How To Maintain Intimacy

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Q:  Dear Gurudev, recent scientific discoveries in India and elsewhere have shown that what we thought was myth are actual historical occurrences, like the discovery of Dwaraka, the ancient city under the sea. How can we decipher mythology and symbolism from factual history in these sacred texts?

Gurudev:

Yes.

You know, the ancient style of writing history was very poetic, and it was all in couplets. None of the history of ancient time was written in prose form. They were all in poetries. In poetry, you need rhythm, so to keep the rhythm there is exaggeration, and there is beautification – all these things happen. Poetry is not poetry if it is flat. There needs to be a little elevation in it. But because of the exaggeration you cannot discard it as myth, because there is also fact in it.

Ayurveda is also written in poetry form. No medicine anywhere in the world is taught in the form of poetry except in Ayurveda. In the world, this is the only medicinal system which is all in poems so that you can remember them by heart. Poetry is easy to remember. In those days, there were not many books, so people made it all into poetry. Even the healthy things, the healthy habits were all in poetry.

If one bears this in mind, then there is no difficulty in identifying the real facts of history. Today, we have what is called Astrophysics. In Astrophysics, they really find out the exact dates of historical events. And this is being done today. There are softwares available for that.

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Mistakes have caused pain, that is good. Pain has given you depth, that is good. You have learnt from your mistakes and don’t want to repeat them again, that is also good. Now, it is useless to sit and worry about the past mistakes. Just move on!

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Sometimes, I just sit back & realize how blessed I am. God is great. I have amazing people in my life. I shouldn’t complain. Praise Him. Amen.

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How To Maintain Intimacy

Intimacy often gets broken because of ego or your desire. What breaks intimacy?

  1. Ego or taking a position
  2. Desire
  3. Taking intimacy for granted
  4. Finding imperfection in oneself or others
  5. Expectations
  6. Insensitivity or over sensitivity
  7. Lack of vivek or vairagya (lack of discretion or dispassion)
  8. Judgements
  9. Grumbling or lack of gratitude

Dissolving into infinity is the way to maintain intimacy. Intimacy is dissolving into infinity. Dissolving into infinity brings you to the moment. Go beyond events. Dissolve into infinity, be in the moment, and look beyond the events. This is the way to maintain intimacy.

Om Namah Shivay

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I will serve my old parents in the BEST way

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An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The Father asked his Son, “What is this?”

The Son replied “It is a crow”.

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, “What is this?”

The Son said “Father, I have just now told you “It’s a crow”.

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, What is this?”

At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the Son’s tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. “It’s a crow, a crow”.

A little after, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, “What is this?”

This time the Son shouted at his Father, “Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times ‘IT IS A CROW’. Are you not able to understand this?”

A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page.

When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary :-  “Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23
times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child”.

While the little child asked him 23 times “What is this”, the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

So..  If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents.From today say this aloud, “I want to see
my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their
selfless love on me.

They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today”.

Say a prayer to God, “I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I will say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how they behave.

Om Namah Shivay

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Thought to Ponder About – Why No one is Happy?

 

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Yesterday, I was driving, and the FM radio went off for few seconds. I thought, I should have an iPod. Then suddenly I realized that I have not used my iPod in last 6 months. And then, more things, Handy cam in last 2 years, Digital Camera in last 2 months, DVD player in last 1 month and many more. Now I can say that I bought that Handy cam just out of impulse, I have used it twice only in last 4 years.

So, what’s wrong and where? When I look at myself or my friends I can see it everywhere. We are not happy with what we have but all are stressed and not happy for the things we don’t have. You have a Santro, but you want City; You have a City, but you want Skoda. Just after buying a new phone, we need another one. Better laptop, bigger TV, faster car, bigger house, more money. I mean, these examples are endless.  Do we ever think if we actually need those things before we want them?

After this, I was forced to think what I need and what I don’t. May be I didn’t need this Handy cam or the iPod or that DVD player. When I see my father back at home. He has a simple BPL colour TV, he doesn’t need 32″ Sony LCD wall mount. He has a cell phone worth Rs 2,500. Whenever I ask him to change the phone, he always says, “Its a phone, I need this just for calls.”

And believe me; he is much happier in life than me with those limited resources and simple gadgets. The very basic reason why he is happy with so little is that he doesn’t want things in life to make it luxurious, but he wants only those things which are making his life easier. It’s a very fine line between these two, but after looking my father’s life style closely, I got the point. He needs a cell phone but not the iPhone. He needs a TV but not the 32″ plasma. He needs a car but not an expensive one.

Initially I had lot of questions.

I am earning good, still I am not happy,…why ?

I have all luxuries, still I am stressed…. ……. why ?

I had a great weekend, still I am feeling tired…… why?

