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Being Is The Presence Of Life

Arun Malhotra

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What is my being? My being is a thought of my being. I am the being. Am I being in my thoughts or am I being outside my thought? The thought becomes my being and I become my thought. Is being the thought of life? Or is the thought of life is the being?

Whether I am? If I am, then I am a thought of I am. And if I am not, then there is only a thought of I am. What is my being? What is existing as my being? Who is existing in my being? What is this presence of my being?

Am I the being? The expression of ‘am I the being’ is not being because there is a gap between expression and the being. Being is expressed in thousands of ways in nature. In the universe, the being is expressed every moment.

The moment is part of the time so there is no moment it is only the understanding of humanity that there ought to be some moment which is now which we go past to make it past so that there is something in the future which is the hope of mankind. Between past future and present, the moment is defined. Past and future are thoughts they are not. The moment also is not. Is the moment there?

In fact, if you go and ask yourself the question of whether the moment is there, you will understand that moment is also not there. Man is not living. He is thinking. He is living the thought of thinking. So anything that a man does is a thought. Do thoughts make him what he becomes? He is being in thoughts.

What is it being in the thought? Being in the thought is the life that we are not living and thoughts are postponing it in future. Thoughts hit you. Thoughts hit your mind and make you miserable and make your life miserable. Thoughts are mere dead words that are already lifeless. Lifeless images of the past are projected. Dead thoughts cannot enliven your life.

Where do these thoughts come from? Thoughts come from all over. Our mind is the mother of all thoughts. Storage of mind has millions of information so thoughts are manifestations of that storage.

The whole earth is a world of thoughts. Because of thoughts, we wage wars, we fight each other. Our religions are our thoughts. We call our religion the most sacred and of others irreligious and sacrilegious.

Humanity is overwhelmed with different organised religions. Humanity has a big treasure of thoughts. Crowds of thoughts keep arriving because we are receptive to them. We invite them. We want them. Thoughts are impotent to be potent thoughts need your energy to be born. I am Hindu, I am Muslim, I am Buddhist are only thoughts and not some godly presence but mere positioning.

‘Nanak in Japuji says ‘soche soch naa hovaee je soche lakh var’. Thought will never be what it aims to be even one thought it hundred thousand times. Thought will not be the actuality. That which is the mind, thoughts keep coming in cycles and create the illusion. Humanity is also a thought of humans about themselves. Humanity operates on illusion. Illusion is the hallmark of thoughts. Things, vegetation, animals, humans are born with an intrinsic presence of being in them. In that presence of the being one lives with the flow of life.

Contrarily human mind is thinking consistently. Thinking has become a new faculty in man and the human mind has become an archive of information. Life is a flow and thinking revolves outside of it.

What are thoughts? Thoughts are non-fulfilment of human desires. Desires create a gap between humans. Thoughts are processed from archives of mind. In fact, the mind is a gap, the gap between the being and un-being. Therefore, thoughts are generated when being is lost in the un-being an artificial existence is felt thoughts are bred.

What am I? Am I a dream or a story or a scheme or a plan? Or am I an idea? What am I? if you look at yourself you would find that you are made of some dreams, some stories, some plans and some ideas. You find them to be your reality. You feel it is the reality—the reality of your life and you have to live it. Therefore, it has to be essentially illusory.

Who is the one on who this illusion is happening? Life has become an idea a thought. The thought we have understood as life. Whether we need to come out of this thought? Thoughts birth thoughts. New thoughts birth newer thoughts.

Thoughts are in fact questions. Questions breed questions. You ask questions and new questions are reproduced. Questions birth questions. The question in itself gives the answer in the form of a new question. Questions do not get answered but new questions are raised by answers. Answers to questions are questions in fact.

Revelations that Buddha, Jesus, Krishna made were the experiences awakened ones delivered to this world. But new thoughts sprouted on those revelations which in centuries bred jungles of thoughts. The heart of revelations lay buried under jungles of thoughts. Edifices built by complicated logicians usurped their tenderness. Real religion is buried underneath. Religion or ideas or stories or plans, in end they are thoughts in fact. Thoughts inaugurate new questions. They birth new dreams and new sources of dreams unfailingly. You are always enthused and stimulated by thoughts. You think that you will find a new dimension of God through thoughts. But answers never come, questions do.

