Posts tagged: human existence

The Price of Desire

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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The Price of Vanity

There are indeed times in our life when we truly feel like exuding ourselves and expressing ourselves to our heart’s content. There are indeed times in our lives when we do some things just for the sake of doing them. While thinking in retrospect, we often feel that we never had any valid reason to do the things that we did; however we just did them; maybe because we liked the feeling of doing them. The human ego is indeed an intricate and wonderful thing to behold. It operates on multitude levels, silently influencing our decisions and remarkably enough; changing the course of our life completely.

Vanity is probably the single most dangerous thing that could hamper the success of any individual. Vanity is nothing but an incessant need to assert yourself; to proclaim yourself to be better than the entire world. Such an attitude however proves to be detrimental to an individual as he completely loses his sense of reality and the bearing that he has over his own life. In the end it so happens that this incessant need to glorify his own self directs each and every decision that he takes in his life.

We all have vanity and on some level we all appreciate it when our vanity is stroked. Its like this; I like it when someone praises me; even if the person in question may indeed know nothing about what I do; or may not even be qualified to either glorify me or demean me. But still in the moment of passion when we are overcome by the lust for our own ego, we quickly forget this little specification and swoon in happiness at the shallow praise. Slowly it so happens that we start to covet that praise beyond anything; so much that it starts to become a need in our life; subsequently becoming the sole reason as to why we exist.

Now I am not saying that a person should never feel the need to be praised or the need to be respected amongst his peers. However the said individual should always be aware of the undercurrents that flow beneath the shallow praise and the momentary show of respect. A wise man once said that flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself. Simply put, our ego hardly ever ceases to think about itself. Incessantly it focuses and obsesses over the most intricate of things that make it look good. My vain human ego already has a list of things that corroborate to how virtuous, splendid and beautiful I am. Literally speaking my delusion and my elevated perception about my own self leads me to death and destruction.

Hence, the prudent thing for any individual would indeed be that he should stay away from vanity and personal adulation. Simply put, one needs to approach life sensibly and with a rounded understanding of what each facet and every single factor of life represents. That helps the human being to stay centered in his life irrespective of the praise of dispraise that he might receive. Flattery remains an integral part of any successful man’s life; there will always be those around him who try to capitalize on his vanity. But the one thing that he should never ever forget is that flattery is all right as long as you don’t inhale it. The moment you start to believe in your own hype; the moment you start to caress your own giant ego; the moment all the adulation and success starts to go to your head; that is it. You are done for the day. It takes little time for superlative success to transform into crushing defeat. Such is life; and such is the price of vanity.

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Living with Illusions

I often say that Life is a journey that is both eventful and utterly pointless at the same time. Life is indeed a series of illusions; some that we create of our own accord and many others that we find littered along the road that leads to salvation. I have often said that no matter how false and dreamy the illusions in our life may be, man needs to actively be a part of their fallacy if he is to survive. But how can man truly strike a balance in this situation? How can man actively be a part of the illusion and yet be in touch with reality? The answer to that question is indeed what true spirituality is all about.

Living with illusions does not necessarily mean that an individual as to be completely ignorant of the reality of life. You may be surrounded by people who praise; people who endlessly rave about your achievements. Now enjoying this flattery and the shallow gratification of the ego that it yields is to be expected. But yet within himself, the seeker should always be aware of where he truly stands. Praise and dispraise are both relative. They are fickle; what people think of you is necessarily based on the perception that the people have about your life; and most importantly their intelligence as well.

