सब राज़ी खुशी हैं? (“Is everyone happy?”) यह भी कोई पूछने की बात है? (“Is this even something to ask?”). अच्छा, सदा खुश हैं की कभी कभी? (happy always or sometimes?)
We are sitting in front of the ever happy soul Himself and his desire is that we stay ever happy as well. He reminds us that happiness is the treasure of brahmin life. How can we not be happy when we have God belong to us? The God that saints and sanyasis have been performing penance for years belongs to us. So then if we still find that we are unhappy or that we only experience happiness in spurts, then I need to ask myself if I have made myself belong to God too?
When you think about it, it is only when I have accepted someone wholeheartedly or made myself belong to someone can I experience happiness from that person. Else, I could be in the most lively company but if I don’t feel like I belong then what are the chances of me feeling lively too? So, how can I make myself belong to Him?
Well, before we even explore that aspect, it is important to understand what it is means to belong. When I belong to someone, then that person is the only one I have seated in my mind and heart. If this is God, then given He is pure and virtuous, having Him and only Him in my mind and heart would mean a pure and virtuous mind and heart which could only translate into happiness. Alternatively, what happens if He is not in my mind? Well, nature abhors vaccum and so she is quick to fill up any empty space almost always with waste and negative thoughts. Why? Because such thoughts quickly drain the intellect of all its energy. Then the mind is unproductive and not of much use to anyone and that’s the point that nature would like to get to and we would want to avoid. I might say, “Well, I have a great connection with God. I love Him very much”. That’s great that I feel that way but that still does not equate to belonging (or love for that matter) if I also love my car, my house, my job, my name and fame, my relationships and all the other trappings of this materialistic world.
The key word is only! When I belong to God, only He is allowed in my mind. Everything I have is His, I am His. I see myself no longer as a separate entity but as one with Him. I become the kind of person that can walk hand in hand with Him- develop the characteristics that allow me to rise above the ordinary because He is not ordinary. I make myself eligible to represent Him and support Him just as He supports me. It’s a partnership! And a partnership only works if both sides are fully vested.
Also when you think about it, happiness comes with being ready, prepared. It is liberating to know that you’ve checked off all the things on your to-do list or that you were done before the bell rang on your exam day! The feeling of calm and relaxation that this brings is something I’m sure we have all experienced. And we are all preparing for that final exam, that moment when I the soul will leave this mortal body and return home. And whom I remember in my final moment will determine my future for not just one but for 21 births. So its time to get smart about my future and make my choice.
And really the answer to the question of how we can make ourself belong to God is that we make ourself Ever Ready. The things that will prepare us for the final moment will also be the ones that will make us belong to God. So what are these?
(1) Understand who I am: I am a soul- a pure, peaceful and loving soul. I am a shining star located in the center of the forehead. I am eternal and an actor in this unlimited drama of many lives on this world stage. To that end, this body is simply my costume and is made of matter. With each new role or life, I change this costume just as an actor would.
When I understand this clearly, then how much sense does it make to be attached to this body? Its not me, its only a costume that I will change at the end of the role. Till then, all I need to do is pay only enough attention to keep the costume in good condition i.e. maintain good health through good satvic diet that God recommends and enough exercise. If I’m instead spending time on decorating the costume being trapped in fashion, in flaunting it to the world, in making it a central part of my existence, then it appears that I have pushed me, the live energy, the actor to the back and put the costume in the front. How can a movie that is based only on a look with zero substance work?
Also just as I am a soul and actor, so is everyone else and they are all playing their respective roles. When I understand this aspect, would it make sense to take offense when someone says something impolite or to compete with anyone else? Each one has a unique part in this drama and no one can replace another. So then why go through the futile exercise of trying to be like someone else? I can’t! and I don’t want to, right? (See Soul, Find Yourself and Be Yourself)
(2) Understand who God is: God is the Supreme Soul, also a shining star just like I am. He is also eternal and an actor- the main actor as well as the director and creator the unlimited drama that I am part of. He, however, does not have a body and does not come into the cycle of birth and death. Through His knowledge, He gives us spiritual birth and so by that definition, He is our Father. He is therefore the one from whom I receive my inheritance- inheritance of knowledge, of virtues, of powers.