I met lot of people, I thought over it again and again, I still don’t know if I got the answers, but certainly figured out few things. I realize that one thing which is keeping me stressed is the “stay connected” syndrome. I realized that, at home also I am logged in on messengers, checking mails, using social networks, and on the top of that, the windows mobile is not letting me disconnected. On the weekend itself, trying to avoid unwanted calls, and that is keeping my mind always full of stress. I realized that I am spending far lesser money than what I earn, even then I am always worried about money and more money. I realized that I am saving enough money I would ever need, whenever needed. Still I am stressed about job and salary and spends.

May be, many people will call this approach “not progressive attitude”, but I want my life back. Ultimately it’s a single life, a day gone is a day gone. I believe if I am not happy tonight, I’ll never be happy tomorrow morning. I finally realized that meeting friends, spending quality time with your loved one’s; spending time with yourself is the most important thing.

If on Sunday you are alone and you don’t have anybody to talk with, then all that luxuries of life, all that money is wasted. May be cutting down your requirements, re-calculating your future goal in the light of today’s happiness is a worthwhile thing to do. May be selling off your Santro and buying Honda City on EMIs is not a good idea. I believe putting your happiness ahead of money is the choice we need to make.

I think, a lot can be said and done but what we need the most is re-evaluation of the value of happiness and time we are giving to our life and people associated with it.

Think about it.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Forgive-2

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These two are wise people. Which two? The one who sees his transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his transgression. These two are wise people.

The key phrase is rightful pardon to the one who has confessed his misdeed. There’s no forgiveness without confession. And a conditional or an incomplete confession is not a confession but a vain explanation, a justification, a pretense. For example, if someone apologizes for their mistake but starts to describe why they did a certain action or why it wasn’t entirely a mistake, it means somewhere they still don’t mean to apologize, somewhere they still believe there was some validity behind their transgression. No real forgiveness is possible in such a scenario. As they say, a stiff apology is one more insult. It’s much better and more effective to fully admit and take ownership of our mistake and vow to not repeat it.

Forgiving and letting go are not the same, for, forgiveness is only possible when the other person participates in the process. Imagine two road accidents. In the first case, the offender comes out, says sorry and exchanges the details so you may claim the insurance. In the second case, it’s a hit-and-run. They don’t stop and speed away. When there’s no participation from the other side, you can’t truly forgive or reconcile. You may, at the most, unwillingly accept that you got cheated. Sometimes, you find yourself unable to forgive and then feel bad that your heart’s not big enough. The truth may well be that with your heart of gold you are eagerly waiting and patiently standing with the gift of forgiveness wrapped in compassion, love and care, but the recipient fails to show up.

If you are on the other side of the fence, if you hurt someone or when deep within you believe you treated the other person unjustly, offer them an unconditional and a sincere apology. You’ll feel light and they’ll feel healed. To seek forgiveness is even more profound than wanting to forgive.

What if the other person is no longer in your life? Is there no way to forgive then? Yes there is; one for another time. And, at that time, I would also elaborate for you the difference between forgiving as an act versus forgiveness as an emotion.

Om Namah Shivay

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A Moral Dilemma

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A Moral Dilemma

Can you lead your life in absolute black or white?

Some questions have no answers, many questions, in fact, have no absolute answers. The other day, a young physician came to the ashram. Let’s call her Anu. She was rather depressed because of the situation at work. Working as a doctor for an autonomous body in the armed forces, Anu was having to dispense fake medicines. Her patients are the defense personnel — the people protecting the country. And, they are being given fake medicines? Perhaps, the downfall of a nation couldn’t be any worse. Anyway, I’m not an umpire of morality or a writer of politics, instead, I wish to take the spiritual view in all this.

“Did you report the matter to your senior?” I said.

“Yes, Swami,” Anu said, “they asked me to not worry. ‘These things happen’, they said. But, my conscience is not allowing me to continue. I’m giving my patients phoney pills and I know they won’t be cured. I want to quit my job but my family wants me to continue since it’s a government job with many perks and benefits, including pension.”

“Don’t just quit,” I said, “blow the whistle. If you quit, the problem will continue.”

“But, I’ve only told you one of the problems,” she said. “They are also taking kickbacks and commissions from pathology labs where patients are often referred for tests. Everyone is corrupt. If I report it to the Commanding Officer, who knows what all may I have to go through? Further, all my doctor friends who are working in other organizations tell me that I’m being pedantic. They tell me I’m oversensitive. It’s a common practice at their workplace too, they say.”

“Taking commissions may just be a malpractice but giving fake medicines is a downright crime. It’s an ethical, a moral, a legal crime. It’s a crime against humanity. Silence is not always golden, Anu. Silence encourages the criminal. If you keep quiet, you become an ancillary to this misdeed.”

“But, even if I report, Swami, they may do something real bad to me who knows, I may even be fired whereas everything will go back to the way it was at their end. Oh, I’m so confused. I wish my family understood my quandary, I would have felt a whole lot better.”

Her dilemma was if anything would change at all even if she blew the whistle, and, if it was worth risking everything? I asked Anu to write down her principles, to write down what she stood for and live accordingly. Her situation is a complicated one, her questions are valid. She has to choose whether she wants to continue with a burden on her conscience hoping one day she won’t feel bad about it anymore, or, expose the wrong and put up with the consequences that could range from a suspension to anything unimaginable. Meanwhile, the innocent patients will continue to suffer.

