Swadharma

Q: Guruji, what is Swadharma, and how do I know what is my Swadharma?

Guruji: Swadharma is that action which is in accordance with your nature. It is acting in accordance with your skills and talents, your own nature (svabhava), and that which you are responsible for (karma) . Any action that does not make you feel afraid or restless is Swadharma. That action which you feel compelled to do, without which you feel restless is swadharma. Now do not misunderstand this and say, ‘I feel restless if I do not drink alcohol’. No! Not at all. Every time you feel restless, it not always because of Swadharma. But at the same time not following your swadharma always makes you feel restless.

That is why it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Swadharme nidhanam shreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah’ (3.35). When we do something without authenticity, just to show off to another person, that is when we feel fear because such action is not genuine, it does not come from the heart. But when we do something that is authentic and from the heart, then there is no fear. When someone speaks lies, they definitely feel scared somewhere inside. But someone who speaks the truth does not feel scared at all. In fact speaking the truth and abiding by it brings so much strength to you, isn’t it? This is what Swadharma is.

When we follow that which comes naturally to us in our life, then it brings abundance and prosperity to us. When we flow in accordance with our nature, we grow from within. Any action that uplifts us is our Swadharma. Dharma is that which holds the mind, intellect, memory and our inner soul together in harmony. Growth comes when we follow our swadharma

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Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t question your devotion. I would say we should never doubt our devotion. Take it for granted that you are devoted.

No child ever asks the mother, ‘do you love me?’ The mother never asks the child, ‘do you love me?’

The baby has no choice but to love the mother and neither the mother has any choice but to love the baby. Similarly devotion is inbuilt in every one of us.

Sometimes it is covered with ignorance, hesitation, doubts and insecurity. One’s own insecurity covers one’s devotion. It is only a matter of time for that strip of ignorance and ego to give way and then the inner devotee will shine up.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to deal with humiliation?

Q: How to deal with humiliation?

Guruji: Know that humiliation does not weaken you – it strengthens you.

When you have a sense of belongingness, you don’t feel humiliated. The more egotistic you are, the more humiliation you feel. When you are childlike and have a greater sense of kinship then you don’t feel humiliated. When you are committed to truth and not to your ego then you also don’t feel humiliated. If you are afraid of humiliation, you can neither make progress in your material life nor in your spiritual life. When you stand above humiliation, you get closer to the Self – to God. When you are steeped in love, with the Existence, with the Divine, nothing whatsoever can humiliate you. So, the way out of humiliation is: Get humiliated! Be childlike! Be crazy! Get steeped in love with the Divine! Total commitment to Truth-Knowledge.

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Q: I don’t want to be part of any particular religion, but would rather have fun by taking a little bit from everywhere?

Guruji: You may have fun, but don’t make fun of any religion, okay! You will be in trouble, I tell you! We don’t need to do that, having fun is a different thing. Take good things from wherever it comes and be spiritual.

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The sign of intelligent people is that they celebrate the differences and diversity.

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Q: When we are miserable we think god is testing us, is this correct?

Guruji: When a worldly man is miserable, he blames the people around him, the system, and the world in general.

When a seeker is miserable he, of course, blames the world, but in addition he blames the path, the Knowledge, and himself. It is better not to be a seeker so that you blame less. But then a seeker (sadhak) also enjoys everything much more. There is more love in life and more pain. When there is more joy, the contrast is greater. A certain level of maturity is needed to see things as they are and not to blame the path, the self, and the world. Do you see what I am saying? It is like a quantum leap. If one jumps across this threshold then there is no fall.

The Divine does not test you. Testing is part of ignorance. Who will test? One who does not know will test, isn’t it? God knows your capacity, so why does he have to test you? Then, why the misery? It is thithiksha, or forbearance, in you. And forbearance could be increased by prayerful surrender or vigorous challenge for patience!

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People who feel they have no power, or they have lost power, they become aggressive.

Om Namah Shivay

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What according to you is the definition of love?

Q: What according to you is the definition of love?

Guruji: Very simple. That which cannot be defined is love. If you have never experienced love, there is no chance that you will experience it in the future. So there is no definition. You are made up of love my dear. This whole universe is made up of this one thing called love. And all other things are either in its pure form or distorted form.

