The spiritual way of life has always preached an ideology and propagated a lifestyle that is full of selflessness and benevolence. Every single time that God has walked this wretched world, through his own actions he has preached and taught this message of sacrifice and love for all of humanity. Indeed it brings us to a point where we realize that love is indeed nothing but sacrifice. It is only when you can truly go beyond yourself and sacrifice your own pleasures for the greater good of others; is when you can say that you have learnt how to love; it is only then that you can truly realize what it is to love.
05-Dec-2009 09:38, NIKON COOLPIX S51c, 3.3, 6.3mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 800
However this fact in itself brings about a strange paradox to life. How can I go beyond my own desires and work for those around me? How can I truly surpass my instincts when all they teach me is to self-indulge? How can I truly be spiritual when I know that within my own self there exists a great void; that there exist multiple unsatiated desires that demand consummation? Well the questions are endless and the answers are few.
To truly understand this riddle and to go beyond it requires a great deal of spiritual understanding and acceptance. The seeker needs to understand that he can never truly go beyond his own self unless he completely satiates the ‘self’; the self in this aspect is truly like a foreign entity that resides within the seeker and desires all the varied illusions of this mortal world. Every seeker has desires; that is inherently why he is called a seeker; once he goes beyond those desires, or once he has satiated those desires, he no longer remains a seeker; he becomes a guru; for no desires can touch him, he is already beyond them. Such a person can indeed work wonders in this world.
But how to become that person, is the question that lingers at the back of all our mind. How to be that person when you know deep down that within yourself is a plethora of desires, all begging to be satiated. Desire by its very nature is an unending void; one desire leads to another and so forth. This cycle goes on till the point that the seeker himself is utterly spent in seeking and all he gets in his hands is nothing-ness. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust.
But then how can a man be truly spiritual? His desires wont depart by quenching them, and laden with desires, he can never even hope to become loving and benevolent. Well the answer to that question is that you can never do one thing. A wise seeker always acknowledges the fact that his desires are his weaknesses but he also knows that unless and until they are quenched, he cannot move ahead. Spirituality gives him the understanding which brings him to the realization that “Yes! This is it. This is what I want, and this is where my desires end”. Beyond that, the seeker has naught to be afraid of. He can indeed reap the best of both the spiritual and mundane worlds; he can relish in his own desires, provided they are finite and going forth, he can indeed be selfless and benevolent to the world, working for a cause that is for its greater good.
Such a life is truly a blessed one. For this balance is something that is inexplicably hard to achieve. One who achieves it is indeed blessed by the great Guru and God himself.
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Image Credits: Satiation by Podlog Pipkasky.
Life is a gift that has been given to us by God; it is an opportunity for us to earn all that we have yearned for through the ages and often it happens that life itself leads us onto wild journeys that we hardly ever cognize. I have often thought that life is naught but a series of incidents that happen with us; a series of misfortunes or a series of unimaginable opportunities; take it as you will, the fact remains that life is a great chance that God gives us to truly understand ourselves and to truly realize what we are. Our desires and the cognition of what we truly want out of life, finally lead us to realize what kind of a person we are. Ultimately those things lead us to realize who we are and where we belong.
I have often said that life is naught but an illusion; a dream, however living through that dream with an inescapable grip on reality is equally hard. Many times we end up being lost in that dream and in the paradox that lies between the dream world and the real world; at the end of it all we stay brooding on what is truly a dream and what is reality… If this life we take to be a dream, then we realize that the dream itself is so real; however if we start taking life seriously and think of it to be real and potent, we understand that it is indeed not so; we start to realize that in the end, all that we live for is completely useless in death; we are left with naught but a cold sense of realization that still ends up leading nowhere as we never knew what it was that we truly lived for. Such is life.
Most of us live our lives as peas scattered on a windy day; we live life without bearing any conscious sense of bearing or ownership. We know not what we truly desire and by the time we get to know that, we have already committed some acts that lead us to perpetual misery and regret. Thus the first part of truly living a happy, contented and satisfied life is to take ownership of that life and to truly understand what you seek of it. However that is easier said than done; the principal reason as to why we can never understand our own desires is that we do not know that desire in itself is very fickle. It is nothing but an intense and overbearing sense of restlessness and incompleteness; and directed by our senses and instincts, it leads us to lands where we would never otherwise go.
