Even the word accept carries a feeling of condemnation. When you say the words “accept him with all his faults“, it is like a silent complaint. It is like saying, “What to do, we have to live with it”. No! I tell you, welcome the other person into your life, just as he or she is. There is a difference between accepting and welcoming. Accepting is like making a compromise. Welcoming is opening out your being to the other person without any expectation, unconditionally.
The whole of creation is a gift to you from Existence. Receive it with grace and humility. When you do this, the tremendous energy of the muladhara chakra is opened to you. To awaken this chakra, is to touch a perennial source of energy. The tremendous energy that is usually locked in imagination, expectation and greed can be made available for creativity, for business, for life, and for reality!
In Sanskrit, there are 2 phrases that teach us reality:- Dhrishti Shrishti and Shrishti Dhrishti.
Dhrishti Shrishti means seeing the world as it is, taking it as it comes; to welcome what is, as reality.
Shrishti Dhrishti means seeing the world as we would like it to be, through our own colored lens, through our fantasies.
The former leads to a peaceful life while the latter leads to suffering.
Once a man came to me and said”Swamiji, we are just two people in our house, my wife and I. Still there is no peace!”.
I told him, “Who says there are only two people in your house? You are four people”.
The man was simply shocked.
I told him, “You are you, your inner woman, your wife, and her inner man! That is why I say you are four people. Just learn to drop your inner man or your inner woman – see the change that happens in your house.
A real relationship can never happen as long as you have fantasies. If you notice, even if you stay for 24 hours in the same house with the other person, you don’t look into the other’s eyes, because you live with fantasy and not reality. You don’t actually live with the real person. You see all that the other person does through your imagination and conclude that your life is a punishment to you from God.
Celibacy is nothing but not craving for the suppressed half that is inside you, that’s all. If you are a male, you need to experience such fulfillment unto yourself that you no longer miss the suppressed female inside you. And if you are a female, you are so enough unto yourself that you don’t look outside to experience this fulfillment. If this is achieved, you can live with or without the female in the outside world. If this is not achieved, even if you get married, you will continue to be under the torture of your hormones. Your hormonal torture is nothing but a yearning for the fulfillment that you are actually supposed to get from within, not without.
When you achieve this fulfillment, whether you are married or not, there will be peace in your mind. It is then that you can be celibate even in married life! This is true celibacy. Instead of this, people go out of their way to become celibates and become more suppressed and neurotic.
Almost all motorbike ads show women, although very few women ride motorbikes. Whatever the product may be, you will find a smiling woman recommending it. When you go to the market you promptly pick up that product, forgetting that the women does not come with it! That is the media’s way of cashing in on your suppressed desires. We collect the dreams that they sell and keep running over them in our minds hoping to quench our thirst. Is it possible? Can your thirst for water be quenched by consuming salt.? No! If you do this, your thirst will only increase.
If you are alert and aware, advertisement hoardings can never fool you. Of course, by seeing them you can always be aware of the latest things in the market, no doubt, but they will not deceive you. You will not be vulnerable to them. You will be able to see them objectively and leave it at that. You will not feel an instant and unconscious pull towards them. It is only when you allow your reactive mind to be your deciding authority that you are in trouble. You need to replace the reactive mind with your intelligence so that you are with awareness all the time. This is where meditation helps a lot.
Addiction to anything is an unconscious or mechanical process. It is not just addiction to drinks or tobacco. It is addiction to even religion. People who pray unconsciously and mechanically, following a routine, will find it very hard if they miss even one day’s prayer. For them, it is an addiction and so it causes anxiety when missed. In the same way as an alcoholic who misses his evening drink starts trembling in insecurity, the mechanically religious person will feel a big void if he misses his routine prayer.
The key is to understand the difference between doing things with awareness and doing things mechanically, unconsciously, out of fear. Doing things in the former fashion will never bring you under any sort of binding. It will not bind you in space and time. You will be a master. Doing things in the latter way will bind you and cause misery to you. You will be a slave.
Every time you drink alcohol, do it will complete awareness. Every time you drink, drink consciously, slowly, watching every movement of yours, tasting every drop of the drink, and watching the reaction of your body to it. Make it a process filled with acute awareness. I assure you, if you do this every time you decide to drink, you do not have to drop the habit, the habit will drop you forever.
To drop an addiction, flood it with awareness. It will transform in the right way. Never think that you need to drop an addiction. Anything that you resist will persist. You simply need to transform it through deep awareness.
A man was known to have a very weak heart. His family was always careful in telling him any drastic news. One day, they came to know that his wealthy uncle had died leaving one million dollars to him. They were very excited and at the same time did not know how to break this news to him. They were afraid that he might collapse hearing it.
One of them suggested, ‘I think we’d better call the family doctor and tell him to handle ths’.
They all agreed.
They called up the family doctor and told him the matter. The doctor said, ‘Don’t worry, I will handle it. It is not so hard as you think’.
He soon arrived at their house and went into the room and started talking to the man. He causally asked him, ‘If you were suddenly told that you were given one million dollars in cash, what would you do?’.
The man replied, ‘I would give half of it to you, doctor’.
The doctor collapsed and died.
We are ready to see life as a drama when it comes to others but when it comes to us, it becomes hard to digest. We are always ready to give advice to others. I read in a book that advice is something which everyone loves to give but no one is ready to take! You can watch your own life also like a witness. You can be like a lotus – untouched by the water although deep inside it. Then you have learned to play the game of life.
Existence is trying to express itself continuously in many ways. Our role is to understand and flow with it with deep awareness. Understand that the whole of creation is flowing in accordance with Existence, then you will automatically drop your worries and anxieties. You have to reach a stage where your core is untouched by what is happening around you. This will happen if you understand that Existence is continuously changing. Outwardly, you may express different emotions, but in your innermost core, you must be able to continuously see that all the incidents outside are like beads that are strung on the common thread of Existence. The thread is what holds them together.
