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THE SUBTLE ART OF BEING PRAYERFUL

Arun Malhotra

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Our scriptures tell us that we are living in darkness. Scriptures come from those who were enlightened and told us about the light that was what they were known of. Scriptures are attempts to say what cannot be said. Scriptures attempted to weave in words that cannot be tied in words. To say anything words are needed. But truth cannot be said in words. Merged in words it gets submerged to become a lie. Truth uses the language of silence. 

Truth is one. Experience of truth is one. That one thing has been attempted to be said for thousands of years. We do not know how to decrypt the truth that is encrypted in words. But we continue to read encrypted scriptures. We continue to lend our own definitions to the truth of scriptures, ascribing our own meanings to them. We have turned scriptures into reflections of our dreams.

We are living in darkness. We live in darkness by choice. In the darkness, we grope. We love to grope. We are neither able to see nor wake up. We need eyes and for eyes to see we need light. Scriptures do not have any light so they don’t throw any light. Scripture tells us about light, what light is all about, and how it would be lit when there is light — they tell us about that state in words. We love to sing songs of light inscribed in scriptures to dispel the darkness but we never understand that darkness is an absence of light. We keep praying ‘Tamso Maa Jyotirgamaya  (O Mother take us from darkness to light). Simply to say, we have corrupted the words of scriptures and have made them into objects of knowledge.

Buddha did not grope in the dark, he moved towards the light. Buddha says Appo Deepo Bhava (Be a light unto yourself). You have to be the light unto yourself because you are the light. You have to be lit up in your own light. Buddha’s words are clear milestones that set you for your journey. Unless you find light, you will keep on groping in the darkness of life. When you find light you will be able to see because you already have eyes. But we keep repeating the words of Buddha to create darkness and ignorance from hints about light. Buddha began his journey by denial of the existence of God and attained Godhood. There is no God but there is godliness and one can attain it.

No scriptures can help you. People go on reading scriptures every day because reading the same scriptures repeatedly many times every day becomes a ‘mantra’. It works as an intoxicating tranquilliser to a gyrating mind. But it is in no way untying what is bundled into them. Repeating words breeds monotony, sleep, and darkness. 

When we go on repeating written words believing them as the truth said by God, we make them untrue. Truth is truth when we seek it. But it never becomes our deep seeking. All prayers and scriptures are seeking of the seekers. Not repetitions of mere borrowed words will switch on the light to get you out of the darkness.

You have to become the seeker not just of Sunday prayers-type or daily-temple-going-type to offer the same prayers in exchange for your demand list. You have to become the prayer. Your whole being has to become the prayer. Prayerfulness has to become every moment part of you like your breath.

Your being is the prayer. But your darkness does not let you be that part of you. God has overwhelmed you from all sides. From all directions, you are lulled in the godliness from everywhere. Be it from within and from without. You think you have to do prayers. That is darkness. You have to be the prayer that will make you take some steps within to walk those unknown ways to reach those uncharted lands that you have never walked.

You think you have to do something. You think you have to follow some rituals or some type of religious symbols that you are conditioned into. It’s not true. 

You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to offer flowers or break coconut shell. But you have to offer your own flower and your own head not that coconut to camouflage your head. You are the flower of existence and you have to offer your own flower in prayers.

You don’t have to go anywhere, not to any church, temple, or mosque. You just have to be in prayerfulness. Doing something will take time but sitting prayerful does not take time. Closing your eyes prayerfully just being there, remaining within, remaining with yourself, and remaining with the facts of your prayers make it happen.

You be the prayers. You simply be yourself in your being, prayer will happen. You are the prayer. In prayer, the only offering that we make is ourselves. 

Prayer will take you from darkness to light. Prayer knows no bounds. In prayer, your heart is full of prayerfulness which is rejoicing in the joy of your being.

When you let the existence or That-Which-Is enter you, and you be one with it and you feel that joyfulness of being in the prayerfulness, prayer happens. In prayer, you feel being in the womb of existence and you being in the joy of being. In prayer, you exist in the existence and the existence exists in you. 

