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.
We are reading "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).
There are many problems in the world; and even though many people may have similar problems, they each see them differently. Could there be a common solution?
_avtu laEikksmSyana< smaxan< tu AaXyaiTmk†:q(Ev.7.
Bhavatu laukika-samasyaanaam samaadhaanam tu aadhyaatmika-dRshthyaiva ||7||
Let all worldly problems be solved only by a spiritual vision.
Varied problems come uninvited - the most important thing is how we look at them. The Bhagavad Gita demonstrates the negative and positive views directly, in that Arjuna initially sees the impending battle at Kurukshetra as something to fear and run away from. Sri Krishna is able to turn this wavering view around as he explains the purpose of karma, of duty, of priorities of purpose and so forth. Arjuna comes to realise his role is very important in the outcome and for the future and thus, through this spiritual counselling, straightens himself and gets on with the job.
Problems are of a number of types; factual (objective), prejudicial, relational, attitudinal and so on. An example of the objective type might be illness, family trouble, unemployment, inflation, political unrest; they are 'facts' of life. Prejudicial types are those where there is a subjective element involved; our likes and dislikes, past experiences, boxed-in thinking, all colour our judgement. Similarly, these plus miscommunication (whether accidental or deliberate) can cause problems in relationships and our attitude - or that of others - can make or break a situation. To a large extent, lateral thinking, common sense, correct information, keeping an open mind and Love in our hearts, as well as a willingness to work on the issue/s, all help to resolve the objective and subjective problems. To do this, though, we need to be level-headed and cool, seeing the problem itself as 'situation' (abstract object) so that we can think appropriatly and act accordingly; in other words, objectivity is necessary. For example, take a chronic, non-fatal disease; what cannot be cured must be endured. Should one hate the disease and complain endlessly, or forbear it cheerfully? The cause might be of this life (poor lifestyle, say) or of praarabdha (past life karma) - what is important if we are not to be overwhelmed with it or cause a lot of inconvenience and become a problem to others around us, is to correct our attitude; we can see the disease as being a chance to burn down some of our karmic debt. In accepting our own situation we can become more empathetic of others' plight..
Another example might be if one is working hard and earning well, yet still complaining that ends don't meet. Ask whether it might not be possible to economise. Who are we trying to impress with the big house or car? Will getting all you desire, all the 'keeping up with the neighbours', bring happiness? Is that the goal?
Insults and praises go to our heart our heads… but how should we view censure or praise really? What is being hurt? Nothing but our ego! The ego reacts, whilst the intellect responds. To succumb to hurt or to swagger with pride is reaction. Rather, thank the critic for bringing a weakness to light and then work on it to improve; thank the admirer with bowed head and think no more on it other than to continue the good work.
This spiritual guidance is simple and effective and is really a common thing across the globe. It is not a religious doctrine thing, but a straightforward, 'human-being-ness'. Anything which we perceive as a problem is only that as long as we do not see it as a situation to be handled. Problems are seen as blockages, situations are merely hurdles to be jumped.