The answer will happen on its own. The answer is not your thought. What Nanak says ‘Soche soch naa hovai..’ means by thinking thought the thought is thought, but the answer does not come by thoughts. Where is the answer? The answer is inside. The question is outside. Thought knocks on your mind. Mind is outside of you. And you are inside. Who is outside? The question is outside. The mind can answer a question as a question because it has not met the answerer. You are mere questions and thoughts. And who is inside then? The one about whom the thoughts are thought, someone who is the energy to think thoughts. That energy you give any name, all names assigned by you are mere questions.

You won’t get answers to this riddle you will end up farming more riddles. No one else has answers for you. No one will give you the answer. You have to find the answer yourself. You have to meet the answer of your life.

Come inside. Meet your presence by being your presence. Be your presence. The answer will descend on you. You will get the answer. You are the answer.

Your presence is the truth of life. You are always be caught in thoughts to become unhappily unhappy wanting to be happy. All situations are in your hands because thoughts are in your hands.

You are the answer to the question of life. Therefore to live life, you have to be in life in the first place and be the life. You are the life you don’t have to live life. You are it. You are what you are! Be the presence of life.

The author is a spiritual teacher and he can be contacted at arunavalokitta@gmail.com

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Spiritually Speaking

ACCEPTANCE IS BETTER THAN TOLERANCE

B.K. Geeta

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Tolerance is defined as the ability or willingness to allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one dislikes or disagrees with, without interfering or being judgmental.

It implies the exercise of patient self-control, restraint and endurance. It is considered one of the marks of a civilized society where people can express varying opinions and practise different beliefs without fear of discrimination, violence or persecution.

But when we tolerate something, there is a subtle undercurrent of resistance or rejection, mixed with a feeling of dislike. We feel under pressure because we are having to do something we do not really like but feel compelled to do in order to conform to social norms, live up to our behavioural or moral standards, or be politically correct.

Because of this we do not feel at ease when we have to tolerate a situation or a person’s behaviour, and wish that they would end or go away.

In such a situation, our state of mind is not positive. We make a show of tolerance but are unhappy inside, and our feelings are negative. Consequently, such tolerance does not foster harmonious relationships, or provide the best solution to difficult situations.

If a person has to tolerate something for long and feels that there is no escape from such a fate, or thinks that others do not understand what they are going through, they are likely to become angry or resentful. They may even turn aggressive and refuse to put up with the situation anymore. In either case they are not going to be happy.

Some resignedly tell themselves that they are doomed to tolerate someone or something all their life. Others turn to dark humour and try to laugh away the blues. None of these attitudes will bring lasting peace or joy.

Faced with anything that we do not like or approve of, it is much better to practice acceptance. When we accept a person or situation, we are at peace with them and they do not disturb our mind.

But to be able to accept something that is not to our liking we need to have some understanding of why it is that way.

It is easy to get angry with someone who is habitually rude or careless, but if I talk to the person to get to know them better, and find out that they are that way because of their present or past circumstances, or because no one has ever pointed out their faults to them, I will find it easier to accept them.

I also need to understand that almost everyone faces challenges in life, goes through tough times, and we all have our faults. When I focus on others’ weaknesses, I may lose sight of my own; while I may not have the same faults as others, I might have other defects that people around me have to put up with.

Acceptance does not mean acquiescing to something wrong, but understanding why it is happening, and not getting upset by it, even as we take steps to protect ourselves from harm, or to remedy the situation if we can.

Acceptance is also necessary if we want to help others. If I just tolerate someone, it will show in my behaviour and language, and the other person will sense the subtle vibrations of rejection or dislike emanating from me. But when I accept them, it puts them at ease and brings them closer to me, enabling a frank yet friendly exchange of views. Friendly advice is more likely to help others than a critical comment or a stern lecture.

Thus, a little introspection, compassion, broad-mindedness and common sense can help me live in peace with different and difficult people and circumstances and even change things for the better.

B.K. Geeta is a Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Abu Road, Rajasthan.

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Spiritually Speaking

OUR THOUGHTS CREATE OUR ENVIRONMENT

Chirya Yvonne Risely

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We now realise how the quality and power of our thoughts impact us at every moment and create our world. Thought affects not only our health and every cell of our body, but also animals, plants, trees, the environment and atmosphere. For example, research for several years on yogic farming in India is proving that when seeds and seedlings are planted with peaceful and loving thoughts, and nourished with meditation, the quality continues to improve and the harvest yield increases.

