Peace & Happiness are not new topics or concepts, however so many of us have not been able to truly find it, ever thought why it is not available. Allow me to contextualize it for you, you may find it worth your read for the year 2019, as it will give you a blueprint for the year 2020. Beginning of your journey towards eternal peace & happiness.
Let me begin by saying, being the oldest civilisation, owning and practicing its age old traditions & understating their connection with present times is a guideline to peace & happiness.
I am sure we have many spiritual teachers /mentors telling us many things everyday. However have we been able to understand it yet. Indian ancient texts have been talking about Peace & Happiness from adopting certain philosophy in life. Philosophy which is scientific in nature. So lets talk about some of the most essential philosophies which help us live a peaceful & happy life.
First & foremost & the simplest philosophy is to balance four goals of life. Lets talk about these four goals of life from something we are very familiar with & is as ancient as it can be; hanuman challisa.
Hanuman Chalisa which probably everyone recits, says something very profound in its first stanza itself. When one recites that one is praying for balancing four goals in life; Artha, Kama, Dharma & Moksha.
Shree Guru Charan Saroj Raj, Nij Man Mukar Sudhari,
Barnau Raghuvar Bimal Jasu, Jo dayaku Phal Chari
It means cleansing the mirror of my mind with the dust from the lotus feet of divine guru, I describe the unbleshimed glory of lord Rama, which bestows four fruits of righteousness ( Dharma ), Wealth ( Artha), Pleasure ( Kama) & Liberation ( Moksha). Lets go in detail;
Artha is material, that is visible, it could be your wealth, salary that you earn, cars that you own, house that you live in, jewels that you own & other desires which you have to live a particular kind of life. Artha is all about possession & when not in balance it gives rise to obsession and subsequent result is misery. Artha when not in balance gives rise to unhealthy competition, treachery, ego. Artha when in balance it makes you passionate, purposeful & generous.
Kama is Love, that is manifesting & binding this world together. It begins with Self Love, evolves to family, friends & it keeps finding a mate. When not in balance it gives rise to bitterness, lust, jealously, animosity. When in balance it gives rise to compassion, loyalty, empathy, kindness which gets extended to societies, animals & nature at large.
Dharma is righteousness, which varies from tradition to tradition, family to family & society to society. Righteousness. It has layers, self & others & When not in balance it gives rise to judgement, prejudice, crimes & other societal nuances. When in balance it gives rise to detachment & truth.
Moksha is spiritual, it is again vast, depends on cultures, religions & traditions. It is self connect & connection with Spirit inside us, many call it God in outward manifestation. When not in balance it gives rise to mental illness like depression, low confidence, stress & something like midlife crisis. When in balance it gives rise to Peace, Stillness & the power to be in the moment. It gives you humility.
I am sure we have understood these four goals then lets pledge to pen down the personal four goals & also remember to fulfil those & keep them in balance. When we strive to immerse ourselves in activities which are fulfilling our goals of Artha, Kama, Dharma & moksha “simultaneously”, that is when we are doing karma yoga. Karma Yoga doesn’t only mean persuing only one goal, that won’t be counted as Karma Yoga.
Now when we indulge in to Karma Yoga, we will be experiencing good & bad both in order to achieve our goals. So while performing karma yoga & keep forging ahead without being effected by good or bad, success or failures one might need another guiding light. That guideline light which will keep you consistently on the path of Karma Yoga & make you a resilient leader. This will happen when you are fully aware & in charge of your Values, Principles, Ethical Boundaries & Passion or Purpose. How would you like to live, what would you like to be remembered as & how do you get there ? Many times the values we are born with due to our genetic memory & environment /culture/ family influences may not serve us to be where we want to be. Hence we need to trade off between the old and new values.
These new values need to be practiced and accordingly principals need to be made out of them. To quote our Hon PM Modi recently launched a campaign with Bollywood, about teachings of Gandhiji, on his Bday this year. what are those ? Those are nothing but Values & Principles.
Now apply them in pursuing your particular passion or purpose and draw ethical boundaries around it. Ethical boundary is something that you will feel hurt for later, these are those feelings, insecurities or fears which you will face when you cross the boundary you have created to live by. So we have to see what is it that we can take and what it is that we can’t, & create a boundary for ourselves. Like how Laxman created a line for Sita. She crossed it & then misery followed. Like that in our life we have to draw certain boundaries around us, there would be temptations & detours, however you will now have a guideline to stick to. These guidelines will be within you, and not in other people or situations.
Believe me if you stick to even 70% of this, you shall forever remain happy unless you are stuck with some natural calamity, disease or unforeseen incident. That is not in our control. However whatever should be in control is also something we do not understand that can be engineered within us.
So going back to the essence of this article, remember none of ancient scriptures or festivals are without a meaning, instead of just following a ritual or tradition, this time try & find out the context of it in those stories. You will find hidden mantras to live a fulfilling & happy life.
As we are 70 years old in democracy and are witnessing time changing very fast, the environment is complex with onset of technology, AI & bloakchain. We are also the largest democracy with a demographic dividend. In these times of opportunity & potential we need to invest in the process of passing on wisdom to our country.
For 2020, I hope that you will start imbibing these four concepts of of Artha, Kama Dharma & Moksha & would have adopted Karma Yoga to achieve these goals. I hope you would have followed the values, principals, ethical boundaries & the compass of passion / purpose to create an experience for yourself which is worth living for.
Wish you all the Peace & Happiness !