Prayer is not presenting a demand petition to God asking God to do some monetary barter in exchange for the fulfilment of your wish. Prayers are not bartering or digging gold out of God.

You have to peel yourself layer by layer. It does not matter you die as poor or rich, it does not matter you read scriptures or thrillers. All that matters is whether you found the right path that took you from sleep to consciousness. Prayer is the right step.

You have to be the prayer not to do prayer. Hindus are very primitive, they use scriptures for all occasions. That is what it means when Krishna says in the Gita, “Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma Phaleshu Kadachana (You have right to your actions but cannot expect fruits thereof). 

Prayerfulness is being in the existence every moment, every hour, and every day. It is not karma. When you be prayerful, meanings of scriptures will shower upon you. You would understand that scriptures are indications of the prayers.

Scriptures ask you to write your own scriptures. Or to read the Holy Book that you are carrying within yourself and if you are courageous enough to read it and you read it right. 

Sufis have a Holy Book. They have their own scripture and that is very beautiful. If you turn page after page you get a meaningful understanding of That-Which-Is. It can transform your life. Don’t be surprised. The entire book is empty, all pages are empty. Not a word is imprinted on them. But it is very amazing if you learn to read it. It changes you completely. In the silence, That-Which-Is is known. 

Do not hanker afterwards. Actual understanding is in the silence that birth words. Scriptures are hints and hints alone won’t take you from darkness to light. Life is a mystery, don’t spend a lifetime understanding or trying to demystify it but you can live the mystery and rejoice in its unfathomable depth and unattainable height.

The author is a spiritual teacher, and advisor on policy, governance and leadership. He can be contacted at arunavlokitta@gmail.com

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Spiritually Speaking

Haridwar gets two new Swagat Dwars as tourists click selfies with the brand new murals

In July 2020 due to incessant rains, a major part of the boundary wall in Haridwar built, in 1935, came crashing. At present, walking along the sacred Har ki Pauri (translates to ‘footsteps of the Lord’) ghat is a visual delight. The two new Swagat Dwars depicting the origins of Mother Ganga through the lens of both Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions are bound to grab your attention.

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In July 2020 due to incessant rains, a major part of the boundary wall in Haridwar built, in 1935, came crashing. At present, walking along the sacred Har ki Pauri (translates to ‘footsteps of the Lord’) ghat is a visual delight. The two new Swagat Dwars depicting the origins of Mother Ganga through the lens of both Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions are bound to grab your attention.

Har ki Pauri after natural disaster.Har ki Pauri after natural calamity.Old photograph of Har ki Pauri walls.Present status of Har ki Pauri after beautification.Past photograph of site where L.E.D screen was installed.Photograph of Har ki Pauri wall after placing murals.

Current status of L.E.D. screen at Har ki Pauri

The Har ki Pauri Development Project was undertaken by Sony India and The Art of Living, with guidance and authorisation from Shri Ganga Sabha. And if you spot high-tech LED screens displaying the sacred aarti the credit goes to this project. The requirement had been felt to redevelop and rebuild the place for devotees and pilgrims to have an unforgettable experience in Haridwar. 

“The Art of Living’s tremendous experience in social projects and Sony’s technical expertise were both combined to create a team which could execute this project smoothly. Sony India and the Art of Living signed an agreement for this project wherein the responsibilities for execution and approvals were mutually defined,” said Sanjay Bhatnagar, director, CHRO, Sony India Pvt. Ltd. 

Since time immemorial the Ganges at Haridwar (gateway to the Lord) holds a special significance in the hearts of Indians and is deeply interwoven with the culture and philosophy of over 1.2 billion Hindus all over the world. Haridwar holds a central place in the Hindu cultural identity and is closely associated with the idea of Moksha. 

Haridwar is one of the four sites along with Ujjain, Nashik and Prayagraj, where drops of amrita, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilt over from a kumbha (pitcher) while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda during the samudra manthan, or churning of the ocean of milk. Brahma Kund, the spot where the nectar fell, is located at Har ki Pauri (literally “footsteps of the Lord”) and is one of the most sacred ghats of Haridwar.