The amazing discovery by Japanese professor, Dr. Masaru Emoto, opened this deeper understanding of the power of thoughts and words. One of his books “The Miracle of Water”, describes his experiments. Emoto visibly proved that ‘our thoughts create the quality of our world.’ His photographs show how water forms crystals, either beautiful or ugly, according to whatever positive or negative words and thoughts they have been exposed to. Positive thoughts that are life-affirming, such as love, appreciation and hope, created beautifully-shaped snowflake crystals. Negative thoughts, anger or words such as hate and hopelessness formed ugly, disfigured-looking forms. Since our bodies are 70 per cent water, imagine what the water crystals in our bodies would look like when exposed to negative thoughts and words instead of positive ones.

However, mankind’s mental pollution and its effect on the physical world are increasing every year and place us all at risk, rich and poor alike. As the quality of our thoughts continues to deteriorate, just as the rust accumulated on iron can destroy it, our own mindset can destroy us and the planet. However, to stop fretting about things beyond our immediate control, we need to pause, unplug our mind from everything and everyone for a few minutes. Slow down. Allocate time each day for spaces of stillness and meditation. Check within. Quieten the mind and then change the quality of our thoughts. Nurturing the inner being like this, helps us continue to enjoy our responsibilities and to be giving, without depleting ourselves. When we focus on creating optimistic and kind thoughts, others feel safe and supported. Positive thinking, resilience and compassion create our feelings and reach the person we are thinking about.

Connect and communicate with the Supreme Being, who is only a thought away. God, the Father, always sees us at our best. This pure love recharges and refreshes the soul, and creates newness by removing waste and negative thoughts, tiredness, and heaviness of desires. When our minds and hearts are clean and unpolluted, the air, water and elements would again become clean, free from pollution and disease. Because when I change, the world changes. We remember our original brotherly love and the respect we had for each other, and our relationships, and nature will once again become beautiful, peaceful, happy, abundant and heavenly.

Chirya Yvonne Risely is a Rajyoga meditation teacher, based at the Brahma Kumaris Peace Village Retreat Center, USA.

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Spiritually Speaking

How can I regain true self-respect?

NEVILLE HODGKINSON

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It is quite a revelation when we begin to notice that other people tend to put the same value on us, as we put on ourselves. When we have self-respect, that conveys itself to others through our body language, words and actions, and others will respect us in return.

When we feel good inside, it is as if the sun shines on us from outside as well. People smile more readily. Even nature looks more beautiful. When we feel on top of the world, our faces and actions speak to others of that and they receive a lift from our happiness. Their happiness then feeds back into our own sense of well-being, increasing it further. In contrast, when we feel worthless, others tend to react towards us in ways that confirm we really are not good to know.

Changes in our mental states alter the way we interpret what is going on around us, including how we respond to other people. The world will of course look different, when we see it through different lenses. But does it really change, depending on the way we see it?

Modern physics tells us that there is an informational component to the entire physical world. What we call matter is really energy, wrapped up into particles and objects according to a kind of matrix of instructions that give material form to the world. Physicists do not yet know how that matrix comes into being, or where the instructions come from. But they are certain it is there.

It seems that nature has a mind of her own, a kind of universal consciousness. This has within it laws that give constancy to the world we experience in time and space, but there is also continuous change. Ups and downs, light and dark, tragedies and triumphs, are all part of the show put on by this universal mind. All living things have individual parts within this overall scheme.

Religious-minded people have often felt that God is love, and that when our own actions are loving, happiness follows and self-respect stays strong. It is true that a divine law of benevolence is at work. When we follow that law with our thoughts and actions, the universe subtly supports us, bringing lasting success. When we go against that law, our conscience bites and self-respect tumbles down. For example, when we criticise others, we are going against the law of universal love and our happiness diminishes.

Sometimes, through creating a false sense of self-worth, we find it hard to distinguish right from wrong. We fool ourselves into thinking we are ok because we have lots of money, or a high position, or power over other people. Such ego-based self-aggrandisements are dangerous and illusory because they are never fulfilling. We know perfectly well, consciously or subconsciously, that they are delusional and therefore we always need more and more accolades to prop up our self-respect. The result is to further blunt the conscience, depleting our humanity and leading to a vicious circle of decline.

We cannot just fake self-respect, and expect to receive true regard in return. To the extent that our actions are mean and selfish, others will see that, no matter how much we may try to think well of ourselves.

What then can be done if we have lost our sense of true self-respect, how can we reclaim it? This is where God comes to the rescue. As a Supreme Being who always remains a reservoir of truth, God not only recognises the innate dignity in each one, but His light enables us to see that our real, original, nature, underneath the mistakes, is eternally good.

