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.
Seeker: How should one watch the thoughts of the mind?
Sirshree: The thoughts of the mind are watched by being a witness. If someone asks you how you hear sounds, what will you say? You will not be able to answer it in words as this is something that has to be experienced, not something that can be explained. In the same manner, you cannot see the thoughts of the mind, you can only experience them. Understand this through an example. You sometimes close your eyes and sit, and the tune of a song plays inside your mind. But do your ears hear it? You will say that the internal tune is not heard by the external ears; it is playing inside. But how do you hear a tune that goes inside? Many a time, you begin to hear songs that you do not even remember. How amazing is this!
In exactly the same way, when thoughts go on, they are known by you. This is because there is awareness in you, which is also called consciousness or the self. Everything is manifesting within this consciousness alone. Like a firecracker in the sky, a thought rises, spreads and vanishes. Then the next thought, and so on. If you understand this secret, you will enjoy every thought like a firecracker.
How thoughts are watched is something that is to be experienced. That consciousness, awareness, the self is present all the time. It is continuously awake and knowing even in deep sleep. When there is nothing, then too it is knowing the nothingness. It is because of this that you wake up in the morning and remark, ‘I had a good sleep last night.’ Who examined this good sleep? You came to know of it because the knower of the sleep is present within you. The body and the mind disappears during deep sleep. You are the knower, not the body. The more you are convinced of this, the more will you begin to get established in the consciousness.
Seeker: How does one make the mind thoughtless?
Sirshree: Mind means a bundle of thoughts. Thoughtlessness means a ‘no mind’ state. To quieten the mind, self inquiry is the most beautiful method. This method is the path (means) as well as the destination (end). When you ask, ‘Who am I?’, then this thought in the form of a question, will cut off other thoughts and end all other thoughts. While this inquiry is on, other thoughts cannot remain. After ending all other thoughts, this last thought of ‘Who am I?’ will also end itself. Then self-realization takes place. This will break the false belief regarding form, the belief regarding the body. You are not limited to the body. You are boundless and limitless. You will realize this through experience. That is why self inquiry is the most beautiful of methods to make the mind thoughtless.
You can also read following articles:
- Enquiry about God
- Why should we do Self Enquiry
- Think A Thought That Will Annihilate All Thought
- Can we know our inner secrets with meditation?
Seeker: Why do questions arise in man? Are all questions important for my spiritual progress?
Sirshree: Why do questions arise in man? If that’s your question, the answer is: Why should questions not arise in man? What would happen if man did not have questions and what happens when questions do arise? The right answers encourage the spirit of inquiry and lead to the death of ignorance. When questions arise in man, he begins to search for the answers and evolves in the process.
People ask various kinds of questions. Some are for self-development, some are for the purpose of accumulating information, while others are for achieving spiritual progress or awakening. Life wants its secrets to be unravelled; that is its desire, but some effort must be made to understand the mystery. This is similar to the mastermind who creates riddles, but does not want that them to be solved quickly and easily. Hence, the secrets of life are uncovered only by some great souls who make the effort. This is how the game of life is played. It’s an invisible game.
Spiritual progress is also not visible to the eye, but the understanding gained by asking right questions and getting the answers helps us to move ahead on the path of spiritual progress. It was only by questioning that the Buddha became the enlightened one. The questions that the Buddha asked on seeing an old man, a sick person and a funeral, initiated the search of that which is immortal and led him to the ultimate truth.
When such questions arise in one’s mind, one sets off on the journey to find the truth. With some individuals, such questions lead to scientific discoveries. However, discovery is actually rediscovery. Things that are hidden only need to be rediscovered. Hence, it is important to question.
Seeker: How to know which questions are right?
Sirshree: Some people want to endlessly ask questions to fatten their books, i.e. they want to gather all the information in the world. Their questions seem endless: What is the price of things in various cities? What is more in demand in which city? Which TV serial has more TRP? What is the speciality of a particular country? What kind of roads do they have? Why are our roads not like theirs? How are festivals celebrated there? What kind of names do they have? How do they pray?… But such questions that are asked only to get information are futile.
Questions that are asked to boost one’s ego are totally wrong. It is wrong to ask questions in order to demean the other person (‘Do you know what I know?’) Ask yourself the purpose of asking the question. Is it for displaying your knowledge, for boosting your ego, or for learning the secrets of life and the right way to live your life? Every question reveals the level of evolution of the questioner. When you ask questions, new options open up before you.
The only worthwhile questions are those which lead to the end of ignorance and give birth to the spirit of enquiry. When ignorance is eliminated, creation takes place and the highest possibility of creation manifests. This possibility is known as the seventh or supreme level of consciousness.
