Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.
The next text which will guide the Choose-day posts is "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).
Clearly, it was stated, this being born human offers us so much more than all other animals; how then should we use this special gift of freedom? What is the potential within it?
tCcaeTk[aRwR< yae´Vy< n tu Svprivnazay.4.
Tachchot-karnaartham na tu svapara-vinaashaaya ||4||
That should be used for raising oneself and not indeed for self-destruction or others' destruction.
Make or Break.
We have infinite potential, the ability to tap it and the freedom to do so. This freedom is like a double-edged sword, however, for it can also break us. Just as a speeding and powerful vehicle which loses its brakes, or in which there is an inexperienced driver, has potential to create havoc and endanger life, so it is that we might, if inattentive, lose control of our lives, thinking the freedom to be unlimited and not requiring of control.
Freedom of the human being as a result of the mind and the intellect does not mean that we should live licentiously and without constraints. Society demonstrates this. We need to tune our physical and emotional selves to the higher intellectual/philoso-spiritual vibration in order to maximise the potential of this freedom. Neither does this freedom mean we can simply choose to laze and sloth our way through life. Certainly there is the freedom of choice about whether to act or not in any given situation, but this is not the same as withdrawing from action altogether, thus avoiding responsibility. Not to do what we ought to do can be as harmful to ourselves as it might be to others. To live a licentious or lazy life certainly endangers our own well-being, but it can have effect upon those who are connected to us. For example, the rebellious student who does not appreciate the sacrifices made by his or her parents so that the opportunity of education is there for them. Or the worker who seeks to do as little as possible for the boss, compared to others who make their work there worship.
Make Your Choice.
Gurudev once said that 'not to do what you feel like doing is freedom.' Doing exactly what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it is the nature of licentiousness. It is not necessarily about alcohol or drugs or other such - that is debauchery added to the mix! No; licentiousness means simply that no thought is given before making choices and therefore those choices bind us down. Very often such undisciplined decisions - which are really more about the animalistic part of our nature, reacting on instinct and very little thought - result in a risk to our health or mental state and can do for others around us also.
True freedom is to curb these tendencies, the impulsive urges, and redirect our energies into more positive pursuits; creativity, productivity, community-conscious activity. Through such as this we develop our better nature and we can raise ourselves to another level of existence.