This holds true for all humans. And because the core of goodness is always there, in every one of us, there is always the possibility of regaining it.

The method of doing so that I have learned is called Rajyoga. It entails withdrawing my sense of who I am from the brain and body, which may carry many needy tendencies, and considering myself instead to be a soul or spirit. In that non-physical, internal awareness, I become better able to access my original, pure consciousness—my original goodness. I become better aligned with God’s energy of truth, and gain the strength to overcome my insufficiencies and act from my higher nature.

It is then that true self-respect gradually returns and everywhere I go and whatever I do, the world starts to respect me too!

Neville Hodgkinson is a UK-based author and journalist, and a long-time student of Rajyoga.

Rajyoga entails withdrawing my sense of who I am from the brain and body, which may carry many needy tendencies, and

considering myself instead to be a soul or spirit.

Religious-minded people have often felt that God is love, and that when our own actions are loving, happiness follows and self-respect stays strong. It is true that a divine law of

benevolence is at work. When we follow that law with our thoughts and actions, the

universe subtly supports us, bringing lasting success.

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Spiritually Speaking

What’s wrong with humanity?

Arun Malhotra

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Man has benevolently lent himself a tag of beautiful word ‘humanity’. But deep down man is a brutal animal who is insensitive, brutish, and ruthless. Man is worse than wild beast. But he considers himself much higher in evolution than animals. Even to equate men with animals will be a cruelty to animals. Animals are innocent and godly. Man is cunning, clever and deceptive. Animals don’t make wars and exterminate their own species. Man has created nuclear bombs to wipe out humanity and the living from the earth. Why man is so restless, agonised, fearful and insecure. Animals don’t make laws to prevent themselves from killing their own species as only a few carnivores kill for eating that too after weeks of fasting. Animals breed as per natural order. Man thinks of sexuality all the time twenty-four hours year-round. In reality, man is suffering from, neurosis, pain, anxieties, agony, anger, violence, conflicts and fears. It seems something is wrong with humanity.

Animal has fear anger and aggression. Man has fear anger and aggression too. Animals when confronted or attacked by others will be aggressive or fearful. Man is aggressive and fearful simply by running through stored memories without having confronted real aggression.

Mind is bred to be secure and protected. Human mind has been burdened to collect all kinds of securities but in the end, there will be insecurities. Therefore, when the mind confronts fear, anxiety, greed, or violence, it registers it forever in the memory. The memory trap will always make him fearful without the threat being there.

That is when the man has started to suffer. Man is frightened by the insecurities that are making him insecure. Insecurities that have not even been bred might hurt him in future because humanity is frightened of humanity. Animals have vulnerabilities and they accept them and go beyond them. Man doesn’t. Some 10000 years ago man was fearful of the wild beast. Scientists say that fight or flight mode was born then. Either he fought or ran away. Back then 99% was wildlife and man was less than 1% in the population. Today man along the animal man eats is 99% and wildlife is reduced to 1%. But man is frightened even more. Today man’s mind is searching to get over his artificial insecurities which are psychological sufferings. He lives in cities, away from wildlife but is frightened like never before.

Man has been living against nature. Man is living against his biological nature. Man’s society has bred a state of being which does not allow him to live naturally. Humanity has bred a complex society that has built complex habitats that do not let him live naturally on the earth. Animals live naturally. Therefore they are innocent, gullible, saintly and godly. Man is burdened by the conditioning that is destined to make him someone else than his natural being—not himself. Society has bred deep neurosis of comparisons that has bred a rat race and man is running for something that is not there.

Man did not want to be hurt or eaten by the wild beast. But today the wild beasts are not there but taken over by bosses, spouses, parents, teachers, and peers. Man has created an artificial perception of hurt which is not real. Adolf Hitler thought himself to be hurt and wrought havoc on humanity. Therefore, man wants to grab power so that others may not hurt him which means he can hurt others.

Psychological sufferings are caused by the conditioning that mind has begotten for thousands of years. Conditioning is when you have begotten a system of life to follow without learning from life. Mind has been conditioned by cultures, civilisations, religions, Gods, regions, nationalities, and ethnicities. Therefore, you feel hurt when someone speaks against your culture, religion, region, nationality or against your conditioned appearance that you have created by your thoughts. Conditioning becomes your appearance which is not the real appearance but it hurts psychologically.