Thus the first key to living with illusions is to always be aware of where YOU stand. This awareness or this knowledge is not something that is drawn from outside; it is something that comes from within. I am not saying that you don’t acknowledge the praise or enjoy the flattery. Do that to your heart’s content, for that in itself often motivates an individual; but be rest assured that people who praise you in this moment can very well stone you to death in the next. Hence their rebuttal or their disapproval should in no way be a demotivating factor for you. Thus it is always prudent to not let your own understanding of yourself be in any way influenced by the world

The aforementioned scenario is but an example. In our day to day life, we see countless such incidences where if we truly introspect, we realize that we were indeed living in delusion. There is no problem with illusions themselves, but for the fact that they cannot last forever. They are but shadows in the twilight and with time are bound to pass away. When we latch onto those illusions with all our heart and with all the passion that we have within ourselves, we indeed commit a grave mistake; for when the illusion passes on, with it so does our passion for life. That is indeed a deathly scenario in itself.

At the onset I said that life is a journey that is both eventful and pointless at the same time. That was necessarily owing to the fact that in life we experience many different things; we achieve and acquire all that we wish for in our worldly life; and yet someday, we all sit back and think. “Why am I doing this? For whom am I doing this? Where would this journey ultimately take me?” That is the grave realization that ultimately dawns upon us when we discover the illusory weave of the human existence.

So how can we live through this illusory dream? Well the answer to that question is one word. Creativity. Live your life as if you were writing a story or painting a fresco. Any artwork is but a series of lies that leads on to a greater truth. Thus should be your life. No matter may be it entrenched and engulfed in illusions, but through your creativity and through your acts of benevolence, you can indeed give this fallacy a master stroke at the end, so that your life ends up being a creation of beauty. A life lived as such would not only make you the happiest person in the world, but it can inspire others as well.

Work through the illusions; work with the illusions; work as an illusion. Point of the matter is, no matter how intricately distractive the dreams may be, just keep walking…

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Life is a journey spent in the pursuit of excellence. Every human being in this world has within himself the desire to evolve. Evolution is a sign of progression and dynamicity. All through our lives we keep on evolving with time; so much that at one point we come to a stage when we are hardly able to recognize ourselves. There remains within ourselves but a shade of our past as we continuously shape our present and our future.

Greatness is indeed a rare achievement. To be great is to be in every way different than everyone else. The human existence is epitomized by its many weaknesses. These weaknesses hamper man in his quest to evolve; in his quest to achieve greatness. Man on his part also loves his weaknesses and he loves to be impaired by them. This in turn greatly shunts his capability and his desire to evolve which in turn negates any chance at achieving greatness.

Greatness is built upon many things; but the most important of them all is an abject rejection of mediocrity. If any person is to ever achieve greatness, he first has to harbor in his heart an intense dislike for mediocrity. Humans naturally tend towards being mediocre. It is in our blood. We like to be in our comfort zone. We don’t necessarily like taking risks and are content with what we get even if we know deep down that we are more capable and more deserving. Such is mediocrity. Simply owing to the fact that we lack the courage and the drive to go out strive for the best; we are content to settle for the rest.

Greatness is also built upon our capability to overcome our impulses. After living through the paces of life, man often comes to a point where he needs to sacrifice his personal desires and his personal impulses in order to do that which is necessary. At such crucial junctures, the frail human spirit often fails the man and thus he foregoes the opportunity. Ultimately failure is nothing but the sum of all opportunities that we fail to capitalize upon. Many times it so happens that our instincts and our petty desires become our adversaries in the quest to achieve superlative success. We greatly love our instincts and to turn away from our impulsive desires is something that is indeed very painful. In such situation, the image of greatness no longer seems to be that alluring; and the human being readily foregoes it to indulge his heart in his petty desires. By the time he realizes his mistake, all his lost to him and the opportunity is gone.

I often say, “A thousand broken dreams pave the road to greatness.” While many may construe this to be pessimistic, I consider it to be nothing but realistic. The road to greatness is indeed paved with the sacrifices that a seeker makes in order to get there. Our dreams and our illusions are like ghostly images etched upon the mirror of life. In order to go ahead and do that which needs to be done, man often needs to shatter his own dreams and his own illusions. Imagine the road to greatness as one which is strewn with shards of broken glass; all representing your shallow dreams. The only way you can get to the other side is by walking on it. As you walk on it, the splinters of your broken dreams and your unrequited desires cut into your feet, drawing blood and yielding you great pain. But yet with courage in your heart and great perseverance, you walk on till the very end, where what awaits you is immortality.

