Posts tagged: benevolence

Kindness

Many times in this world, we come across people who are insensitive and hurtful. Often we fail to understand the reason behind their way of life. The fact remains that embroiled in the rat race that appropriately epitomizes the human existence, man truly forgets the importance of kindness. At times being utterly self-centered and narcissistic, an individual ends up hurting those that truly care about him. Why does man end up being such a heartless person? Why can’t man extend a genuine feeling of kindness and empathy to those around him? These questions often torment the seeker as he steadily progresses on the spiritual path.

To understand the reason as to why man fails to imbibe the quality of kindness within himself, we would first have to understand what kindness truly means. Kindness is nothing but a feeling of mutual belonging and empathy towards your fellow brothers. Kindness is nothing but love for humanity. When a person learns to truly love every single individual irrespective of his vices, he truly imbibes the virtue of kindness within himself. Kindness gives you a sense of belonging; it gives you a great sense of understanding. Above all kindness endears you to God.

If one wishes to see instances of kindness, one need not look any farther than the saints that have walked this earth for long. These saints are great, realized souls, who have within themselves overflowing and insurmountable love for humanity. Their sense of belonging and empathy is so great that they can even feel the pain of a tree that is hacked mercilessly to the ground. Their love is so pure and unadulterated that it manifests itself in the form of a magnanimous gesture of kindness that envelopes the entire world within itself.

So why does man fail to imbibe this priceless trait within himself? What essentially makes him fall into a ceaseless cycle of self-centeredness? Well the answer to the aforementioned questions lie in the fact that every human being is essentially attached to his own identity. He is always aware of his own difficulties. The hardships that he faces through his life make him believe that indeed it is only he who is made to suffer so much. He is unaware of the fact that every other person who is trapped in this redundant and recursive existence is fighting the same battle; the battle for survival.

If a man was to realize this fact, he would indeed be more considerate and empathize with all that pass his way. If only a man was to realize that the grief and regret that he derives from life is the same as that of everyone else, he would indeed find solace in the fact that he is not all alone. Thus, therein, he would realize that his kindness, which imbibes in him a sense of belonging and goodwill, is indeed a great boon. I say that it is a great boon owing to the fact that kindness is always rewarded in kind. If you were to but empathize with a fellow human being, give him hope and say in simple words, “I am there for you”; you would indeed find that in your times of grief there would be someone, who would be there for you. Kindness has a habit of showing up at unexpected places; all you have to do is ensure that there remains enough kindness in the world; all you have to do is ensure that you remain kind-hearted; for that is the simplest way through which you can reach God’s holy kingdom.

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Me, Me, Me !

Human beings are characterized by their superior intelligence and developed discerning capabilities. Many times, the aforementioned attributes define us as humans. Those attributes are what truly separate us from animals. Through time, it has often been said that man is a social animal. What we deduce from the aforementioned dictum is that man is an animal that has learned to adapt and adopt a symbiotic way of life. Simply put, man has learned how to live in a group; he has learned how to thrive in such environments. Above all, through the spectacular journey of evolution, man has learned how to be more pro-active.

Even though man is considered far more evolved than any other physical living being on the face of this earth, the fact remains, that his instinctive ties are strong and untouched. Instinct is essentially something that is entrenched deep in the roots of physical existence. It is like a program that is preloaded into the hard drive, once when the soul takes a physical form. Hence all who are trapped in this recursive way of life, have strong instinctive ties with their physical existence.

Instinct is all about the self. It is all about self-satiation and self-gratification. Think of it as an unrequited and perpetually unfulfilled state of hunger. No matter how much you feed it, you will still be hungry. That is precisely the reason as to why every single individual on the face of this earth is ultimately a self-centered one. Upon reading this dissertation, many would be outraged at the fact that I refer to them as self-centered; but upon keen self-introspection, they will realize that it is indeed so.

Each and every action that we perform in this world; in one way or the other is directed towards the enrichment and gratification of our own ‘self’. The reason as to why I quote the word ‘self’ in this sentence is that I want you to keenly introspect it as a separate entity. Upon doing so, you will realize the truth. It is always all about “what I want” and “what would make me happy”. Even when we love someone, we do so owing to the fact that the said person makes us happy. That person cares about us and we have this incredible delusion that the said person would never ever hurt us. In the end, it is all about us…it is all about the ‘self’.