You belong to a big reputed family of an ethnicity. You may believe in a God that is described in Hebrew, English, German, Sanskrit, Chinese or Japanese. You may have beliefs in a set of religions or a region or another set of religions or a region. You may come from a background and environment. Your mind considers yourself far more superior as it is conditioned by factors that form your appearance in your mind. When someone talks against your beliefs, you feel hurt. All such divisions have led humanity to wars. As you think that you are your conditioning. Not that you know that you are your conditioning. But you are an accumulation of your thoughts. Your thoughts drive out of your memories. Thoughts of what you think of yourself are the thoughts that are what you think you are. Thus you often do self-pity and feel victimised psychologically. You have built a centre with your thoughts that you have been assigned a name. You believe in that thought of belief. The thought of belief in your name is your ego and you have knit your world around it. The self-image that you have created is attacked and you are hurt. Sufferings are there as we have created a centre which is outside us and it is a borrowed centre. Like you are living on an artificially assigned image of yourself that world identifies you with. And when the image is not accepted by others it pains you psychologically.

Different cultures assign names of Gods to newborns to build their self-image and man is known by that image. Society lends him a character and he creates the self-image of that character the type of boundaries that he is distinctly higher than others and conducts himself within the boundaries of the character. Thus he suffers psychologically. Although everyone is unique and no two humans or animals are similar but conditioning is a kind of software that blinds him by blind practices that does not let man learn from his fears, agony, anger, and anxieties to be able to transcend them.

Society wants him to become someone higher. His family wants him to become someone higher and he invests a lifetime into it to become what he is not and suffers. Society is a kind of escape from yourself when you are not able to learn from your observations so society rules and perceptions take over you. As many divisions of region, religion, ethnicity, gods, and nationalities as many wars, conflicts and violence would wreak on earth as mind wants division. Man is bred by division as mind is searching for security and division is security.

Animals don’t register as hurt and why do men register as hurt. Buddha had said, ‘there are sufferings and there is a way to go out of it.’ One has to learn to observe fears, agonies, anxieties and conflicts to be out of them. Hurts get accumulated as we don’t learn from them but follow them blindfolded which makes us suffer a lifetime. Whenever you are stuck in memories or beliefs or images or society you will be suffering tremendously.

Don’t invest in your self-image. Your self-image is not you and is artificial. You may need a code to be identified in the society that is good enough. But begin to learn and don’t throw your fears into dark corners. Buddha says to use your awareness like a guard to learn from every abnormality that enters you and that is the way to be out of that. That is the way not to be hurt.

The author is a spiritual teacher. He can be reached at arunavlokitta@gmail.com

Don’t invest in your self-image. Your self-image is not you and is artificial. You may need a code to be identified in the society that is good enough. But begin to learn and don’t throw your fears into dark corners. Buddha says to use your awareness like a guard to learn from every abnormality that enters you and that is the way to be out of that. That is the way not to be hurt.

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Spiritually Speaking

The anger and gentleness of Lord Narasimha

The form of Shri Narasimha shows us that even though the form of God may not always meet our expectations (even the gods and angels were bewildered at the sight of Narasimha) still He can come in any form He wishes, whether He conforms to our personal notions of God or not.

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There are many incarnations of God, what makes the Narasimha avatar so special? And why do the followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada always sing two songs about Narasimha after every aarti in every one of their temples all over the world?

Well, perhaps the most important reason is that the founder and spiritual master of the worldwide Hare Krishna movement asked them to, and in one sense, that is reason enough. As disciples, they did not get to choose which items of sadhana-bhakti were meant to be performed; rather they were given selected songs and rituals as part of the spiritual master’s instructions.

Very early on, he told them that these two songs are for the protection of the guru and for the protection of the guru’s mission, the movement he started to spread bhakti around the world. And ever since then, his followers sing those songs and worship Narasimha.

The form of Narasimha—the ‘man-lion’ or ‘one with the form of both man and lion’—came once only, and that for a very short time compared to other avatars. Narasimha outwitted Hiranyakashipu, who thought that he had been blessed to never die in each one of a series of eventualities. Thus His appearance shows us that the soul can never outwit God—even when that soul has been blessed to become the most powerful. Power has a distant origin in God Himself, and because God is completely free to do anything He likes, He can also strip a soul of all power too.

The form of Shri Narasimha shows us that even though the form of God may not always meet our expectations (even the gods and angels were bewildered at the sight of Narasimha) still He can come in any form He wishes, whether He conforms to our personal notions of God or not. He is always capable of surprising His dear devotees—and often at the most surprising times.

