Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life is a gym. Adervesity is the muscle building equipment. BYOE - Bring your own energy.

No pain. No gain.

Does it hurt to work out?

Sure it does. At least in the beginning.

Adversities in life are like that. It sure hurts when they hit us but they make us stronger too.

Anything that does not kill you only makes you stronger.

If you do not last bad times. You won't be there to see good times.

It is always darkest before the dawn. Hang in there. Dawn is about to happen and sun in our life is going to banish all the darkness.

"One of the many fascinating events in nature is the emergence of the Cecropia moth from its cocoon - an event that occurs only with much struggle on the part of the moth to free itself. The story is frequently told of someone who watched the moth go through this struggle. In an effort to help - and not realizing the necessity of the struggle - the viewer snipped the shell of the cocoon. Soon the moth came out with its wings all crimped and shriveled. But as the person watched , the wings remained weak. The moth, which in a few moments would have stretched those wings to fly, was now doomed to crawling out it brief life in frustration of ever being the beautiful creature God created it to be.

What the person in the story did not realize was that the struggle to emerge from the cocoon was an essential part of developing the muscle system of the moth's body and pushing the body fluids into the wings to expand the,. By unwisely seeking to cut  short the moth's struggle, the watcher had actually crippled the moth and doomed its existence.

The adversities of life are much like the cocoon of the Cecropia moth. God uses them to develop the spiritual muscle system of our lives. "

Above is quoted from a decent book - Trusting God even when life hurts by Jerry Bridges.


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Do we really have free-will?

If we do and if we can exercise, can we create the reality the way we want?

If we really have free will and convincingly exercise it, why do not things happen the way we want?

What is missing?

"Swami Chinmayanada used the metaphor of a boat in a river. With the engine working at a given rate, the actual speed of the boat will depend upon the current in the river and the direction of the boat. It will obviously travel much more quickly downstream, with the force of the current behind it., than it will trying to battle its way upstream against a powerful flow. The basic engine speed can be compared to "free will" and the current of the river to destiny. Both operate independently but the net effect is determined by their relative strengths."

Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswami of Srigeri says - "Fate is past karma. Free-will is present karma. Both are really one, that is, karma. Though they may differ in the matter of time, there can be no conflict when they are really one.

By exercising your free-will in the past, you brought on the resultant fate. By exercising your free-will in the present, I want you to wipe out your past record if it hurts you or add to it if you find it enjoyable.In any case, whether for acquiring more happiness or for reducing misery, you have to exercise your free-will in the present."

Above are quoted from a great book - Back to the truth. 5000 years of advaita by Dennis Waite. Really fantastic read.


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Knowledge and action

Your knowledge is only as deep as your action.

Knowledge means knowing. Action means doing.

This is especially important on the spiritual path.

For intellectually oriented people, it is very easy to get caught up in the dry intellectually stimulating but often useless details about arcane matters of soul, spirit, reincarnation, heaven, hell  etc.

To drag us deep into the whirlpool of futile intellectual pursuits, there is no dearth of excellent books written by many excellent teachers. Not one lifetime is enough to read even good number of them.

Is it not better to balance reading and acting?

Ramana Maharshi used to warn his disciples this way.

"What's the point seeing your face in several mirrors in the morning to check if you really need a shave? One mirror and one good look at yourself should clearly tell if you must shave or not. After that, your energy is better spent in getting a nice shave rather than going to different mirrors of different size and with different frames to see your same face and to reconfirm that you really need a shave."

Reading several books for pure intellectual fascination, following different gurus, following different paths etc. are not required.

Most of it is common sense any way.

Start spending quiet time by yourself and free of all external stimuli and eternal truth automatically start appearing to you.

It is just that we are all so busy with the mad rat race that we all have become rats and lost our true human nature which is essentially divine.

Of course, if you are knowledge centric, feel free to read a lot. There is absolutely no harm.

However, if you are a serious spiritual aspirant, just know that intellect can not figure that out. The eternal truth can only be experienced when we still our mind. Intellect is only good for dividing everything into good or bad, black or white, sane or insane. It can not understand unity. So, intellect is not the tool to find unity.

Think like a man of action. Act like a man of thought.

You will become a dry intellectual bore if you only read and never take time to contemplate. Contemplation is going right into the depths of consciousness. Reading, listening, watching etc. are only at the surface level. There are no treasures on the surface. Real pearls are found only the depths of the ocean. So, dive deep rather than spending your time on mindless pursuits on the surface level.

There is a very nice saying which goes like this - Data is good. It will keep the mind busy while the heart makes the decision.

Reading books leads to knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Corruption is a crime. Crime does not pay. Therefore, by reading books you will die broke. :) (False logic. But, funny. Found it somewhere on the net.)


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Pessimist vs. Optimist

Two boys. Twins.

One is markedly a confirmed pessimist. Other is a true ever sunshine optimist.

On their birthday, their dad tries a neat little trick on them.

He buys a boatload of toys for his pessimist son and put them his room in the night.

For the optimist son, he gets several buckets full of horse manure and places them in his son's bedroom.

Next morning, both kids wake up and see different things in their respective rooms.

Father goes first to his pessimist son's room.

What he finds?

The pessimist son has opened up all his toy boxes and has put the toys all around him and, for heaven's sake, is crying.

Father - what's wrong son? You should be happy for all these toys.

Pessimist son - So many toys. Many require batteries. How will I get batteries? Now all my friends will want to play with them as well. What if they broke them? What if they steal them? How do I keep track of all these toys?

On and on, he went.

Father gave up on this hopeless son and went to check out his optimist son.

As expected, he found his son awake, cheerful and looking for something in and around.

Father - son, what are you looking for?

Optimist son (with his cheerful grin and shine in his eyes) - There is so much horse manure here. There must be one or more ponies around here. I would love to find them and have a gala time learning to ride them.

See the point?

It's all in the way we see things.

This may be a very simplistic story but how often it is true.

In fact, we all have more than enough good things in life.

Seriously, very few of us have equivalent of horse manure in our lives.

But, why  are we sad, pessimistic about everything?

Attitude. Fix it and everything else will fall in place.

Your attitude determines your altitude.

Aptitude may get you to the top. But, attitude, if right, keeps you there.


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