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).
Goal-setting has been the focus in this chapter. Is there an example which illustrates the harmonious inter-relationship between the different forms of goal?
Yawa mae]àaPtye icÅazuiÏ>.10.
Yathaa moksha-praaptaye chitta-shuddhiH ||10||
Just as purity of mind for gaining liberation.
Bondage is to identify with the false and consequently suffer. It is due to ignorance of our true nature. Liberation is the attainment of eternal and infinite happiness, our ultimate goal, by the removal of this ignorance. Therefore, Self-Knowledge is the most direct means to Liberation.
However, only one who has a pure, subtle and concentrated mind can gain Self-Knowledge. Therefore purity of the mind is the primary goal of a seeker of Liberation. She or he diligently follows the immediate goals of performance of puja (worship), repetition of the name of God (japa), or performs actions without selfishness and with the attitude of surrender to the Higher (karma-yoga). These all help to purify (focus) the mind on the Highest purpose in life and this, rung by rung, raises their focus still more.
It may seem that the returns from such as these actions are somewhat selfish, in that they appear only to benefit the practitioner. Closer inspection, deeper thinking on this will show that actually the family and the community also benefit, for there is no ego in the genuine seeker of the ultimate goal. In achieving their own level of happiness balance, a true shanti of spirit, their demeanour is such that their joy is infectious. Even the most hardened heart begins to soften in the presence of one who is truly in control of their ego and who sees the joyful things to be found in life, even amidst strife. This is the key. No matter our circumstances, if we turn our mind to the ultimate goal of happiness and ensure that each and every thought and action are used as rungs on the ladder to that goal, we not only provide relief for ourselves, it is likely that there will be an effect upon those around us.
Is this not a goal worth the striving for?