The timing was everything for the incarnation of Narasimha, since He appeared in the world just when His devotee needed Him the most. Hiranyakashipu had reached the end of his patience after all his attempts to kill his son Prahlada had been thwarted. In desperation, he shouted out to the boy the famous question: “Where is the God who protects you?” to which the lad replied: “He is everywhere, father.” “Is He in this pillar?” “Yes, father.”

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explains the vision of such a great devotee as Prahlada: “For one who sees Me everywhere, and sees everything in Me; I am never lost to Him, and he is never lost to Me.” Krishna is the protector of those who have adjusted their consciousness to that of being protected by Him. And when the same Lord comes as Narasimha, He is coming to fulfil His promise to His devotee who fully expected His protection.

The Vaishnava acaryas have commented that Narasimha is paradoxical, in that He is both the very personification of anger, yet the very emblem of gentleness. They have cited the natural example of the lioness, which can fight a maddened elephant with all the fury of a wild cat, yet the lioness can take a few minutes out in the middle of the battle to suckle her cubs. Therefore, say the saints, no one is as furious as Narasimha, yet there is none so gentle. When Lord Narasimha appears from the stone pillar, one of His eyes is filled with rage, while the other is looking with love towards His devotee Prahlada. The sharp nails on His hands are just like steel chisels, and they dispatch the demon very quickly, but the palms of the same hands are as soft as lotus flowers.

Through coming to save His devotee in this way, the Lord demonstrates that He is saulabhya or accessible, to even a child who loves Him; and by removing the cruel Hiranyakashipu He shows that there can be no obstacles on the path of bhakti for one who truly takes shelter of Him. Thus He is known as Bhakta-pala, the friend of the devotee, and Bhakti-vigna-vinasana, or one who removes all obstacles on the path of devotional service.

He appeared at twilight, neither day nor night, and therefore the Vaishnavas observe fasting up until this time.

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Narasimha, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demon-like desires for fruitive activities in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world. May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practising Bhakti Yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.” Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.8-10

The writer is Iskcon, Inc Communication Director and SM IT head.

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SOCIAL ACTIVISM AND SPIRITUALITY

Judy Johnson

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“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

—Lilla Watson

As a social activist I used to believe that I needed to name and confront the wrongs in the world. That if I did not agitate against wrongdoing, I was being complicit with power structures that oppressed and suppressed people. This belief was fueled by a strong dose of anger, outrage, and fear. And it often put me on the opposite side of the fence to many people I perceived as doing wrong. But I was comfortable there as I felt I had the moral high ground.

Current change movements tend to pit one side against another, heightening hyperbole with exaggerated claims to put one’s cause forward. The world does not need more of this. The willingness to stop taking sides is heroic.

Having found meditation with the Brahma Kumaris, my approach to changing the world has been transformed. I am no longer dependent on rumbling and agitating. Getting angry and outraged, opinionated, and polarized are no longer fuel for me. My focus has shifted to the human spirit with an understanding that a person’s state of consciousness and the behaviour it produces is at the root of the world’s problems.

Now, I consider meditation a form of inner activism. It is the single-minded focus to activate the qualities inside of me that are needed for a better world. True activism begins when I understand that the change we wish to create in our world must first begin inside human consciousness.

The inner activist has a benevolent and powerful desire for an outcome that benefits everyone. This prevents falling into the rhetoric of the polarizing energies of right and wrong. I am aware that we are all tied in the bonds of lower conscious energies such as greed, fear, and anger. What binds me also binds you.

Bringing God’s peaceful loving energy to co-create a community of cooperation, harmony and mutual respect is what the world needs now. The world needs us to sit together and look at the big picture view of our situation so we can see how each one’s liberation is intricately intertwined with another’s. With meditation, spiritual study and a connection to the Divine, the inner activist makes the valiant effort to be the kind of person who can sit next to anyone on a bench, and genuinely feel from the heart, this is my brother, no matter what they have done.

In a world of increasing diversity of ideas and opinions, inner activism is a way to create unity at the deepest level, a unity of intention. The energy of this unity will uplift humankind.

Together, side by side, we can envision a beautiful world that works for everyone and do the personal work to activate the inner qualities that befit a better world.

Let us move from protest to providing good wishes. And from the compulsion to comment on every wrong to offering a measure of calm, and caring cooperation.

When I change, the world changes.

Judy Johnson coordinates the activities of the Brahma Kumaris in Atlantic Canada.

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