Let us now contemplate to understand our own state:
– What are our questions?
– What is our present level of consciousness?
– How much have we progressed?
– How much has our intellect evolved?
The answers to these questions open new vistas for you – you are able to think in new ways. As a result, new thoughts, new feelings and new words emerge from you. Your questions reveal your current state.
Please read these related articles as well:
Seeker: What is the mind? How to keep the mind under control? Is the mind also a part of the body (senses)?
Sirshree: The mind is described in many different ways. The mind is just a bundle of thoughts. Thoughts alone are the mind. Various names are given and classifications made of the mind just to facilitate understanding. Like you have heard about the conscious mind. Another is the subconscious mind. Third is the unconscious mind. Fourth is the super-conscious mind. If all these minds were broadly divided into two categories, it would be: the outer mind and the inner mind. In order to understand these two minds, various names have been used till date.
The mind works in numerous ways and hence has many names. The names are according to the various roles it plays, i.e. Contrast mind, Past-future mind, Present mind, Plus mind, Super mind, Devoted mind, Pure mind, Peaceful mind, Inner mind, Intuitive mind, and No-mind. (*To know these eleven facets of the mind in detail and other aspects of the mind, you can read the book ‘The Unshaken Mind’.)
The mind has also been termed as one of the ‘senses’ but this ‘sense’ is beyond the other five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The work of mind is to keep these senses in control and to get work done from them. Different people have said many things about this mind. Some have called it a part of ethereal space, some say it is part of Consciousness. Mind is also like a bomb that we always carry with us. It can explode any time due to negative thoughts, i.e. the person can go insane. Mind is also likened to a ‘spring’. If a spring is pressed and released, no one can predict how and where it would jump. In the same manner, the fluctuating state of mind cannot be predicted.
Since times immemorial, man has been controlling his mind through suppression. But through suppression, the mind retreats into the desert of depression and lifelessness. While the mind wanders in damaging extremes of pleasure and pain, we relinquish all control over it, leading to detrimental consequences.
The powers of the mind are so great that it can lead to the ability to perform various miracles or it can reveal the Supreme Truth. The materialistic devotion of mind will lead to material benefits, while with Divine Devotion of the mind even the Creator can be attained. The knowledge of the mind can bring in money or it can bring in wisdom.
What do you want to create from the power, devotion, knowledge and service of the mind? Do you want to attain the supreme goal of your life? The supreme goal of every human being is Maha-Nirvan Nirmaan (MNN)because the highest work of the mind is MNN (the highest creation of the Self, God, Creator…). It is for getting training to create MNN that we have come to earth. Hence it is also called as Mission Earth.
If the mind is blissful, if it is in Bright happiness, then all powers become automatically available to it. Attaining your aim of life too becomes easy and simple. A pure and happy mind sees goodness in everything.
Mind is not our enemy; it is just a tool. People who misuse their mind make it their enemy. Man should use the mind for contemplation and through it attain the whole and sole aim of human life in this very lifetime and experience the supreme happiness of liberation.
Seeker: Is there any solution for an individual who experiences negative feelings and sees life as one of struggle?
Sirshree: Do you have negative feelings about life, about your spouse, about your relations, about your work, about your health? Then you have not discovered the Invisible Ladder.
Seeker: What is this Invisible Ladder?
Sirshree: Assuming life to be a game of snakes and ladders, everyone believes there are a lot of ups and downs in the journey from 1 to 100. But what if there existed an invisible ladder from 1 to 99? Negative feelings, thoughts, words and incidents are snakes. The positives are ladders. When you are fully grounded in the dual poles of confidence and faith, then you have discovered the invisible ladder that helps you move directly from 1 to 99. When the feeling of Complete Confidence always resides in your heart and when Faith in the Supreme is fully released, then you have climbed the rungs of the invisible ladder. Then you are at 99—from where you have a helicopter view of the life and from where you enjoy the game immensely. Imagine the feeling at 99; whatever dice you roll—you know you shall reach 100.
Faith and confidence are not released fully even in the most successful of individuals. And therefore one experiences negative feelings and sees life as one of struggle. Such individuals have to improve their confidence about themselves and release their faith about life.
Seeker: If God knows everything, then why should we pray?
Sirshree: There are many who feel – If God knows everything, then why should we pray? They are told: It is because God knows everything that He is making you pray. He is making you pray so as to create a receptive state in you, by which your wish can come to you and be fulfilled. As soon as your state changes, everything around you also changes. Prayer changes you. It creates that receptivity in you by which the thing you want – be it an object, information or an answer – is attracted towards you. Therefore, prayer is not a question, it is an answer.