Arjuna’s dilemma and Krishna’s rebuke – One of my learnings from Bhagwad Gita

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arjuna dropped his Gandiva and with a bereaved heart, tears-filled eyes and folded hands said – “shall not fight”. Krishna rebuked him – “how has this cowardice entered thee?”

Krishna is not talking about the cowardice of not fighting a war here. Krishna is talking about the cowardice of not following through on his duties which Arjuna may have himself selected. Even if he has not selected the duty and karma that has fallen into his lap, he should have dropped his Gandiva not on the land of Kurukshetra. He could have shunned war before war started but doing it in the battlefield is a sure sign of cowardice and stupidity. He should have known before the war started whether he wants the kingdom of Hastinapur or not. He could have taken a vow of non-violence then before the war started. This would have at least saved him the ignominy of cowardice and the sin of killing his relatives.

Similar is the case with people starting a new job. A person should decide beforehand whether this job is for him or not. Showing cowardice after he joins his job is not a nice thing. He should at least try for the respectful exit after fighting and not the cowardice of not fighting just when the job has started.

How can there be a single untruth in this world, when God is the creator?

We believe God created this universe. The God we believe in is all-powerful, completely merciful and fully benign. In spite of this we find evil in this world. This question plagued my mind from my childhood.

The answer I found is there is actually no evil in this world. We see evil in this world because we are blinded by our ignorance which is known by Maya in Hinduism.

There is a shlok in Shrimad Bhagwad Gita – Asat ka to astitva hee nahi hai, aur sat ka a abhav nahi hai. So, there isn’t a sliver of untruth in this world. Untruth doesn’t exist, only truth exists.

Here are the Benefits of Developing Good Listening Skills

We have been given two ears and one mouth by the providence. It is said that one must listen twice as much as one speaks, therefore. Most people talk about things which they are good at. They have thought about these things before. They have learnt these things by ruminating in their minds and have refined these topics. Therefore, it is great to listen more because you are listening to refined thoughts that have immense value. Contrarily, if you are only a talker, you are sharing your refined thoughts with others and not listening to theirs. Therefore, you are losing on a great learning opportunity.

One caution that I shall like to put here is that people talk about a particular situation and may not be talking about things which can be applied in every situation. So, one has to be discerning in applying these learnings. Nevertheless, this learning comes of itself when one listens properly and with discernment and empathy.

Most people don’t listen. They are making their responses when they are listening. This way, they have already lost the opportunity to learn something new. Moreover, their impulsivity to just blabber about themselves and their thoughts, don’t allow them to develop good relationships with others.

In his magnificent autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, Nelson Mandela describes the listening ability of a regent who was the leader of the tribe. Whenever a conference used to take place with other chieftains, the regent will listen with great patience to them and will always reply when everyone else had finished. Nelson Mandela learned early on this to be a potent capability of effective leaders.

Listening to others is excruciatingly difficult in the starting phase because one has to go against human nature. Only with consistent practice can one become good at it.

Without listening to others properly, a leader cannot understand the problem and therefore cannot solve the problems. Patience gives understanding whether it is patient reading, patient listening or patiently tolerating the vicissitudes of life. Without understanding, life cannot be lived to its higher levels. Everyone may not know everything but everyone knows something which we are not that much good at. In this way, we can learn many things from others.

Listening skills also make us sober and allow us to put ourselves in the place of others, to see their struggles and challenges. This helps both us and others. We learn that we don’t own all the problems in the world. The other person feels heard and connected to us. Without proper listening, we cannot develop compassion for the challenges and struggles of others. We stop becoming the centre of the universe and start to partake in the constructive works this world is beckoning us for. We also become enveloped in calmness, courage and resoluteness. The best part is that it is all free. Not a dime is needed for reaping all the benefits.

One should strive to listen more. There is no need to blurt out your thoughts when other hasn’t even finished his sentence. If you are patient in your talks, sensible people will be patient with you even if you take more time. The use of talks is not just in talking but to learn something, to make good relations with others and be a sharer in the happiness and sadness of others. It is being said that “listen in such a way that others want to talk to you and talk in such a way that others want to listen to you.”

With these thoughts, I take leave. Live, love and make a difference.

Using Find and Replace to Delete Certain Patterns of Words from the Word Document

Few days before, needing to remove certain pattern of words from a MS Word document, I came across a wonderful idea. Every line had two words in the starting followed by a space and a “(“. I opened the “Find and Replace” option by using shortcut key “Ctrl + H”and checked on the “Use Wildcards” option. In “Find” textbox, I entered “(*)[(]”. Entering nothing in “Replace With” textbox, I pressed the “Replace All” button and phew! The pattern was removed from the starting of all the lines.

Find and Replace is a great way to make changes in a Word Document without having to do it manually on every occurrence if they follow a certain pattern. It is one of the examples of smart work and saves a lot of time and effort.

When Willpower Doesn’t Work …

Willpower is definitely the ultimate power. A man possessed of immense willpower can work wonders not just in his life but in life of others as well. Everyone has some willpower but most people don’t have that in great amount. There are very few people who possess forceful willpower. When the reliance on willpower is not working in your life, then one must resort to other means in the meanwhile.

Life is not just one thing. There are many traits that a person must have to be successful. Many times people rely on their hard work and willpower. These are ultimate powers but constant focus on them and constant failures because of not being able to use these traits create frustrations and depression.

Let’s say one wants to study a lot for an entrance examination but his willpower is such that he is studying very little. Constantly thinking in mind that one has low willpower may create a situation in which the person may not even utilize the little he has. One of the solutions to this challenge can be to make the subject interesting. He may make it a fun thing to do. He may take breaks. Playing music while studying can be tried. Studying with a group has helped many. One may use colourful notes and interesting props. Anything that suits one. I know that a lot of us know these strategies but a few among us remain stuck in mental rut of using only hard work and willpower.