Thus when the very thing that motivates us; that guides us and drives us; our desires; when that very thing turns out to be so fickle, guided by the same, our life too ends up being naught but a mockery. It is of great importance to realize what these desires truly are and to address them before the urge to satiate them gets out of hand. However this needs to be done in a very systematic way as action in itself is the root of all karma; and driven by false ends, one can never realize the truth. Thus the next step in taking ownership of your life lies in taking ownership of your actions. Again, as I said before, easier said than done… We often feel that our actions are not resolute enough in their execution; put shortly, we often feel that we are not determined enough in acting which inadvertently leaves any task that we undertake incomplete; be it your career, your personal life or the mother of them all, your spiritual goals.
Taking ownership of your own actions mean taking complete and utter responsibility for all your acts. You are responsible for your acts, for in the end your acts of the present determine your future; they determine the graph of your life; hence the most important thing to know is to not let your actions be deviant or derogatory in any way; there is one simple law of life, that goodness spurs from goodness; and from vile actions, there can be nothing but vile results. But when our instincts define our desires; and when our desires drive our actions, how on earth can we hope to be pure in our acts…for deep down we all know that we are neither pure in thought…nor in desire. That in itself turns out to be the undoing of all our actions.
More on this in the next article…
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Man often lives his life in the pursuit of desire. It is the innate craving that he bears in his hearts that at times makes him willfully strive through the worst phases of his life. Indeed man’s desires dictate the course of his life. We often say that desires are something that should necessarily be overcome; that desires end up being the greatest hurdle in man’s eternal spiritual quest to be one with The Great One; however we often overlook the fact that indeed in the materialistic world, it is only desire that drives, sustains and accomplishes the dream.
Spirituality is essentially a journey of evolution; and evolution itself is a journey of time. It is a journey that takes eons to complete. Indeed the spiritual evolution itself takes thousands of lifetimes before the soul can truly be at one with the super-soul. However to evolve spiritually one has to pass through the land of dreams; through the mortal world. Thus in a way the seeker who seeks to go beyond all the illusory dreams of life has to do it whilst being a part of that dream himself. That in itself creates a certain paradox in the life of the aspiring seeker. Being part of the mortal world, he is forced by instinct to be drive by desire and yet his intuition constantly ends up reminding him that what he is mindlessly running after; that desire itself is but a dream.
However the seeker knows that if he is to truly evolve, he needs to chase that dream; he needs to fulfill that desire for it is only then that he shall truly learn its illusory nature. It is only after the seeker achieves all that he aspires; it is only after the seeker fulfills all his materialistic ambitions, would he finally realize the sheer pointlessness of having desired those things in the first place. That is how it goes. The process in itself seems to be recursive and long; however it brings with itself great realization. The realization brings with itself great wisdom and that wisdom alone is a sign of the spiritual blessings that the seeker receives from the masters.
So coming back to the point at hand, it indeed seems that contentment would in a way kill the process of evolution in a seeker; that satisfaction would in a way douse the passion that the seeker bears in his heart. Resultantly it would only end up making him uncreative and un-productive, taking him further away from the reality of life. It is only through deep passion that something extra-ordinary is achieved. Hence today I say to you, if for once you find that your heart is filled with a million desires and with passion so great that you find no peace, it is indeed a good thing. For that very passion and those desires, would help you make more creative and more productive than ever; and in the end the understanding that would arise when the passion is doused by the waters of realization would be something that shall last for eternity. The wisdom that you would get when the dream comes crashing down around you would indeed yield you great peace; for then would you have truly renounced the dream.
People hardly realize this, but renunciation is something that arises out of desire. It is only when you achieve all that you desire and realize that it is truly worthless indeed; that is when you renounce it and that is when you move a step closer towards shedding your own illusory garb. Renunciation is something that comes on its own accord; you cannot force it. Hence today I say to thee that the path to dreamlessness indeed lies through the dreams; the path to renunciation lies through incessant craving; the journey of being dispassionate commences through being incredibly passionate; and the journey towards realization comes from deep ignorance. It is ironical indeed; but that is how life works…
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Man is a splitting image of imperfection. Life is but a journey towards perfection. The aforementioned lines clearly reflect the true gist of life and its purpose in a simple way. However for the man that travels along the hard roads of life, this journey in itself seems to be an arduous task. As we live through life, we often feel that life gives us little chance to evolve; that life indeed gives us little chance to progress as individuals. What we indeed find is that the better part of our life is spent in trying to find ways to sustain ourselves; in trying to find ways to make a living. In many ways life hardly seems to be the party that it is made out to be in the youth.