Anger is love distorted. If you love perfection too much, then you get angry at imperfection. So that is love for perfection. Love for objects is called greed. Love for somebody can become jealousy and possessiveness. All the negativities are off springs of love. Love minus knowledge is all these problems. Love with wisdom becomes bliss.

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How to Get Centred

Shifting the awareness from the experience to the experiencer; since all the experiences are on the circumference and they keep on changing. The experiencer is at the centre. Again and again come back to the experiencer.

If you are frustrated, instead of spending all the time on the experience of frustration, ask Who is frustrated?

Similarly, If you are unhappy, ask Who is unhappy?

If you think you know something, ask Who knows it?

If you think you are enlightened, ask Who is enlightened?

If you think you are ignorant, ask Who is ignorant?

If you think you are poor me, ask Who is poor me?

If you think you are highly devoted, ask Who is devoted?

Shed all your faces and face the I. Then you have truly come to Me!

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The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.

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Push yourself to reach your goal, and then celebrate!

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Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.

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Set a healthy boundary between your work and personal life.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Heart of a Leader

Insights on the Art of Influence

“Leadership is not something you do to people. It’s something you do with people.” 

“A river without banks is a large puddle.”

Start your people on a journey to the land of empowerment, but don’t forget that they need boundaries. If you cut them loose without any direction, they will get lost and revert back to their old unempowered habits. Like the banks of a river, boundaries have the ability to channel energy in the right direction. If you take away the boundaries, your people will lose their momentum and direction. Boundaries that create autonomy include:

Purpose—what does your company do?

Values—what are your company’s operational guidelines?

Goals—where is your company headed?

Roles—who does what?

Structure—how is your company organized?

Don’t send inexperienced people off alone and then punish them when they make mistakes. Establish clear boundaries that will free them to make decisions, take initiative, act like owners, and stay on track.

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In order to seek perfection, look at perfection, everywhere in creation. In creation, every step is perfect, every object is perfect, everything has its own place. When one does this, then grumbling and complaining mind stops, and rests peacefully.

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Spirituality gives you strength; that inner strength to manage difficult situations & to keep you ever-smiling.

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Q: While meditating I see a pink light in the middle of my eyebrows. Does it mean anything?

Guruji: In meditation you can have many experiences. Sometimes you smell a fragrance, sense a warm touch, any of the five senses can get activated, that is ok. Don’t need to pay too much attention to it. Any experience we take it as they come and move on.

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Q: Knowing that everything would be finished one day, makes me feel very disturbed. How do I come out of it?

Guruji: The temporary nature of things around you should enable you to calm down, and settle in deep.

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If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.

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Celebrate the unique qualities of people in your family and community,while remembering that we’re all equally human.

Om Namah Shivay

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Four Aspects of Mindful Parenting-3

Here’s the secret of joy in a relationship: don’t take yourself too seriously.

Freedom (Upeksha)

Many such scholars as Thich Nhat Hanh define upeksha as equanimity or freedom. Perhaps, the true test of trust in a relationship is how much freedom it grants, and also how such privilege is used. There’s another meaning of upeksha though: patience. And, patience is something that most parents possess and lose in abundance — strangely, at the same time sometimes.

“Do you know when Abraham Lincoln was of your age he studied under the street lamps?” This was what a father said to his 14-year-old every time he scolded him, which was nearly everyday. He thought it would inspire his child. For months, the boy listened to the same argument over and over again.

One day he couldn’t take it any more and shot back. “Dad,” he said, “do you know when Abraham Lincoln was of your age, he was the president of the United States of America!”

Be patient. Understand that when you were 15 or 20, you were going through very similar challenges too as they are facing now. You also loved lazing around, getting up late perhaps, feeding on junk food and so on. Maybe there were times when you told lies, bunked classes and fooled around. This is all part of growing up.

As parents, or in love, you only mean well but you can’t teach them everything. And you shouldn’t try to. For there are certain lessons only life can impart. And, life never transmits a lesson alone. It does so with time. We can do the best we can and the rest must be left to time. The flower of life only unfolds with time. Rushing it is wrecking it.

Be patient. Be gentle. Be kind. Take it easy.

