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).
AadzRhIn> àlae_ane ptit nZyit c.5.
Aadarsha-hiinaH pralobhane patati nashyati cha ||5||
One without ideals falls prey to temptations and perishes.
If you do not stand for something, you fall for everything. Falling prey to temptation and giving up our values is called compromise. Withstanding temptations and living up to our values is called sacrifice. In both there is renunciation; in the former, we renounce the higher for the sake of the lower, in the latter the lower for the sake of the higher.
Sometimes, compromise can seem to yield benefit to the one who dropped his or her values. The short-term gain may have made it worth that drop in standards of being. However, it will cost them their esteem, within themselves as well as in the eyes of others.
Equally, our self-esteem grows when we stick to our principles (noble ones of course, not the selfish, self-serving kind) and those around will admire our resolve and discipline.
Does this mean that inert objects have no place in life?
AavZyktanusare[Ev jfpdawRe_yae mhÅv< Swan< c d*at!.6.
Aavashyakataanusaarenaaiva jada-padaarthebhyo mahatvam sthaanam cha dadyaat ||6||
Material objects should be given importance and place according to one's needs alone.
Objects of the world have their place and function - a handkerchief is necessary when have a running nose and warm clothes are required in winter. Objects should be given their due value and respect, but no more than that. Respect is necessary only to demonstrate the inner value - if one has no respect for keeping one's clothes in good order, or one's home tidy, what does it say about the mind? What of the respect for Self and Scripture?
The objects of life aid us through it and treated well will serve us well, but beyond this they are unimportant. They are not the 'be all and end all' of life. We should remain masters and not become dependent or even slaves to the objects. The 'idiot-box' should not dominate family time and mobile phones and emails should not replace person-to-person meetings. Attachment and addiction to things can only cause sorrow, for they will surely fail us in one way or another and we mourn their loss.
A place for everything and everything in its place is what we need to remember. Prioritise objects, persons, relationships and values.