Smart Working And Living In The `Now’

A wood cutter believed best day results are obtained by working hard; so he worked hard every . The first day he cut ten trees; the second day nine trees but the third day he could cut only eight trees.At the end of the week, he could cut hardly one tree despite the same six hours of hard work. Perplexed, he approached a wise man and asked him the reason.

The wise man replied, “More than hard work, what is crucial is smart working. Have you sharpened the saw?“ You have to learn to work smart, more than work hard. The brain, for ages, has been programmed wrongly; it has positioned the future to be your saviour. Hence, people think and believe, “If I get million dollars, I will become happy; if I get married, I will become happy .“

So your saviour seems to be in the future. This is the error the brain has done. The description of time is past, present and future. But the truth of time is present. Past was present, future will be present. Hence, the truth of time is present. If you do not know how to be happy now, you can never be happy. If the brain says, I will be happy in the future it is silently telling I am unhappy `now’. With such programming, when it gets the object of desire, it is experienced in the `present’ when the present has been programmed as `I am unhappy now’. So, despite getting what you want, you are unhappy .

You have to learn to be happy now in the present; and out of happiness, you have to get the object of desire and not `for happiness’. This is smart living. You have to bring in the power of `being’ and not get lost to the power of `becoming’. The power of `being’ is, I am happy `now’ and the power of `becoming’ is, I will become happy if I get this or that. How can there be growth, if there is no drive of `becoming’?

You have to look deeply into your life. The `becoming’ which appears to have brought a lot of growth in the form of development ­ has it given fulfilment? Despite achievements, there is no fulfilment. All growth is oriented towards fulfilment. When you position happiness in the future, there will be no fulfilment. So `becoming’ has not really given what is needed ­- fulfilment. Be happy now and out of joy, go about getting what you want. Get not for joy but out of joy.

Then, your work is going to be fun, your life is going to be a joy. For joy is in the `here and now’ and not in the future. The `will of wish’ makes you live for fantasy , but the `will of comprehension’ makes you see the fullness of the here and now.

Do understand that wishing to be happy in the future is different from `willing to comprehend the now’ what the `now’ is. Once this change happens, then life is always in the now. The future will happen, when it happens, it happens in the now. So the `will of comprehension’ transforms the mind. The brain, as one uses it, is creating a fantasy in the future but no fulfilment, but the moment you transform joy in the `here and now’, then the brain uses `the will of comprehension’. An appreciable revolution happens to the brain. This is smart living.

Om Namah Shivay

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Are You Disconnected From Your Power Source?

When we play a game, we often become so engrossed in it that we forget everything else. Similarly, we become so engrossed in our daily lives that we forget who we really are. That forgetfulness cuts us off from our true power.
In a parable, the vine provides nutrients and life to a branch without which the branch can’t produce fruit.

A branch without its vine is merely a dead twig. We, too, must connect to a flow of energy from a power greater than our own.

For those of us connected to a spiritual path, the guru is the vine, the source of the power that sustains us.

When we cut ourselves off from the source that sustains us, we are left with only the power of ego. The ego has its realm, mainly in a small area of human activity involving will power, intellect, choice and the ability to function in society. But if we consider the many basic bodily processes that aren’t under our conscious control, such as breathing, circulation, digestion, and the beating of the heart, we see that there is a deeper power sustaining us. God does nearly everything, leaving only the tiniest part to us.

It reminds me of my granddaughter when she was three years old. We’d assemble all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle except the last one. She would then turn that final piece many different ways and eventually , with a sense of great accomplishment, put it in place and say, “I’ve done the puzzle!“ We’re like that. God does 999 pieces of the puzzle, and when we put the last piece in place we say , “I did it all myself.“

Our egos are like little jets of flame on a gas burner: each one has the appearance of individuality; each is, in fact, but a spurt of the unifying gas underneath. As our consciousness expands, we become more and more aware of our connection to the Divine Source. Real spiritual growth begins when we recognise that true source.

To open ourselves more fully to that source, we need to realise first that we have much more inner strength when we realise ­ that the energy , intelligence and will we’re using come from an infinite ocean. Our will power is like a faucet. As we open up the valve, more and more water flows through.