I don’t believe morality is absolute, but when you violate your own principles, you place on yourself the same burden as an immoral act. You can’t escape from yourself. You can only forgive yourself if you don’t repeat it. I always encourage everyone to write down their principles, their top three principles. It always helps to know what we stand for. Decision making becomes somewhat easier then.

Mulla Nasrudin was the magistrate in a local court. The plaintiffs presented their side of the case and Mulla announced a short recess. Immediately upon his return he gave a judgment in favor of the complainant.

“But, you haven’t even heard our argument!” cried the defense counsel.

“Be quiet,” said Mulla. “I’ve already made up my mind after hearing the plaint. Hearing your plea now will only add to my confusion.”

The truth is, life will confuse you. You will have to make choices, make decisions. You will need to make up your mind. There’s little wisdom in putting it off. The course of history was changed by those who challenged the ‘common practices’, who refused to withstand the oppression, who decided to stand up and not by those who kept quiet. Nothing changes unless we act on it.

A noble life may have its share of stresses and challenges, but it does bestow inner peace and extraordinary strength. There’s no room for depression in it. Everyone has to face difficult situations in life. And there comes a time when you can’t delay a decision any further, when you must pick a side. At that time, if you are confused, find a peaceful spot and write down what matters to you in your life. Thereafter, make a choice that supports your principles and your priorities. Obstacles will become gratifying challenges, and the pursuit will become a fulfilling journey and your life will gain a new meaning then.

When you take up a cause bigger than yourself, the whole Universe summons itself to be by your feet, at your disposal. This is the irrefutable law of Nature.

Om Namah Shivay

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Attitude Is Everything

I can’t overstate the importance of being able to maintain a positive attitude, but I’m the first one to admit that it’s not easy.

Wait to Worry

I used to worry. A lot. The more I fretted, the more proficient I became at it. Anxiety begets anxiety. I even worried that I worried too much! Ulcers might develop. My health could fail. My finances could deplete to pay the hospital bills.

A comedian once said, “I tried to drown my worries with gin, but my worries are equipped with flotation devices.” While not a drinker, I certainly could identify! My worries could swim, jump and pole vault!

To get some perspective, I visited a well known Dallas businessman, Fred Smith. Fred listened as I poured out my concerns and then said, “Vicki, you need to learn to wait to worry.”

As the words sank in, I asked Fred if he ever spent time fretting. (I was quite certain he wouldn’t admit it if he did. He was pretty full of testosterone–even at age 90.) To my surprise, he confessed that in years gone by he had been a top-notch worrier!

“I decided that I would wait to worry!” he explained. “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry–something that was happening, not just something that might happen–before I worried.”

“When I’m tempted to get alarmed,” he confided, “I tell myself, ‘Fred, you’ve got to wait to worry! Until you know differently, don’t worry.’ And I don’t. Waiting to worry helps me develop the habit of not worrying and that helps me not be tempted to worry.”

Fred possessed a quick mind and a gift for gab. As such, he became a captivating public speaker. “I frequently ask audiences what they were worried about this time last year. I get a lot of laughs,” he said, “because most people can’t remember. Then I ask if they have a current worry–you see nods from everybody. Then I remind them that the average worrier is 92% inefficient–only 8% of what we worry about ever comes true.”

Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.”

Most of us want to be positive. It’s advantageous to possess a sunny outlook. Doors open to optimists. They make friends, earn respect, close sales, produce loyal clients, and others enjoy and want to be like them. The question is, how can we do that consistently?

Om Namah Shivay

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The Secret of Happiness-1

Dragging my feet from one day to the next, what am I really doing? This one question is unavoidable in the life of every reasonable person. Call it existential crisis, midlife crisis or whatever you like. If you have lived your life by the book, and did all that you could to help others and yourself, this phase is inevitable.

Every sane person, at some point in their life, is plagued by a persistent feeling of emptiness. Everything is there but nothing is, you feel. There is no real reason to be unhappy and yet happiness is nowhere to be found. I have wealth, family, freedom, status, I should be happy, you think but life still kind of feels pointless. As if the more we acquire the emptier we feel.

Not every rich man feels empty and not every poor man feels fulfilled though. Not all the time anyway. Happiness is a flirtatious partner. You can’t bet on its loyalty or stability. Often we think happiness exists in my dreamland, a place where everything (and everyone) will move according to me. And since, life will function the way I want, I won’t have to deal with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, anger and so on. This is a lofty and an ignorant view.

A life devoid of challenges and conflicts is not necessarily a happy life, in fact, it is immensely boring and will eventually lead to intense sadness and a big void. Our struggles teach us, they shape us.

Quoting Dr. Victor Frankl, whose philosophy bears significant and direct influence on my views shared in this post:

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.

Om Namah Shivay

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