Such is greatness…All yearn for it, many seek It and yet there are few who truly achieve it. Such is greatness…

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The Need for an Illusion

The entire colorful mosaic of human existence is indeed a grand illusion. It’s an illusion that makes the human being believe in its realness to the point that the individual forsakes all that he has to acquire that one illusion. Many a times it so happens that all great individual achievements and grand success stories have at their center naught but an illusion. Many a times, it so happens that owing to the virtue of that one illusion, a person is able to achieve the impossible in his life. However what happens when reality sets in and the illusion ceases to exist? What happens when the person realizes that the secret to his success was indeed that one illusion that he had held so close to his heart? What happens when the illusion breaks?

That is a question that I have often asked my own self incessantly through the years. Human life is centered around illusions. These illusions give the human being the will to live; the will to endure and the will to persevere. If we but introspect, we realize that all of us in our heart secretly covet a solitary illusion in our life. That one illusion is the key to all our energy; that one illusion is the key to all our efforts; it is indeed the reason for our enthusiasm and our determination.

So what happens when reality crashes this party? What happens when that solitary illusion that we so earnestly covet is shattered to pieces? The answer is simple. We falter. All our intricate plans of grandeur come to an eerie standstill. There remains within us no enthusiasm, no determination and no courage to move on with the purpose that has been ordained to us in life. As the illusion falls, so do the many real things are associated with it for long. Thus when reality checks in and drives the solitary illusion away, the illusion departs taking with itself a part of our own soul. When the illusion that we so covet within our own self, dies, with it dies a part that is associated with that illusion. With it dies a part of our own self.

As we live this life, we always feel a constant need for an obsession, a possession around which we can shape and style our life. In our heart we always yearn for an image that we could cherish and love forever. Still at some point in our life, we find out that we can never satisfy our heart and its endless thirst through these illusions. For that is what they truly are, shallow illusions, in which we try to find our happiness and our purpose of life. And if that one thing, for which we would turn away from God Himself, is lost to us, our life becomes a living fallacy.

Thus in the end, that one illusion ends up representing our entire life; the intensity with which we latch onto it only increases the grief that we experience at its end. In the end, the human being realizes that he cannot live in the absence of an illusion; in the absence of an image that would occupy his heart. Thus he moves on through this world until he finds another illusion that pleases him; one that attracts him. Besotted with this new found dream, the individual finds his love for life renewed. With great zeal and unparalleled enthusiasm, he goes ahead and accomplishes many great things. But yet as is the nature of any dream, it always fades away with time; thus does the illusion wilt away as the seasons pass in line. Again the cold winters set in and alone lies the man; wishing for naught but a dream to covet through the endless span. Such is the endless story of doom, where man in his life moves on fluidly from one illusion to another, until a day dawns when he realizes that he indeed cannot continue to live in such a way. That is the day when realization dawns; and that is day when man is reborn.

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The Moods Of Life

Life is a series of events that happen to an individual. The aforementioned epistle clearly puts forth the fact that life is nothing but a series of occurrences. These occurrences are often dealt with a poetic twist that makes us feel that life is indeed an eventful journey. As man walks through the journey of life, he experiences every event within himself. Every event creates an imprint of itself within that individual. Based on relativity and the individual’s orientation, he thus starts to derive happiness or sadness from the said event. The moods of life, in reality are just that. They are simply the reactions that our mind gives to the events that occur. They are entirely based on our orientation and our attitude towards life.

As man moves through the journey of life, he always loves to just meander aimlessly. Emotionally man loves to cradle his moods and to objectify his grief. This gives him a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement. Man in every sense of the word starts to love his grief. Not that he welcomes it, but still on his own accord, he never misses to derive it at every single chance that he gets. Eventually it so happens that instead of experiencing the joy in living every moment of his life, man starts to find ways to derive grief from every occurrence.

