Every human being while growing up is well-acquainted with the feeling of being absolute or complete. They relate this feeling of absoluteness with being happy. For instance, if we are craving to eat chocolate and get our favorite variant, we feel happy as soon as we eat a piece of it. Even if the happiness lasts for a split second, it rewards us with a feeling of absoluteness.
If we want our child to score 100 percent marks and we are complied with, we feel absolute. Considering this example, one may realize that whenever they have felt happy, it is due to this feeling of being complete.
On the contrary, if our child scored 89.99 percent when we expected him to score 90 percent, we start feeling incomplete or unhappy. If we want to build a 100 crore business, but at present, our turnover is 90 crores, we feel dissatisfied. Similarly, having N minus 1 number of hair when we want N number of hair on our head can also lead to a state of unhappiness. Hence, between this gap of what we desire and what we have, lies our suffering.
Even if we are able to attain momentary happiness, it is very short-lived because the cloud of emotions and beliefs start overpowering us all of a sudden. And, this short-lived sense of joy is never absolute as it is relative to one thing or the other that we wish to possess in life. As soon as our attention goes to something else, we start feeling incomplete. For instance, one of our children has bagged the first position. However, the other child has flunked in one subject; our happiness goes for a toss. We are always looking for happiness without exactly knowing what it is. What are we looking for? Isn’t it time that we asked ourselves this question?
Life has proven that people who have billions of dollars are also suffering. If money and materialism were the answers to all our sufferings, then our planet should have been a somewhat happier place. However, it is not so. We are living in the constant endeavor of finding and understanding this sense of absoluteness. Our situation can very well be compared to the mythical deer with “Kasturi.” It roams the entire forest looking for the source of fragrance, not knowing that the Kasturi is within its own navel.
The challenge in the pursuit of finding absoluteness is that we spend things to buy momentary happiness. We base this feeling of happiness on how people treat us, the amount of money and comfort that we have, and the physical beauty that we possess even when it is beyond our control.
Being born dark or light is not a choice but a matter of our genes. Yet, we peg our happiness on some weird concepts of beauty. Something that starts only with the need for survival turns into our endless need to accumulate to satiate our never-ending hunt for absoluteness.
If we look at a tree without judging it, the reality is that the tree is absolute within itself. It is not pretending to be something else. However, as humans, we are not happy the way we are or in being who we are. We want to transform into someone else. Therefore, we keep rejecting ourselves and create struggles in our lives. At times, we confuse self-acceptance with resignation from life. We start procrastinating things in the namesake of self-acceptance. And, this is the reason why spirituality should be de-mystified. When we accept ourselves and the things around us, it is a complete state of joy.
So, how can we achieve this complete state of happiness? People talk a lot about being happy but, how do we reach a stage where we completely accept ourselves?
To accept life the way it is, we need to learn how to stop rejecting ourselves and our life the way it is.
We need to look for things that are absolute in the real sense. We need to look for the “Kasturi” within us. We must eliminate the obstacle that is deterring us from exploring the absoluteness within ourselves and find a methodology to reach it.
Doing so is possible when we come out of the layers of our limitations, perceptions, beliefs of the mind, and start looking at things the way they are. We need to identify and get rid of our compulsions. Through Gyan yoga practices, it is possible to separate ourselves from our limiting beliefs. Practices can help us in correcting perceptions about life.
Over my two decades of experience, I have initiated several people into the practice of Gyan-Marg. I have seen them becoming less troubled by their emotional minds and less hijacked by their emotional compulsions. As soon as the emotional minds of people are addressed, they can perceive things more clearly. They can see things from a better perspective, make better decisions, engage with people more positively, and create happiness in their lives.
I’m eager to know how difficult it has been with you to remain Happy and Why?