Har ki Pauri, famously known for its Kumbha Mela, holds a record for the maximum number of devotees that congregate together at one place to take a holy dip in the Ganga.  

The project aimed at carrying out development and beautification works at the Har ki Pauri ghat for enhancing the experience of devotees and pilgrims visiting every year. It is keeping this centrality and sacredness of Haridwar in mind that the Har ki Pauri Development Project was conceived.

The project scope included:

Two Swagat Dwars, to mark the formal boundary of the ghat while providing the visitor entering the ghat with a first look worthy of the stature of the place and the rich cultural heritage.

LED Screen, to allow the thousands that gather each evening for the divine Ganga aarti a chance to see the proceedings from a distance and hence reduce the overcrowding just in front of the ghat

Murals of the origins of Ganga, depicting the importance of Ganga and Haridwar in both the Shaivite and Vaishavite traditions

A shoe stall, that is befitting the sacred ambience of the place. 

Renovation of Shri Ganga Sabha room and installation of BRAVIA OLED television and home theatre.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living and Bhatnagar dedicated the project to the public formally.

The project was officially inaugurated on 7th April 2022, in a ceremony on the Ghat and the various developments were handed over to Shri Ganga Sabha for them to continue to ensure comfort and seamless experience for the pilgrims and devotees. 

Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed his gratitude for the project. Dhami said, “Sony India along with Shri Ganga Sabha and The Art of Living has completed a successful project despite the many Covid-19 restrictions. Today, we are honoured to support the Har-Ki-Pauri project by providing the best environment for all pilgrims and devotees.”

In the entire process from ideation to execution, the project traversed through many challenges including a two-year long pandemic, approvals and discussions while looking at an ambitious deadline. The LED Screen was installed at the site and the construction of shoe stalls, both Swagat Dwars, Murals and Shri Ganga Sabha office were completed as per the proposed timeline and were handed over to Shri Ganga Sabha on 10th April 2021 before the commencement of Kumbh Mela 2021. 

“A formal ceremony could not be carried out because of the pandemic restrictions at this time but the project was put to work so that the pilgrims coming for the Kumbh Mela could derive the benefits of this endeavour.”

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The art of flowering in love

You are bound to become the flower of love. Inside you dawns the calmest and deep serenity submerged in deep love. Go there embrace it.

Arun Malhotra

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Who are we and where are we? We are in a world that is around us. The world is made of love. This world is an extension of love. We are born into this world because of our love and we live in this world because of love. All this happens because of love. Trees love flowers. Flowers love flowering. Flowering emit fragrances and colours. Bees and bugs love flowers. Swirling rounds of birds around the garden. Seeds enter the womb of mother earth. Immortality of seed births again. This universe is in deep love with birds, animals, trees, water, air, blue sky, sun, moon, planets and you. 

Man is also born of love. Man is the seed of love. Man lives on love. Without love, man has no existence. Love only makes him live. Love lends a feeling of his being. A feeling of being loved and not being neglected. Man lives in love. This earth is in deep love. Man who has touched new dimensions and fathomed deep seas of love does not drown in them. 

This world is the fountain of love. Love springs out of this fountain of love. Love is what we call life. Life is the fountain of love. But man constantly works against love. He seizes to be a man to be a devil. 

In this world, suffering and conflicts are caused in the absence of love. I am that I am which I am in deep love with myself with my being and being is in deep love with existence. And in this existence, the being of existence is the part of the being who exists as part of the existence. This being-ness of the being is the love between the two. This love is the oneness. This earth depends on the oneness of all. Disparities and divisions abound and they make the world loving and beautiful. Because in the gap of divisions, beauty is manifested.

The man continues to deny his being. He wants to be someone he is not. There he begins to sow seeds of hatred against his being. There he breeds regression and aggression. You don’t want to be that which you are but you want to be that which you think you should be. There he seeds a deep division. There he harvests desires and hopes to ensure continuity of pleasure derived from accumulated memories.  