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Reading is a way for me to expand my mind, open my eyes, and fill up my heart.

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Try to disconnect from technology and sit down with a good book on a regular basis.

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Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

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Volunteer with a local reading program.

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The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

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A room without books is like a body without a soul.

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Start a collection of your favorite books, and loan them out to friends and family.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Journey of Life-3

Like other emotions, contentment has to be cultivated in our consciousness. Anytime you step out, you will find people with better homes, cars, bodies, talents and wealth. They are all around you. When you see them, you may feel jealous, envious or inspired. Either way, it makes your present look lackluster. I’m not saying that anyone should sit idle and twiddle their thumbs. Each one of us is free to chase whatever matters to us. Having said that, every pursuit has a cost.

Contentment sprouts from mindful living, a sense that I don’t have to do something just because others are doing it. If you are not able to live in the present moment and find beauty in it, future is not going to be any better. For future is nothing more than present moments unfolding. My past in the afternoon was my future in the morning.

Life is like a river, ever changing, ever flowing. You can step into it again and again, thinking you are bathing in the same river. It is anything but true. The water that was there earlier is no longer there. Every time you take a dip, it is in new water. No two moments are alike. It is ignorant to cling to your past or a future. Life runs its own course. The river may be muddy in monsoons or cold in winter. It may be pleasantly warm on some days and crystal clear on other. At any rate, as long as the source does not dry up, it will continue flowing. Much like life.

Since we are already on the journey of life, we may as well walk with grace, with contentment. Whoever would roam, whoever would stay…

Flow if you want to merge in the ocean.

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We should have this deep faith that there is someone who loves us totally and will take care of everything for us. Then we can be free of all our worries and difficulties.

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It seems the harder I work, the more luck I have.

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Make a goal to arrive at work 10 minutes early.

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The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.

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Take time to be grateful for the opportunity to work, especially when you feel like complaining.

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Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

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Find what you love doing, and put your whole heart into it.

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Aghori Tradition and its practices

Q: Please tell us a little about the Aghori Tradition and its practices.

Guruji: This word Aghora itself conveys the meaning of this tradition. Aghora means that which is not terrifying, that which is beautiful and honourable. So Aghori means one who is very peaceful and who behaves in the same way. It means one who is very beautiful and has no aversions or hatred of any kind towards anyone. In the Rudram Chanting, one of the verses is, “Aghorebhyo Thaghorebhyo Ghora Ghora Tharebhyaha. Sarve Bhyaha Sarva Sharve Bhyo Namaste Astu Rudra Roopebhyaha”. How is Lord Shiva? Lord Shiva is both peaceful and terrifying, and yet he delivers and uplifts everyone. ‘Shiva’ literally means One who uplifts and blesses everyone. The verse means, “O Rudra (Shiva), I bow to you. You are the most beautiful and also the most terrifying of all”. This mantra is called the Aghora Mantra.

Nature is also the same way. When water flows as a river it is so peaceful and serene, but when the same water comes as a storming flood, then it is so destructive. A waterfall is so beautiful to look at, but at the same time it is also dangerous and terrifying. This is the closest example one can give for this mantra. For example, the Jog Falls in Karnataka, it is so majestic to look at, but there is huge amount of water falling from a height of many thousand metres. It is so dangerous as well. If you look at it from afar it is so beautiful, but if one gets caught in the waterfall, they will not be able to survive the intensity of the falls.

All the five elements are like this. Take the fire element for example. Fire is so wonderful to look at when it burns like a lamp. But the same fire can be terrifying when an entire house catches fire and goes in flames. Similarly the same goes for the air element. A gentle flowing breeze of air is so nice, but when the same air takes the form of a storm or a tornado, then it can cause so much destruction.

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There is a saying in Sanskrit, ‘Durjanam Prathamam Vande Sujanam Tadanantaram’. Worship the bad person also. The bad people are ruining themselves so convey your gratitude to them – since at their cost, while falling in a pit and getting ruined – they are teaching you a lesson.

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The soul is the truth of who we are.

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Q: If the parents don’t have a Guru but children have, will that help the parents.

Guruji: Yes. The sadhana you do helps many generations.

Om Namah Shivay

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