Somewhere in each human being, there is a belief, and this is something we don’t need to tell anybody, no child is told about it, they just know, that there is something called absolute. Not as a word but this feeling of being absolute or complete. So, we all are looking for that moment where we feel complete. For e.g. you wanted to eat chocolate and you got your favorite chocolate and when you put a piece of it in your mouth you feel complete. Even if it is for a split second, you feel complete. So, if you look at each example when you felt happy, you will realize that these are those moments where momentarily you felt complete. You felt absolute. That is another thing for example you know when some people eat chocolate they also feel guilty because there are a lot of notions and conceptions attached to everything. But, necessarily we are looking for that feeling of being complete and we feel happy only when we feel complete. It is like if you thought that your child should bring 100 percent marks and if he brings 100 percent marks now you feel complete. If you wanted her or him to score 90 percent marks and he scores 89.99 percent marks you feel incomplete. That feeling of being incomplete brings unhappiness into us. So we want to have a 100 crore business and we have a 90 crore business, we feel incomplete. We want to have a 10 billion dollar business and we have a 9 billion dollar business we feel incomplete. We want to have N number of hair on our head and we have N-1 number of hair on our head, we feel incomplete. So this gap of what we want to have and what we have, we keep suffering this gap. And, we keep feeling incomplete all the time. Even if we are happy for a moment it is very short lived because suddenly the cloud of emotions and beliefs related to it starts overpowering us. When we get that happiness its not absolute. It is related to only one thing or another that we want to have or possess in our life. It is one moment. But, the rest moments or our attention goes to something else which is incomplete. So, for eg. we have got two kids. One kid bagged the first position, you become happy momentarily by listening to the results of the first child but as soon as the second child says that he flunked Mathematics your happiness goes for a toss because it is not absolute and we are always looking for that absoluteness without knowing what exactly is that absoluteness. What is that absoluteness that we all are looking for? Isn’t this the time to ask that question?
Life has proven that people with billions of dollars are also suffering. So, if money and materialism were an answer to all our suffering then there should have been a little less unhappiness on the planet. But, it is not so. We are living in that constant endeavor of finding that absolute without knowing what that absolute is. It is like that mythical deer carrying “Kasturi” and he roams the entire forest in the ordeal to find where is this fragrance coming from. The challenge is that in our pursuit to find happiness or absoluteness we spend a certain thing and try to find happiness. We base that happiness on how people behave with us, we pegged our happiness on the amount of comfort and money that we should have in our life, we pegged our happiness on the physical beauty for which we aren’t even responsible. If I am born dark or fair, it is my genes. I am not even responsible for that still we have pegged our happiness on some weird concepts of beauty. And, then we live a life of that Kasturi Mrig and keep hunting for those pegs in our life. Something that started only with the need for survival, only with the need to ensure survival turned into our endless need to accumulate in order to satiate our never-ending endeavor of absoluteness.
When you look at a tree without judgment in your mind, if you look at the tree from a tree’s perspective, the reality is that the tree is completely absolute within itself, it is not trying to become something else. An apple tree is not trying to become a mango tree. Trees are just happy being whatever they are but as humans, we are not happy the way we are or in being who we are. We want to be something else. And, in that endeavor, we keep rejecting what we are. And, keep creating that struggle for our own life with our own hands. I am not saying all this from the perspective of being a loser or a procrastinator or a lazy person that oh I am this so I am fine the way I am. That is resignation and I am not talking about the resignation. That is resigning from life. And that is why spirituality needs to be de-mystified. We have taken out the meaning of accepting ourselves as resignation. When we are in complete acceptance of ourselves and things around us it is a complete state of joy.
How is it possible? People have always been talking about this but, how does that one reach that stage where we are completely accepting of ourselves?
To accept life the way it is we need to learn how to stop rejecting. To be happy we need to accept life the way it is. To be happy we need to search for something that is really absolute, things that can be really absolute. We need to find the “Kasturi” within. There is something in us that is stopping us from exploring or from experiencing that absoluteness within us. We need a methodology, a path to reach that absoluteness.
The path is to come out of the layers of your limitations, your perception, your understandings of mind and look at the things the way they are and not try to make something out of it. The path is to identify your limitations and perceptions and to come out of those compulsions. You need to identify your perceptions and behavior and it is only possible when you are able to separate from that state for a while and that is only possible through practices. Practices make you see yourself like that. We need a methodology or a part to reach that absolute state of being. The methodology is simple yet complicated. We need to set right our perceptions about life. We need to come out of our limitations of compulsive emotions, convictions, and beliefs. It is as simple as that being a kid most of us hate to eat vegetables, but, as we grow older we start loving the same vegetables. Because now we experience how the vegetables are benefitting our bodies. So we need to come out of our limiting convictions, beliefs, self-made conflicts and suffering.
As I worked with people and initiated them in the practice of Gyan-Marg, I can see that people are now less troubled by their emotional minds and less hijacked by their emotional compulsions. As soon as their emotional minds are addressed they can perceive things more clearly, they can see things from a better perspective, they can make better decisions, they can engage with people more positively and inclusively, hence creating joy and happiness in their lives.