What true spirituality essentially teaches us is how to rise above the ‘self’. It teaches us an entirely new way of life, wherein our actions are not centered towards self-gratification and self-satiation, but around selfless benevolence. It teaches us a way in which we can discover and realize the ‘Christ’ within ourselves. Ultimately, the spiritual journey takes us through the advanced stages of evolution, wherein the ties that bind us to our physical existence are severed. Through sheer intuitive cognizance and through a heart that has within itself naught a single shred of regret, yearning or unrequitedness, we can attain this superior stage of spiritual evolution.

However, it is often easier said than done. Moving through the paces of life, we indeed find it hard to be benevolent. In our worldly life, we often need to make harsh decision to progress and achieve success. The sheer toil that the worldly life puts us through, makes it very hard for us to be selfless and benevolent in life. However, if we make a genuine effort to rise above our instincts that inherently make us human, we would indeed find that we are embellished with a great sense of peace, satisfaction and ecstasy. It is only then that we would realize, that even sacrifice carries within itself great bliss…

That would indeed be the greatest achievement ever…

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Benevolence & Desires

Following up to the article that I published last week on selfless benevolence, I would like to go out a limb and elaborate on the connection that exists between selfless benevolence and human desires. Desires are essentially self-centered thoughts that make the human being aspire to some personal gain. Benevolence, on the other hand is a truly magnanimous gesture that relies solely on human sacrifice. So in reality, how do these two pragmatically opposite concepts find a common ground? What connection exists between benevolence and desire? Today we find the answers to the aforementioned questions.

Unrequited desire is essentially a form of unrequited energy. To understand the aforementioned corollary, one would first have to cognize desire in its very essence. Desire is any thought that does not find consummation. Desires find their birth in human thoughts, which in themselves rise from the human consciousness; from the human spirit. Thus desires in one way are the unrequited expressions of the spirit. They are efforts made on part of the human spirit to find some form of satisfaction and peace within itself. Ultimately the sense of unrequited-ness which is created within the spirit itself is created due to the unresolved karmic bonds that the spirit bears with other souls. These karmic bonds leave their own mark within the constitution of the said spirit; which ultimately manifest as desires. Essentially desires act as catalysts in the law of karma; for desires in themselves at times are the motivation for certain karma; and unrequited karma on its part forms the crux of the birth of any desire.

To understand that one would have to simply look dispassionately at life. If we do that we realize that many times, it is our desires that get us into liaisons that we otherwise detest. Consider an example; a person wants to eat at a certain restaurant; but fears to do so for he knows that his ex-girlfriend works there. Yet the desire to eat overcomes his reticence and he goes to have a bite at the said restaurant. Eventually circumstances evolve in a way in which he ends up having a humiliating experience at the hands of his ex. Now the role that desires plays here is that it induces a karmic liaison between the two said persons. It induces the action, or makes provision for the reaction; now the main problem that lies before the seeker is to realize if any karma was part of the “action” or the “reaction”. Was the man meant to go to the restaurant just because he had to be humiliated at the hands of his ex? Or was the humiliation a result of his foolhardy decision to visit the restaurant in the first place?

These are the questions that plague the seeker evermore as he starts to move further ahead on the spiritual path. As the seeker begins to analyze each of his actions, he is faced with this grave problem. The karmic liaisons can hardly be comprehended, let alone be dissected by the intellect. The only thing that the seeker can do is that he can willfully try and absolve his karma. This he can only hope to accomplish through selfless benevolence. For when the seeker on his own accord, acts selflessly and takes pains for the sake of others; acting in complete benevolence, not expecting any returns, he automatically absolves his own karma. Without even interacting with anyone, the seeker can absolve his entire karmic load through sheer benevolence. That is the great power that selfless benevolence bears. Still, the seeker’s personal desires act as a deterrent in his quest to be benevolent.

