MODERN TRANSLATIONS OF AGE-OLD PHILOSOPHIES OF LIFE
The article’s title might make you feel like, ‘Ah this is not for me’. But I assure you, it is for you.
Let me tell you a story, growing up, my family had a yearly ritual of visiting Rishikesh.
Amidst the Himalayas, Rishikesh possesses a serene and spiritual atmosphere. It was my absolute pleasure to have spent time in Rishikesh, which is the most peaceful and beautiful place I have ever been to. One can feel the calm even in the air there. The spirituality of the place fills it with tranquillity and peace.
Ever since I was young, my grandma used to force me to attend Satsangs and pravachans at Rishikesh. For young Paridhi, this meant nothing but two hours of boredom. However, as I grew older, I began to actually understand what the all-knowing sages said.
The profound life lessons that the current generation is learning through books and other media is exactly what the monks have been preaching for ages.
Let's fast forward to the present: my grandma invited one of those prudent sages from Rishikesh to our house, and as I listened to her Satsang, I was reminded of all that I had learned during my yearly trips there.
Satsangs are now universal and not exclusive to Eastern traditions. The word Satsang is made up of Sat, meaning truth, and Sang, which means together. A Satsang, therefore, is a gathering together to seek the truth. Most cultures throughout the world incorporate spiritual gatherings of some sort, perhaps guided by a religious leader or, if you are fortunate, an enlightened master. However, it can simply be a group of like-minded committed spiritual seekers, looking to awaken and uplift themselves by finding a deeper meaning or truth of life.
We all know and adore Jay Shetty, Robin Sharma, Gaur Gopal Das, and many other profound authors who are touching so many lives by offering modern translations of age-old eastern philosophies. It often occurs to me that best-selling non-fiction books of today and timeless eastern philosophies by the sages of old have much in common. The lessons taught by the books today align with eastern philosophies that have been around for centuries. The purpose of this article is to share how these two extremes remain the same in enlightening our souls, at their core.
In this article, I share with you a modern translation of all the lessons that I learned from the Monks which fit in more and more easily with our modern lives and are more relevant today than ever before.
1. The Love of all
“Loving human beings is like loving God.” God here means higher power, force, energy, or anything that is your definition of faith.
It's not an easy thing to inculcate love for God and be a devotee of God.
The truth is, you don’t need to worship God to be his devotee, but you can love and worship all of its creations. Every single thing created by God reflects God's image. You should show kindness to people and help them when you can. Respect and never hurt people intentionally, and you'll find the way to God's heart.
These days, people invest in relationships only for their personal benefit. Don't you think that's a disservice to the gift of being human? We as humans, should enjoy the beautiful gift of love - the ability to love and serve others, is one of the greatest pleasures in life - so how can we deny ourselves that joy?
With feelings for the good of others, wherever you are, you attain GOD.
2. Expectation and Attachment
Do you want to know the root cause of Modern-day suffering?
Expectations it is. And we all know expectations lead to disappointment.
Whatever good we do, we expect others to do the same. But where do expectations arise from?
Attachment gives rise to expectations, which if not fulfilled, can kill you from within. In the absence of attachment, you will be able to help and show kindness to others without expecting something in return. Expectations from others is like giving the key to your happiness to someone else, isn't that a faulty idea as a whole?
Letting go is actually letting happiness in. If you pin your happiness to people, circumstances, things, and situations then you will be content only if things, people, and situations work according to your will. And then finally, you melt into grief when things change: a lay-off, a breakup, or a loss.
In trying to hold on to what’s familiar, you limit your own ability to experience joy in the present moment.
3. Speck of dust
We are all just specks of dust in this vast universe, i.e. very tiny in the scheme of things. If that's the case, why put so much pressure on your tiny shoulders?
Why don’t you let go of ‘what will people think?”, “What if I fail?”, “Why don’t they love me?” And so many other thoughts that you weigh yourself down with. The moment we accept the fact that everything does not revolve around us, we realize that nothing is as big a deal as we perceive it in our heads.
It’s okay if you fail, there are so many more opportunities waiting just for you. Don't worry if someone doesn't love you - there are so many others who will.
When children are young, elders assure them that they will be taken care of. A child’s blind faith makes him/her be able to live life without worry.
Similarly, we are all so small in comparison to one powerful energy, or God, if you prefer. It will take care of you if you have faith and do the right karma. Regardless of one's philosophy, it offers similar leanings. This philosophy also shares many similarities with the law of attraction - believe in the universe completely, work hard without worrying, and have faith in the universe to bring the best for you.
4. Work is worship
Since childhood, we have all learned that work is worship, no matter how big or small.
As long as you are honoring God's assignment by doing your assigned work with dedication and sincerity, you are worshipping him. Being honest towards your assigned role is the biggest service one can do.
It doesn't matter who you are, whether you're an IT professional, a home manager, a teacher, or even a student. Your only job is to sincerely put in honest efforts. If you are in Cooperate, don't play politics. If you are a teacher, teach your students valuable lessons, and you will be all set for Nirvana.
5. Ego (I-ness)
I took 15 years to even begin to understand this one - perhaps it is a little overwhelming to agree with all at once. But it's real, 'I-ness' is the root of our sufferings. The full form of the word, “Ego” is ‘Edging God Out’.
Our existence in pure materialism leads to greater suffering and pain. Experience the lightness of your soul by letting go of your ego. Allow yourself to let go of the need to be liked, praised, and respected by everyone. Be one with all.
The pursuit of praises and the propensity to prove yourself as the best robs you of peace.
Work hard, have good intentions, don't try to prove anything to anyone, and experience the joy of simplicity. Let go of the pride of your possessions. People will realize your value sooner or later. There is no joy in forcing it.
6. Love is a pull
Have you seen the two pieces of a magnet attract each other whenever one finds the other one?
The pull of love is like that of a magnet. A magnet doesn't need to proclaim its strength and charge to another magnet. By virtue of its own qualities, it automatically attracts another magnet.
Similarly, you don't have to go and show people your qualities, you just have to be yourself and follow the right path. You don't have to beg and force people to love you. Rather than expecting or forcing them to love you in return, you should love and serve them with kindness as a creation of God. The powerful pull of unconditional love will eventually draw them to you.
7. Your body is a temple
If you like to think that this life and world is a gift of God. Don’t forget yourself. Your visible creation, i.e., your body, is the biggest gift you've ever received.
LOVE YOUR BODY, SERVE YOUR BODY.
Worship it by yoga, meditation, and exercising, the oils to run the powerful machine that your body is. Embrace this beautiful creation of God without finding faults. Eat the right food and be mindful of what you put in your pious temple, whether it's food or thoughts. Only let the good thoughts and energies flow. Don’t criticize yourself. If you learn to love and celebrate yourself, you will learn to love – the whole world.
When we feel stuck, in need of external inspiration or insight. Or perhaps we simply wish to share our spiritual journey with the world. Satsang provides the opportunity and support for all of these. Though Satsang is most usually thought of as being with a group, it can also be a private relationship with Truth. Inner Satsang can be thought of as sitting with ourselves, perhaps practicing introspection, self-reflection, and contemplation. It can be listening to the guidance of our own insight, intuition, and our Higher Self.
These modern translations of the age-old principles will guide you through life and lead you to the path of peace, freedom, and eternal happiness free from the bondage of the world.
I honestly am in love with these timeless philosophies. What do you think about them? Do you think these are relevant now?
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