Life is a chance; a chance at redemption and a chance at achieving perfection. However many individuals feel that life is but a chance for indulgence. Thus many times we find such individuals, who completely pass away their entire lives simply reaping the shallow joys and hasty pleasures derived from desires. Life, for them is thus equated with desire; equated with self-satiation and a perpetual need to be self-centered. Such individuals in the end hardly make the optimum use of the resources that they get as humans; the gifts that are ordained to them, for every single resource is ultimately utilized in the bid to fulfill their own personal desires.
Now that being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong in being selfish. What we are talking over here has long passed the duality of being wrong or right. It is about choosing the path that is the most rewarding and fulfilling of all. It is about choosing a way of life that is ideal in every single way. I never propagate a denial of desire; for denial leads to depravity and depravity leads to destitution. Such an individual can never be rich in spirit; for his spirit remains craving till the end. Hence true spirituality never propagates abstaining from desire; what it does propagate is abstaining from the mindless pursuit of desire.
Spirituality is a school of thought that aims in bringing about a balance in your way of life. It is a science that aims at evolving you completely; to achieve that it necessarily has to have a broader approach towards life and towards the needs of every single individual. You can never evolve unless you are truly ready to do so with every single shred of your existence. Hence your desires, your ambitions and your karma has to flow as one in a single direction. You can hardly achieve that oneness in depravity and craving. Such a well-balanced and centered approach can only come from one who has indeed no desire left for desire.
Such a state of no-desire, only comes after an individual passes through the many trials and tribulations of life; and not just through a single incarnation, but through multiple ones. Such a state of completeness and virginity comes only through true realization. At the onset I mentioned, that if we but look at life closely, we find that the better part of life is always spent in trying to sustain it. We find that the better part of life is always spent in trying to sustain our desires; so much that after one point in time, even when you get the thing that you desired the most, it no longer holds any appeal for you. This happens owing to the fact that the hardships of life indeed wash away all unconsummated desire from the heart. The journey to fulfill desire; in the end ablates the desire itself.
Such is the mystical journey of life; you never know how you evolve through it. But rest assured, you have no choice but to evolve; for that is a honor bound duty that we have as men. Born into flesh were we, and die in flesh we shall; but living in the spirit; that is something that we can surely achieve. For in the end that is what shall lend us immortality. That in the end shall be the perfect life.
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Through the entire documented history of human existence, if one does but observe minutely the events that define history, one would realize that the ways in which these events came to pass is indeed quite bizarre. The sentiment that motivated people to act in the way they did; the circumstances that made them what they were was what in the end defined their acts. However through history and even through our daily rote of life, we see that there is one thing that completely defines and dictates our every single line of action. That thing is desire.
Man is born into desire; and is essentially born owing to desire. Hence desire and the feeling of incompleteness constitute a major part of every human being’s existence. The reason behind that being that every human being is essentially conceived out of desire; hence the very first thing that is injected and embedded into his constitution is raw desire. This desire ends up being a part of man’s instincts and from there on every single action that a man executes is to fulfill one single motive; desire.
Man often feels a sense of freedom while expressing his desire; either through words or through conscious acts; for that truly makes him feel at one with himself. When a man expresses his desires through actions; in a way fulfilling them for the moment, he indeed feels happiness permeating every single strand of his consciousness; and yet somewhere deep within, he once again starts to feel the unconquerable feeling of incompleteness; he once again starts to feel desire; once again starts to feel hungry.
In the resultant chain of such synchronous cycles of desire and fulfillment, man in a sense completely loses touch with life. For him desire ends up representing life and life ends up being simply a chance given to fulfill desires. However, the one thing that man never realizes is that his desires can never be truly fulfilled; he never ever realizes that the gaping void, which he feels inside his own self, can hardly ever be consummated by the happiness gained through shallow desires. This ultimately results in his downfall; for he is trapped in the recursive cycle of life, where he can indeed make little progress; he ends up coveting and achieving the same things repeatedly; he ends up working for the same desires; the same shallow pleasures and the same resultant incompleteness.
