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The Asian Age showcases an extract from “The Magic of Awakening”

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Asian age 20 sept 09The Asian Age featured an extract from the book, “The Magic of Awakening” on 20th Sep 2009. The same article was also published in Deccan Chronicle, a newspaper under the same publishing house on the same day. Click here to access the Deccan Chronile Article. Or click on the image on the left hand side to open it in a new window and see an enlarged view. Alternatively, you can read the extract below.

The Employee’s Question :  When I am at home or here with you, I am very focused on the truth, on the self. But I just don’t know what happens at my workplace. I feel that at my workplace, policies and politics promote illusory attractions (maya). I tend to get entangled in the workplace and get lost in that illusion. I don’t feel that I am focused on the final truth at my workplace. What should I do at the time when I get entangled?

Sirshree: At that time, you should do nothing. At the same time, you must not explicitly try to do nothing as well. People often ask, ‘What should I do when I get angry?’ The answer they get is: ‘When you get angry, don’t do anything. You should have done something much earlier.’ We ask such questions only when we are angry or faced with a difficulty. Instead, one should actually prepare for such situations much earlier.

The question is: ‘When I go to the office, I get involved in an environment that promotes illusory attractions. What should I do?’ Well, at that time you shouldn’t do anything. But after returning home, you should definitely reflect on it and ask yourself, ‘What do I gain by indulging in such things? Is this why I have come into this world? Is this what I want to do all my life? How long will this go on?’ Then make up your mind. If you decide that you will continue to indulge in the same old activities of this illusory world for another six months, it is fine. Continue. However, after this predetermined period of time, you have to stop. In this way, you will have planned in advance. Subsequently, if a similar incident occurs, you will be alert, and, therefore, find that you are able to back off easily on some pretext, from the situation that leads to delusion.

You should plan well in advance and resolve: ‘People constantly indulge in illusory things at my workplace. Should I too continue to live like them? Or can I set an example for them so that they are encouraged to get out of them?’ It is possible that on seeing your determination, someone else may think that he too can start living like you.

For example, when you watch a cricket match, you watch a six or a four being hit or a wicket going down. Similarly, you can observe yourself while functioning in this world of illusion as to what happens to you and when. Observe when you get excited. Also make a note of the times when you are not trying to ‘do nothing’. You only need to observe this and your awareness will grow.

You will then go home and think, ‘What did I gain in the process? Why have I come into this world? Have I come here only for doing this?’ Contemplate the ultimate goal of your life. Ask yourself, ‘What is the real purpose of my life?

The Manager’s Question: As a manager in a company, am I to be blamed for wrong decisions? Should I feel proud of my accomplishments? At a spiritual level, am I responsible for things at all and am I to be blamed for certain matters?

Sirshree: At that time, you should do nothing. At the same time, you must not explicitly try to do nothing as well. People often ask, ‘What should I do when I get angry?’ The answer they get is: ‘When you get angry, don’t do anything. You should have done something much earlier.’ We ask such questions only when we are angry or faced with a difficulty. Instead, one should actually prepare for such situations much earlier. On feeling thirsty, if somebody asks, ‘Where should I dig a well?’ he must be told: ‘Don’t do anything now. You should have done something long before you got thirsty. The digging of the well should have commenced long back.’
The question is: ‘When I go to the office, I get involved in an environment that promotes illusory attractions. What should I do?’ Well, at that time you shouldn’t do anything. But after returning home, you should definitely reflect on it and ask yourself, ‘What do I gain by indulging in such things? Is this why I have come into this world? Is this what I want to do all my life? How long will this go on?’ Then make up your mind. If you decide that you will continue to indulge in the same old activities of this illusory world for another six months, it is fine. Continue. However, after this predetermined period of time, you have to stop. In this way, you will have planned in advance. Subsequently, if a similar incident occurs, you will be alert, and, therefore, find that you are able to back off easily on some pretext, from the situation that leads to delusion.
However, if, while being in such an environment, you wonder what to do, then you will never be able to do anything. Under those circumstances, you have little time at your disposal to take a decision. You are not even able to think clearly. In such situations, you are advised not do anything and also not try to ‘do nothing’. Just watch what is happening. Observe yourself as to what you are doing in those illusory situations. If you are able to observe your
the employee’s question
What to do when one loses focus on spirituality
at the workplace?
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follies at those times, there is a possibility that you will be able to disengage yourself from the illusions.
You should plan well in advance and resolve: ‘People constantly indulge in illusory things at my workplace. Should I too continue to live like them? Or can I set an example for them so that they are encouraged to get out of them?’ It is possible that on seeing your determination, someone else may think that he too can start living like you.
For example, when you watch a cricket match, you watch a six or a four being hit or a wicket going down. Similarly, you can observe yourself while functioning in this world of illusion as to what happens to you and when. Observe when you get excited. Also make a note of the times when you are not trying to ‘do nothing’. You only need to observe this and your awareness will grow.
You will then go home and think, ‘What did I gain in the process? Why have I come into this world? Have I come here only for doing this?’ Contemplate the ultimate goal of your life. Ask yourself, ‘What is the real purpose of my life? How much time do I have to devote towards that purpose?’ You will then decide how much time you will devote to the world of illusion. If you want to watch television, you should watch it only for a predefined period, not beyond. Decide everything beforehand and do everything with awareness. The unreal world increasingly deludes those who live in a state of unconsciousness (lack of awareness). Their condition deteriorates with every passing day as they get increasingly entangled in the quagmire of delusion. If you are conscious, such things will stop happening with you and your awareness will increase.

Sirshree: Suppose that your name is Rama and you are playing the role of Shakuntala on stage. Being Shakuntala, you are weeping and shedding tears. In the story of Shakuntala, she is separated from her husband. Her husband forgets her because of a curse. Hence, she weeps and tries her best to win her husband back. Finally she succeeds when the curse is lifted. Let us talk about the scene where she laments that her husband has forgotten her. She is weeping and is inconsolable. Rama, who is playing the role of Shakuntala does a wonderful job of crying and complaining, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ The problem is that he continues to weep even after coming off the stage. Then if he is told that he alone is to blame for his sorrow, he retorts, ‘Why should I be blamed? It is my husband who has forgotten me.’ You will tell him, ‘No, become who you actually are—return to your true identity. All this was only while you were on stage, enacting a role. Now come out of the play, come down from the stage and reassume your true identity.’ If he still persists with the question, ‘Am I to blame?’, you are likely to say, ‘Yes, you are to blame. You are the one who has forgotten your true identity. If you remember it, everything will be fine.’

Similarly, whether we are responsible for certain matters, the answer is: ‘Not only for certain matters, you (the true self) alone are responsible for everything. If you have asked this question having forgotten your true identity, if you have posed this question assuming yourself to be what you are not, i.e., a separate, limited individual, then you are not to blame. There is nothing in the hands of the individual. You were given a particular thought, hence the action took place. Similarly, thoughts are being given to others as well, and actions ensue. The problem is with your intellect. You need to remember who you really are.’

Despite receiving the knowledge about your true self, if you continue to act without remembering your actual identity, then you are to blame. Alhough both the statements, ‘You are not to blame’ and ‘You are responsible’ appear contradictory, they relate to who you identify with. The one who you are in essence (self, God) is responsible for everything.

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