It is through this knowledge that He provides us with guidance as a director would about how we should be performing a particular scene. And as I improve as an actor, I am able to invoke the right powers at the right time, imbibe virtues that allow me to be compatible with the vast crew of this production thereby making each day on the sets seem more like fun and less like effort. To the extent that I am good at using this inheritance, abide by the director’s guidance, my performance will be good and appreciated. The best actors then stand to get the best roles in the next production, right?
What makes this easy is that the director is God. He is perfection and you know you are in the best hands. All you have to do is trust and believe! As I go through the movie, there will be many- actors like myself that will find it their business to provide advice. There will also be times when I might feel tempted to ask for some myself. It is then important to remember that the movie is a director’s vision and so the right thing to do is to follow ONLY Him. (See Supreme Soul)
(3) Understand what it is that I am here to do: I am an actor and this is a movie. The home that I live in and everything else I “own” or use are all props on the movie set. Even this body is a costume that belongs to the movie house that I have been given for the duration of this role. My job is simply to give my best performance by wisely using the director’s guidance and my tools of powers and virtues.
This is not my home. My home is the soul world which is where I will return once I’m done performing my role. It is where I belong. So then I’m confused if I’m attached to the home that my character lives as if it were mine or to anything else or anyone else here. Its akin to the fans that they love a movie star because they liked a character he/she played!
To be fair to the others, there are only so many retakes I will be allowed to get it right. And it is only when I always have the awareness of these the aspects that I will be on top of my game when the director calls “action” and will have no qualms when its time for “pack up”! Else, we will realize as we keep getting closer to the end that we did a poor job and will either be out of work or end up with a side role in the next gig. But then it will be too late!
Let there be no doubt that there will be many obstacles along the way, as is expected in any movie making process, that will test me – jealousies, insecurities that will see others trying to block my progress, unsolicted advice, my own fears, self-doubt of whether I can get through what appears to be a particularly tough scene, sometimes that will be followed quickly by a couple more just for fun! There will be times when I might feel overconfident, contempt for others, loneliness or times when I feel dejected and just want to quit. But then again, the solution is to constantly be aware of the three aspects which will instantly dispell insecurities since I am reminded that each one of us has a unique, irreplaceable role in the play and fears since I am reminded that I am in the hands of the best director in the world. That He also doubles as a friend and confidant to remove any loneliness. I will also remember that a play is a director’s vision and therefore it is only Him I should be listening to and taking advice from. Anything else is adulteration.
राह में कांटे एक दो नही होते
राह कांटों के भरी होती है
मंज़िल उस राह की आखरी चोटी पर खड़ी होती हैं
जहाँ हर कदम पर मिलती एक नई चोटी हैं
देख उसे जिनके विश्वास डगमगाते हैं
वे मंज़िल को भूल कांटों में उलझ जाते हैं
जिनकी निगाह मंज़िल पर होती हैं
वे कांटों पे ही चलकर मंज़िल को पा लेते हैं
I want to be the soul that is content and thereby happy at the end of what I’ve contributed to the movie, of having played my part in fulfilling the director’s dream and positioned well for the future. I want to be the person at the train station waiting for the train back home, ready, with my hat on, my umbrella and the newspaper that has glowing reviews of the movie. And that depends on my dedication to my craft and preparation I do today. The alternative is I while away my time now, confusing the sets to be my true world and causing a lot of pain and expense to the director and others. The result is I find my self at the station with tears in my eyes, scrambling and feeling intense regret as I realize that all that I was after were not really mine and that I can’t take them with me.
There will be two stops for this train – the first at the courthouse (Dharmarajpuri) and the second will be Home. Would I want to be the one that gets off directly at the second stop or one that needs to get off at the first to clear my debts caused due to misbehavior on the sets before I go Home?
Personally, I kinda like the non-stop option! Oh, there is the ticket master…..
Me: “One ticket to go Home please” (as I hand the Ticket Master (TM) my change)
TM: “One ticket it is. And its on the house Mam, I loved you in that movie…am a huge fan!”
Me: (Smiling) “Thank You very much”
TM: (handing me her book and pen) “Can I have your autograph please mam?”
Me: “Of course! Whom shall I address it to?”
TM: “My name is Maya……”