Questions are powerful tools for spiritual growth: Questions have the power to lead us to enlightenment. Certain questions are in-built within us. Humans have been asking these questions from time immemorial. Questions such as ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’ etc. might have occurred to you sometime. These are perennial and profound questions which may have lost their impact with time.
Even if you are trapped in a place with nowhere to go or no one to talk to, questions can serve as a powerful anchor not only to keep you sane, but as a tool to always grow spiritually. The key is to ask empowering questions. Disempowering questions such as ‘Why me?’, ‘When will this stop?’, ‘When will the other person change?’ etc. only lead you into a downward spiral of negativity.
Let us look at some profound questions that will automatically propel you towards your happy natural state of spiritual bliss. Instead of forcing yourself to accept a given situation, it is better to ask a gentle question, “Can I accept this?” This question usually automatically helps you accept the situation without any resistance. Let us begin the New Year by answering this question: What spiritual questions should I ask myself in 2015?
The first recommended question for 2015 is: Is the lamp within me that I want to behold again and again, lit? Use this question to remind yourself of the consciousness within you and within which you are. This question would remind you about your divine nature. It helps to be aware whether you have moved away from your divine nature or whether you are moving towards it. If you are indulging in a negative behavioural pattern or feeling low because of a Self-limiting belief, immediately ask this question. You will be reminded about the divinity within you and operate from a happy natural state automatically.
The second recommended question for 2015 is: If today was the last day of my life prior to enlightenment, how would I live this day? The question is not how you would live today if it was the last day of your life. The question is: if you were to be enlightened the very next day, how would you live today? How would you live in preparation for your enlightenment? On enlightenment, the sense of separation dissolves. If the individual personality who assumes himself or herself to be limited will no longer exist, how will your life be today? You will notice that this question cuts off the labels of good or bad, past or future etc. It roots you in the present, in an egoless state.
The third question for 2015 is: Whom should I forgive and seek forgiveness from today? Again, the idea is not to force yourself to seek forgiveness or forgive others. By asking this question, you mentally scan the events of the day where karmic bondage could have been created and liberate yourself from such events by asking for forgiveness or by forgiving the other person mentally. If you like, you may directly communicate with the person in question, having mentally forgiven or having sought forgiveness. Always remember that the treasure trove of forgiveness is within you and you can use this power whenever you want.
The fourth suggested question for 2015 is: What is the true weight of whatever I resist? Understand this important question. You resist sights, sounds, smells, feelings, etc. This could be things you do not like to see, or hear. It could be painful sensations, tiredness, negative emotions such as sorrow, guilt, etc. At such times, ask this question to yourself gently. This will make you notice the emotion and make you aware whether it is indeed as big as you make it out to be. Is the physical sensation or the emotion worth 10 grams or is it 10 pounds? Asking the question will teach you to see things as they are without the exaggeration of the mind.
The fifth key question for 2015 is: Is thy will indeed my will? Lot of people mechanically say: Thy (God’s) will is my will’. When you put this up to yourself as a question, then you will be nudged to truly surrender to the almighty, the Higher Self without doing so mechanically. This question ensures that a divine response ensues from you. Awaken yourself through this question.
The sixth question for 2015 is: What divine role is the other person playing in my life? The idea is to look at others in your life not as a ‘body’, but as a part of a miracle. This question will help you not see the other person as a contributor to your problems, but as a co-creator. Let us look at an example: If you wish to be more courageous, there will be someone in your life who makes you fearful. He or she is your co-creator. The person whom you are resisting as someone who nags you is actually a co-creator in the miracle of life to make you more peaceful. Any resistance within you will dissolve, even if it is a boss-employee relationship or of that between a daughter-in law and a mother-in-law.
These are six suggested questions. You may add a few more. For example: ‘Is this real or unreal?’ is a great question that hones your ability to ‘discern the truth’ (Viveka). The power of the right question is that you can always be connected to the Higher Self through such introspection.
Let 2015 be the year when you grow even more spiritually through the power of right questions.
St. Valentine was a pastor in the church during the Roman period. The king of Rome announced that if the soldiers are married, they are not productive – therefore, the king motivated those who were not married and did not show attachment to any relatives or family members. St. Valentine opposed this and he was imprisoned by the king. St. Valentine was recognised as a “friend of Love” and as a remembrance of his sacrifices, St. Valentine’s Day is generally celebrated on the 14th of February.