Every problem is pregnant with the solution. If you really want to solve it, you will do it. All you need to do is look at the problem with deep awareness, and the solution will stand out. Only when you don’t want to solve it, you will fell comfortable just talking about it. And you will feel great that you have so much to worry about!
A man who was known to be a great healer visited a village. Very soon crowd gathered around him. He touched a man on his neck and the man who was suffering from chronic spondolosis became relieved of the pain instantly. He then touched another man on his head and the man’s headache disappeared that very moment.
He moved towards a man on crutches. But the man on crutches moved away and said, “Don’t touch me!”.
The healer was puzzled and asked why.
The man said, “I have just applied for my Disability Benefit Claim”.
We talk endlessly about our problems, but when we are offered a solution, suddenly we become too relieved! We have never thought beyond our problems, so we find there is a void when our problems disappear!
The fact is, we are not even aware that we are working with imagination. Our imagination has become such a solid thing for us that we can’t even see it as imagination. We are caught up in it. If working towards something is causing tension in you, then you are not working in reality; you are working in your zone of imagination. Every moment, we are trying to fulfill our expectations in the world outside. The expectations could be to do with people, material comfort, name and fame, anything. If people don’t react or respond in the way we imagined, our expectation suffers. From minor to major things, we are always looking for a match for our imagination. It is an unconscious process inside us. Because it is unconscious, we are not even aware that we are doing it, which is why we don’t understand the cause for tension. The cause is so subtly woven into the whole thing that it cannot be made out.
If you bring your awareness acutely to this point and watch yourself for just a few hours, you will understand how your whole mind works. Just decide to be a watcher of your mind and the people around you. You will see how subtly your mind is continuously creating expectations in every small thing you see and do, and how reality sometimes matches and sometimes misses your expectations and how feelings of tension and worry arise within you when this happens. Just by flooding awareness into this whole thing, you can see how your mind plays and creates tension for you. Once you learn to become the watcher, your worries will drop and you will also not internalize any of the outer world incidents. When you internalize outer world incidents, you create a larger database of words inside you, out of which new worries will arise.
A man’s body is the most intelligent, self-correcting, auto-immune system. But somehow, we trust our mind rather than the inherent intelligence of our body. There starts the problem and all our worries.
A father camel was explaining to the son camel the body structure of their species. He said “You know, we have humps in our body to store water for a few days when we are in the desert”.
The son asked, “Why are our eye lashes so long?”. The father replied, “To protect our eyes from sand storms”.
The son then asked, “Why do we have such bulbous feet?”. The father replied, “So that we can travel fast in the desert”.
“Dad”, asked the son, “what are we then doing in the zoo?”.
You see, our body has been designed so beautifully, if we just allow it to run on its natural intelligence, it will function well. The moment you impose conditioning on the body, you start experiencing difficulties. In the Himalayas, the sadhus, wandering mendicants, live inside caves. They are the healthiest people ever. Come sun or rain or snow, they continue to live; their body adjusts itself to the prevailing conditions. We just have to trust nature and our own immune system. But somehow, we keep imposing our worries and our mental make-up on our body. This is the root cause of all diseases.
In our yearly trip to the Himalayas, some of the participants complain about the hardships and unhygienic conditions. I have told people time and again that just being in the Himalayas is a blessing that not many people get and that they just have to enjoy that and leave the rest as trivia. Somehow, people get perturbed and talk about these things. On one such occasion, two of the younger disciples were telling me, “Swamiji, these people are talking about the hardships here and they try not to bother about it, but we can’t even see the hardships! We are just enjoying ourselves all the time!”. This is what I mean when I say that when you are happy unto yourself, there is no such thing as ‘my peace’ or ‘your peace’. Whatever is, IS, that’s all. You are there, it is there and nothing is related. You simply move on in the same state of peace and bliss.
When you understand that you are showered not because you are worthy of it but because Existence simply showers on anyone and anything, you will stop complaining. You complain because you feel you are worthy of something and have not been given that. Be very clear: no one is worthy or unworthy; no one is a saint or sinner. It is all in the understanding and moving in tune with nature that makes you a receiver of Existence and its gifts. It is always a deep understanding that gives you a shift in consciousness.
If you are open, Existence showers. Existence is continuously showering only we don’t know how to receive it. We are so busy collecting words!
Real silence is that which is flooded with only awareness and nothing else. It is not just keeping your mouth shut.
When I was staying in Calcutta, taking classes on the Isha Vasya Upanishad, a man came to see me.
He said, “Swamiji, I have a problem. I don’t sleep well at night because I live in an area where there are many street dogs. Every night they start barking, and keep barking till sunrise. I am already a very light sleeper, and I am unable to get any rest because of this noise”.
I told him, “Go home and try this tonight. When you hear the barking, just drop the anger, the frustration and the negative feelings that rise up in you. Just listen to the barking sound without resisting. Tell yourself that the dogs are barking, that’s all. Don’t allow yourself to react it. The problem is not the barking but your resistance to it”.
The man went back and tried what I said. After a few days he came back to me and reported, “Swamiji, I tried dropping my resistance as you said. Instead of thinking – how dare these stupid dogs spoil my sleep; I just relaxed thinking – Dogs are barking, dogs are barking, some animals are creating some sounds….By the time I came to that sentence, I fell asleep. Anyway I’ve been having excellent sleep all these days. Thank you Swamiji!”.
This can happen with you also. Any situation can be dealt with, if you know how to drop your negativity, if you know how to drop your negative reaction to it.