Memories that you have accumulated in the mind. You are the whole book of mankind’s history. You look at your life from rear glass vision i.e. memories to drive forward the motor car of your life. You become a bad driver. In the artificiality of the human mind, the whole history of mankind is reflected. Man’s mind is the accumulated history of mankind. If the story of mankind is to be read one can read it word by word through one’s mind. It is embedded there. You are the book of the history of mankind. All your senses are a reproduction of the history of mankind. 

But love is a new direction. It has its direction. It does not come from the memories. It comes from the newness of your being. Any direction will land you into blindness. Love lends eyes to see. Your pleasures lend you to the direction of wars. Love lends you life. Therefore, love is so important. Love ends the hatred, war, miseries and conflicts. Love is directionless.

Loneliness or despair is bred in absence of love. You may be lost in the world. You may go after money, fame or power. But you are lost. Love brings you home.

You are bound to breed conflict. Because you are observing from behind the parameter of time. Chronological time and psychological time are like glancing through your present life from the chapters of history embedded in your mind. And projecting chapters of memories into the future of life. Destroying the present for a desire of an oasis in the desert of life to cash in the pleasures of memories.

To understand love remember that you have a state of your mind which has hatred, jealousy, fear and war that are synonyms of love. Mind is divided by history, cultures, ethnicities, religions, languages etc. Therefore, your love becomes religion, god, country, nationality, race, and ethnicity. Quite shamelessly, wars are also fought in the name of love. 

When melancholy is associated with love it becomes self-pity. Self-pity is the person begging for love. Therefore you think that you love but you love your thought. You have a concern about yourself that you dub love.

Humanity is not prepared to look at life face to face. What is humanity? Humanity is the perception of the mind. Humanity is not ready to perceive the mind’s avoidance of reality. Avoiding reality is prolonging the sense of staring at reality face to face. Your mind breeds fears. Fears of insecurity, loneliness and being hurt. But in love, fears, insecurities, and loneliness disappear.

When you are face to face with the reality that you are, you will find yourself looking at yourself. As if the whole existence is looking at you and as if you are the existence and the existence is looking at you. That deep love will awaken your life and will flower your life to make you the flame of life.

The flame of love will be lit when you become the flower of love. You are the loving flower in the flowerbed of existence and you are to flower into the flowering of yourself into attaining the flowering of your being. You are already that which is flowered in you.  

Your being is the ultimate source of love and joy. Your being is the fountain of love. Your being is a source of love that does not deplete. Hatred, aggression, and violence have covered up the source which is buried underneath them. That source of love is the source of life. Love is life. Rumi says love is light. Love is the ultimate treasure that you have that will give you happiness and joy worth more than all wealth and fame of the world. 

What you love hurts you when you make love a possession. You make your beloved into a slave and commodity when you call him or her yours. He or she is not yours. Beloved is an independent source of love. What a beautiful thing when two independent sources of love come together and between them, something mystical happens. We denote that by the word love. In this mystical event, the two perish and a mystical union is born. God takes over. God loves you. In front of your eyes, God is already there. God is touching your whole body and you are in it already. This existence is loving you every moment. But you keep denying it by bringing up your hatred and violence by desiring. Love is the canvas on which hatred, violence, aggression and suffering happen by desiring.

Understand the sutra, when you will love the love then you become the love. You will not be there. The two cannot pass through the narrow alley of love. Two have to become one. You have to go to the ocean of love to drown in the ocean of love to be able to love and be afloat.

That which is love is the ultimate mystery and a driving force in this universe. Buddha’s compassion is love. By being with the beloved by sitting by his or her side you bring the God by your side that’s the beginning of love. Jesus says Love is God. Jesus is flowered out of love. Buddha is flowered out of love. Mahavira is flowered out of love. Krishna is flowered out of love. You are bound to become the flower of love. Inside you dawns the calmest and deep serenity submerged in deep love. Go there embrace it.

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

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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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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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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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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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