Dates are only a reason to get people to remember the true purpose. The true purpose of St. Valentine’s Day is to understand the importance of and increase the following qualities in our lives:
– Starting and finishing things on time (Well in time)
– Timely service
– Seeing and loving the world as one family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam)
Love is the only thing that you get when you give – not when you take. To receive love you should be receptive i.e. ‘well tuned’. A radio that is tuned catches the frequency right when it is turned on so you do not have to keep tuning it and lose time in doing so. Similarly, we should not waste too much time in tuning ourselves to receive the final truth of life. We must understand and fulfil the true purpose of human life. When you receive a call on your cell phone, you try to reach a place where the reception is clear. Similarly you should tune yourself to go within to listen and receive truth clearly.
Always use your ‘understanding’ to interpret the meaning of rituals and do not go by what the majority of people say. St. Valentine’s Day should help us understand the meaning and importance of “Oneness”. Whatever you are in Love with you become receptive and sensitive towards that. If your level of consciousness is low, you will love lower things.
Receptivity is catching the signal or the channel you want among many different signals. If you are less receptive, then the sounds will be less and other channels will also show. But you will choose to see the channel you want even though the sound is less. Sensitivity is catching even the slightest signal. Ideally you should have both qualities of sensitivity and receptivity, but if you have to choose, you should choose receptivity. When you are receptive, you are more tuned to what you want to see. Therefore, decide what you want to see, what you want to choose.
The higher your consciousness level is, the better are things you will love. Do not fall in Love, “Rise in Love”. If your love for someone easily turns to hatred, jealousy or ill-will due to a simple event or a misunderstanding then you must realize that there was no love at all. When your level of consciousness is low, then you will be influenced by the company you keep. Tough events in your life are a means to test the existence or persistence of love amidst an environment of low consciousness.
With time, the word saint vanished and the meaning and real essence of the word Valentine disappeared too. In order to maintain the sanctity of this day, we should wish each other as “Happy St. Valentine’s Day.” Valentine’s Day should be addressed as St. Valentine so the meaning is not lost with time. It should serve as a reminder for us to contemplate on the real purpose, to become sensitive and receptive to “Bright Love”. Once you experience and become one with such Love, you will be able to express the best qualities and achieve your full potential.
Old Story, Golden Moral By Sirshree
A saint was going to a village with his disciples. His disciples said, “It’s getting late and it will be dark by the time we reach the village. Let us stay here for the night.” The saint said, “No, we will go.” The disciples could not oppose him and they set off for that village. It was indeed nighttime when they reached there. In that village, majority of the people were those belonging to a different sect. They were quite unwelcoming and did not provide any food or accommodation to them. All the disciples got angry as they had not wished to come there in the first place.
They started complaining, “We shouldn’t have come now. Where will we go at this hour?”
The saint said, “Don’t jump to conclusions.” Whatever was happening, if only the disciples had known the mantra, they would have said, ‘This is that what we need.’ But they couldn’t say that.
They found a ramshackle hut outside the village to spend the night. They had to sleep with all kind of hardships in that rundown place where half the roof was broken. When night set in… what a night it was! A lovely full moon was shining in the sky with all its glory. When the saint opened his eyes after midnight, he witnessed that wonderful sight in the sky and felt so elated that he woke up his disciples to show them too. When the disciples saw it, such feelings stirred within them, such bliss arose in them, which otherwise they would never have experienced. It was then that the disciples realized and agreed that no matter what the situation, it always is: ‘This is that what we need.’
Points to Contemplate:
- What do we understand from this story?
A few moments back it appeared that whatever was happening was wrong. They felt we certainly don’t need this, we did not need to be thrown out of the village. But from the scene that came next, it was evident as to: What was the reality? What were we being prepared for?
- What kind of experience was to be got?
- What was the next scene on account of which this scene was created?
The one (Guru) who sees from the helicopter view (higher level of consciousness) knows this. Surrender Completely to your True Guru.