However, the way to absolve the humane desires is through benevolence itself; desires are irrevocably tied to human karma; and thus are they requited with its absolution. Benevolence absolves all desires…quenching in the end the burning fires…

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Selfless Benevolence

Today, we finally come to the topic that has always been a great source of discussion here on The Last Pilgrimage weblog. It is indeed remarkable as to how important this factor is in the spiritual journey of every seeker. The spirtual journey is essentially an evolutionary process. The spiritual path institutes the divine presence of god in the heart of every seeker who walks it with a sense of deep-rooted determination. While many people know this for a fact, they fail to truly cognize as to what God represents. How does one classify God? The answer to that question is truly beyond the scope of explanation, but it would suffice to say that God is indeed a benevolent entity. He is someone, who exists solely for the purpose of shedding his divine grace on the rest of the world. God is kind, merciful and endearing. To put it in a single word, God is selfless; he exists for the sake of others and all that he accomplishes is for the greater good of humanity.

Humanity on its part is always trenched in the weaknesses that inherently make an individual human. Man is a self-centered beast albeit, one who is socially trained and universally accepted. Point of the matter is that man in his very essence is an instinctive animal. The very human existence reeks of self-gratification and incessant bids at fulfillment of vain desires. The fact that the human existence is infinitely recursive is proved by the fact that the desires, which are associated with it are indeed endless. Man can never end his desires through satiation, and thus every frail effort to satsify a desire ends up inflaming it even more. Thus the entire human life becomes naught but a chain of unfulfilled desires; for unrequitedness is an attribute that is always associated with desire. No matter how hard you try to fulfill them, desires will never end.

So we come to the next logical question in the chain of reasoning. How does man truly derive joy from his life? How can man truly be happy, if ever desire leads him to a perpetual sense of discontent. The answer to that question is a single word. Realization. Man can truly be happy only when he realizes the fact that he can never derive complete satsifaction through the fulfillment of his desires. He has to be unconditionally happy no matter what the situation that surrounds him. Once an individual accomplishes this, he would never remain bound to his desires.

Upon making this bold statement, many would question the motive of their lives? What would man live for, if not for his desires? People often come to a stalemate when this question arises. This happens owing to the fact that they can never even imagine a life that is not motivated by any sense of personal desire or personal ambition. However there is an alternative factor that could indeed provide the seeker with greater motivation, resolute focus and unshaken determination. It is the sense of a benevolent purpose that accomplishes that. When you work for someone else; when you strive for the happiness of others; when you endavor to change the lives of the destitute that lie ravaged on your sides, you make a greater choice that uplifts you from the misery of human existence. When you commit a selfless act, it embellishes your spirit with a great sense of bliss and insurmountable ecstasy. You will gain seamless satisfaction and contentment out of such acts of selfless benevolence; no matter how insignificant they may seem to the casual observer. The benefits of benevolence shall far surpass the skepticism that the world would throw your way…

…to be continued
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Desires & Purpose

Desire is a queer thing. The more you get it; the more you crave it. In many ways, desire and not the absence of it, is the root cause of all the misery in this world. Any unfulfilled desire brings with itself a sense of incompleteness that renders a man weak. Any unrequited desire inflames the heart as the man mongers around in discontent and agony; only owing to the fact that he has a desire in his heart. This happens owing to the fact that every person hopes to gain happiness from the fulfillment of his desires. Thus when he is denied that pleasure owing to prevailing circumstances, the individual loses all sense of hope and his life subsequently becomes miserable. A person who does not let the fulfillment of his desires be a factor in the pursuit of happiness is indeed a person that could be termed as a spiritualist.

04-Jun-2007 02:35, Canon Canon EOS 20D, 3.5, 10.0mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 100
 

I use the word only out of necessity, owing to the large amount of prejudice that is targeted towards ‘spiritualists’ in general. Deemed as perpetual losers, the world thinks that a person turns to spirituality only owing to the fact that he cannot succeed at anything else in life. That definitely is not the case, and while there may be spiritualists who prefer to spend their life in solitude, conversing with God, there remain many who are pro-actively involved in all walks of life. Now the thing to cognize is this; spirituality is essentially a school of life that teaches you to go beyond your self-centered desires; to go beyond your conviction that life is to be lived only for yourself. Spirituality essentially teaches you to go beyond the ‘self’ and to be benevolent and selfless to others; to work for a cause; to work for a purpose. But the point of the matter still remains, that once the human being loses the allure of desire in his life, life no longer holds for him the same allure. Simply put, he develops a curious disdain for life, owing to the fact that he can no longer derive happiness from his desires; a realization that inherently makes his life empty. Thus when such a man turns towards the spiritual path, he often finds within it a calling that makes his life worthwhile. In the end, it is all about making sure that the juice is worth the squeeze; that the output you gain is worth the efforts that you put in. Thus when a man lives his life for the sake of others, and works benevolently and pro-actively to fulfill a purpose, he truly finds that his life is worth the effort that he puts into it.