For any true spiritualist, it is imperative that he finds a way to overcome the moods of life. In a way he must find ways to negate the reactions that spur from the mind; find a way to rise above the occurrences of life. Only when man learns to successfully rise above the relativity of life, will he truly learn to live life in the way it was meant to be lived. That is what true spirituality essentially accomplishes.

However in our day to day scenario, we often see that man loves his mood swings. He loves to be angry; he loves to be sad; he loves to be happy and he loves to be mad. Why? Many people would say that these moods are what truly define life; that our emotions truly define us as humans. Well I would say that all our moods end up with accomplishing is that they diminish our potential. They deter our evolution and they embroil us in the redundant and recursive way of life that the human existence epitomizes.

In reality, our moods and our emotions act as the connection between our soul and our karma. That is the reason why every single occurrence that happens to us comes with a reaction from within. That is the reason as to why every single emotion has its trigger set in an occurrence. Our emotions and our sentiments bind us to our karma; and thus if we are to truly be free of it, we must accept our karma with zero reaction. We must accept every occurrence of life with graciousness and peace in our heart. When the torrent of our emotions and our moods subsides, what shall remain is peace. And in the end; that sense of inner peace and that sense of inner satisfaction would take us beyond all the illusions of life. That state of being would then end the series of events that happen to us and then we would finally proceed towards complete and utter emancipation of the soul from the journey of life…

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Life is a dynamic and ever changing stream of events that occur to an individual. Often in life, we see that people are reluctant to change and if they are not, then at times they are simply too eager to change. In the duality that ensues owing to the ever-changing perceptions of the seeker, he is thus unable to find true consistency in his life. At times he changes for he feels that he should change; and yet afterwards he finds that change hard to accept. Point of the matter is that we need to map our behavioral changes according to the society in which we live. Inwardly, we need to take a proper consensus, while changing our perception, so that we won’t be bogged down by the inconsistencies of life.

Everyone says that change is a wonderful thing; that change is the only thing that is constant in this world. That is indeed true. Throughout our life, we find that our relationships and the equation upon which we base our life change rapidly. This change is sometimes induced; while on other occasions, it simply occurs on its own. How quickly we adapt to the changes that take place in our life ultimately determines our rate of success. Hence the most conducive way of living would state that we as humans be open to any change that takes place in our lives.

There are also times, when we on our own accord seek a change in our life. There are times, when some events alter our perception; they alter the way in which we look at life. There are some crucial points in every man’s journey wherein he realizes that he needs to change. In such moments, the individual involved in the act of change certainly experiences varied reactions from his peers.

Change is not an easy process and getting someone to accept that change is an even harder one. Many times we feel that people around us are not welcome of the changes that we bring into our own lives. This is essentially owing to the fact that our peers are used to seeing us in a particular way. They are comfortable with our perceptions being as they are; the moment we change them, people around us know, that the change would inadvertently affect them.

Perception is also one of the reasons, why I say that change is not necessarily a good thing. Our minds are feeble entities that are incapable of showing a shred of consistency. The human mind is always prone to swaying off the course and losing its orientation. Consequently our perceptions alter with rapid frequency as we sway to our heart’s content on the pendulum of the mind. In such a scenario, we often find that change remains an integral part of our lives; we find that there is indeed no consistency within us; that there is no inner sense of resolve and determination. In such a scenario all that we are left with is a fickle mind that sways to any impulses that rise from within.

That is precisely the reason why most of us experience failure at some point in our lives. Inner perception is a very important thing. It is crucial in determining the graph of our life. The most prudent thing would indeed be that we take time to form our perceptions, but once that perception is formed; when that ideology has been created, we ensure that we follow it to completion. Only then can we hope to achieve something tangible in life.

When you imbibe such a holistic approach in life, you would indeed find that the people around you, unflinchingly place their trust in you; for they truly believe in you. They believe in your consistency and they truly feel that with that resolve and with that unshaken will, you would indeed be able to bring a wonderful change in any place that you go.