More such stories with golden moral by Sirshree:
Old Story, Golden Moral By Sirshree
A mother has three sons. They are all seated in a room. The first son wants to watch the television, the second one wants to listen to the radio and the third wants to paint a picture. All three are fighting with each other. The first son says, “You stop painting.” The third one says, “Switch off the television.” So among each one of them, if one has a problem with the television, the other has a trouble with the radio and the third is upset with the painting. The mother observes them fight and thinks, “Let their wishes be fulfilled.” The mother loves her children and so she does not say a word to them. She feeds them on time, buys them toys and provides them with everything they need.
The children are busy in fulfilling their desires. Then suddenly one day they think of their mother. ‘What is her wish? Does she want us to watch television or not? Does she want us to listen to the radio or not? Does she want us to paint or not? What does she want? It is important to know mother’s wish.’ Every child at some point of time does think what his mother desires, who has always been showering him with unconditional love.
The three children in this analogy symbolise the body, mind and intellect. The mother symbolises the Self. The body, mind and the intellect wish that their mother’s will be fulfilled. They want to know her wish. True happiness lies only in fulfilling their mother’s wish. They discussed among themselves and prepared to surrender themselves to her cause. They all realised that whatever they did so far was only a drama.
Points to contemplate:
* What was the mother’s primary desire?
* What will happen if that is fulfilled?
* What do children need to do to fulfill it?
Ask yourself whether you really want that your mother’s (God’s) desire be fulfilled through you?
* Find out the answers by reading the book ‘The Unshaken Mind’
You can also read these related topics:
To create a highly evolved society, inculcating of values in students and children is important. Needless to say, values that teachers and parents live by are what students imbibe. Thus on this teachers’ day, let us look at top three values every teacher could imbibe and the way to inculcate these qualities. The acronym TEJ can help you remember these three qualities. TEJ stands for Truth, Enlightenment and Joy! The word TEJ is prefixed to the word teacher to remind the potential that every teacher has. When teachers lead their students to Truth, Enlightenment and Joy imbibing the qualities in themselves first, then they become Tej Teachers.
Truth here is all about being honest to oneself and to the profession avoiding all forms of deceit. Enlightenment is the pursuit of the highest knowledge leading to a spiritual life. Joy represents being happy and spreading joy.
Now, this is not a discourse on just what one should do and what one should not do. Let us discuss the one immediate step that automatically propels you to be a Tej Teacher. And it is not just for teachers alone. If you are a doctor or an entrepreneur, you can become a Tej doctor or a Tej entrepreneur with this first powerful move that you can take in your life.
What is this immediate step or powerful move? It is the shift from living a personal life to an impersonal life. The dictionary meaning of the word ‘impersonal’ is unfriendly or formal or aloof. That is not what is meant here by the word impersonal. Impersonal as opposed to a personal life here refers to an inclusive (as opposed to exclusive) or selfless (as opposed to a selfish) life.
A life lived in the service of others is an impersonal life. When you put service of others first, it automatically leads you to Truth, Enlightenment and Joy (Tej). Someone leading an impersonal life finds that honesty comes naturally to him or her, spiritual growth happens effortlessly because of selfless service and there is sheer joy everyday in putting a smile on someone else.
Teaching is already a noble profession. But the internal shift from personal to impersonal is critical to leverage this noble profession to truly live a life in the service of others. Thus, contemplate deeply how is it that you are going to cause a shift in the life of your students. What can you do over and beyond teaching subjects? What can you do while in the classroom to cause a shift in the minds and hearts of your students? Your profession as a teacher takes fantastic shape once you take on an impersonal vision and pursue it. Then, money and finances are just vehicles and mediums to support you to attain your impersonal vision. As you practice living life impersonal, you will begin to be free from thoughts of ‘I, me, myself’ and experience oneness with one and all. This is the liberation that a Tej teacher can experience. The motto of a Tej Teacher thus becomes ‘Living for others because there is no other’.
Sirshree is the founder of Tej Gyan Foundation. Follow Sirshree on twitter.com/sirshree or visit www.tejgyan.org
Based on Sirshree’s teaching that…
“The world does not need a new religion, but needs a new string that binds all religions”
…Tej Gyan Foundation intends to build a ‘Center For Humanity’ at its MaNaN Ashram premises in the outskirts of Pune, India that acts as such a string.
For more details, click on the leaves of the image that is displayed once you click on: http://tejgyan.org/CenterforHumanity.aspx