In the end, it is the benevolent purpose that makes his life seem worthwhile. It is the knowledge that he is indeed instrumental in changing someone’s life for the better that gives him joy and satisfaction. Thus the happiness that he derives from such an achievement is far greater than any desire could lend him. For in the end, desires are infinite and the discontent that they bring into one’s life diminishes the joy that is derived from their fulfillment. As opposed to that, the purpose that is ordained upon a man is finite in nature, for it is derived from the karmic liaisons that the man has to his name. Thus fulfilling that purpose not only brings with itself a great sense of satisfaction, but it also results in the absolution of man’s recurrent bouts of misery. In the end, the fulfillment of the purpose leads to the complete ablation of desires; something that many people dread. However there is nothing that is more joyful than a state of no-desire; for in it there is a sense of completeness and peace.

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Image Credit: “A Benevolent Benvolence” from EyeFetch

A Greater Vision

In my previous article titled Patience, Faith & Hope, I had mentioned that there are three things that are required to achieve superlative success in this world. The three were thus enumerated as energy, perseverance and vision. Any individual who incorporates these three attributes into his life would find great success, no matter where he goes. Success is again a relative term. While something that may seem as a great achievement to you, won’t necessarily mean the same to me. Hence success is alternatively defined for each and every one of us. While most equate success with personal achievement or personal glory, it can be safely said, that these things are hardly of any use to others. Sure my neighbor may be a great successful billionaire, but does that in any way, change my life? Does that mean, he pays my taxes for me? Does that mean that he can truly make a difference in my life, just by being who he is? That is definitely not true. One person’s success is of no use to the other person, unless it changes his life for the better.

Thus we come upon the third attribute that I mentioned in my dissertations pertaining to superlative success. ‘Vision’; it is a man’s vision that truly determines as to how universally successful he becomes. It is vision that incorporates within itself not just personal ambition or personal desire, but a genuine craving to make a difference in the society; a genuine desire to uplift the destitute. In the end, it is this vision that truly makes a person great; for the purpose, which is rooted in selfless benevolence makes his vision seem worthwhile to others. This in turn makes his achievement and his success all the more universal and endearing.

It is hard to come across men who have such vision in their lives. They truly are a rare breed of human beings. Most of the times, we come across people who bear a very stunted vision concerning their goals and desires in life. Most of the times a man’s vision is centered towards the ultimate fulfillment of desires; towards self-gratification. Thus the vision in itself has no scope of growth. However contrary to that there exist some men, whose vision is such that even the wisest of wise cannot fathom their ultimate purpose. Such vision is deeply rooted in a genuine need to be selfless and benevolent and hence such vision incorporates within itself the interests of others as well. It incorporates their problems and their shortcomings in a bid to finally seek a solution to change their lives for the better.

It is this ‘greater vision’ that ultimately finds the greatest success owing to the simple reason that it is not centered around one single person. The fact that such vision is centered on the overall benefit of the people at large makes it that much endearing to others. Hence others who work with you are all the more eager and willing to incorporate that vision into their own lives. Hence with such a ‘greater vision’, one can not only make a difference in the society, but he can also inspire others to act in the same way. Thus gradually as more and more people start to believe in that vision, their collective energy goes into fulfilling it. In the end, such greater vision enables man to fulfill a greater purpose that is rooted not in instinctive self-gratification but in selfless benevolence. Thus a man who is centered in such a vision and who acts accordingly to transform that vision into reality is uplifted by the blessings of the thousands, whose lives he changes. These blessings ultimately take him beyond the recursive and redundant way of life that the human existence epitomizes; lending a divine sheen to his existence; in the end making him immensely satisfied and exalted.

Thus when he comes to the end of his journey and as he looks back he realizes that his life truly means something; that his life was truly employed in making this world a better place to live in. Ultimately, such success that leaves a positive influence on the lives of others is success that can be universally equated with greatness… for it truly is divine…:)

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