Second, we have to connect to the deeper, more expansive parts of ourselves. This we can do by overcoming the delusion that we alone are the doer. God is the Doer through us. Third, we need to attune our consciousness to the guru who could help us realise our divinity . By attuning to his consciousness, we draw his grace.

Fourth, we need devotion. It is through the love of our hearts that we open a channel to that sustaining power. Grace then comes in, like sunlight through a window, and changes our consciousness.

Finally , we need to meditate deeply .In meditation we can experience God’s energy as the sound of Aum or as light. We expand not only by contacting that power, but also by offering ourselves into it. It’s like the branch and its leaves offering energy back to the vine that sustains it.

As we deepen our connection with the Divine, finally , we learn that there is no “I and Thou“. There is only the one Source. Then, with a flood of love, we re-establish our union with God and find our true power.

Om Namah Shivay

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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


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 Overcome the Mind

What is the mind? The mind means the many desires that you carry within you. Nature knows very well the number of desires you drag and carry as a burden within you. Nature sees how tightly and feverishly you hold on to your desires, so sometimes it grants those desires and sometimes it does not. But when we remain happy and centered whether our desires get fulfilled or not, then you can say that you have killed or overcome the mind.

Suppose you are going to a cinema theatre to watch a movie and you stand in line to buy the tickets, and you get to know that the theatre is house-full. Do you feel angry or frustrated about it, or do you feel “Oh, it’s alright. Never mind”. and simply move on ahead.

You may also think that since you did not get a ticket for the cinema hall, so you might as well go to a temple for some time ; or sit in a satsang for some time. When you are able to do this (skilfully), then know that you have killed and overcome your mind.

Have this unshakable faith that whatever is the best for you, that alone will happen in life. Nature will only give you that which will uplift you higher in life. Keep this deep faith.

When does this knowledge dawn in you? It happens when you give your 100% effort in whatever you do. If you simply sit idle and think that God will anyway take care of everything, then that will not do.

Usually, you do not think twice when you are about to do something wrong. But when you have to do something good or beneficial, you think “If God wants, then it will happen”. Many people tell me, “Gurudev, only when you wish or call us will we be able to come to the Ashram”.

Why do you need an invitation? Does God ever send you an invitation asking you to come meet Him? When we have to do something good, we leave it to destiny (instead of making an effort to do it). But if you want to fulfil some desire or aspiration of your own, you put in every bit of your strength to achieve that. You put your heart and soul into it. This thought process needs to be reversed.

You should know that whatever situations you are currently undergoing in life is because of your Prarabdha Karma (Karma that bears fruit in the present). And whatever you deserve, you will surely get that in life.

You must think, “What do I have to do in life?” And then you should just go ahead and do that with all sincerity, without thinking about what results you will get out of it. You should not worry about that at all. Just do whatever you have to do. Then a deep sense of contentment

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.


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.


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


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!


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

Om Namah Shivay

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What is the importance of ‘Service’?

Q: What is the importance of ‘Service’?

Guruji: People who are willing to serve will have good times even in the bad times. When there are problems, such as famine or war, Red Cross people are fine as they are serving. The more relief they bring, the happier they feel. And people who are selfish and who just want to enjoy themselves will be miserable even in good times. Often the organizers of a party do not enjoy the party because some little thing is missing, they forgot to invite somebody, somebody did not come or some little thing went wrong.

A wise one is happy even in bad times. And the ignorant one is unhappy even in good times. You make the time good or bad. People usually blame the bad time and just wait for the good time. Even if an astrologer says that you are in a hopeless time, you can still make it good time! Like Weather, time has its impact on you. Your Satsangs and sadhana are your shields, your protection. So realize that you are more than time and that you can change the time by your connection to the Divine.


Q: How realistic is it for a person to become enlightened in one lifetime?

Guruji: You don’t have to be very special. You can have it right now in this room.


See when the sunlight has come, you don’t need to put off the candle. Even if the candle is there, it just loses its significance. The candle light has significance only as long as the sun has not come up. So when the inner joy wells up in you, you don’t need to exercise control. It is a spontaneous happening.


Q: Music and dance is the way to balance energy. Is it wrong to listen to pop, jazz, and rock and roll music?

Guruji: No, there is nothing wrong, but if it’s too noisy then it’s too hard on the nervous system. Jazz, rock music, etc., activates the first chakra, so it takes you out of inertia, no doubt. But it can also be very jarring if you’re more subtle, and if your nervous system is very refined.