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Episode 13: “Conquer Corruption”

Today we discuss an issue that is an inherent part of all our personalities. Our mind which dictates the course of our actions is often prone to inner corruption. Corruption comes in form of unneeded desires that divert the mind and make us lose our focus. The one key to truly achieve enduring superlative success is to keep the mind away from corruption; Easier said than done…! How can we keep the mind focused? How can we ensure that it stays centered and oriented towards its true purpose? How can we conquer the corruption that lies within?

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Episode 12: “Conquer Temptations”

Temptations are momentary impulses that arise from human instincts. They are indeed so overbearing that engulfed in their midst, man can indeed think of nothing else. Temptations often lead to the ultimate downfall of any human being. The reason being that they are nothing but instinctive impulses and to satiate those impulses, man foregos all bonds of friendship and brotherhood. Throughout history great men have fallen to the traps of temptations. How can we ensure that we remain free from them? How can we ensure that we can achieve enduring superlative success? How can we conquer our temptations?

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In the day and age that we live in, there are many misconceptions pertaining to the spiritual way of life. Many people think that spirituality is only concerned with ritualistic meditation. There are many who never even try to comprehend the true scope of the spiritual journey before making a perception about it. Either often people think of the spiritual path as a complete waste of time or they think of it as a complete waste of money and time. All in all the common perception of spirituality is quite sullied in today’s day and age.

While I was thinking in the same vein, I started asking myself some fundamental questions pertaining to true spirituality; as in what true spirituality yields the seeker in the end. Upon a great deal of introspection and meditation, I realized that there is one thing that truly differentiates an accomplished spiritual seeker from the common man; it is innocence.

Many would disagree at the aforementioned fact, for they think of innocence as a trait that is generally associated with young children. Look at a child’s face and you will simply be enamored by the innocence that is showcased in his smile. Just look into his eyes as they shine and sparkle bringing to your mind a complete and satisfied picture of pure bliss. It indeed is great joy to gaze upon a waddling toddler as he flashes a toothless grin up at you.

The reason why we derive such great joy from watching babies is the innocence that rests within them. Babies are virginal beings who are untouched by the illusions of this world. Granted that they too are a part of the redundant and recursive human existence, but they are yet unaffected by its shady quagmires. There is no self-identity within a child; there is no sense of ego; and there is no yearning of instinctive self-gratification. A child is an epitome of virginal bliss. There is great transparency within his eyes. Through his eyes, we can see God.

Innocence is indeed nothing but that. Innocence means complete transparency. There is no ego; there is no self, engrained within the soul and the supersoul. There is no feeling of instinctive self-identity on part of the soul and hence it always aspires and emulates the supersoul. In a way, innocence opens up the gates of heaven for the aspiring seeker. It brings within him a sense of insurmountable bliss and harmony. Even though a seeker’s innocence may prove detrimental in the worldly way of life, the accomplished seeker cares for it not. He knows it deep within himself that the Lord would look to his needs and that he would care for his child. Take a look at a baby, for instance; do you ever see him insecure? Do you ever see him in fear? It is only after he gets accustomed to the earthly existence, that the feeling of insecurity sets in. It is only then that the feeling of instinctive self-identity sets in; and it is there that the child loses his innocence and turns into a man.

If someone were to ask me, what I received after walking on the spiritual path, I would say naught but simply and smile and look into his eyes. The skeptics mind would deny the cognition, but the spirit would understand it. The spiritual path embellishes the spirit with a childlike ingenuity and virginal innocence. It embellishes the spirit with fearlessness and complete satisfaction.

Innocence is indeed a great trait. It is a state of being that is indeed very hard to attain. As one lives through the rot of worldly life, he can never retain his innocence; yet if one chooses to adopt a truly spiritual way of life, he would realize that the rewards that his spirit receives are beyond his wildest dreams…

The saint in the image attached herewith is Ramana Maharshi.

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