Many times the problem is not of willpower. It can be one’s mental quirk. When one knows himself well and knows which things work for him, he can cruise along at an optimum speed. Will power is also like a muscle. We have to constantly keep at our work, and as a result we develop enough willpower muscle. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that one should focus solely on developing willpower. Willpower like any other thing will take time to become strong. In the meanwhile, results are needed. So one should work on other strategies to get the results.

Take care.

The Pleasure Of Junk Food Leads To Pain Later

The junk food culture has literally taken over the world. Pizzas, burgers, fuzzy drinks etc are like the escape for many people to make up for their unhappy lives. It has been said we crave junk food because these foods give temporary pleasure that every person craves for.

There is a principle of pleasure and pain. Humans tend to avoid pain and move towards pleasure. Nevertheless, there are some pleasures that lead to pain later. There are some pains that lead to pleasure later. Working hard at studies is one such pain. Working out in gym is another one. Similarly, having junk food is a type of pleasure that leads to pain later.

Only humans have the intelligence to make right choices. We humans can discipline ourselves in the present to enhance our enjoyment in the future. We humans can take some temporary pain in the present to enhance our pleasure in the future. We can also forgo some pleasure in the present to avoid pain in the future.

Using the discipline of taking some temporary pain or forgoing pleasure in the present, we can make our lives better. Most people with good jobs later have been good students. They worked hard initially. Similarly, the people with near-perfect bodies forgo the pleasure of junk food to make themselves fit later. It is another matter that they advertise these junk foods later for money.

We also feel better when we use our discipline muscle. Even a five minutes of discipline releases feel good chemicals in our brains and our mind feels good. We need to strive to get this happiness and feel-good of discipline rather than indulging in things like junk food or too much of social media.

If we want to feel energetic in our bodies, we need to remove junk food from our eating lists. It is much better to take care of our diet, but we can start by not having junk food and doing some exercise daily.

Thanks for reading and have a happy life.

Don’t fear “Fear”

The most destructive of all emotions is fear. We all have heard such aphorisms as “one should face his fear”. When one starts facing his fears, one finds that not only things of the world or his life, he fears ‘Fear’ itself. Yes, we humans have fear of ‘fear’ itself.

To face fear courageously, we first need to stop fearing fear and allow one to face it. This will cause some problems in the starting as fear is a tough beast. After continuously facing fear, one will find his fears diminishing and his confidence growing.

Priyanka Chopra gives the credit of its success to fearlessness. Swami Vivekananda said it forcefully that “Fearlessness is the Upanishads talk to me from every page.” “It is fearlessness that gives heaven in a moment.”

Projecting Wrong Things About Yourself Is a Recipe for Disaster

Psychology teaches us that humans live life considering their false self to be their true self. Some people shelve their false selves which is often based on ego while others hang on to their false shelves. Both categories of people can be found at every domain of life.
Even people maintaining their false selves can be successful outwardly.

Another division between people is of being top-dog and under-dog. There are some people who play top-dogs and others play under-dogs. The people who play top-dog behave as if they are better than others. Under-dogs behave as if they are worse than others.

Under-dogs project a state of diffidence and so-called top-dogs show a false confidence to others which is actually a type of inferiority complex. These are not real identities of us, and we fall into troubles when other catch on to these false projections.

It is really difficult to change ourselves, but we can start by not showing false images of ourselves. If we can have a face which doesn’t show our false identities, then at least people will not catch on to it, and we will be less troubled in this world.

I have found many people practice this approach to various degrees of success. The benefit is that we are saved from dramas of the people around us and can concentrate on the goals at hand.

Things Which Matter Most Must Never Be At The Mercy Of Things Which Matter Least

This quotation by Goethe is of constant importance to me. We give attention to things which are of the least importance. That person didn’t look at me. He ignored me. That person told me something which I didn’t like. Goethe is saying to not give importance to things which matter least but give importance to things which matter most like our dreams.

If we give more importance to things that are more important like our dreams, our goals, then we are definitely going to become less perturbed by the constant source of frustrations in our life and our life can become worth living.

What does it really mean to live in the present moment?

During a recent conversation, it clicked my mind that most people take ‘living in the present moment’ wrong and not what spiritual teachers like Eckart Tolle are telling them. Most people think that ‘living in the present moment’ means to take care of what is at present they have. For example, someone has a job. He thinks taking care of present job to the utmost degree is what the masters are teaching.

Taking care of present job to the utmost degree is really of utmost importance. There cannot be an iota of doubt about it. Otherwise, he will constantly dread of losing his job and will do nothing. A source of livelihood must be cared for in the best manner.

Eckart Tolle and others are actually talking of bringing the mind to the present moment. Mind doesn’t come to the present moment without effort. It takes immense practice to train mind in this. Whenever one finds his mind wavering to the past or future, it should be brought back by constant nudging or may be effort. It doesn’t mean that mind should never be allowed to wander. There are some moments when allowing mind to wander brings relief. The problem is that minds of most people doesn’t come to the present even for a few moments.

There is a blessing for most of us that our mind at least concentrates on work when there is some at hand. Though there have been cases of people, who cannot concentrate their minds to work at hand to the slightest degree.

Immense gladness is available for the person who can stick his mind to the present moment. When mind is at the present moment, it can be brought under control. It doesn’t mean that the mind cannot be made to think of the future or about the past. Actually, this is the beauty of bringing mind to the present moment that now it can be made to think or plan about the future or learn from the past. This can be done consciously and under control.

Be happy and live life to the fullest.