Just like how a super-computer needs an air-conditioned controlled proper atmosphere, same is with our nervous system. It cannot handle anything too rajasik or too jarring.

You can just try listening to some very loud music in a rock concert, just stand there for some time, you may enjoy it for five to ten minutes, but afterwards you want to run away from there. And when you come back home, your whole body may shake. I’ve never been to any rock concert; still we rock wherever we are.

Om Namah Shivay

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वर्तमान समयमें घरोंमें, समाजमें जो अशान्ति, कलह, संघर्ष देखनेमें आ रहा है, उसमें मूल कारण यही है कि लोग अपने अधिकारकी माँग तो करते हैं, पर अपने कर्तव्यका पालन नहीं करते ।
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कोई भी कर्तव्य-कर्म छोटा या बड़ा नहीं होता । छोटे-से-छोटा और बडे-से-बड़ा कर्म कर्तव्यमात्र समझकर (सेवाभावसे) करनेपर समान ही है ।
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जिससे दूसरोंका हित होता है, वही कर्तव्य होता है । जिससे किसीका भी अहित होता है, वह अकर्तव्य होता है ।
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राग-द्वेषके कारण ही मनुष्यको कर्तव्य-पालनमें परिश्रम या कठिनाई प्रतीत होती है ।


मनुष्य प्रत्येक परिस्थितिमें अपने कर्तव्यका पालन कर सकता है । कर्तव्यका यथार्थ स्वरूप है‒सेवा अर्थात् संसारसे मिले हुए शरीरादि पदार्थोंको संसारके हितमें लगाना ।
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अपने कर्तव्यका पालन करनेवाले मनुष्यके चित्तमें स्वाभाविक प्रसन्नता रहती है । इसके विपरीत अपने कर्तव्यका पालन न करनेवाले मनुष्यके चित्तमें स्वाभाविक खिन्नता रहती है ।
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साधक आसक्तिरहित तभी हो सकता है, जब वह शरीर-इन्द्रियाँ-मन-बुद्धिको ‘मेरी’ अथवा ‘मेरे लिये’ न मानकर, केवल संसारकी और संसारके लिये ही मानकर संसारके हितके लिये तत्परतापूर्वक कर्तव्य-कर्मका आचरण करनेमें लग जाय ।


असली गुरु वह होता है, जो दूसरेको अपना शिष्य नहीं बनाता, प्रत्युत गुरु ही बनाता है अर्थात् तत्त्वज्ञ जीवन्मुक्त बना देता है, दुनियाका उद्धार करनेवाला बना देता है । ऐसा गुरु गुरुओंकी टकसाल, खान होता है ।

वास्तवमें जो महापुरुष (गुरु) होते हैं, वे शिष्य नहीं बनाते । उनके भीतर यह भाव कभी रहता ही नहीं कि कोई हमारा शिष्य बने तो हम बात बतायें । हाँ, उस महापुरुषसे जिनको ज्ञान मिला है वे उसको अपना गुरु मान लेते हैं । कोई माने, चाहे न माने, जिससे जितना ज्ञान मिला है, उस विषयमें वह गुरु हो ही गया । जिनसे हमें शिक्षा मिलती है, लाभ होता है, जीवनका सही रास्ता मिलता है, ऐसे माता-पिता, शिक्षक, आचार्य आदि भी ‘गुरु’ शब्दके अन्तर्गत आ जाते हैं ।


‘आशीर्वाद दीजिये’‒ऐसा न कहकर आशीर्वाद पानेका पात्र बनना चाहिये ।
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वर्तमानका ही सुधार करना है । वर्तमान सुधरनेसे भूत और भविष्य दोनों सुधर जाते हैं ।
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दुःखी व्यक्ति ही दूसरेको दुःख देता है । पराधीन व्यक्ति ही दूसरेको अपने अधीन करता है ।
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अज्ञानी तो बीते हुएको स्वप्नकी तरह मानता है, पर ज्ञानी (विवेकी) वर्तमानको स्वप्नकी तरह मानता है ।
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वस्तुका महत्त्व नहीं है, प्रत्युत उसके सदुपयोगका महत्त्व है ।

Om Namah Shivay

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