unlimited and to realize that is the whole purpose of this life.

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Who is your Hero?

In one of the interviews, Warren Buffet mentioned that you become what you admire. He said that your ideal will determine what kind of life you are going to live. When we admire someone, we appreciate the quality or qualities of that person. For, e.g. If someone is inspired from Dalai Lama, then he or she is attracted towards the kindness. When we observe closely, then we can find out that the person can either become a saint or a terrorist based on the hero he or she chooses.

Now there are many people who do not have any ideal. They are living the life as it comes. Somewhere they have chosen the average man as their hero and hence they live the life of an average person. It amazes me as for how people have never thought on this. I realized that they never understood the importance of choosing an ideal and following him or her. However, we all wanted to become something when we were kids. We admired all the great heroes. Some of us also saw our parents as our heroes and wanted to become like them. Somewhere along the way, we lost it completely and we lived an average life ever after.

The question is should you bother about having an ideal or not. The answer lies in what kind of life you want to live. If you want to do something with this precious birth, then you need a path. You need someone to show you how to walk on that path and that is the reason you need an ideal. For, e.g. if you think that you want to become the biggest philanthropist, then who can be better than Warren buffet or if you want to devote your life to the service of poor then you can follow Mother Teresa.

You can select your hero based on your material goals as well. For, e.g. if you want to become a successful businessman, then you can make Bill Gates as your hero. You will find such people in all the fields. The important thing is that you select your hero based on some values. You might find many rich people, but you need to select someone who reflects your inner values. I believe that you should be able to admire the person as a whole so that you do not have to struggle with your mind for the negative attributes of that person.

Somehow I like to bring religion in most of my articles. Religion is about devoting yourself to a perfect ideal, God. The mythological stories are there so that we can get inspired to have some qualities of God such as truthfulness, kindness and above all spreading love. The problem is that we have started seeing God as something we cannot reach to and hence we get happy in the lower level of worship. The real worship is to manifest God in our own self. I am not talking about performing some miracles, but being a pure human being. This is definitely difficult, but we will not be able to achieve if we cannot keep a perfect human as our ideal, as our hero.

In my previous article, I mentioned about finding out what we really want from life. I hope some of you are actually clear on that part and now it is time to find someone who can help us in achieving that. It is very important that we set some goals in life. After that, we find the people who have achieved them before you. I always wanted answers on spirituality and I found them through the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Most of the time what we want to do is already done by people in the world. All the great people who lived left behind their legacy. We just need to find our own hero.

An ideal is not someone whom you will remember once in a while and then get busy in your daily life. An ideal is the one who can change the way you think. They need not be alive, but something has to be there to show you how they lived a great life. Once you know your ideal from deep within, you start thinking and acting like him or her. You can ask questions to yourself as how my hero would have reacted in this particular situation. You will get your answers in most amazing ways. You can have more than one, but there are chances that in the later part of your life you will create your own ideal.

So who is your Hero?

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What kind of life we REALLY want?

If I ask a question as what kind of life you want, then most of you will be able to answer without giving much thought. You want to become rich, want to get married, have kids, and want to travel frequently or at the most become a CEO or run a successful business. Most of the people will agree to above until I add the word REALLY in the question. Our idea of an ideal life is mostly derived from the society and people around us. Hardly people do an introspection of what we really want from this life?

We are a social animal and to belong to some place, we have to adopt. We have to adopt the culture, lifestyle and to a great extent thought process. We all know that we declare those people strange and mad who try to live differently. Obviously, we have to pay a price if we really live the way we want and we are not courageous enough to pay the price and hence we all live the same life.

Another modern evil is social media. I am really not against social media, but I am very much concerned about its effects which everyone seems to be ignoring. Nowadays everyone is posting pictures of wherever they go and they pretend that they are living the best life. People like us who look at the picture perfect also believe the same. I can see two issues here. One is that we are trying to show an ideal life to everyone, but the reality is different. We don’t feel the same pleasure which people are thinking we are having. The sad part is that we feel good that other people are thinking that we are having the best time of our life. Now, this motivates us to do more such acts and then we become addicted.

The second issue is that people who are watching these pictures feel jealous and want to live a life like that. They were happy when they had a great time with friends at some nearby picnic place, but their fun filled memory vanished as soon as they saw the picture of their friends enjoying at some international exotic place. Every time we see someone having fun in the pictures (not knowing the reality) we feel sad and we make our spouse also sad for not going to such places and not having such pictures. I have seen cases where couple posted very cute pictures of their honeymoon and after few months girl committed suicide.