However, the tragedy does not stop here; for man in the end is but a social animal. His desires and his aspirations can hardly every be fulfilled in solitude; they often demand the presence and accompaniment of his peers; the other animals. Thus man goes ahead and forges relationships; varied interactions with likeminded people, all in the end hoping to get that gaping hole in their blood-stained hearts filled with peace and contentment. However the tragedy is that they hardly know what they seek; and they hardly ever know where to find it.
Such is the travesty of the human life; for in the acts that spur from unrequited desires; the karmic web is spun more intricately around the soul; creating a maze of pitfalls and synchronized heartbreaks that in the end result in naught but grief and regret. However man, being but a confounded creation that is born out of desire into perpetual regret hardly ever cognizes the true message that life sends forth to him. For every single regret and bout of grief, man find his solace in the embrace of desire; for desire acts like a soothing drug; driving him forth to the shallow highs; for the moment making him forget about the destitute lows of life; for the moment making him forget about the true message of life…
Such is desire; it brings with itself perpetual craving and leaves in its wake unimaginable depravity… such is desire.
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I have often said that life is a series of events that happen to an individual. Life is a series of occurrences or happenings that are simply related to each other. How this occurrences are laid out in each of our lives is a mystery that none of us can indeed fathom. In reality, however this very mystery helps us to live life with a renewed sense of hope and vigor with every breath that pumps our heart. Imagine indeed if there was no mystery left in life; how boring and monotonous it would truly be. Even greatness would lose all its sheen for indeed there would be nothing-great left about it.
05-Aug-2005 14:14, Canon Canon EOS 20D, 3.5, 85.0mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
These various events that span out in an individual’s lifetime often induce some emotion in him; be it anger or happiness; be it ecstasy or depression; the varied moods of life never fail to influence the flow of our destinies. Through the many emotive phases that an individual goes through in his life, I have often noticed that there is one emotion that lasts the longest; that there is one emotion that stays forever with an individual; that is regret.
I have often said that the only lasting emotion in life is regret; that every individual at every point in his life feels regret in one form or another. Regret that he did something; or regret that he did not do something. The very nature of human life is such that an individual naturally regresses and goes into a state of mind where he feels completely lost and hopeless. This situation essentially arises owing to an individual’s unwillingness to accept the burden of his own choices.
Life is a journey in which we have to work with what has been ordained to us. We have to work with what fate we bring with us to these wretched lands. This essentially means that we have to work towards progression and no towards regression. What we have at the end of this life should be something that is far greater than what we had at end of the last one. That is the basic crux of human evolution. In the end we find that the only that stays with us through life and death is our spiritual wealth; it is only the spiritual wealth that we carry when we move on from our physical bodies; and this wealth is something that can be inculcated only through conscious acts of goodness.
Regret is an emotion that comes from deep within our hearts; it is when life disappoints us beyond count that we experience regret. So essentially what this means is that regret being a perpetual emotion, our entire lives end up being but a fallacy of endless disappointments. These arise primarily from our desires. So the basic reason as to why an individual experiences regret and repentance in his life is that he realizes that every single one of his desires ultimately lead to him losing his entire spiritual wealth. In every way, he starts to know that his desires have a heavy price indeed; that his desires are ultimately the cause for his spiritual downfall. The reason being that he hopes to derive lasting joy from the satiation of his desires; something that can never be accomplished; and hence regret forms an eternal part of his existence; simply owing to the fact that he desires happiness from desire itself. Desire in the end purges an individual of all his spiritual wealth.
So how can man truly live his life? Can he simply go about denying his desires? No that would indeed be horrific. But the simple realization and a situational awareness would indeed go a long way. When man realizes that his desires cannot indeed yield him lasting joy, he would cease to expect that from them; when man understands that desires are only meant to satiate shallow pleasures; he would take them for what they are work through them for a better future; for a more evolved future. But until the day dawns and man realizes that desires are not the source of all the goodness in this world, he would forever be plagued by the bane of this physical existence that we call regret.
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