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).
State of mind, then, is key to success. To fall into the pit of 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' cane lead to a sense of despair. There are those, it seems who seek sorrow.
àaPtSyaepeúaaya< twa=àaPtSyapeúaaya< duo>Sy surúaa.3.
Praaptasyaopekshaayaam, ththaa-praaptasyaapekshaayaam dukhaHsya surakshaa ||3||
Sorrow is safe in ignoring what you have, and longing for what you do not have.
Just as positive thought, carrying out well-planned actions, can lead to success and a degree of happiness, to dwell on the 'what ifs' of life is sure to hold us in the thrall of sorrow.
It is a conundrum of the human condition that, even though we want to be happy and successful, we think and act in such a way, very often, that the opposite is attracted to us. A common mistake for many people, even those who would appear externally to be doing well, is to set up cravings for something or other which are unrealistic. We live in a world which bombards us with the idea of 'what we do not have and really ought to have'. It fuels discontentment and a feeling of lack - even where there is no lack at all.
If, though, we could appreciate what we do have and feel content with it, we would save ourselves a great deal of angst. It is often very subtle. Even those of us who are prepared to settle into what we have and even give away some of it to those truly in need… somewhere there will be that little niggle of 'wouldn't it be nice if…'…
Perspective is needed. There is an Indian saying; "I complained I had no shoes until I saw a boy who had no feet."
If we focus on the now and what is held in the moment, we can move into the next moment with much less worry and agitation. We can work more efficiently and, lo! We might find that we obtain some of the desired stuff anyway, but as a side effect of positive action rather than a hankering and hand-wringing demand. Success is not an automatic right. It needs to be built, slowly and steadily.
As long as we fret over an object we desire and long to have, very often the farther away it seems from us. Sorrow is therefore guaranteed as built-in to our life. We may not even name it as sorrow; but the sense of lack, the feeling of unanswered desire, the investment of happiness only being available if we can obtain that object… these are all sorrow in disguise. We forget the simply joys of life in the angst of that desire.
What we do in the now sets the direction of where we shall go in the future. When we use what have, we can also gain what we do not have.