Even if we get to live that ideal life it will be a borrowed one and after some time boring one too. We are not asking serious questions such as why was I born into this world? What am I supposed to really achieve? We are not trying to raise our thought level to understand the mystery of life and we are not asking as to how we REALLY want to live this life? People who say that just drink and enjoy are actually looser who do not have the courage to go against the wind and hence they just want to enjoy their beer at the beach only.

My life can be boring for some people, but that is completely fine. I am at peace with the world and I hardly care what other think about me. Instead of discussing sport or new model of BMW, I want to discuss what happens after death. I set my own goals and that does not depend on the ideal life defined by the society. Even if some part matches with ideal life, it is chosen by me and not by others. At the workplace, we will find many people who are not growing in spite of having potential. The reason is that they never wanted such life, but they are not sure how to disown it so they are continuing the way it is going.

We try to own a house by working day and night and sacrificing many personal moments. Nothing wrong in this, but we need to ask what is the most important thing for us. To live in a rented house or to miss our kid’s childhood. There is nothing right or wrong. What is important is that we need to be aware of what decision I am taking from deep within. Everyone has different definitions of success, just be conscious of yours. Someone feel peaceful only after reaching certain financial status and someone feels this peace every day when he or she is involved in kindness.

If you really want to know what kind of life you really want, then sit down and ask some serious questions and ask more. I am sure you will get your answers. By no means, I am saying that you should not live a material life, but be aware of it. Think about the real fulfillment and joy. Do not change it based on other people because they might change soon. The important criteria is that is should be a meaningful one, otherwise what is the point of this human birth.

There is one test to identify your current status. If you are not excited about every day, then you are not living the life you really want. Once you know your status, then start changing and start moving towards your own ideal which is not derived from society. Start moving by 1% every day and do not be in hurry. The real joy is in the journey.

Let us all say that Life is Good.

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Heaven – The way we look at it

We human beings have a very great imagination. We have imagined what will happen to us after the death. Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. We have described the heaven with all the luxuries possible and hell with all the cruel punishments. The irony is that none of the human being who has gone to heaven or hell and have returned to tell us the glory. We get all the ideas from some books or what our ancestors or priest have told us. In reality we do not know what is there beyond the death. We only know that people who returned from the near death experience have mentioned that there is only darkness.

In Hindu scriptures, you will find that there is a king Indra who rules the heaven. There are beautiful women referred as Apsaras always in your service. You get to enjoy all kinds of pleasures possible there. This is one idea that is believed by the materialistic person. As he sees the same physical form of himself and the world in heaven. He is after the same desires he was when he was alive on the earth. The description of heaven can be found in Christianity and in the path of Mohammedans as well.

Many priests takes the advantage of these ideas of heaven and run their businesses. We also foolishly submit ourselves because we all want great life after the death. We have not understood what death is, but we are firm about the afterlife. How many times we actually introspects our thoughts, our beliefs? I asked few people about what they think heaven is? and I got different answers. Some have the old ideas I mentioned above and some people think that heaven is about nirvana. Some are not bothered about heaven as they have never thought about it.

In short, most of us think heaven as some better place than where we are living now. It sounds like a magical place which will sort out all our issues and we will be happy or in bliss forever. However, most of us also agree that we will have to work hard to go there. We will have to do good karmas for us to get the entry into heaven. How are we sure that this is the truth? How do we know that doing good karmas will give us nirvana or heaven?

If you study Vedanta, then you will find the explanation of many things and it helps in breaking ignorance. In the olden days, it is possible that there could be some place named as heaven or Swarga and the same was ruled by some king called Indra. People must be worshiping him because of his position and power. This is the only reason why they were described in human form and description of the place was similar to earth only with magical powers. As people realized that these Devas are not the ultimate reality and God cannot be so limited, people stopped worshiping them.

I do not know if heaven is true or not. The real question is what we really want from this life. Why do we do what we do? We are living a superficial life just like the definition of heaven mentioned above. We have become very limited to pleasure and pain and hence we can see heaven and hell. I believe that we need to go beyond that. I always feel that we are much stronger, but our thought has made us weak and hence we have started believing in many superstitions.

Vedanta says that the real search is not only to do good karma and go to some mystical place, but it is to realize our real nature, which is soul. We need lots of courage to accept the reality and challenge everything that we have been told from ages. Buddha has always preached that the real truth can only be known through experience. We can still go back to our mundane life thinking that all we have to do is to enjoy life or we can actually go after the real knowledge of truth.

Heaven can be a great place to be, but still there is a possibility of going to hell. Is there a place or a world where we are free from this bondage of pleasure and pain? Is there a place where we are not limited to our materialistic thoughts? Is it possible to get the freedom from all our misery? I guess we all have to find answers on our own.

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